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    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel

janeW

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Over the past year I have acquired an obsession over a person who I am barely acquainted with. I have barely spoken to this person, and yet I probably do not go a full 10 minutes in the day without thinking about them. Its been going on for about a year, ever since I met them and I think it is beginning to hurt my life. In the past I had a similar problem with another individual, but eventualy it went away... but I think it is far worse this time. I do not know what is causing this obsession... I think it might be that I am trying to compensate with somehing? But I jsut want to know what might cause this and how to make it go away.
 

janeW

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Over the past year I have acquired an obsession over a person who I am barely acquainted with. I have barely spoken to this person, and yet I probably do not go a full 10 minutes in the day without thinking about them. Its been going on for about a year, ever since I met them and I think it is beginning to hurt my life. In the past I had a similar problem with another individual, but eventualy it went away... but I think it is far worse this time. I do not know what is causing this obsession... I think it might be that I am trying to compensate with somehing? But I jsut want to know what might cause this and how to make it go away.
 

prayerbear

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Crushed?

I am not a therapist, but I do understand! In my situation, although I am celibate for religious reasongs, I too (a female) have acquainted myself with a very attractive man! To some degree, I think its normal to go gaga over a man especially if he has lazy blue eyes kind of like some of those country western singers! Ok! Bonk on the side of my head again!

But hes too controlling and insecure, but he has to be so cute! Darn I have eyes. But I asked him to please leave me alone cuz he makes me nervous!

I too obsess a lot about someone I only look at once a week! UUGH while were at it, I discussed this with my doctor and I think I am agoraphobic(afraid of men) but a certain ex boyfriend used to stalk me all the time and I got so annoyed with him, I called the police! I called this man "wolf" I still look behind me to make sure "wolf" is not following me!

I look around my house bricks to make sure the "pest" doesnt try to sneak a kiss, but yes, I obsess about this a lot. Heres some possible reasons:

(1) I am OCD
(2) I like men, but I am afraid of them.
(3) I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark and other mystery novels!
(4) too much idle time waiting for disability payments to FINALLY be approved
(5) I like men!
(6) they scare me, thus the OCD or is it the other way around?
 

prayerbear

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Crushed?

I am not a therapist, but I do understand! In my situation, although I am celibate for religious reasongs, I too (a female) have acquainted myself with a very attractive man! To some degree, I think its normal to go gaga over a man especially if he has lazy blue eyes kind of like some of those country western singers! Ok! Bonk on the side of my head again!

But hes too controlling and insecure, but he has to be so cute! Darn I have eyes. But I asked him to please leave me alone cuz he makes me nervous!

I too obsess a lot about someone I only look at once a week! UUGH while were at it, I discussed this with my doctor and I think I am agoraphobic(afraid of men) but a certain ex boyfriend used to stalk me all the time and I got so annoyed with him, I called the police! I called this man "wolf" I still look behind me to make sure "wolf" is not following me!

I look around my house bricks to make sure the "pest" doesnt try to sneak a kiss, but yes, I obsess about this a lot. Heres some possible reasons:

(1) I am OCD
(2) I like men, but I am afraid of them.
(3) I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark and other mystery novels!
(4) too much idle time waiting for disability payments to FINALLY be approved
(5) I like men!
(6) they scare me, thus the OCD or is it the other way around?
 

Daniel

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...but I think it is far worse this time. I do not know what is causing this obsession... I think it might be that I am trying to compensate with somehing? But I jsut want to know what might cause this and how to make it go away.

How happy/depressed are you? If you were happier, would you be less obsessed? Obsession/addiction is often an escape mechanism from the daily grind.
 

Daniel

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...but I think it is far worse this time. I do not know what is causing this obsession... I think it might be that I am trying to compensate with somehing? But I jsut want to know what might cause this and how to make it go away.

How happy/depressed are you? If you were happier, would you be less obsessed? Obsession/addiction is often an escape mechanism from the daily grind.
 

stargazer

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Are you talking about a romantic obsession? Or just an obsession? The reason I ask is that I have an obsession with someone who has hurt me, and it is not a romantic obsession, but I think that the amount of time and energy I devote toward dwelling on this person is definitely a hindrance. Romantic obsessions are in something of a different category, for me.
 

stargazer

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Are you talking about a romantic obsession? Or just an obsession? The reason I ask is that I have an obsession with someone who has hurt me, and it is not a romantic obsession, but I think that the amount of time and energy I devote toward dwelling on this person is definitely a hindrance. Romantic obsessions are in something of a different category, for me.
 

prayerbear

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An obsession

I think its an obsession because by nature I am a perfectionist, and I am always wanting to say things just the "right way' What really helps me if someone hurt my feelings is to keep in mind I must have hurt someone elses feelings and we, as humans, are not perfect. Thus, I am trying to squelch the "overactive inner critic!"
 

prayerbear

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An obsession

I think its an obsession because by nature I am a perfectionist, and I am always wanting to say things just the "right way' What really helps me if someone hurt my feelings is to keep in mind I must have hurt someone elses feelings and we, as humans, are not perfect. Thus, I am trying to squelch the "overactive inner critic!"
 

stargazer

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Yes, that's helpful. I've noticed that many "sensitive" sorts such as myself have a tendency to be equally as hurtful as we are hurt, though sometimes unknowingly so.
 

stargazer

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Yes, that's helpful. I've noticed that many "sensitive" sorts such as myself have a tendency to be equally as hurtful as we are hurt, though sometimes unknowingly so.
 

