Mike Portnoy believes his obsessive-compulsive disorder is both a blessing and a curse.
And he thinks it’s worse for those who have to put up with its effect that it is for him.
Portnoy tells Long Island Pulse: “I have discussed it with doctors – but I’m just one of those perfectionists that has to have everything organised.
“I like to make lists. If I’m into something I just get obsessed wit hit. My house is filled with tens of thousands of DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays, books, magazines and drum sets. I don’t need to be professionally diagnosed to know there’s something going on there!”
Asked about the pros and cons of OCD he says: “It’s absolutely a blessing because I’ve used it to my advantage – I’ve been able to use that nature to nurture my career.”
But he adds: “It’s a curse in the sense that my bandmates, my wife and family have to deal with it. The people around me who know me and love me accept it, and let me do my thing.”
Portnoy also reveals that one of his most valued friendships is with Rush drummer Neil Peart.
“I don’t like to talk about it publicly too much, because he’s a very private person,” says the ex-Dream Theater leading light. “We’ve become good friends over the years – which is crazy to me because he was my childhood drumming hero.
“He’s one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met.”