Added: Terell Perera - Date: 04.10.2021 19:52 - Views: 18328 - Clicks: 1628
Love can be a euphoric feeling. It can also trigger immense devastation when the other person does not return the sentiment. Many people have felt the pain of a broken heart and the intensity of infatuation. Obsessive love takes these emotions further, causing a person to fixate on their loved one as though they are an object or possession. However, obsessive love can be a of other mental health challenges and conditions. If the person experiencing feelings of obsessive love does not receive treatment for the overall symptoms, they may struggle to emotionally regulate these feelings.
In very extreme cases, this may even trigger acts of violence or abuse. Keep reading to learn more about what characterizes obsessive love, the causes and symptoms behind it, and some possible treatment options. Likewise, there is no single list of criteria that can distinguish obsessive love from real love.
Love is a potent force. People with feelings of love experience a rush of dopamine and other powerful brain chemicals. For some people, these feelings are so powerful that they become obsessed with keeping and controlling the person they love. They may appear to worship their partner at times, but become angry or jealous at the slightest threat.
Rather than loving the person and wanting the best for them, people with obsessive tendencies may love the other person because of their own needs. Real love requires compromise and negotiation, while obsessive love demands that the object of affection submits to the demands of their partner.
Real love involves accepting the other person and acknowledging their flaws. Obsessive love may involve worship and a refusal to acknowledge any flaws. Obsessive love makes it very difficult for a person to let go. Although breakups are usually painful and can trigger unhealthful behavior, people with feelings of obsessive love may refuse to accept that the relationship has ended.
Obsessive love sometimes involves a relationship that does not actually exist, such as with a celebrity or a stranger. There are many factors that may cause obsessive love. The sections below discuss these factors in more detail. Mental health conditions such as bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia , as well as symptoms triggered by alcohol use disorder, may cause delusions of erotomania.
This is not the same thing as obsessive love, but it may be a symptom of a much more serious mental health condition. Erotomania is a rare delusional disorder that may cause a person to believe that destiny requires a specific relationship. The person may even delude themselves into believing that a relationship that ended long ago is still loving and healthy. Erotomania can also cause a person to believe that another person loves them. Sometimes, the object of their love may even be someone that they do not know.
For example, they may believe that they have a nonexistent relationship with a celebrity. Some delusions may be so extreme that they cause the person to engage in stalking, abuse, or violent behavior. Erotomania also involves symptoms of paranoia. One case study argues that social media can make erotomania worse. This is because it allows people with obsessive tendencies to observe others from a distance, and to feel closer to them than they might otherwise feel. Learn more about erotomania here. People with borderline personality disorder may intensely fear abandonment and have trouble managing their emotions.
For example, their emotions may appear disproportionate to the situation, and they may obsess over their relationships. They often view things in black and white terms, alternating between seeing a person as completely good or completely evil. This can cause them to try to control others or manipulate partners into remaining in the relationship. People with this disorder may not have a consistent identity or sense of self. This can worsen obsessive tendencies, since they may struggle to see themselves as real or worthy individually, separate from their relationships.
People whose parents or caregivers were unstable or abusive may develop abnormal patterns of attachment. This can cause them to become obsessive, controlling, or fearful in their relationships. People with insecure or reactive attachment styles may feel preoccupied by fears of loss. They may feel unable to cope without a relationship and be willing to do anything to keep their partner. Sometimes, insecure attachment keeps a person in an abusive relationship because they fear loss.
In other cases, it may cause a person to become abusive in a desperate attempt to keep a partner. Some people are so afraid of abandonment that they develop obsessive tendencies. This may stem from an attachment disorder or emerge after a trauma. For example, a person whose spouse died may be terrified of losing their current partner.
This can increase their risk of becoming obsessed with their relationship. For example, a person with depression may believe that they are unworthy and alone, or that the only worthwhile aspect of their life is their relationship. This can cause obsessive feelings or behavior. Learn more about the different types of personality disorder here. Some social and cultural norms demand more of one partner than the other. This could mean that some parents and caregivers expose their children to these unhealthful relationship styles during their upbringing.
The symptoms of obsessive love vary depending on the reason for the obsession. For instance, a person with a delusional disorder may experience altered reality or demonstrate unusual behavior, while a person with depression may have low self-esteem or experience suicidal thoughts. There are no specific diagnostic criteria for obsessive love. They may also recommend psychological or medical testing to rule out other causes, especially if the person demonstrates delusional behavior. Treatment for obsessive love focuses on identifying the cause of the obsessive thoughts and feelings, then treating that cause.
For example, a person with schizophrenia may need medication to control delusions and negative thoughts. Treatments for delusional disorders tend to involve medication as well as psychosocial psychiatric interventions, such as family therapy or helping the individual replace negative delusions with positive thinking patterns. For most people, therapy is key in managing obsessive feelings and developing healthier relationships.
A therapist can often help with untangling a history of trauma, managing underlying conditions, and establishing more healthful relationship norms. In the early stages of treatment, individual therapy is best, especially if the relationship is abusive. If each person in the relationship is able to establish better boundaries individually, couples counseling may then help them work together and move past the obsessive love.
Some people wonder how long it takes to overcome obsessive love. However, there is no set time. It is a psychological and very individual experience that depends on many things, from the level of the obsessive love to the underlying condition that could be causing it. If the above strategies do not work, there may be a more serious underlying issue, and seeing a mental health professional may be a good idea.
Also, people with obsessive love may not see their behavior as problematic. They might instead view the object of their affection as insufficiently loving or loyal, believing them to be the problem. This can mean that the person experiencing feelings of obsessive love may find it difficult to seek treatment. People who struggle to let go of relationships or who feel very insecure in a relationship should consider the possibility that their love is obsessive and try to seek treatment.
Obsessive love may be a of a serious mental health condition, and if it goes untreated, it can destroy friendships and relationships. It could also lead to other serious mental health concerns. If obsessive love causes someone to pursue a relationship with someone who is not interested, it could even lead to legal difficulties or violence. It is possible to treat the mental health conditions and other causes that can lead to obsessive love, especially with adequate support. However, this is only possible if the person with feelings of obsessive love feels able to seek help and support.
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Obsessive love: What to know