Obsessive love or obsessive love disorder (OLD) is a proposed condition in which one person feels an overwhelming obsessive desire to possess and protect another person, sometimes with an inability to accept failure or rejection. Symptoms include an inability to tolerate any time spent without that person, obsessive fantasies surrounding the person, and spending inordinate amounts of time seeking out, making, or looking at images of that person.[1][2]

Characteristics edit

Depending on the intensity of their attraction, obsessive lovers may feel entirely unable to restrain themselves from extreme behaviors such as acts of violence toward themselves or others. Obsessive love is thought to sometimes have its roots in childhood trauma and may begin at first sight; it may persist indefinitely, sometimes requiring psychotherapy.[3]

The disorder most commonly associated with obsessive love is borderline personality disorder. Other disorders that are most commonly associated with obsessive love include delusional disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other cluster B personality disorders.[4]

Psychology edit

Sigmund Freud considered that obsessive love might be underpinned by an unconscious feeling of hate for which it overcompensated - thereby explaining the sufferer's feeling of a need to protect the love object.[5] Later analysts saw obsessive love as driven more by narcissistic need, the preoccupation with the love-object offering defenses against worries and depressive feelings;[6] while Jungians see it as rooted in the projection of the inner self onto another person.[7]

In culture edit

Marcel Proust dissected (his own style of) obsessive love in À la recherche du temps perdu.[8]

Fatal Attraction shows Alex Forrest's obsessive love for Dan Gallagher after a brief affair.[9]

Bollywood films such as Darr, Anjaam, and Dastak each portray the main villains as obsessive lovers. [10]

You, a 2014 thriller novel by Caroline Kepnes, portrays obsessive love disorder. The novel was adapted into the first season of the Lifetime and Netflix television series You.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Susan Forward; Craig Buck (1 January 2002). Obsessive Love: When It Hurts Too Much to Let Go. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-38142-9.
  2. ^ Moore JD (2006). Confusing Love with Obsession: When Being in Love Means Being in Control. Center City, MN: Hazelden Books.
  3. ^ Derrow, Paula. (2014-01-14). "When normal love turns obsessive". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  4. ^ What Is Obsessive Love Disorder?, from BetterHelp
  5. ^ S Freud, Case Histories II (PFL 9) p. 118-9 and p. 70-1
  6. ^ O Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 382 and p. 533
  7. ^ C Jung, Man and his Soul (London 1964) p. 191
  8. ^ H Moss, The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust (2012) p. 51
  9. ^ The Fallout from 'Fatal Attraction', The Washington Post, October 16, 1987
  10. ^ Pimprikar, Aabha; Jha, Geetanjali (Feb 2022), "Love Special - Mad in Love: Psychological Disorders" (PDF), Mind Matters (11){{citation}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)

Further reading edit

  • Peabody, Susan (1995) [1989]. Addiction to Love: Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships (illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9780890877159.
  • Moore, John (2006) [2010]. Confusing Love with Obsession: When Being in Love Means Being in Control (illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Hazelden Books. ISBN 978-1592853564.