Niall Horan Opens Up About Battle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Back in 2016, a fan questioned how Niall Horan always stays so organized. “It’s called OCD haha,” he replied. Everyone basically wrote off this admission as a joke, but as it turns out, the 24-year-old has battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, “a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over,” for years.

“I have mild obsessive compulsive disorder, that’s what doctors call it,” he tells German children’s magazine ZEIT LEO. “That is, I feel like I have to do things in a certain way. For example, if I have a burger with chips on my plate, I always have to eat the chips first and only pick up the burger at the very end.”

Niall also has “other ticks in [his] life,” including a ritual he does before he goes on stage.

He explains, “I have one fixed sequence. I always have to sing in the same order, move and so on. And I’ll basically do everything immediately, otherwise I’ll get nervous quickly. That’s why in school I learned to start studying for tests very early. Otherwise I’d be afraid of the pressure.”

While the “Slow Hands” singer’s ticks caused him to have a hard time relating to his classmates when he was growing up, he now accepts them for what they are.

“I live with them and they’re mine no matter what others think about it,” he continues. “I’m just like — what the hell! Fortunately, I now have enough people around me who understand me.”

Niall joins the likes of celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe, Justin Timberlake, Lena Dunham, who have all been open about their struggle with OCD in the past. It’s so awesome to see celebrities speaking out about their mental-health issues, as it helps break the stigma that surrounds them and lets normal people who also suffer that they’re not alone.