Abraxis

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I am personally very familiar with this species of obsession, and the means by which it breeds in me to produce yet another. I cannot presume to know precisely why it is occuring in you, but I can offer some understanding in terms of why it occurs in me. I have always had a very active imaginiation -- sometimes over-active. And, since a very young age, I did not habituate to a stimulus as quickly as others, and was quite prone to staring at people for a long time, until my mother would scorn my for me visual intrusion upon the other person. I still do it, but what momma don't know don't hurt her. There is only one other ingredient for me: desire. These two things in combination, imagination and desire, produce my obsessions.
I feel loneliness, and when that loneliness is prolonged, and when I struggle against it in adherence with the social norm of having a partner (which all my friends do, and which is everyday life we see people together being happy together and cannot help but envy it), my mind needs a means of venting this tension, which according to some psychological theories is what the mind is forever striving to do. Except, in this case, both my "superego" and my "id" are telling me the same thing: find a partner. However, I am very shy, and this is not always an easy thing, and therein lies the tension.
What is easier is to mark soemone that I am interested in and fantasize about what life would be like with them. however, it is not that person I am fantasizing about, it is an ideal I project upon them for my own benefit. You mentioned that you barely know the person. Why would that be? To me, it's because it allows me to have a blank slate upon which I can project this other reality. This other reality provides me with a place to which I can escape when the tension of loneliness seizes me and the resulting depression and anxiety begin to take a deep rooting. You said that you think the obsession is harming your life, and you are right and wrong. It serves a purpose, it is there for a reason, at least for me. But it does do harm. The fantasy gives me an escape, but as Jung would say, that escape acts like a mother in that it nurtures me, releases mental tension, and smothers me, for as long as I am content to fantasize, I will not gather the will to actually go out and try to start a real relationship.
I know how hard it is, though, to try and sever that tie to the imaginary person. The best way for me personally is to immerse myself in some other project, be it guitar, photography, reading, writing, anything. Distract yourself from it and find a new way to release that tension, and thus, there will no longer be a purpose for the obsession to serve. At th same time, do not berrate yourself for the fantasy. It is a very useful tool, imagination, and not worth trying to subdue, but rather a degree of control is necessary. This is where you need an escape from the escape. It should be something that requires your focus, something that inspires you, and something that is relaxing. It could be a group activity, such as a sport, or something that only needs you, such as an instrument, a painting easle, a blank page of a poetry book. Whatever fits these criteria, pursue it. At the very least, you will gain knowledge, the most valuable commodity in life.
As I said, this may not apply to you in the least, but this is the way it has been for me in the past. If this explanation seems to only go half-way for you, feel free to email me and I'll try better to explain it.
 

stargazer

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I'll just throw in a personal note, for whatever it's worth. I commented earlier that I had an obsession with a person, though not in a romantic way. I was obsessed with someone who had wronged me, and I found myself thinking about that person an inordinate amount of the time, as though trying to devise a plan to convince that person to revoke or reverse the wrongdoing he had committed against me.

Behavior connected with this obsession was that I contacted the person frequently throughout the period of about six months, even though this person might have preferred that I not contact him at all. This perpetuated the obsession, as I saw myself continually failing to impress him to change his attitude and behavior toward me. The only way I was ever able to rid myself of this obsession was, first of all, to stop contacting him. Then, after a while, I found that I had let go, and I was no longer thinking about him so often.

Although I agree with Abraxis in principle, in my case I have found that I become more easily obsessed with my projects than I do with other human beings, although I have no idea why this is. It has been a long time since I have even contemplated the idea of being in a relationship. Friends of mine comment on this all the time, and it at first amuses them and later annoys them that I have a tendency to stay up all night while absorbed in some kind of creative project, allow various facets of the project to dominate my thought-life and my conversation, assume that other people ought to be as interested or involved in my project as I am, and so forth. Since my typical obsession has been with my projects as opposed to with other people, and since most of my male-female relationships have failed due to my having at one time or another prioritized my project over the relationship, I have had to find another way to rid myself of obsessions over people.

In the case of the recent individual who had hurt me, I was able to stop buzzing him so often on the basis of my telling myself that such behavior on my part was below my standard. I continually reminded myself that I was only stooping to his level. I also reminded myself that his opinion of me was irrelevant, and that whatever he was thinking about me was immaterial, as long as he was not effecting physical or financial harm to me or my family. So, the only way I was able to stop the obsession was to apply these principles. Furthermore, I was able to apply these principles more readily to the situation because I had made a commitment within myself to apply these principles to all other areas of my life, including my tendency to obsess over my projects.

I realize this isn't quite along the lines of the discussion on the thread in general, but thought I'd throw in my two cents. In any case, it's always a pleasure to receive a topic notification reply from PsychLinks, especially when it arrives over my morning cup of coffee!!
 

stargazer

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No, Abraxis, I wouldn't say you ran of course. I was only speaking for me, personally and specifically. I think your advice was really great, in the general case. Sorry if I implied otherwise.
 

prayerbear

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I understand this-very well put!

I appreciate your input and time and this DOES make sense. I will refer to this over and over and my brain will digest this! Thanks

miss clean
 

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