February is known as the month of love, this month we have discussed many topics. Including loving someone with a mental illness, improving communication skills, and healthy relationships, to name a few. Though this post is still centered on the topic of love, it will focus on what love is not.
Below is an excerpt from MedicineNet.com, about Obsessive love, and healthy love.
“What’s the difference between healthy and obsessive love?
The difference between healthy and obsessive love is that with the latter, those feelings of infatuation become extreme, expanding to the point of becoming obsessions. Obsessive love and jealousy that is delusional is a symptom of mental-health problems and is a symptom that occurs in about 0.1% of adults. Individuals who suffer from delusional jealousy often interpret minor experiences like a coworker saying hello to their spouse or romantic partner looking at a passerby as positive proof that their loved one is being unfaithful. Male alcoholics have been found to be particularly vulnerable to developing delusional jealousy. Females are more likely to develop obsessive love toward people they know rather than toward a stranger. The objects of love for women who love obsessively are often people who have been in the role of helper in their lives. In the uncommon instances that obsessive love involves violence, men and women seem to be perpetrators of such violence at equal rates. Risk factors for developing obsessive love include a lack of full-time employment as well as having family members who have psychiatric problems, particularly a delusional disorder.
What are the signs of obsessive love?
Aside from delusional jealousy, obsessive love can be differentiated from a healthy love relationship by having addictive qualities. For example, the person who suffers from obsessive love tends to want to spend excessive time with their love object, such that they think excessively about and engage in behaviors that put them in touch with their love object to an extreme degree. They may limit how much they engage in recreational activities or other social relationships, even becoming incapacitated to the point of being unable to work. A person who obsessively loves may engage in escalating tools of psychological control, or other forms of control, in an effort to keep their love object close. Examples of that include controlling money or food and in extreme cases, stalking or using violence. The individual who is obsessively in love, as well as the object of that love, may be dependent and codependent on each other, respectively. The person who loves obsessively may behave as if addicted to their love object. In turn, the object of obsessive love may have difficulty setting clear limits and boundaries on the obsessive behaviors.”
Hopefully, this article will help you realize what is healthy in a relationship and that there is a difference between obsessive and healthy love.
The full article can be found at, https://www.medicinenet.com/confusing_love_with_obsession/views.htm.
Keep on, keeping on.
Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18
Case Management Intern
Destination Greatness, PLLC
About Destination Greatness
Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.