It may seem romantic in movies and television shows when someone says to the one they love that they cannot live without them and that they are all they have. In reality, though, it is very unhealthy to have an obsession over one person, especially if the feelings are not returned. It is important to learn to establish your independence and close yourself off from that person before your mental health worsens.
What is Obsessive Love Disorder?
Obsessive love disorder is when you are obsessed with someone that you think you are in love with. It can be being overly protective over that person which can mean controlling them. It can mean telling them where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. Real love is respecting the choices of others and giving them space when they ask for it. If you do not respect a person’s boundaries, that is when your infatuation for that person becomes an unhealthy obsession.
The symptoms can include an overwhelming attraction to someone that they take over your thoughts and actions. It can also mean extreme jealously whether they are spending time with someone of the opposite sex, with their friends, or family. You do not want the one you are infatuated with to share their attention with anyone but you. If the one you are infatuated with is spending time with someone else, this causes you to question that person’s motives or why you were not invited.
Obsessive love disorder can also follow repeated text messages, emails, or phone calls as well as many messages to why there was no immediate response. With that one person being on your mind, it can mean that you are willing to close off your friends and family just to devote all of your love and attention to the one you are infatuated with. You feel like controlling where that person goes and dropping any commitments that can get in the way of you spending time with that person. With all of these obsessive behaviors, that person could refuse you and you will still refuse to listen which can lead to legal ramifications like a restraining order or being arrested.
What Causes Obsessive Love Disorder?
This disorder can be the result of a number of mental health disorders. Borderline Personality Disorder is when your mood switches from one minute being extremely happy to the next being extremely angry. This can make your relationship become unpredictable where you act in love with someone to wanting to hurt them next. Delusional disorder is when in your mind you think your love for someone is reciprocated and what may seem real to you is the opposite to others. Erotomania is when you think you are in love with someone who is famous or of high status which can lead to stalking that person. Obsessional jealousy and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders can also fall into this category as you need constant reassurance of that person’s trust.
Can This Disorder be Treated?
Obsessive love disorder can be treated. You can take medication like anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax, antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Medication should not be the only thing to rely on for this disorder as you need to find out what the underlying causes are of why you are obsessed with that particular person.
You should also think about your relationships in that if you did not receive love from your parents or your siblings as a child, you could be trying to compensate for those missing feelings in someone else. Identify your obsessive thoughts and behaviors whether you look at your phone and see how many calls you made to that person, things you have said, and what makes you upset by that person’s actions when they reject you.
How To Begin Treating Yourself?
Write down everything you discover such as how that person makes you feel, how you feel when they are gone and what the causes of those feelings are. You can either tear or burn away your letter so that you can symbolically let go of these feelings.
If you are afraid of being alone, join a club or a class to meet new people and give your friends and family some of your attention. Anything that reminds you of that person like photos or personal belongings you should get rid of. Remove any posts from your social media newsfeed and unfollow them all together so you do not have constant reminders of that person’s existence or get upset if you see them around other people.
If you feel these thoughts coming on again, you can do something like wear a rubber band and snap it so that you can “snap out” of your unhealthy thoughts. Find healthy distractions to avoid thinking of that person like reading a good book, listening to music, playing video games, instruments, draw, paint, or exercise to help take your mind off things.
Meditative breathing can be helpful as well by inhaling for four seconds, holding for another four seconds, and then exhaling for eight seconds. Visualize yourself in a place where you feel calm and serene like when you go to the beach and you feel the mist of the ocean and the soft beneath you. You can also vent to a friend or relative and ask them what to do or speak to a therapist if these thoughts can more and more out of control.
Get Treatment Today
If you suffer from obsessive love disorder, you don’t have to fight it alone. At Bayview Recovery Center, we treat a variety of mental health disorders, including:
To learn more about our treatment programs, contact 855.478.3650 today.