Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety based illness that affects 22 million people. OCD is characterized by the presence of uncontrollable, obsessive or compulsive thoughts and behaviors that often impact someone’s life in a negative way. Many people with OCD find that their thoughts influence the way that they act or behave.
OCD is commonly associated with obsessions of fear or worry although fixations can differ from person to person. Obsessions in OCD are reoccurring, typically unwanted, and intrusive thoughts, ideas, or images that affect daily functioning. Obsessional thinking is an extreme preoccupation with an item, event, or subject. For example, you find yourself worrying or becoming distressed about your partner's whereabouts several times during the work day.
Compulsions are behaviors or rituals someone participates in to alleviate distress, reduce fear, or calm anxiety. Compulsive behaviors are often linked to underlying obsessional thoughts, magical or superstitious beliefs, or suspicions. Like obsessions many people feel unable to manage their compulsive behavior. Compulsions often interrupt day to day activity and may create burdens in daily life. For example, calling or contacting someone repeatedly to check up on their perceived un-saftey or identify their whereabouts.
Individuals with OCD may have specific fixations and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 5th Edition (DSM-5) has identified relationship obsession as a part of OCD spectrum disorders.
Relationship OCD is when an individual becomes consumed by thoughts about a person, or a personal or romantic relationship. In some cases people with relationship OCD may question or doubt themselves or others or become fixated on a person of their romantic interest. Some people with relationship OCD will fantasize relationships or interactions with others which can result in poor self-maintenance.
It is not uncommon for people who experience relationship OCD to fear that they are not good enough for their partner or be excessively concerned about the nature of their romantic relationship. At times these fixations can result in making compulsive rules for behavior in relationships, like checking your partners phone because you are sure they are cheating. Often times relationship OCD is the cause of stalking behaviors.
Relationship OCD has been connected with symptoms of romantic jealousy and love addiction. Ultimately relationship OCD is an intense preoccupation with people or a specific person that can result in ritualistic or avoidant behavior.
If you or someone you love is struggling with obsessive, intrusive, or negative thoughts and would like help with behaviors they feel they are unable to control, please visit www.TherapywithRaquel.com for more information.
Raquel Buchanan is a licensed therapist (LMFT #118976) in Palm Springs, Ca. Raquel is a certified domestic violence counselor who works with individuals who use violence or abuse in their intimate relationships. Raquel is an internationally recognized speaker on the topic of relationship abuse. She offers counseling and psychotherapy services to individuals, children, families, and adults. Raquel specializes in treating self-esteem issues related to experiences with childhood abuse.
Raquel Buchanan is a mental health profession in southern California who blogs about life and relationships. Raquel is on a mission to spread awareness about the impact of violence, abuse, and trauma. The information contained on this site is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional assistance. Contents contained in these blogs are based on true stories or the experiences of several several people and are fictional. Identifying information has been changed to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of therapy patients.