I believe childhood and stressful situations can be responsible for our compulsions and obsessions.
So what are compulsions?
Compulsions are actions or behaviours that drive us to perform certain tasks brought about by obsessive thoughts. Some of those compulsions and obsessions won’t always affect us in our day-to-day life, but there will be those of us who will struggle, if we go on to develop the more serious of obsessions such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
Subconsciously, as we go about our daily lives, we carry traits that we may become obsessed about. For example if we see our parents pay particular attention to their hygiene; we’re more likely to go on to repeat those traits for ourselves. Biological factors may also play a small part. If a parent has a problem with a compulsion or an obsession, there is a small chance that we will go on to experience compulsions and obsessions too.
As a child, I used to hoard my clothes so they wouldn’t age. I would wear my old clothes, but any new clothes would sit in my wardrobe without being worn. I was aware that it must have been an obsession, (not wanting my clothes to age) but I never equated that thought pattern to how I saw myself. I believe it’s important for us to make the connection between the obsession and why we think we have the obsession. Understanding why is the key for change.
Dwelling on why we have these obsessions doesn’t help. Dwelling can sometimes make our obsessions worse, but what matters is how we cope and manage our obsessions so that we can live our lives successfully. Unfortunately, for many people their obsessions become a fix as they continue to pay homage to them. When we know we have a problem, the problem becomes half the battle. People with OCD don’t always consciously make their own connections, so are reluctant to seek help.
As with all medical conditions, if it’s impossible to live your life successfully, then it’s advisable to get professional help.