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Love is an emotion that has the power to bring out all other emotions, and can heal us from the saddest conditions in our lives. But what happens when the love that is present destroys and invites negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, or anger? The result is an obsession.
When a person begins to obsess, he does not want to admit that he has an obsession with something or someone, because the word obsession itself is considered a bad thing. But the fact is, many of us are obsessed with something.
Some of us may be obsessed with clothes, others obsessed with food, others with appearance, obsessed with work, or even obsessed with someone we idolize. What is clear, as said by Dr. Carmen Harra, Ph.D., an intuitive psychologist on her website CarmenHarra.com, what we need to understand is that obsession can never be something positive.
“Even if we are obsessed with helping the poor or spreading love, which is a positive thing, still no thought or action should dominate our lives to the point where we only live for it,” Harra said.
The word “obsession” comes from the Latin “obsidere”, which means “to sit in it, or to inhabit”. People who become our obsession inhabit our brains. They become the main concern that surrounds our minds.
When obsession dominates us, it will steal our will and undermine all the pleasures in life. We will be stupid when our mind repeats the same dialogue, picture, or words. In chat, we have little interest in what the other person is saying and talk only about what our obsessions are, unaware of what impact it has on the other person.
As Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT, marriage and family therapist, and relationship and codependency expert at PsychCentral, say, obsessions have different strengths in different people. When the obsession is only in a mild stage, we can still work and control ourselves. When the obsession gets more intense, our mind will focus on our obsession.
The thing to note is that obsessions can affect our minds. Our minds run in circles, feeling anxiety, fantasizing, or trying to find an answer. They can take over our lives, so we can lose track of hours, sleep, or even days, and distract us from fun and productive activities.
Obsessions can paralyze us. Sometimes it prompts us to behave compulsively, such as checking email or social media multiple times. We lose control of ourselves, our feelings, and our ability to think logically and solve problems. Such obsessions are usually controlled by fear.
There are so many obsessions that can have a devastating effect on us, but there is only one way to stop them. “The best way to stop an obsession is to come to our senses,” Lancer explained simply.
It may be a bit difficult at first to immediately try to get rid of the obsession with yourself, no matter what it is. Starting from an obsession with clothes, food, women, and even idol actors or singers.
However, Alex Lickerman, MD, general internal medicine physician and assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, lays out some steps in controlling obsessions, as he writes in PsychologyToday.