David Beckham provides insight into his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a forthcoming Netflix documentary.
The footballing legend admits that the “tiring” OCD condition compels him to keep everything nice and tidy, especially at home.
“‘I clean it so well, I’m not sure it’s actually appreciated so much by my wife, in all honesty,” the 49-year-old reveals in one of the clips.
Beckham signed a $21 million deal with Netflix for a docuseries last year.
“The fact that when everyone's in bed I then go around, clean the candles, turn the lights on to the right setting, make sure everywhere is tidy. I hate coming down in the morning and there's cups and plates and, you know, bowls.
“I clip the candle wax, I clean the glass, that's my pet hate, the smoke around the inside of a candle. I know, it's weird.”
He shouldn't call himself weird, though.
Beckham is one of millions suffering from OCD, the “doubting disease”
2-3% of people experience OCD at some point. It's a complex and often mental disorder mockingly associated with keeping things ultra clean. But that intensity always has consequences. Some thoughts and behaviors can be so sticky and unnecessarily repetitive that they get in the way of life. The worst is violent and harmful thoughts that leave a sane person stuck in a dialectical doom loop.
Beckham's version of OCD pertains more to the compulsion side, which is comparatively tame to most. But it also explains why he may have practiced “bending it like Beckham” to perfection during his footballing years. His remarkable skill in executing accurate crosses and free kicks solidified his status as a top set-piece specialist.
He told ITV in 2006: “I've 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 … everything has to be perfect.”
No one should have to deal with OCD alone. If you're having intrusive thoughts or your brain feels stuck in gear, reach out to a mental health professional for help.