Obsessing, and the related anxiety disorder Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, can be extremely difficult to deal with. While OCD is often associated with people needing to wash their hands a lot or needing to check a lock a certain number of times, there are countless different issues people obsess about: relationships, worries, conflicts, fears, phobias, violence, death.
If we break it down, obsessing is essentially our fears coming at us constantly, on repeat. Our subconscious mind, which stores our fears and memories, creates certain mental associations and triggers that set off fear responses in us. Our minds latch onto them and we develop thought addictions. We often respond to these thought addictions with fear, anxiety, anger, shame, and sadness, which only compound them and make them worse. We are filled with so much fear that we might feel it in physical ways: nervous energy, tightness in the chest, crying, panic attacks. Sometimes the obsessive thoughts can be so troubling, so intense, and so pervasive that people consider suicide just to escape the pain in their minds.
We tend to consume ourselves with the subjects of our obsessions rather than the underlying fears causing us to obsess in the first place. We become preoccupied with what our partner said in a fight, or what someone said on social media. Maybe we become consumed with the mistake we made at work last week, or how embarrassed we were a few years ago, and we just can’t seem to let it go. We obsess about our partners and their exes, we obsess about people we feel threatened by, some of us even obsess about celebrities we’ve never met. Sometimes our obsessing lasts hours, sometimes years. Some of us battle the disorder for most of our lives.
Many people develop compulsions that we feel we have to perform, sometimes to help alleviate the anxiety, sometimes to create more fear and anxiety for ourselves because we are subconsciously self-hating and self-destructive. Many of us develop addictions and engage in addictive behaviors, often to escape the inner demons we’re obsessed with. We use our drugs of choice- alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, food, video games etc. to distract ourselves from the pain and try to numb it. Sometimes we’re addicted to the pain, and that can be part of the vicious, self-destructive cycle. Sometimes we’re conscious of how this all works together within us, often we’re not.
It is super important for our healing journeys to begin to explore our thoughts and behaviors, and to try to have a deeper understanding of the ways our mental health functions in our lives.
Our mental health issues and addictions are interconnected and related. Let the community at Enlightened Solutions help you start to sort it all out. Call (833) 801-LIVE.