Obsession for someone can be devastating


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Obsession for someone can be devastating

Experts urge you to resolve this disorder caused by traumatic childhood and poor self-esteem

A few words of concern and some gestures of kindness were what made 22-year-old Kanan fall 'madly in love' with her colleague, Rakesh. Nothing unusual about it except, in Kanan's case, something was wrong. Rakesh was already dating Kanan's best friend and his kindness towards her was just out of friendship. Secondly, Kanan had no idea her 'love' was actually an obsession. She would meet Rakesh on false pretexts, regularly check his profile on social networking sites, give him crank calls, and later, even stalk him. Kanan's obsession finally started affecting her daily functioning. "Obsession is an irrational desire where an idea, thought or image causes anxiety and to reduce that, you do something irrational. You may keep calling or stalking the person you're obsessed with, and if it works, you do it over and over again," explains Dr Kersi Chavda, psychiatrist. When Rakesh realised that the situation was getting out of control, he spoke to Kanan's mother, who sought professional help. During Kanan's counselling sessions, facts about her traumatic childhood were discovered. She had an abusive, alcoholic father and an uncaring mother.

Insecurites can be a major factor
"Sometimes, such people grow up with a disorganised attachment pattern. They can get reckless and seek instant gratification. Basically insecure, they want everyone's love for themselves," says Seema Hingorrany, a clinical psychologist who has been treating Kanan for the past eight months. "She now understands that her behaviour was not normal. The therapy includes resolving her past issues," adds Hingorrany. Experts say people develop obsessive tendencies in adolescence, most having psychological problems stemming from a bad childhood. "Inadequate love, emotional dissatisfaction and unresolved emotional conflicts make people more vulnerable to obsession," says Dr Ruksheda Syeda, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Hingorrany says, "A person gets obsessed with someone because of certain qualities in them which they may have missed in their parents or siblings. They are under deep depression, lonely and their attachment pattern is haywire."

Low self-esteem IS a major trigger
A 55-year-old woman got so obsessed with a radio jockey's voice that she frequently called him up during his live recording sessions. She'd leave frantic messages for him like, 'I love you' and 'I love your voice'. Initially, the RJ didn't suspect anything amiss. But gradually, he was so harassed that he changed the timing of his recording. "Such people have low self-esteem and are not very sharp intellectually. They may end up depending upon someone who has spoken nicely to them just once. Obsession can be cured if both the parties — the obsessed and the object of obsession — identify the problem," explains Dr Chavda. In Kanan's case, Rakesh attended her counselling sessions. But that needn't happen always. For instance, 33-year-old Radhika, a wife and mother of two, fell in love with her music teacher. When he realised it, he stopped training her. A distressed Radhika had to be taken to a psychologist. Radhika's husband stood by her. During her therapy, it was revealed that she had lost her father at a very young age. She was raised by her grandparents and was subject to sexual abuse. "Perhaps, she saw a father figure in her teacher," says Hingorrany.

Obsession can be dealt with, if tackled with patience. Positive reinforcement is the first step. "The object of obsession should desensitise himself/herself. They should gradually distance themselves from the obsessed person. For example, if the person were available to the obsessed for a conversation over the phone about 20 times a day, the number should reduce each day. On days when they answer very few calls, they can spend some time with the obsessed," says Dr Chavda.

"Once you recognise the problem, you've to try and be self-reliant. It's alright to want someone around. But it's not okay to 'need' that person always," adds Dr Syeda. Studying previous relationships of the obsessed and his/her perception of those relationships could help in treatment. "One has to dig into unfulfilled relationships, unmet needs, neglect, abuse and trauma in extreme cases," says Chetna Duggal, a clinical psychologist. "Their inner voice keeps telling them 'I am not good enough'. We make them realise that this is a distorted thought and relate it with childhood memories. We reprocess past disturbing memories," says Hingorrany.

Tips for the victim
- Understand and empathise with the obsessed person
- Be firm and don't cater to all his/her demands
- Don't use abusive language
- Discuss a solution with family and friends
- Don't take risk, never manage the problem on your own

How to handle obsession?
- Accept the problem and seek help. It won't resolve on its own
- Enhance creative abilities
- Jot down the disturbing thoughts (as and when it occurs) on a piece of paper and throw it in the dustbin
- Connect with positive-minded friends and relatives
- Declutter your desk, cupboard, etc
- Do something therapeutic. For instance, bake a cake or plan a holiday to an exotic location. Go for a walk barefoot on sand, observe the sun rise and sunset or watch children play in a park
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Ruler's of Penmai
Registered User
Jul 26, 2012
[h=2]The Obsession for someone can be devastating This article gave me an eye opener on the disease especially w.r.t. following sub headings which gives very much clear cut directions.Tips for the victim & How to handle obsession?. thanks.[/h]

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