Understanding Why You Have Obsessive Thoughts, and Where They Come From

There’s a big difference between being interested in something, and being ‘obsessed’ with it. We may not often recognize obsessive behaviors at first. However, they are often linked to different areas of anxiety. With that in mind, it’s important to understand why you might have obsessive thoughts, and where they come from.

Once you know what triggers these thoughts within you, it can be easier to get them under control and develop a normal, healthy relationship with your current ‘obsession.’ Together, we can help to quiet your mind and put you back in control of your own thoughts. Before you decide that some type of treatment is best, though, you need to know why you might have obsessive thoughts or behaviors to begin with.

Obsessing and OCD

The most common anxiety disorder linked to obsessing is, as you might have expected, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The thoughts associated with OCD vary for everyone. But, they can be dangerous for some people, including thoughts of violence, anger, or fear. Once you get a thought in your head, it becomes nearly impossible to get rid of it. Some common examples of OCD thoughts include:

Constant worry, especially over small things
Thoughts about hurting people, including loved ones
Needing everything to be neat and orderly

Anxiety helps to cause these thoughts. At first, they may not all seem so extreme, but they can shift and swing to very dark, negative places quickly. It’s when you act on these negative thoughts that the ‘compulsive’ part of the disorder comes into play.

Understanding Obsession and Anxiety

Again, there are a variety of different anxiety disorders that can lead to obsessive thoughts. Phobias, for example, can be a huge problem. Someone with any type of phobia can become absolutely obsessed with the thing they fear, and their fear itself. When it starts to consume your thoughts completely, it can become debilitating.

People with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are also strong candidates for obsessive thoughts, as it’s easy for them to constantly think about the traumatic event that happened to them. Once that starts to take over their life, the fear may become paralyzing.

Obsessive Thoughts Without Anxiety

It’s important to note that not all obsessive thoughts are automatically linked with an anxiety disorder. While it’s fairly common, you can still experience these thoughts and have no other signs or symptoms of a mental health condition. For the two to be linked, your obsessive thoughts have to practically control your life. Occasional OCD tendencies aren’t uncommon for most people. It doesn’t always automatically mean there is an underlying anxiety problem.

However, if you feel your obsessive thoughts are having a negative impact on your life, you don’t have to accept it. It’s not always easy to take control of your thoughts again on your own, but help is available. Obsessive thoughts can be scary, letting you feel alone and even frightened of what you’re thinking and feeling. If these thoughts have taken over the way you think, it’s time to seek out some kind of guidance and treatment.

Counselling Burnaby Vancouver, Via Counselling & Consulting. Burnaby Counsellor Shari Wood, M.Ed., R.C.C. dedicated to helping clients begin their personal therapeutic journey. A Clinical Counsellor, specializing in helping people overcome self-doubt and build healthy relationships.