Love can be a blissful experience. It can also cause a lot of pain if the other person does not reciprocate your feelings. Many people have experienced the agony of a broken heart and the passion of love. The obsessive-compulsive disorder takes these feelings a step further by making a person focus on their loved one as if they were a possession or an object.
Obsessive love, sometimes known as “obsessive love disorder,” is not typically recognized as a mental health problem. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not yet include it. Obsessive love disorder, on the other hand, might be a symptom of other mental health issues.
If the individual suffering from obsessive love disorder symptoms does not receive therapy for the underlying symptoms, they may find it difficult to emotionally manage their feelings. In the most extreme circumstances, this could also lead to acts of violence or abuse. Continue reading to learn more about obsessive love disorder, including its characteristics, causes and symptoms, and treatment options.
Obsessive Love Disorder
Obsessive love disorder is a condition in which you have obsessive feelings for someone else that you can mistake for love. Whether or not these sentiments are reciprocated, a person with obsessive love disorder will indulge in them.
What is Obsessive Love Disorder
Obsessive love disorder (OLD) is a condition in which you become preoccupied with a single person with whom you believe you are in love. You may feel compelled to defend your loved ones excessively, or even to exert control over them, as if they were a possession.
While obsessive love disorder does not have its own medical or psychiatric classification, it is frequently associated with other mental diseases. If you suspect you or a loved one has the disorder, consult your doctor. Treatment can assist to alleviate symptoms while also preventing relationship problems.
Obsessive Love Vs. Real Love
For ages, philosophers have struggled to come up with a concept of “true” love. Similarly, there is no single set of criteria that may distinguish true love from obsessive love disorder. Love is an extremely powerful force. Dopamine and other potent brain chemicals are released in people who are in love.
Some people get obsessed with retaining and dominating the person they love because these feelings are so strong. They may appear to worship their lover at times, yet when threatened, they become enraged or jealous.
The concentration on the partner as an item for “consumption” or ownership, rather than an equal, is one of the hallmarks of obsessive love disorder. People with obsessive tendencies may love the other person because of their own wants, rather than loving them and desiring the best for them. As a result, they may exhibit little concern for one other’s well-being.
Other characteristics of obsessive love include the following:
1. True love necessitates compromise and negotiation, whereas obsessive love necessitates that the object of affection yields to their partner’s demands.
2. Genuine love puts the other person’s needs first, whereas obsessive love can lead to physical or mental abuse.
3. True love entails embracing and acknowledging the other person’s imperfections. Worship and an unwillingness to acknowledge any shortcomings are examples of obsessive love.
There may be “splitting” in some cases of obsessive love. This happens when the object of one’s love appears to be perfect one minute and evil the next. Obsessive love makes it extremely tough to let go. Although breakups are usually painful and can lead to unhealthy conduct, persons who have obsessive love feelings may struggle to recognize that their relationship is over. Obsessive love can occasionally involve a fictitious relationship, such as with a celebrity or a stranger.
Causes of Obsessive Love Disorder
A lot of reasons contribute to obsessive love disorder. It’s more commonly linked to other types of mental diseases, such as:
1. Attachment Disorders
This group of disorders includes people who have problems with emotional attachment, such as a lack of empathy or a fixation with another person.
Attachment disorders such as disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) and reactive attachment disorder (RAD) develop throughout childhood as a result of negative interactions with parents or other adult caregivers.
You might be overly friendly in DSED and forget to be cautious around strangers. If you have RAD, you may feel overwhelmed and have trouble getting along with people.
2. Personality Disorder on the Precipice of a Schizophrenia
An issue with self-image as well as significant mood swings characterizes this mental health disorder. If you have a borderline personality disorder, you can swing from being extremely angry to being quite delighted in a matter of minutes or hours.
Anxiety and despair are very widespread in this population. Personality difficulties can cause great love and extreme hatred for a person with obsessive love disorder.
3. Illusionary Envy
The fixation on things that have already been shown false, based on delusions, characterizes this disorder (events or facts you think to be true). When it comes to obsessive love disorder, delusional jealousy might lead you to believe that the other person shares your sentiments, even though they’ve made it clear that they don’t.
According to a 2005 research by Trusted Source, delusional jealousy may be linked to drinking in men.
This disorder is a mix of delusions and obsessive love disorder. If you have erotomania, you may believe that someone famous or in a higher social position is in love with you. This can lead to harassment of the other person, such as showing up at their home or place of business. According to Comprehensive Psychiatry, people with erotomania are typically lonely, have few friends, and may even be unemployed.
5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness marked by obsessive thoughts and actions. These are severe enough to cause difficulty in your day-to-day activities. OCD can make you feel as if you need to be comforted all of the time, which can be harmful to your relationships.
Relationship Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an obsessive-compulsive disorder in which obsessions and compulsions are focused on a connection. However, this isn’t an officially recognized OCD subtype.
6. Obsessional jealousy
Obsessional jealousy is a non-delusional obsession with a partner’s claimed infidelity, as opposed to delusional jealousy. In response to concerns about infidelity, this obsession may manifest itself in repetitive and compulsive actions. These acts are more than delusional jealousy; they are symptoms of OCD. This could cause a great deal of anxiety or make it difficult to function on a regular basis.
Obsessive Love Disorder Symptoms
Depending on the cause of the fixation, the symptoms of obsessive love disorder differ. A person suffering from delusional disorder, for example, may have changed reality or exhibit odd behavior, whereas a person suffering from depression may have low self-esteem or suicidal thoughts.
Some symptoms that love is obsessive in general are:
- An overabundance of attention to the relationship compared to its length
- Falling “in love” with new partners, or even strangers, right away
- Attempts to exert extreme control over the other person
- Threatening the other individual if he or she tries to leave.
- Refusing to listen to or accept the other person’s feelings or any boundaries they attempt to set
- Demanding the other person to do something ridiculous.
Rejection is often difficult for those with obsessive love disorder. As a result, symptoms can occasionally worsen after the individual experiencing obsessive love has been dumped or rejected.
Obsessive Love Disorder Diagnosis
A mental health expert may determine whether or not a person’s relationship is obsessive based on the symptoms they display and whether or not they have a detrimental impact on the person’s life. Obsessive love disorder has no defined diagnostic criteria.
A healthcare practitioner may inquire about a person’s mental health history because obsessive love is frequently a symptom of another mental health disorder. They might also suggest psychological or medical tests to rule out alternative possibilities, especially if the person is acting delusory.
Obsessive Love Disorder Test
Obsessive love disorder is a mental illness in which a person becomes preoccupied with someone with whom they believe they are in love. Having this disorder might be harmful to both you and the person you’re interested in. To find out if you have an obsessive love disorder, take the ‘Do you have an obsessive love disorder’ quiz.
Excerpt from Questions
1. Do you frequently discuss the person you’re in love with?
2. Are you envious of your crush or partner when you witness them talking to other women or men?
A. Definitely, all of the time.
C. Only if they are more attractive than I am.
3. How frequently do you obsess about someone you love?
A. Quite frequently
B. Infrequently or never
C. Only a couple of times
4. Do you have a crush on someone right now?
A. Of course.
5. Do you believe you are in love with someone deeply?
A. Of course.
C. I’m unsure
6. Do you overtext someone you’re in love with all the time?
A. Of course.
7. Do you frequently discuss your crush or partner with your family and friends?
A. Without a doubt
C. Every now and again
8. Do you have frequent dreams about your crush or partner?
A. Of course.
9. Do you find yourself losing focus on important tasks when you think about the person you love?
A. Of course.
10. Is this individual aware that you’re in love with them?
A. Without a doubt!
B. No, because I’m not smitten by them.
C. No, not yet.
Treatment for Obsessive Love Disorder
Obsessive love disorder treatment focuses on identifying and treating the source of obsessive thoughts and feelings. A person with schizophrenia, for example, may require medication to suppress delusions and unpleasant thoughts.
Medication and psychosocial psychiatric interventions, such as family counseling or helping the individual replace negative beliefs with positive thinking patterns, are common treatments for delusional disorders.
Therapy is essential for most people in order to manage obsessive feelings and create healthy relationships. Untangling a history of trauma, addressing underlying problems, and establishing more healthy interpersonal norms are all things that a therapist may help with.
Individual therapy is effective in the early stages of recovery, especially if the relationship is abusive. Couples counseling may help them work together and move past the obsessive love if each person in the relationship is able to set healthier limits on their own.
A person can also try some simple management tactics at home. These are some of them:
- Write out all feelings toward the object of obsessive love, then tear up the page as a representation of those feelings being destroyed.
- Disconnecting from the object of your love on social media.
- Getting rid of all mementos of the person, such as photos and gifts
- Wearing a rubber band around one’s wrist and snapping it when obsessive thoughts arise.
- Engaging in healthy and engrossing activities like reading, painting, or playing a musical instrument.
- Trying to keep busy while spending time with pals
Some people are curious about the length of time it takes to recover from obsessive love disorder. There is no specific time, however. It is a psychological and very personal experience that is influenced by a variety of factors, ranging from the intensity of the obsessive love to the underlying disease that may be generating it.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If none of the aforementioned tactics work, there may be a more significant underlying problem, in which case consulting a mental health professional may be beneficial. Furthermore, those who suffer from obsessive love disorder may not recognize their own behavior as unhealthy. Instead, they may believe that the object of their devotion is unloving or unfaithful and that they are the problem.
This may make it difficult for the individual who is experiencing obsessive love to get therapy. People who find it difficult to let go of relationships or who are insecure in their current relationships should assess whether their love is obsessive and seek treatment.
Obsessive love disorder can be a symptom of a serious mental illness, and if left untreated, it can ruin friendships and relationships. It may also result in other major mental health issues. If obsessive love leads to someone pursuing a relationship with someone who has no interest, it may result in legal issues or violence.
Mental health issues and other factors that might lead to obsessive love can be treated, especially with the right support. This is only achievable if the individual experiencing obsessive love has the ability to seek help and support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is obsessive love disorder a real thing?
Obsessive love, sometimes known as “obsessive love disorder,” is not typically recognized as a mental health problem. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not yet include it. Obsessive love, on the other hand, might be a symptom of other mental health issues.
How do I stop being obsessive with love disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is treatable. Anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium and Xanax, antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers are also options.