Singer Fiona Apple just released her first album in seven years, the verbosely-titled, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do”. In a recent interview with Elle magazine to promote her new music and explain her long absence from the spotlight, Apple reveals that she has spent much of the past few years overcoming her struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a common form of anxiety disorder.
“I had really bad obsessive-compulsive disorder,” Apple tells Elle. “At its worst, I was compelled to leave my house at three o’clock in the morning and go out in the alley because I just knew that the paper-towel roll I threw in the recycling bin was uncomfortable, like it was lying the wrong way, and I would be down in the garbage.”
What Apple describes is typical of someone with OCD. In general, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts they just can’t seem to get out of their head. In turn, obsessive thoughts drive people to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) as a way to ease their anxiety.
Obsessive-compulsive thoughts can interfere with a person’s normal routine, schoolwork, job, family, or social activities, especially when excessive time is spent focused on obsessive thoughts or performing compulsive rituals.
This was the case with Apple, who says she grew increasingly frustrated with wasting time and energy on things like checking the garbage when she could be writing songs. The singer sought treatment and eventually began making music again, though she still experiences social anxiety (an intense fear in social situations) and doesn’t venture too far from her home in Venice Beach.
“I used to be really ashamed of it, but now I can just freely say that I don’t ever I don’t go anywhere, really,” says Apple. I’ll be going to [Los Angeles venue] Largo to see my friends … [and] I’ll start freaking out, and it won’t stop until I’m actually there.”
Despite this, Apple says she’s excited to hit the road this summer for a tour in support of The Idler Wheel and chalks up her recent experience as part of becoming a wiser person.
“It used to be that everyone else was wrong and I was right,” she says. “Maybe that’s growing up or something..”
Source: A New Album—and Life—for Fiona Apple