Am I Obsessive? Take the Quiz!
Obsession or Fleeting Thoughts?
Obsessions are interesting facets of personality. People can be obsessed with a multitude of things. What is the difference between being obsessed or merely enjoying a hobby, perhaps? What is problematic? When should a person seek treatment for obsessions? Do they fade like memories or are obsessions lifetime commitments?
I did a bit of research because I just had to know.
- Word List: Definitions of Mania Words and Obsessions
- My Strange Addiction: TLC
My Strange Addiction gives a face to addicts suffering from peculiar addictions. Find out what is behind these obsessive behaviors on My Strange Addiction.
Obsession or Compulsion?
Obsessions are the thoughts that invade our minds, unwanted yet unstoppable. Thoughts of people, things, body parts, sex, money - deep seated desire. Lustful thoughts that leave us wanting for ... something. A thought waiting to be acted upon.
The thought of how you may not have locked that door to the walking back to check to make certain. Possibly several times because you can never be too careful, right?
The thought of how you might not have crossed that T on the contract...better check again.
The thought of the invisible germ that might be lurking on the doorknob after the snot nosed neighbor kid touched it might cause you to run for the bleach wipes.
Fear may feed the obsession - the compulsion is your safety net. Obesessive thoughts fuel the need to act in some way to gratify our need for comfort. Compulsions are the actual doing part of obsessive/compulsive disorder. For example, the thought that germs could be on your hands is the obsession - the act of washing your hands would be the compulsive action.
Obsessed with winning?
What are you avoiding?
- Letter to Jodie Foster
A letter written by John Hinckley to Jodie Foster on day of attempted assassination.
Why Do People Develop Obsessions?
The brain is the most fascinating organ in the human body. Without it we are jello. It is the control room of all of our behavior and action. If necessary, the brain can play clever tricks on the thought processes in the mind. Obsessions are thought by many to be tasteful, convenient diversions our brains create to stop us from focusing on those big, ugly monsters in the closet that really freak us out.
Obsessive traits are sometimes rooted in childhood, as so frequently, those demons in the closets of our minds are. Perhaps the child could never perform well enough to please the parent. Flawlessness may have been the only acceptable way to perform for attention. Lack of it may fuel the need to shine - in an effort to receive recognition from a parent.
Some people develop obsessions in order to excel because the thought of failure is beyond the realm of possibility. The need to be perfect might control every waking move of the victim who can not accept the fact that their parent will never offer the gratification they so desire.
Sometimes obsessions fuel the behaviors that offer a sense of control to an otherwise chaotic life. A person who cleans compulsively may be feeding the need to control their surroundings. They may not be able to control their teenager, for example, so making everything around them orderly might satiate the urge to make things neat and tidy. It is a ready problem that can be solved. The issue we aren't so sure about how to deal with can stew in the back burner of the mind until we know how to handle that. Don't wanna get burned now do we?
People who suffer with intrusive thoughts also tend to have a difficult time making decisions. Put the wrong foot first and we might trip, fall and who knows? A 35 gallon drum of radioactive waste might happen to be sitting there waiting for you to fall into it. Every step is a crucial one. Indecision results because again, failure might be lurking no matter which way you go. Staying right where you are might be a safer bet.
You might have a problem if....
"I've been called names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good." ~ Barbra Streisand
When to seek help for obsessivie behavior.
At one time or another we all obsess about things. It might be those alarming bills that you don't know how you are going to deal with, or the fear of dying or the fear of not being loved. Fear is usually the base of an obsession. The ability to accept that we have flaws and are imperfect is another cause for obsessions. Introspection can be so difficult for some people - fears that they are not good enough might provoke obsessions.
Obsessions are not always a bad thing. Think of artists, musicians, writers and other talented people that focus their obsessive behaviors in an area where they truly excel. If those people weren't totally preocuppied with their obsessions we may not be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Obsessions are typically based on anxiety. If we are worried about something it can become a thought that we obsess about. Until the fear is removed the temptation to feed obsessive thoughts may be impossible. Therapy, prescription drugs or a combination of both can be very effective in treating unwanted obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.
Interesting to note is that people that have true OCD do recognize their behavior is obsessive and they frequently seek treatment. People that have obsessive personality disorder often times do not see their obsessive behavior as problematic. Again, introspection is very difficult for some people. The thought of seeing our weaknesses can be extremely frightening and harder to confront than feeding the beast. Treatment and therapy can help! If your obsessions are ruling your world - it might be time to look in the mirror and ask yourself, "am I obsessed?"
Are YOU obsessed? Take this quiz!
- OCD Screening Quiz (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) - Psych Central
Discover whether you suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder with this quick screening online test.
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