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Is This Love or Obsession?

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From Canada: I’m 13 and there is a person whom is controlling my every thought and movement. I think about them wherever I am and I am always thinking he will be where I am and that they are watching me / will be watching me constantly.

When I go out, other than school where I’m forced to deal with them daily, I am always dressed in a way that would please this person (In my head, I’ve no idea how they think of me even though I’m sure its negative.) and I try to think and talk how they would be pleased.

When I sleep at night, I have dreams of this person and I even position myself in a way that would be “attractive” or “pretty” to them.

I dream of them and have had constant daydreams where we meet up again when they’ve forgotten me and we meet in some twisted and cruel way. I’ve day-dreamt that they have been there during my death, and have watched me die, sometimes even being the cause of my death.

They effect my daily life as well as my activities and school participation.

I am afraid that they are constantly judging me, which they’ve told me they are, and that they’re hatred towards me grows every waking second.

I cannot participate in school activities due to my anxiety disorder and my simple FEAR of this person.

I desperately try to please and impress this person, despite them telling me numerous times that I am worthless and disgusting. When they speak my name it excites me as well as scares the living hell out of me because I’ve no idea what they’re going to say or do and that in itself is terrifying.

I take everything they say much to seriously and after they told me my haircut was “stupid” I went and changed it.

It’s even gone to the point where I’ve imagined myself happy with a partner and they come and take everything away.

The thing that is scaring me most though, is the fact that I seem to enjoy it in some twisted way.

What’s wrong with me?

Is This Love or Obsession?

Answered by on -


No, this isn’t love. Love doesn’t hurt like this. Healthy love brings out the best in us. It doesn’t control a person or prevent a person from enjoying life.

I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter, of course. I would need more information than you have provided here. However, one guess is that you have some variation of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is not at all uncommon for a young teen. There is much to be anxious about in the social world. Many young people are plagued with doubts about how they look, act, and feel. Sometimes those doubts get so intense that a true anxiety disorder is born.

In your case, I wonder if you have channeled all that anxiety into concerns about this one person. If so, it is serving the same function as a phobia. Phobias narrow the anxiety into a very particular situation or person or animal, etc. In a way, it frees the person to feel okay as long as the object of the phobia isn’t there. For example: A person with anxiety might develop a phobia about small dogs. As long as he stays away from small dogs, he can function fine.

Please consider seeing a mental health counselor. A counselor can hear your whole story and can ask the questions that I can’t. Even an initial session will give you some answers and some suggestions for how to rein in this obsession.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This Love or Obsession?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is This Love or Obsession?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Mar 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.