Unhealthy Obsession: How to Get Out of This Trap

Don’t get trapped! Know the signs of obsession and how you can overcome it by following some simple steps. 

[quote]“I love you so much that nothing can matter to me- not even you….only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference.” Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead[/quote]

What is Obsession?

Obsession can be defined generally as the constant focus of energy on something or someone to the point that it causes harmful consequences in the obsessed person’s life. Obsession can take many forms; all of them are unhealthy and damaging. Some people may obsess about hobbies such as shopping, gambling, following celebrities, taking drugs, and so on. Obsession can be a very annoying waste of time depending on what you are obsessing about.  Some people may obsess about other people which is very common. A man may be obsessed with a woman, or a woman may be obsessed with a man, or sometimes a woman may be obsessed with a woman. This kind of obsession can stem from many factors that most people are not really aware of.  Some obsessions can come from experience that affected someone so much that he or she becomes passionate about that person. Other obsessions can result from as simply as idolizing someone.

courtesy of www.notefromlapland.com
courtesy of www.notefromlapland.com


When you obsess about someone, you might lead a perfectly normal life, but you will think about the person all the time. You will not be in control of how you feel toward the person. You may resent the person for invading your mind so to speak, while that person probably never had a moment’s thought about you. It is so annoying to think about someone so much.

Where Does Obsession Come From?

The roots of most obsessions come up when people are trying to fill a sense of emptiness in their lives. Some people are obsessed after having lost someone, so they obsess over something that reminds them of the lost person. It usually stems from not being able to accept loss or not understanding that many things in life cannot be forever. What drives an obsession is often the fact that you can’t have that person. That’s exactly what keeps someone totally bound to an ex-partner, or someone else’s husband, or an estranged boyfriend who only sometimes comes around. Loneliness is also a big reason for obsession.

 Obsession is irrational and harmful. It has many unhealthy hazards; it can prevent you from personal growth and individualism. It is not possible to get all that you need in life from another human being and trying to do so will smother the other person and leave you feeling dependent and helpless. With time, obsession unbalances people’s minds and they often begin to neglect parts of their lives.  But even if their lives remain in balance, if the object of their obsession is taken from them, they find themselves devastated, often convinced they have lost their last chance in happiness. This belief is a delusion. Happiness never depends on any person, no matter how important that person may seem.

What people need to understand is that obsession is never positive. Even when people are obsessed with helping the world or spreading love, which are positive in essence, no thought or act should dominate their lives to the point that they live only for it. Moderation is a truly the key:  everything in moderation, nothing taken to excess. This includes food, money, love, etc.

Image courtesy of aetvaws.aetv.com
Image courtesy of aetvaws.aetv.com


How to Overcome Obsession

When they take anything to an extreme, people become unbalanced. It’s crucial that you solve your issues before they take over your life. Understand that you are the one who is harmed. Nothing in this world deserves all of your attention, no matter how important it may be.

Obsession is a real trap; you are not able to let it go. You want to stop thinking about that person, but you just cannot. Here is how to get out of this trap:

  1.  Face the obsession: the only reason you cannot let it go is that you do not want to do so. Be determined to get rid of it. Be realistic; is there any chance for a relationship? Or you know deep down there is not, and you are wasting your time and energy.
  2. Admit that you have a serious problem. Your obsession occupies most of your time.This is a problem you should work on. Be aware of the hazards; obsession is like a slippery road that will make you fall.
  3. Quit torturing yourself by stalking social media profiles. Do not keep pursuing themand their activities, in order to avoid becoming emotionally involved.
  4. Try to distract yourself from these thoughts by finding something pleasurable to provide a break, which would remind you that other things in life are still important. Read an interesting book, watch an entertaining movie. Do something that takes you out of your head.
  5. Have a mission in life. Finding and embracing a mission will defend you against the sense that your life is meaningless.
  6. Adopt a practice that grounds you. For example do something physical in different surroundings: swimming, going to the gym, meditating etc.
  7. If nothing works, go and seek professional help, speak with a psychologist or counselor. Getting help is perfectly normal. The therapist will understand what’s actually going on with you, and give you advice on how to get through it. It’s a process of self-discovery and understanding.

You can defeat the obsession and gain balance of your mind and life. You can find your way out of this torment and prison. It just needs time, patience and real determination to let it go. Allow time to pass. With time, many obsessions gradually lose their flavor. According to Ann Lander “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

international student voice magazine Sarah AlyasiriSarah Naji Alyasiri

ISV Ambassador and Correspondent



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