Do You Have Obsessive Love Disorder? Check the Symptoms Here
When we like someone a lot, especially at the beginning of a burgeoning relationship, we can feel almost obsessed with them. Constantly checking your phone, thinking about them all day and wishing you could spend all your time with them.
That’s pretty normal, and whilst those feelings don’t fully go away, especially if your relationship develops and you fall in love, those really intense feelings from the beginning of the relationship do die down a little.
But what about when those feelings DON’T die down?
“Obsessive Love Disorder” (OLD) refers to a condition where you become obsessed with one person you think you may be in love with. You might feel the need to protect your loved one obsessively, or even become controlling of them as if they were a possession.
A little scary, huh?
The Facts About Obsessive Love Disorder
Don’t get confused, this is not like normal lust or love. It is what is says: an obsession. Love is one of the strongest emotions you can feel, so an obsessive feeling of love can become a really serious issue. The trouble with Obsessive Love Disorder is that it is not ‘pure’ love, like you may experience normally. This means that if the person experiencing it gets knocked back by the subject of their feelings, they may react in a very negative way.
If the person is not already in a relationship with the one they like, this can become a consuming fixation to get the attention of the object of their desires. We’re not talking dressing nicely and striking up a casual conversation. We’re talking not eating, sleeping or thinking about anything else apart from getting that person to like them, perhaps doing some scary things like hanging around waiting for them, leaving them unsolicited gifts. It can basically take over a person’s full life and make the other person feel very uncomfortable.
If the obsession is not recognised and nipped in the bud, the sufferer could take quite drastic measures to fulfil their desires, which could be dangerous. This issue has only recently been made diagnosable as an actual mental disorder and there are treatments out there in the form of psychiatric counselling and therapy.
What Are The Symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder?
Symptoms are as follows, but are not limited to this selection:
- obsessive thoughts about the person
- feeling the need to “protect” the person you’re in love with
- possessive thoughts and actions
- extreme jealousy over the other person having interactions with others
- low self-esteem
- repeated texts, emails, and phone calls to the person they’re interested in
- constant need for reassurance
- difficulty having friendships or maintaining contact with family members because of the obsession over one person
- monitoring the actions of the other person
- controlling where the other person goes and the activities they engage in
Please remember that we are talking about extremes here! If someone you know (or even you yourself) has any of the traits above, it doesn’t mean they automatically have Obsessive Love Disorder. Whilst the traits are problematic in themselves, it could be that the other person suffers with jealousy or paranoia. The best thing to do is have a conversation either with the person or with someone else who can be objective.
While Obsessive Love Disorder is gaining more attention, it’s relatively rare. It’s estimated that less than 0.1% of people suffer with the disorder. Speak to your doctor if you think you or a loved one may have the disorder. Treatment can help decrease the symptoms while also preventing complications with relationships.