Camila Cabello Says OCD Is Something She Can Laugh About Now, But It’s Still A Struggle
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan UK (via E!), Camila Cabello spoke about OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and how she's learned to cope with its symptoms. This isn't the first time the pop star has discussed her struggles with the disorder, but Cabello's new comments explain exactly how the disorder presents itself for her and explain the daily stress it can often produce.
On April 9, the 21-year-old singer kicked off her Never Be The Same Tour — her first solo headlining tour since leaving Fifth Harmony. Going solo has undoubtedly given her more control over already-successful career, and she's learning how to take control over her OCD, too.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD is defined as "a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over."
For Cabello, as per Cosmopolitan UK, her OCD often manifests in the form of over-analysis. "OCD is weird. I laugh about it now," she said. "Everybody has different ways of handling stress. And, for me, if I get really stressed thinking about something, I'll start to have the same thought over and over again, and no matter how many times I get to the resolution, I feel like something bad is about to happen if I don't keep thinking about it."
Cabello went on to reveal how she's learned to deal with her OCD, explaining:
"I didn't know what it was and when I found out, and [learned] how to step back from it, it made me feel so much better. I feel so much more in control of it now. To the point where I'm just like, 'Aha! OK, this is just my OCD.' I'll ask my mom a question for the fourth time, and she'll be like, 'That's OCD. You've got to let it go.'"
Coping with the disorder hasn't always been easy for Cabello, though. In May 2016 — before she announced she'd be leaving Fifth Harmony to go solo — the singer told Billboard that 2015 had been a particularly difficult year.
“I was having terrible anxiety, nonstop," Cabello said. "My heart would beat really fast the whole day. Two hours after I woke up, I’d need a nap because my body was so hyperactive. It was so eff ― sorry, but it was so f*cked up. I was scared of what would happen to me, of the things my brain might tell me. I realized the stuff I thought was important isn’t worth my health.”
While she didn't explicitly say that her anxiety was directly related to OCD at the time, in March 2017, the singer told Latina (via HuffPost) that in "late 2015 and the beginning of 2016," her "terrible OCD... was totally out of control."
"I would wake up with a super-accelerated heartbeat and really negative, intrusive, compulsive thoughts," Cabello explained to Latina. "I was so inside my head, and I didn’t know what was happening."
Luckily, once she figured out that she was dealing with symptoms of OCD, the pop star got pro-active about figuring out how to cope. "I started reading books about [OCD] and it really helped a lot when I understood [the illness], and that [the thoughts I was having] weren’t real," she told Latina. "Sometimes you have to remind yourself to slow down and take care of yourself.”
Cabello's comment on prioritizing self-care is definitely an important one, and it doesn't just apply to people living with OCD. So, the next time you're feeling stressed, take a page out of Cabello's book and try to slow down, reflect, and take comfort in knowing you're not alone.