Downton Abbey's Tuppence Middleton reveals OCD causes fear of sickness

Downton Abbey star Tuppence Middleton reveals how she feared being sick during pregnancy due to her OCD – and ‘makes bargains with herself’ so that nothing bad happens to her loved ones

  • Speaking to The Guardian, the Bristol-born actress opened up about her OCD 
  • READ MORE: Tuppence Middleton transforms into Elizabeth Taylor 

Tuppence Middleton has opened up about the struggles of living with obsessive compulsive disorder, which she’s writing about in a new book.

The actress, who is best known for playing Lucy Smith in period drama Downton Abbey, also said she’s ‘lucky’ that her pregnancy wasn’t riddled with morning sickness – because she suffers with emetophobia, a fear of vomiting, due to OCD.

Speaking candidly with The Guardian, the mother-of-one, 36, from Bristol, said the condition is often made fun of’ and associated with obsessive cleaning and tidying, but that it’s different for everyone. 

Her ‘structured routines’ include mental counting and tapping different objects, such as light switches. 

‘You make bargains with yourself – if I don’t do this, something bad is going to happen to someone I love, which is quite a common thing,’ she said. 

The actress (pictured in 2019), who is best known for playing Lucy Smith in period drama Downton Abbey , also said she’s ‘lucky’ that her pregnancy wasn’t riddled with morning sickness

The star added that it was reassuring to hear that her experiences were similar to other people’s while working on a BBC Radio 4 series on the topic last year.

For one, she heard that her emetophobia – which made her nervous throughout carrying her first child, who she gave birth to last year – was a common symptom.

And while Tuppence has being proud of how much she’s been able to ‘push herself’ – she’s currently playing Elizabeth Taylor in a production of The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre – she wishes she could completely ‘switch off like other people seem too’.

The actress admits that while it’s important for her to stress that OCD is something you can live alongside, and doesn’t make her ‘a liability’ in her career, the condition means she’s always monitoring and observing.

A good day for Tuppence, she explained, is leaving her home with ‘a minimal routine’.

She has taken medication for her OCD, but says talking therapy has been most helpful. 

The star first spoke on OCD and anxiety in 2021, explaining at the time that she had developed the former as a child and has found ways of managing it into adulthood. 

The actress also said she’s ‘lucky’ that her pregnancy wasn’t riddled with morning sickness – as she suffers with emetophobia, a fear of vomiting, due to OCD. Pictured in April 2022

Last August Tuppence welcomed a baby with Swedish film director Mans Marlind, who is 18 years her senior. Both pictured in April, 2022

Tuppence is currently starring alongside actor Johnny Flynn as Elizabeth’s on-off husband Richard Burton in the production, which is written by playwright Jack Thorne and directed by multiple-Oscar-winner Sam Mendes.

Speaking on the new role – and Elizabeth herself – in April, the star has made some comparisons to the two actors lives.

Liz was a total romantic and I completely relate to that,’ she told Tatler.

‘Most actors are, because we love the idea of dipping our toes into other people’s lives: “What if I’d been born there, or lived in that period?”‘

She added: ‘I’ve always found it terrifying appearing in public as myself – doing the red carpet, or presenting an award. But playing Liz? Well, bring it on.’

Last August Tuppence, who has also played the illegitimate daughter of Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting in the film A New Era, welcomed a baby with Swedish film director Mans Marlind, who is 18 years her senior.

The couple’s relationship was first revealed back in March, 2022 with Tuppence unveiling her pregnancy while she attended the Downton premiere a month later. 

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