I Can’t Get You Out of My Head: Obsessive Thoughts & Relationships
December 28, 2022
Stop here if you think this blog is about Kylie Minogue’s hit, “I can’t get you out of my head”. We are going a bit deeper.
Happy New Year to all! I feel like we were just beginning 2022 with a mixture of worry and hopefulness of what the future may bring. For all of us, we have collectively experienced the ups and downs of what life has thrown at us. At times these thoughts can feel relentless, non-stop and overwhelming.
As a trauma-informed therapist, I am aware of the impact that past hurtful experiences can have on your current thoughts and behaviors. Obsessive thoughts are one way that the brain copes with unresolved trauma, and meeting them with sensitivity and understanding can help turn the mind into a positive light.
I often see my clients struggling with obsessive thoughts. Although, trauma may be one source of these thoughts; obsessive thoughts can come from a variety of different sources. These are thoughts that seem to take up a lot of mental space and can be difficult to shake. They can cause a lot of distress and interfere with daily life.
What are obsessive thoughts?
Obsessive thoughts can be exaggerated or completely untrue, and very persistent making them difficult to shake. These thoughts can seemingly come out of nowhere and cause you severe distress. Obsessive thoughts also have the ability to bleed into your interpersonal lives and cause fractures within your relationships. Sometimes obsessive thoughts become overwhelming and potentially interfere with the functionality in your daily life.
Unfortunately, obsessive thoughts can focus on many areas of your life and encompass a multitude of topics. The obsessive thoughts can range from fears about what your future might hold to guilt about a past event that you are holding on to . They can be about perfectionism and disallow you to engage in flexible thoughts or behaviors. On the other end of the spectrum, they can be about the judgment that you perceive others hold against you. They can be about relationships to others, relationships to ourselves, your professional careers, or anything else that you hold valuable.
Obsessive thoughts and relationships
Why am I so Clingy?
If you have experienced obsessive thoughts, you may have noticed it impacting your relationships. You may want to check in with your partner more often or have a strong need/urge to be close to them at all times.
Obsessive thoughts can impact relationships by leading to clinginess….but why?
Clinginess is a normal part of being in a relationship and everyone experiences it to some degree. However, when it becomes excessive or is driven by obsessive thoughts, it can create tension and strain in the relationship.
Obsessive thoughts can contribute to clinginess by causing you to fixate on negative scenarios or to believe that something bad will happen if you are not constantly connected to partners. These obsessive thoughts can look like: “my partner actually hates me”, “my partner is really angry with me and it’s my fault’’ or “something bad is going to happen to my partner”.The negative thoughts may be fueled by small facts that are interpreted on a larger scale or distortion of reality based in an unprocessed insecurity/fear of abandonment. A cycle where the obsessive thoughts lead to clinginess, which in turn can fuel the obsessive thoughts … a vicious negative feedback loop.
How Can I Stop These Obsessive Thoughts?
There are a few things that can be helpful in managing obsessive thoughts. One is to practice mindfulness, which involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and the patterns they follow.
Another helpful strategy is to challenge the obsessive thoughts. This involves questioning the evidence for and against the thought, and considering alternative perspectives. It is also important to take care of yourself and practice self-care, which can include things like getting enough sleep, eating well, and finding time for relaxation and enjoyable activities.
Getting Professional Help
If you are struggling with obsessive thoughts and clinginess in your relationship, it can be helpful to seek out therapy or other forms of support. A therapist or other mental health professional can work with you to identify the underlying causes of these type of thoughts and develop strategies to manage them.
It can also be helpful to communicate openly with your partner about your needs and concerns. Together, you can work to create a healthy and supportive relationship dynamic that takes into account the impact of obsessive thoughts.
It is important to recognize that having obsessive thoughts is a normal part of being human, and everyone has them from time to time. However, when thoughts become frequent and intense, they can indicate that there may be unresolved trauma, increased anxiety, or increased stress that needs to be addressed.
As a trauma-informed therapist, I prioritize creating a safe and supportive environment for my clients. This includes being attuned to your experiences and needs, and using strategies that are grounded in the principles of trauma-informed care. If you are struggling with obsessive thoughts you are not alone. I am here to aid you in your journey of self love and acceptance. Reach out and take the first step.