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To Help a Friend with an Obsessive Disorder

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My friend gets obsessed with people from each time to time, and it affects her mentally and physically, she got obsessed with a teacher for a while, made videos for her, cried all the time, she was too obsessed it was creepy, she also had a football obsession, the same thing happened, she knew their family members their wives everyone, she was also too obsessed, she cried, got depressed, gets angry when her team loses in a way thats abnormal etc.. now she has a new obsession, she claims to have had this since an extremely long time ago but somehow hid it? it’s an obsession with a tv show she doesn’t like telling anyone she has this because she’s scared they’d take it away, i knew accidentally and i’m her bestfriend, she’s completely crazy about them, it’s getting creepier by the second, in the show her fav character dies, and thats what she calls the biggest trauma of her life, whenever someone mentions death, she starts crying because she thinks about her, i can’t say her name because she’d get too angry (or the name of anyone else in the show), it’s getting irreal, she needs help, but if i tell her that she’s take it as an offense, this obsession is not like any other, it’s much much more tense, she copies them (the characters in the show) she watches the show over and over each day, she’s scared that anyone will watch it (knowing it’s extremely popular) or any show that has any of the actors (which she also watched). She literally couldnt breathe when she found out that i’ve watched the show a long time ago too, all she does is share pictures of them with her sister, obsess over them, get crazy, she has mental breakdowns, its impossible, i dont know how much longer i can take this, she literally takes this as the most traumatizing thing ever, the death of a fictional character. I had a lot of people who died, and when i want to talk to her about them, she tells me she knows what it’s like to lose someone, because A FICTIONAL CHARACTER SHE’S OBSESSED WITH DIED. She’s in too deep, she needs help, there are a lot more things that go on regarding this topic, she has alot of other problems, she needs help fast, i’m not sure how to act.

To Help a Friend with an Obsessive Disorder

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I would agree that something may be wrong with your friend’s behavior. She does seem to have certain obsessions that change over time. It’s not clear why she becomes obsessed or what prompts her to change her focus on to something else. Her behavior is unusual and may be indicative of a mental health problem.

Mental health problems need to be treated by mental health professionals. This is not something you should try to handle on your own. As her friend, you should support her in seeking treatment but you should not try to treat her yourself. You might say something like this “I’ve been worried about you and how upset you can become (at times) sometimes. I want you to be safe and to not continue to suffer. Counseling could help you. Have you considered it?”

If you believe that even the suggestion of mental health treatment would cause her to become too upset, then you may not want to make the suggestion. However, even if it does upset her, it might still be the right thing to do. You can judge this for yourself since you have a personal relationship with her. It is difficult for me to predict how she will react since I do not know her but suggesting that she seek help, in a gentle and caring manner, is the right thing to do. The key is to say it in a way that will be the least upsetting. Try to think about how you could approach her with your suggestion about seeking professional help.

Another approach to this problem could be speaking to her parents. It would be good if you made them aware of your concerns. Tell them about the behaviors you have observed. In all likelihood, they are likewise concerned. Alternatively, they may not know how she behaves with you or how upset she can become. It would be good for them to know. If they know that something is wrong, they may be able to help. If you’re not comfortable speaking to them directly, you might send them a letter articulating your concerns. much like you did here with us at Psych Central. Do what you think would be the most helpful.

In terms of interacting with her, you may want to keep your distance. How long you want to stay her friend is something only you can decide. That is a very personal decision. One way to be a supportive friend is to encourage her to seek help. A mental health professional would be in the best position to help her.

Hopefully this problem can be resolved in a satisfactory way. With luck, she will consider your suggestion and follow your advice. With the right treatment, this can likely be corrected. If she’s open to treatment, it significantly increases the probability of a positive outcome. Thank you for your question. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

To Help a Friend with an Obsessive Disorder

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). To Help a Friend with an Obsessive Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Oct 2019 (Originally: 1 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Oct 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.