Obsessive Love Disorder
Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD) is often a result of many factors that contribute to the increased need for connection and affection, up to a point where it is no longer healthy. It is most commonly presented in those with low self-image, low self-esteem, and an unworthiness perception.
Obsessive love is most commonly presented in a romantic relationship where attachment disorders are fueled by a manipulative or narcissistic personality. Healthy relationships can’t be based on attachment styles.
Understanding Obsessive Love
When we’re dealing with a love disorder, there are usually other mental health conditions that come into play. While OLD hasn’t been officially recognized, it falls under the obsessive-compulsive disorder category. It can be summed up as a situation where an individual is so obsessed with their partner, that it becomes an addiction.
Obsessive love can be a sign of a mental health condition that goes beyond the current dysfunctional relationships a person may be involved in.
Love is an intense emotion that can be experienced in many ways, heartbreak or intense infatuation can even create an altered reality perception. Obsessive love disorder heightens those emotions and provokes compulsive behaviors that derive from abnormal patterns of affection, wanting to control, protect, and be near someone.
While it is always best to consult a mental health professional for an official diagnosis, the following are some of the most common ways an obsessive love can manifest.
Suddenly, our entire lives revolve around this. It’s the first thing you think of before going to sleep, and the first thing you recall about it before going out. It takes time, and you’re distracted because you’re constantly thinking about them, what they might be doing, what they said, and when you will hear from them. You find it almost unbearable waiting for them
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, your life feels dull if you can’t be in touch with this person. Obsessive thoughts are part of your day-to-day life, and your love interest is the sole center of everything you do. You feel a sense of desperation about them and are in constant fear of missing a text or call from them.
Losing sight of yourself
An obsessive love will have you sacrifice and change everything about yourself for the need of being with this person. It easily evolves into an attachment disorder, where you can’t explain yourself without them. Obsessive lovers are in a constant pursuit to please and alter themselves without even noticing it.
It can begin with something as simple as missing out on going out with your friends until even your loved ones are neglected. Your feelings are controlled by them, and all your other close relationships suffer because of it.
You feel you can’t live without them
Your life is like a rollercoaster of drama where one day you feel amazing and the other you feel like everything is falling apart. Since obsessive love can only occur when two parties are involved, one that obsesses, and one that enables the obsession, your whole existence is rooted in this person.
You want control, and seek this person for constant reassurance that they won’t leave your life. Mental health issues will increase when being in this type of relationship.
In the case where there is unrequited love, you try to control someone over which there is no control and constantly try to establish an intimate love that isn’t there. This is part of delusional disorders that alters reality and how we’re experiencing it.
Delusional Jealousy & Obsessional Jealousy
When we talk about delusional jealousy, it is an all-consuming feeling that exacerbates the delusional disorder that makes us believe this person belongs to us, and therefore any slight affection that’s not in our direction is considered treason. This extreme jealousy can cause relationships to escalate from being unhealthy to being dangerous.
Feelings get so intense that the obsessive part is unable to reasonably manage their jealousy. In these extreme cases, obsessive love can become abusive the couple could be jealous of one another who crosses their path to violence.
You obsess over every little detail
Your entire life revolves around making them stay, and obsessive tendencies take over every interaction. You over-explain and add value to every single interaction even when there’s no evidence behind what you are feeling or thinking.
A basic example of how this may manifest at the beginning of an obsessive relationship: They flirt with you, which is why you ask if they’re interested in you. Then you wondered if this was your date, you re-read every single text and look for hidden meaning in every word. You go over the conversations and interactions in your head every night before sleep.
You are so in love you ignore their flaws
You fell hard and only saw what you wanted. They’re perfect. You wanted to see your real love so intensely that you believed your fantasy in your head. This is very common, and contributes to the love delusion, to a point that you don’t even see the harm they present to you or how they disrespect you.
You will not notice they are rude, selfish, an athlete, or chronically irritable person. There’s just so much better, and you find a way to justify every bad thing they do or say because you put the value of the relationship above your well-being or feelings.
Children with Trauma and Obsessive Love Disorder
Understanding the underlying cause of why a person developed an unhealthy relationship with love and affection is the first step. Children who have experienced trauma have been linked to altering how a child and later adults may interact with affection. Some children who suffer traumatic situations may have post-traumatic stress disorder or obsolete love syndrome.
A child with delusions will develop in extreme circumstances; they can see or believe in delusions.
Young people who have experienced trauma & love
It may have occurred either sexually, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Whatever kind of trauma a child may have experienced can alter how they perceive love, affection, and trust. The feeling often morphs into fear due to past interactions. Survivors often feel that they can trust no one and that intimacy and love are dangerous or imply a practical exchange which is why they may refrain from it.
Obsessed love disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by child abuse should never be overlooked. Several case report studies support a strong correlation between OCD in children which is why behavioral sciences recommend seeking a treatment plan that’s based on obsessive disorders.
As a parent, it may be difficult for teens to notice any symptoms of the obsessive-love disorder. How do parents measure health in their family? An unhealthy relationship, particularly with adolescents, can be a symptom. If this occurs with a child who experiences an obsessive love disorder, it might be a good idea to seek professional help.
Getting past Obsessive Love Disorder
Obsessive Love Disorder can cause an obsessive state of mind and it’s an emotional disorder in which one feels an urge to feel like they’d love someone else. A person experiencing obsession will experience those emotions, even if they have been reciprocated.
Talk therapy is a great way to start dealing with this. While some will seek couples therapy, it will take an enormous effort on both parts to make it a successful one. Seeking a treatment that tackles obsession properly and tackles other mental illnesses like borderline personality disorder can be extremely successful.
We know that dealing with past trauma and altering a relationship can be tough, but it is an essential part of knowing our self-worth and value.