Have you ever been so obsessed with someone that you can’t get them out of your head? Do you find it almost impossible to stand him or her rolling with other individuals? If yes, you’re a victim of obsessive love disorder.
Being too attached to someone is a mental health disorder that you need to curb with constant therapy. It’s serious business if you become overly fixated on someone because you run the risk of losing your mind when they move on.
We’ll discuss extensively on obsessive love disorder in this well-prepared article. After reading, you’ll understand the condition and learn how to solve the problem.
The Definition Of Obsessive Love Disorder?
So let’s answer your question “what is obsessive love disorder?”
According to Mango Clinic’s psychiatrist Amelia Alvin, “obsessive love disorder (OLD) is a syndrome in which you get excessively driven by a single person you suspect of being your true love.”
You can read up on erotomania, a similar condition, in the article De Clérambault’s syndrome revisited: a case report of Erotomania in a male by BMC Psychiatry. You might become obsessively protective of your loved ones or even take over control of them, treating them like prized items.
Although there’s no distinct medical or psychiatric categorization for obsessive love disorder, it frequently coexists with other forms of mental disorders. You can find more information on this subject in PubMed’s Delusional jealousy and obsessive love-causes and forms.
If you believe you or a dear one may have this disorder, speak with your primary doctor. Relationship issues can be avoided while simultaneously reducing symptoms with treatment.
It is good to love. Love is a beautiful emotion but obsessive love disorder may occur when sentiments of love or what appears to be love for someone are coupled with an obsession or a desire to dominate that person.
Symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder
Specific identifying traits of obsessive love disorder can be used to identify the condition.
The symptoms of obsessive love disorder differ from person to person and might appear extremely differently in two people who have the disorder. Integrative Life Center corroborates this statement in Symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder.
- Extreme jealousy for the relationships the person you are obsessed with has with other people.
- Having obsessive thoughts about the center of your affection.
- Low self-esteem especially when the love isn’t reciprocated.
- Noticeable compulsive behaviors
- A persistent desire for constant reassurance from the partner you’re in love with
- An intense attraction for just one individual
- The need to “guard” the one you’re in love with.
- Difficulties maintaining relationships with family members or making acquaintances due to the fixation with one individual
- Several phone calls, emails, and texts to the target of their attention
- Regulating the other person’s movements by keeping an eye on their every move
People who possess symptoms of obsessive love disorder may also find it difficult to accept criticism.
Sometimes when a relationship ends or if the other person rejects you, the symptoms may get worse. You may learn more about rejection sensitivity in the Psychology Today article “What Is Rejection Sensitivity?“
Ultiblog’s Relationship Red Flags You Should Know also provides useful information on how to know if your relationship is obsessive.
What Causes Obsessive Love Disorder?
Obsessive love disorder doesn’t have any actual cause. However, anyone suffering from obsessive love disorder may have other mental health challenges linked to it.
Such mental health conditions are:
People with emotional attachment disorders, such as a lack of sensitivity or an obsession with someone, are said to have this set of disorders. You can assess this assertion in Attachment difficulties and disorders by NCBI.
Most babies form strong emotional bonds with their caretakers at a young age. When their caretaker is not around, they exhibit intense fear, and when they are reunited, they exhibit relief.
Still, some newborns experience attachment disorders as a result of their carers’ inability to meet their requirements. These infants struggle to form any kind of emotional attachment and are unable to connect with their carers. The PubMed article Attachment Disorders validates these statements.
Treatment for attachment disorders is available, but early treatment is important. Children with attachment difficulties may struggle for the rest of their lives if they are not treated. You can learn how to treat attachment disorder in children in HelpGuide’s Attachment Disorders in Children: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. Or by reading The Best Books On Developmental Science.
BetterHelp speaks on some therapies for adult-linked attachment disorders in Types Of Therapy To Support Adult Attachment Issues.
Types Of Attachment Disorders That Can Cause Obsessive Love Disorder
Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSEM) and reactive attachment disorder (RAD) are two separate attachment disorders recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These conditions are compared and contrasted in Reactive Attachment Disorder and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder in School-Aged Foster Children by NCBI.
Failure to adapt or lack of interest in social interaction are frequently the first warning symptoms.
Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED)
An overwhelming attraction to strangers is a typical symptom of disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). When a caregiver isn’t around, a youngster may ask a stranger for comfort, sit on a stranger’s lap, and not show any signs of distress.
Children with this mental health condition also exhibit little interest or desire to contact trusted individuals before leaving a secure environment and entering an unfamiliar or even dangerous scenario.
Children with this disease may seek out attention from strangers and show a little liking for parental figures over them. Psychology Today discussed this condition in Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
The infantile or early childhood form of this disorder is characterized by an inability to ask a caregiver for consolation.
A kid with a reactive attachment may avoid eye contact, oppose direct comfort from a caregiver, and be too watchful. The majority of young patients with this disorder have a range of behaviors.
These tendencies can include being agitated, withdrawing, not seeking comfort, avoiding contact with other kids, and avoiding physical contact. You can read up on reactive attachment disorder in Mayo Clinic’s Reactive attachment disorder.
Borderline Personality disorder
Self-image issues and significant mood swings are the hallmarks of this mental health disorder.
You may go from feeling highly furious to feeling extremely pleased in a matter of minutes or hours if you have a borderline personality disorder. Episodes of anxiety and depression can also happen. When thinking about obsessive love disorder, personality issues can lead to abrupt changes in how much someone is loved or despised.
Usually, by early adulthood, borderline personality disorder manifests itself. Young adulthood seems to be when the problem is worse, and it may progressively become better as people age. You can verify these statements in the NCBI essay Development of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescence and Young Adulthood.
Don’t give up if you have a borderline personality disorder. With treatment, many persons with this disease become better over time and can learn to have fulfilling lives.
Delusional jealousy disorder is characterized by an insistence on things that have been demonstrated to be erroneous and is based on delusions (false events or facts you think to be true). Delusional jealousy can make you believe that the other person has fallen in love with you even though they have made it plain that this is not the case when it comes to obsessive love.
A common example of this delusional disorder is Othello syndrome (OS), which is characterized by a false absolute certainty that a partner is unfaithful. You can learn more about Othello syndrome in The Othello Syndrome by PubMed.
Delusional jealousy, a mental illness that has links to other diseases like schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders, is the cause of jealous delusions. You can read up on delusional jealousy in NCBI’s Delusional Disorder.
As said earlier, It is an illogical idea held by those who suffer from jealous delusions thinking their spouses have been unfaithful; these delusions are so strong they can even lead to physical aggression.
However, once a mental health professional has made a correct medical diagnosis, therapy for delusional jealousy and other delusional disorders can be successful. Extreme jealousy frequently results in possessiveness, and relationships including these components are frequently the catalyst for violent assaults, stalking, intimidation, or even worse.
Do you know that about 55% of women who are murdered are slain by current or former intimate partners, and a large majority of these cases involve severe jealousy?
You can confirm the NPR publication of this information in CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners.
Most persons who have delusional jealousy won’t use force. For the sake of everyone concerned, jealous delusions are a sign of mental health issues that should not be disregarded, even if things don’t go this far
Treatment is available for delusional jealousy as well as other diseases that may be related to its emergence. The first step toward recovery is getting assessed for delusional jealousy and any co-occurring mental health conditions; being willing to change is what gives the treatment a chance to work.
Obsessive Versus Delusional Jealousy
Obsessive jealousy is a very troubling illness, but because delusional jealousy is the more common clinical symptom, it typically goes undetected.
We’ve described the fundamental clinical traits of these two forms of jealousy to differentiate between them, their underlying factors, their origin, and the differences that must be made to avoid misdiagnosis and subsequent poor treatment decisions.
Strong and mistaken convictions that the partner is being unfaithful are the symptoms of delusional jealousy, while obsessive jealousy is characterized by unpleasant and unreasonable jealous thoughts that the partner might be unfaithful, along with compulsive behavior checking.
Obsessive jealousy should be treated with Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake and cognitive behavioral therapy because it resembles obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Antipsychotic medications should be used to treat delusional jealousy because it is a psychotic disease, a psychological condition marked by a detachment from reality. The National Library of Medicine cites the differences between obsessive and.m delusional jealousy in Obsessive Versus Delusional Jealousy.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by both compulsive rituals and obsessive thoughts. These are serious enough to affect your daily activities. Similarly, your relationships may suffer if you experience OCD as a result of your constant need for reassurance.
