I help people with hypnotherapy (AHA) who experience obsession with other people. This can include stalking, bothering ex-partners, bullying, trolling, behaving inappropriately at work, or not being able to stop thinking about someone else.
Since I am a clinical psychotherapist, and mental health professional (PACFA), we look at the deep root cause of your behaviour. You may even get health fund rebates.
As a naturopath (ANPA) I am also looking for any physical reasons you may be acting this way.
If you are experiencing obsession, get help straight away because you’ve lost your rational thinking, and you may get in trouble with the law.
What is obsession?
It’s when you have obsessive, constant thoughts about another person. It’s a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation (1).
The mind has become unbalanced, and you can no longer tell the difference between reality and fantasy. You’ve lost touch with reality.
When you act on those thoughts you become classified as pathological, mentally ill, and dangerous in the law’s eyes. So the laws steps in to stop and criminalise you.
Obsession may also be a feature of other mental illnesses that have led to suspension of reality in your mind.
What does the law say about obsessive behaviour?
We’re now living in a different era socially and legally. Stalking can result in court orders to ban you from approaching someone. You may even be prosecuted and sent to jail or detained in a psychiatrist hospital.
Pestering someone at work can also be illegal, not only getting you fired, but also leaving you open to the victim taking out a private lawsuit against you for millions of dollars.
Even in private consensual relationships laws are being brought in against coercive, abusive behaviour where you can be sent to prison (2). Even if you’re married to someone, the laws affect you.
Employers may also legally refuse to give you a job if you have a conviction for obsessive harassment.
What is trolling online?
It’s when you become the aggressor via the internet. You make negative comments, put up posts about, or leave reviews of people, without knowing the real facts.
Your own personal sense of importance has superseded your logical thinking and kindness. You’re bullying (trolling) and giving an opinion without knowing what you’re talking about.
You’re stalking the person and making outrageous statements because you have no filter and think you’re safe being the aggressor behind your computer screen or phone.
It’s pathological behaviour because you’re unfairly willing to hurt someone you might not even know, just for sport, and to bolster your own ego (3).
The effect of obsessive behaviour on others
Being the target of your obsessive behaviour and trolling can be devastating for the victim, causing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and can even lead to suicide. Make no mistake, they are your victims (4).
They can feel very afraid a great deal of the time. Because they’re not part of your conversation, they’re not able to reason with you, which leaves them with a sense of great vulnerability and danger.
The damage done to people who are the victims of obsessive attention from others, coercive behaviour, stalking or trolling can last for life.
Post-traumatic stress can kick in later in their lives, affecting their relationships, families, and ability to work.
How does obsession affect your personal life?
If you’re obsessed about another person or what they’re doing, you’re not paying attention to your own life. You’re neglecting to take care of your own mental health.
When other people become aware of the behaviour, they begin to distance themselves from you.
You become overly anxious or depressed when the person you are obsessed with is not responding to your advanced or communications.
One of the most devastating effects is on your reputation. The news that you’re obsessed with someone goes out into the public arena and is available to potential partners, family, and your own children.
What are the physical reasons for obsession?
There are physical reasons why you may experience these kinds of thoughts and behaviour. I would like to screen for these with patients and will order tests or refer you for them.
Certain kinds of brain damage can change the way your brain works so you’re unable to make logical decisions.
Viral infection which goes on to affect the brain function can last for years but your family doctor doesn’t know what to look for, so you’ve likely never been screened.
Delirium can be the result of drug and alcohol addiction, prescription drug side effects, poisoning, or mineral imbalances.
What are the psychological reasons for obsession?
On top of the list comes narcissism when you’re only obsessed with your own needs, wants or desires, to the exclusion of the needs of others. You lack empathy and are oblivious or don’t care about the needs of others (5).
Perhaps there are low social skills where you’re unskilled at or don’t want to connect to others in a mutually beneficial way. The person you’re obsessed with becomes a perceived target to relieve your loneliness.
You may have a sensory deficit and don’t understand the distress the targeting of your unwanted affection causes. You literally can’t feel empathy, distress or love. You might imagine what they are, but you don’t feel them.
It’s possible you could’ve developed psychopathic traits where you use people as objects. You become extremely angry and violent towards them when they don’t bend to your will.
Depending on the results of the tests I will help you make changes so your body, hormones and brain can work better.
If you’re experiencing poisoning from drugs, chemicals, or heavy metals we will need to put you on specific detox programs to clear your body of the offending substance.
I will likely change your diet to reduce anxiety, stress, and frustration. You’ll be astounded at how powerful diet is at changing your emotions. This will likely also include supplementation.
You may have an infection such as a bacterium, virus or helminth (worm) that’s affecting the way your brain works that we must clear. Family doctors and psychiatrists don’t generally test for these kinds of infections, but they go on for decades and dramatically affect your perception of the world (6).
First, it’s important to analyse why you’re experiencing obsessive behaviour. Knowing why you do what you do is our starting point in devising a treatment plan.
Teaching you how to perceive other people’s distress and understand what your behaviour is doing to yourself, and others, is central to help you recover.
It’s important for you to begin to understand the role of boundaries in all our lives. Knowing how to regulate those boundaries supports our mental health and the well-being of others too.
Learning how to regulate our thoughts and behaviour is central to the way we manoeuvre the world and our interactions with others. That takes practice and you need to learn how to do that on an hourly, daily and weekly basis (7).
Hypnotherapy for obsession
If you’re obsessed with someone you’re in a highly defensive and aggressive state. Hypnosis helps you come down out of the state very quickly to become more receptive to other people’s communication.
Hypnotherapy can help you feel more secure in who you are so you can form more healthy, balanced relationships with others. This means you don’t have to panic and obsess all the time.
As a hypnotist I prefer to work a lot with hypnosis because it helps therapy go faster for you so you can make good progress quicker.
You’ll be pleased to know hypnotherapy is also a very pleasant process for you. It’s relaxing and highly effective.
Book your appointment with Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH for help to stop stalking, bullying, trolling and coercive behaviour by calling 0403 398 808.
(1) Day, N., Townsend, M., & Grenyer, B. (2020). Living with pathological narcissism: a qualitative study. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. https://bpded.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40479-020-00132-8
(2) Nedim, U., & Hickey, S. (2022, November 18). The Criminal Offence of Coercive Control in New South Wales. Sydney Criminal Lawyers. https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-criminal-offence-of-coercive-control-in-new-south-wales/
(3) March, E., & Steele G. (2020, July 10). High Esteem and Hurting Others Online: Trait Sadism Moderates the Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Internet Trolling. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 7(23). https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cyber.2019.0652
(4) Maran, D., & Varetto, A. (2018, March 13). Psychological Impact of Stalking on Male and Female Health Care Professional Victims of Stalking and Domestic Violence. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00321/full
(5) Nijdam-Jones, A., Rosenfeld, B., Gerbrandij, J., Quick, E., & Galietta, M. (2018, March 18). Psychopathology of Stalking Offenders: Examining the Clinical, Demographic, and Stalking Characteristics of a Community-Based Sample. Sage Journals, 45(5).
(6) Vecchia, A., & Marazziti, D. (2022, August). Back to the Future: The Role of Infections in Psychopathology. Focus on OCD. Clin Neuropsychiatry, 19(4): 248–263. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9442856/
(7) MacKenzie, R., & James, D. (2011, February 23). Management and treatment of stalkers: Problems, options, and solutions. Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bsl.980