Luke Combs on Having Anxiety and OCD: ‘Something I Always Struggled With’
Luke Combs is speaking publicly about having anxiety and obsessive thoughts in a new installment of The Big Interview With Dan Rather. Before the full episode airs on Wednesday (Jan. 13), fans can check out a clip of Combs detailing his mental health struggle.
"It's something that I always struggled with, and always affected me," the singer reveals. "The first time I can remember is probably middle school up to the end of college, and I still have my moments here and there."
Combs says he lives with a lesser-known form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) known as Purely Obsessional OCD, which is marked by intrusive, distressing thoughts that come in waves.
"Essentially, my version of messing with the blinds or straightening the carpet are thoughts that I play over and over in my head," Combs continues. "[For example], it'll be something about my health. I'll be worried that I'm ... about to have a heart attack, or a stroke. It becomes this very obsessive thing that I, you literally can never have an answer to."
Combs says the key to taking control of his anxiety has been in arming himself with knowledge and understanding the patterns behind these obsessive thoughts. "You have to teach yourself to be comfortable with the fact that you will never get an answer, and that it is a super uncertain thing. That's what I particularly have struggled with. Sometimes that's tough, but it's something that you learn about yourself," he points out.
Though he still deals with anxiety from time to time, Combs says that for the most part, he feels in control of his OCD. "It's something that I've learned about, and I've been able to get a hold of. So it's been great to [feel] free from those things, for a long time now," he says.
The singer certainly hasn't let his struggles stand in the way of a successful musical career. Combs had another banner year of chart and streaming successes in 2020, and his sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get, was the top-selling album of the year. He's also responsible for two of the Top 10 most-played country songs of 2020, with "Lovin' on You" and "Does to Me" (his duet with Eric Church) coming in at No. 9 and No. 8, respectively.
The Big Interview With Dan Rather airs on Wednesday (Jan. 13) at 8PM ET on AXS TV.