In episode 77 I chat with Harris Goldberg. Harris is a director, writer and producer. He co-wrote the comedy Deuce Bigolow: Male Gigalo, and in 2007 wrote and directed the film NUMB, inspired by his own experiences of mental health.

Harris Goldberg

I had an interesting chat with Harris about many topics. We talked about using comedy as a defence mechanism, ERP, ERP advice, fear of death, depersonalization disorder, OCD triggering depersonalization, why do I have OCD vs how do I recover from it?, pushing against anxiety with ERP, and how the uncertainty of Hollywood can fuel OCD. We also discuss why Harris writes himself into his films, lifestyle changes, daily yoga, nutrition, guilt, why living a pure kind of existence was a compulsion, opening up about mental health in Hollywood, why the media gets OCD so wrong and the importance of being kind to yourself. Enjoy!

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Show notes:

Harris’ OCD story (0:50)

An ERP scene in the film Numb (5:00)

OCD driving depersonalization symptom (7:00)

Realising OCD triggered depersonalization (7:50)

Wanting to know why they have OCD vs focusing on how you will get rid of the OCD (10:20)

How ERP is helping Harris, and his advice (12:50)

The uncertainty of Hollywood (19:40)

Writing himself into his scripts (26:10)

Using films to inspire others (28:20)

Lifestyle changes for better mental health (30:00)

Nutrition and mental health (33:00)

The belief that living a pure kind of existence would prevent bad things from happening (40:50)

How the fast life of Hollywood can affect mental health (47:30)

How Hollywood reacted to Harris sharing his mental health story (50:00)

Helping others, can help you (54:00)

Why does the media get OCD so wrong? (1:03:00)

How will the perception of OCD ever change in the media? (1:09:10)

Being kind to yourself (1:14:10)

Harris’ advice to his 20 year old self (1:16:40)

Harris’ advice for living an amazing life (1:18:40)

The billboard question (1:22:00)

Find out more about the Harris:

Harris Goldberg:


Mark Freeman on the podcast – Episode 1, episode 2, episode 3.

Ashley Fulwood on the podcast

The Ultramind Solution by Dr Mark Hyman (

Jon Hershfield on the podcast

The OCD Stories book >>


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To your success,
Stuart and The OCD Stories team

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Comments (3)
  1. Really enjoyed this episode. Found Harris to be very authentic and pleasing to listen to. Interesting, but not surprising, to hear about the mental illness in Hollywood and the large number of high profile actors/film makers who hit lows and stay there. Another healthy reminder that Hollywood, money, fame, etc will not heal poor mental health and can, quite often, only make it worse. What you see in the media is a survivorship bias: The few who succeed, albeit temporarily (they might be broke next week). And for every “successful” Hollywood profile in the media, there are millions who fail to get there. It seems that for most people, such a pursuit is folly, for there doesn’t seem to be much upside to me?

  2. This was a really fabulous episode – enjoyed every minute of it. I love to hear from guests who know what OCD is from personal experience.

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