Ozzy Osbourne may be the last person you’d turn to for medical advice or psychological counseling, but hundreds of fans have thought otherwise, as hard rock’s most affable singer recently opened himself up to answering questions for his brand new book, “Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy.” He is rock ‘n’ roll’s ultimate survivor, he reasons playfully upon being asked his credentials. The book is a perfect mix of this bat-chomping tongue-in-cheek answers and sincere advice from one who has gone off the rails on a crazy train and lived to tell about it. But one thing Osbourne usually defaults to, in both conversation and in the book, is the phrase, “Go see a f—ing doctor!”
After reading your first book, “I Am Ozzy” last year, it was amazing to watch the transition from somebody who spent a lot of time talking about feeling so alienated growing up to somebody who is comfortable dispensing medical advice to the masses.
I don’t prescribe things to do with medication, or whatever. It’s basically common sense. For instance, one guy wrote in and said, “I’ve just been prescribed this medication, and it says, ‘Avoid alcohol when taking this medication,’” and he goes, “What should I do?” … I say, “Well, either you’re a f—ing dummy or you do what the bottle says!” … Most of it is common sense, but every now and again people go, “I can’t tell the doctor about this, he’ll think I’m stupid.” That’s what they’re there for! One guy said to me, “I’ve got this pain in my back and nothing cures it, what should I do?” Go to your doctor! You can write to me and thousands of people will read it, but why can’t you go to your doctor?
Maybe it’s the anonymity of writing to Dr. Ozzy?
Yeah, but the doctor isn’t gonna go, “Oh we’ve got one here who has got a pimple on his butt the size of f—ing dollar bill! Come on in here!” Doctors have seen far more crude things than I ever have and ever want to.
How do you decide when you’re answering these questions if you’re going to be silly or serious?
It depends on the question. … One guy goes “I’m constipated. I can’t go to the bathroom.” I just go, “You wrote me asking me about your constipation. If nothing works, you should really go to your doctor.” It could be something serious, but then again it could be nothing.
In this book, there is definitely a lot of stuff about, how did you phrase it? Going to the bathroom.
Oh yeah. I suppose the general public has a fetish with sh—.
There are points where the advice skews on the heavy side, like where somebody wrote in about mourning the death of a friend.
Well, that guitar player of mine died, Randy Rhodes. Grief is very weird. People go through it differently. You think of grief as feeling sad. That is just one part of it. [My wife] Sharon and I at the time had an emotional blockage for a while. Sharon couldn’t listen to a record, and acted like it never happened. … I strongly advise therapy. Being the alcoholic guy that I am — I was in rehab — and I know that you might mourn the loss of your best friend with alcohol. It’s a process. … You drink alcohol as a medication, some people do, because you numb the feelings.
I was surprised to learn how much of a hypochondriac you are.
Oh, I’ll catch a disease off the TV. If you scratch your nose more than once, I’m sitting there scratching my nose. I have this philosophy that if you catch something before it gets a hold of you, most times you’ve got a chance of fighting it. My father died in ignorance. He started out with prostrate cancer, and he wouldn’t go to a doctor.
I was also surprised to learn that the Prince of Darkness is afraid of the germs on doorknobs of public restrooms.
Oh f—ing hell! I don’t understand it, because you wash your hands and then you’ve got to f—ing push the door to open it. I take the f—ing towels! If there’s no paper I’ll go into the cubicle and get some f—ing butt paper. I don’t want to touch a handle with more sh— on it than has been up my ass.
Spot the licensed therapist!
Since Ozzy had been answering all these health-related questions for this book, we thought we’d pose to him the questions that our resident therapist, columnist Jonathan Alpert, has answered recently, and put them side-by-side with Ozzy answers so readers can try to guess who answered what.
1) Is it normal that my cat is my best friend?
A) No, but if your cat is your best friend, great. He won’t steal from you. He won’t rip you off. He won’t say bad things about you. He’ll give you his undivided love and attention.
B) Depends. If your friendship with your cat prevents you from developing human ones, then no, it’s not normal. If though you just love your cat and find great comfort in her, that’s fine.
2) When I’m driving over a bridge my heart races and I feel panicky. Am I crazy?
A) No, you’re not crazy; you’re fearful of bridges. Your racing heart and panic feeling is your body and mind’s response to what it perceives as pending doom and danger.
B) No, you’ve probably got a fear of heights.
3) I sometimes fantasize about kissing people other than my husband. Is this normal?
A) Maybe she wants to have a little bit of excitement in her life.
B) Yes, normal, but if it continues and starts to distract you from your relationship, it’s a problem. It might be symptomatic of larger problems in the relationship. If you call your husband by someone else’s name, that’s also a problem.
4) Is it normal that I forget peoples’ names and often can’t remember where I parked my car?
A) Yes, it’s normal. If though it’s happening more and more then see your doctor. Make sure you’re physically OK and you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Stress can also lead to forgetfulness. Do your best to manage it and stay organized. When you meet someone repeat their name back to them. As for the car, take note of a landmark or a distinguishing feature nearby. This will serve as a cue and help you find it.
B) My short-term memory is terrible. I’ll go, “I put my watch down here, where the f— did I put my watch?” Or if I’m holding something I’ll go, “Where did I get this f—ing brush?” And I’m holding the f—ing thing. But mine is attributed to a couple of years ago when I had a motorcycle accident and I was a f—ing bad state for a while. And ever since then it’s gotten worse. And of course as I’ve gotten older, the short-term memory gets worse. I remember things that I did in the ’70s and the ’80s, but I can’t remember last Thursday.
1) A=Ozzy, B=Alpert
2) A=Alpert, B=Ozzy
3) A=Ozzy, B=Alpert
4) A=Alpert B=Ozzy, obviously