When Affection Turns To Obsession: Understanding Obsessive Love Disorder

Last Update on December 8, 2022 : Published on May 8, 2021
Obsessive Love Disorder

What do you call love? To love is when you are willing to put someone else’s happiness before your own. If you are fortunate enough, you’ll have someone put your happiness before theirs too. Love cannot be defined in a words and neither can it be confined to boundaries.

Love is everywhere, you can love your pet, your friends & family, your partner, etc. Love is a feeling that can be of different kinds of different people. But have you ever thought, something as pure as love can take an evil turn?

Love can easily turn into an obsession if you don’t understand the concept of personal boundaries. Love becomes an obsession when you try to control your partner. All the feelings that you have for your partner start turning into an obsession.

Today we will talk about what Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD) is, what are the causes and treatments for OLD…

What is Obsessive Love Disorder?

Obsessive love disorder (OLD) is a mental health condition wherein a person is so obsessed with the person he/she is in love with. While experiencing this condition, they might go over the road to protect their loved ones which results in obsession. In short, it means they try to gain control or possession over people they love.

Ask yourself, is this love? Is this how people love? Is this a healthy way of loving?

You go out of the way to over-protect them or lecture them on ways they should lead their lives. You want to mold your partner according to your convenience. This can make your partner feel trapped and would want to escape from such a relationship.

This is an unhealthy way of loving and people should not follow this. Moreover, there is no psychological classification for Obsessive Love Disorder. However, a mental health provider can help you to control the symptoms so that you can have a healthy relationship with no complications. This blog covers everything you need to know about Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD).

Related Read: Tips for overcoming an Obsession

Symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder:

Signs and symptoms of obsessive love disorder (OLD) are not very difficult to spot. In fact, this obsession can easily be seen by people who don’t even know you. Obsessive love disorder makes an individual so blind to their own obsessive behavior that when their partner tries to move away from them they feel like they are being betrayed.

They feel confused as to why is their partner running away from them. They are clueless about their obsessive behaviors, making their relationship shatter into million pieces. Let’s have a look at some signs and symptoms of obsessive love disorder that you need to watch out for;

  • Overwhelming attraction
  • Uncontrollable obsession
  • Feeling the need of protecting the loved one
  • Possessive actions and thoughts
  • Extremely jealous
  • Low self-confidence
  • Feeling the need to spend all your time with your partner
  • Constantly think about the objective of your love and affection
  • Neglect your work to be with your partner
  • Compromise other relationships to strengthen your relationship with your partner
  • Go to any lengths to be with your partner
  • Being emotionally dependent on your partner
  • Emotionally manipulating your partner
  • Physically and mentally addicted to your partner
  • Seek constant reassurance from your partner
  • Inability to set of unspoken rules and boundaries
  • Stalking your partner

People with this condition also take rejection in a negative way which worsens their symptoms and impacts their relationship with people as well. Other signs and symptoms of OLD are:

  • Repeated texting or calling
  • Constant requirement of assurance
  • Difficulty in handling relationships and friendship
  • Difficulty in maintaining contact with family members
  • Constant urge of monitoring everything of their loved one
  • Full controlling nature over a loved one

Causes of Obsessive Love Disorder

What cause obsessive love disorder is still a mystery. Understanding the human brain and human psychology is not an easy task. There are researchers you are working on uncovering the causes of conditions like obsessive love disorder.

They might not have found the exact cause of obsessive love disorder but they are certain that some mental health conditions can trigger obsessive love disorder. Let’s have a look at them;

1. Attachment disorder

The reason behind relating OLD with attachment disorder is a lack of empathy for a loved one. In attachment disorder, the person might feel over-friendly and take precautions around strangers.

2. Borderline personality disorder

The reason behind relating OLD with BPD is the disturbing self-worth and self-image coupled up with mood swings.

3. Obsessional Jealousy

Jealousy related to perceived infidelity is the reason behind relating OLD with obsessional jealousy. It also impacts everyday functioning.

4. Erotomania

This condition lies between OLD and delusional jealousy wherein you are jealous because your loved one has a higher status than you. And, it makes you feel uncomfortable.

5. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

OCPD is derived from compulsive rituals and obsessive thoughts that impact your everyday life. It is also related to the constant need for reassurance which impacts relationships and friendships.

6. Delusional Jealousy

Delusional jealousy is based on delusions. This condition intersects between untrue events or things. It means having a feeling of reciprocated love which is not true. It is also related to alcoholism in men.

Diagnosis of Obsessive Love Disorder

OLD can be diagnosed with the help of a mental health expert.

If you think you or your loved one are experiencing something similar like this, please do not evaluate anything on your own and take the help of a mental health expert. To connect with a mental health professional from BetterHelp, click here.

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During diagnosis, an expert will try to ask questions about symptoms and your past relationship. They also may ask you about your family history with any mental health condition.

A proper diagnosis from your mental health provider may help you in retrieving the causes behind the development of this disorder. As of now, Obsessive love disorder is not a part of the DSM-5. For a fact, OLD is more observed in females than males.

Treatment of Obsessive Love Disorder

As of now, there is no defined treatment for OLD. Basically, the treatment can be derived on the basis of underlying causes. Treatment for OLD is a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

Medicines are prescribed for adjusting the chemicals in the brain. This helps in reducing symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder. Your mental health expert may prescribe you:

  • Anti-anxiety pills
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood stabilizers

It might take weeks for medications to work in order. Until your mental health provider may also suggest psychotherapy along with medications. Side effects of the prescribed medication can be:

  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite changes
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Worsening symptoms

Your mental health provider may also suggest psychotherapy along with medications. Therapy is always helpful for such conditions. Therapy options comprise of:

How To Break This Obsessive Love Cycle?

The human psyche is mostly governed by feelings and emotions, sometimes our feelings and emotions become so strong that they start controlling us. We fail to understand what’s right and what’s wrong and this is exactly what happens in obsessive love disorder.

If you have been experiencing obsessive love disorder, trust me you’re not alone. There are many out there who are fighting their obsession every day. If you wish to break this obsession, you can do a few things along with getting professional treatment.

Let’s have a look at things you can do to overcome the obsession healthily;

  • Don’t consider love to be an object that you need to perfect and protect.
  • Explore your feeling and thoughts
  • Set some boundaries for yourself
  • Journal your feelings and check whether they are aligned with your boundaries
  • Focus on yourself as much as focus on your partner
  • Take some time off for self-care
  • Make a daily list of priorities and make sure you follow it
  • Develop or find a hobby, spend your time doing something you enjoy

I hope this blog helps you in understanding Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD). Comment down your queries related to OLD. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

More power to you.

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About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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