Living with obsessions

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.


27 Oct, 2011

12 thoughts on “Living with obsessions

  1. Living with obsessions can be quite challenging, but half the battle is being aware of them in the first place.

    My biggest obsession is a fear of breaking down whilst traveling, which is something I’m having to work on since you have to travel to get anywhere in this world.

    I’m sure I have a few others, but I’m just trying to deal with one at a time right now!

    1. Randy I am sure you’re not the only one who is dealing with more than one obsession. I’m pleased that you’re dealing with your main obsession right now. You must have had a really bad experience to have brought this obsession on.

      I would be interested to hear how you’re getting on. Good luck.

  2. I know I have obsessions like my silverware has to be a certain way in the drawer. My daughter is obsessive with cleanliness as I think she got it from me.

    I used to be very obsessed with my home being clean, but I’ve learned that things aren’t always going to be perfect and have let go of some. Good post.

    1. As you say you know what some of your obsessions are. I hope you manage to let go of all of them in time.

      Sounds as though you have made a start, good luck.

  3. Wow, I love this post as well!

    I have an obsession and I think I do know the cause of it and I like how you said not to dwell on the cause on it, just kind of work to address it so that it becomes less of a problem.

    Thanks for sharing this article and your personal experience with it. It really helps me to feel less alone.

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