Similarly, the mental disease known as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts or obsessive feelings, or the impulse to do certain repetitive behaviors (compulsions). You can verify this statement in the essay Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by the National Institute of Health.
Obsessions and compulsions are both common in some people.
Everyone occasionally has repetitive habits or thoughts. OCD sufferers engage in repetitive thoughts or behaviors for at least an hour each day that interfere with their everyday life.
Likewise, when obsessions and compulsions are focused on a relationship, it is believed that some persons have relationship OCD. However, this subtype of OCD isn’t recognized.
Everyone occasionally has relationship doubts, but they are typically brief and not significant enough to be taken seriously.
Yet, those who suffer from relationship OCD lose sight of reality as a result of their doubts and anxieties, leading them to worry excessively about whether they are content with their spouse. Healthline speaks about relationship OCD in Do You Have Relationship OCD?
Is Obsessive Love Disorder a Mental Health Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t yet list obsessive love disorder as a mental disorder (A.K.A “the DSM-5”). This is due to the controversy over whether obsessive love disorder qualifies as a mental health illness.
Psychiatry.org lists the diseases recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR).
Obsessive love disorder doesn’t yet have criteria in the DSM-5, but it is a real, crippling syndrome that, if untreated, could interfere with daily functioning. They could develop problematic relationships with the individuals they are in love with.
How to Treat Obsessive Love Disorder?
When a character declares to their loved one that they can’t survive without them and that they are everything they have, it could seem romantic in films and television programs.
Having an obsession with one person, however, is quite unhealthy, particularly if the feelings aren’t reciprocated. Before your mental health deteriorates, it’s crucial to learn to become independent and cut off from that person.
However, the good news is that this love disorder can be treated. Obsessive love disorder is curable. You can take drugs like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, as well as anti-anxiety drugs like Valium and Xanax. Bayview Recovery supports this fact in Can You Treat Obsessive Love Disorder?
Mental health medications shouldn’t be the only treatment for this illness; you also need to identify the root causes of your obsessive love towards that certain person.
Analyze your obsessive thoughts and actions with care with the following questions:
- Do you check the number of calls you made to that person on your phone?
- Which statements have you made that seem obsessive?
- What about that person’s rejection of you infuriates you?
- What are the causes of obsessive feelings towards that person?
- How do you feel when the person is not near you?
After analyzing you can then begin your treatment for obsessive love disorder.
You can let rid of these emotions symbolically by tearing or burning your letter. Fearful of being alone? Then, go meet new people, and enroll in a class or a club.
Alternatively, spend some time with your family and friends. Get rid of any items, like photos or personal items, that make you think of that individual. Travel out of that area if possible.
Take any material out of your news feed on social media. Stop following them all.
You won’t constantly be reminded of that person’s existence in this way. Again, you can avoid the agony of listening to them talk to other people.
You can take action if you start to have these thoughts once more. For instance, you could pinch yourself and use it to “snap out” of negative ideas. Silly right? I know. But, it’s a good option.
Additionally, you can find a way of distracting yourself healthily. For instance, by:
- Reading books
- Writing articles
- Playing games
- Seeing movies
- Drawing or painting
Furthermore, meditative breathing can be helpful, inhaling and exhaling for some seconds. While meditating, you can think of a place where you feel calm. It could be a chapel, a bar, or even a studio.
If the symptoms of obsessive love disorder worsen, you can confide in a friend or see a therapist.
It’s an amazing and memorable feeling to fall in love but having an obsessive love for someone is quite unhealthy.
Obsessive love disorder can turn a romantic relationship into a traumatic, unhealthy relationship. If you notice that you have the symptoms of this disorder, do not hesitate to see a mental health professional.
If obsessive love disorder is left unattended to or ignored, your once romantic affair will turn into chaos.
Can you be diagnosed with obsessive love disorder?
Obsessive love disorder can't be diagnosed using a set of rules. Your doctor will initially perform a series of examinations and ask questions to screen out other mental health conditions if you exhibit symptoms of the disease. Obsessive love disorder is usually a sign of a mental health issue.
Is obsessive love disorder dangerous?
It's silly to ask if this disorder is dangerous. Obsessive love disorder is very destructive if left to deteriorate. In severe cases, this mental health condition can lead to suicide and death.