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Becks’ battle with mental illness

David Beckham has admitted that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (oCD) – a mental illness that causes sufferers to carry out odd and persistent rituals. The English soccer captain says the condition leads him to count clothes and place magazines in straight lines and symmetrical patterns. He explains, “I have got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs. I’ll put my Pepsi cans in the fridge and if there’s one too many, then I’ll put it in another cupboard somewhere.” His wife, Victoria, is aware of his obsession, as are his old colleagues from oanchester United. And his problem isn’t just restricted to the home. The 30-year-old adds, “I’ll go into a hotel room and before I can relax, I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect.” Asked if he had tried to rid himself of the condition, which affects two percent of the population, he replied, “I would like to. I’ve tried and I can’t stop.” [4 April 2006]

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