My Girlfriend has an obsession (she calls it passion) for the band Hanson. She’s been a fan since she was 6, and she honestly believes that her liking of the band is a part of who she is. Like a deep, foundational part of her being. She believes that “They’ve been there for her and they are just who she is.” Obviously it’s just an extreme case of fangirl, but she cannot see that. Everyone has things they love and are obsessed with (for me it’s lord of the rings. I’m totally obsessed. But I know that’s it. My liking of lord of he rings has no bearing on who I am. I like Lord of the rings BECAUSE of who I am).
She has a rough childhood, went through a nasty divorce, her dad is extremely overbearing and a terrible person. He’s rude to her and awful to her in every way, and her mom is pretty mesed up as well. Could this be some type of safety net thing? Since her dad has been terrible and her mom withdrawn, she’s put the band in the place of watching over her and that’s why she feels so…. eternally bound to them?Girlfriend’s Unreasonable Obsession
Girlfriend’s Unreasonable Obsession
You characterized her as being obsessed but you did not discuss what led you to that belief. Generally speaking, being obsessed is problematic. Obsession involves a preoccupation with something or someone. Obsessions often interfere with an individual’s everyday functioning. I’m interested in the way in which this “obsession” affects her life. It does seem to be interfering with your relationship.
With regard to what may have caused her obsession, it’s difficult to make that determination. She had a troubled childhood but many individuals experience a troubled childhood without developing an obsession.
Perhaps the band’s image and music provided her emotional relief. Perhaps during the rough periods in her life she would escape her pain by listening to the band. If the band helped her emotionally through painful periods she may now see them as “friends,” friends who helped her when she needed help. She may now feel loyalty and a sense of having bonded to these friends. A bond that she is unwilling to give up. In the absence of knowledge of how this is harming her, it may not be a problem at all.
If it is damaging her in some way then you may want to encourage her to see a therapist. A therapist could assist her in having a more balanced approach to her interests. Psychotherapy may help her immensely and it may also enhance the quality of your relationship. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog