Special interest or unhealthy obsession?

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nomral
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 48

09 Jan 2016, 11:04 am

Argh, these character limits for titles are so strict.

Most of us come with our own special cocktail of specialbrain syndromes in addition to Autism and one of mine is OCD. Due to a response to trauma, my OCD ended up latching onto the idea of healthy/unhealthy relationships and I became obsessed with relationships (usually romantic relationships, but sometimes friendships) being perfect. I'd have invasive thoughts about horrible things that would happen if my friends did anything slightly imperfect in their relationships and try to rescue them from that by giving them long speeches about how what they were doing was horrible and unhealthy (I legitimately thought they would die from unhealthy relationships). I thought that if any of my emotions were slightly selfish or imperfect they were completely worthless and I'd beat myself up over it, etc....

I realized a while back that I did have that unhealthy obsession and that it was OCD, not a legitimate thing I needed to be concerned about. I've been trying to get myself to stop obsessing over healthy or perfect relationships.

But it's become increasingly clear that this has also become one of my Autism special interest areas. I don't want to fight purely academic interest, especially since this one is related to some of my other interests (psychology, sex, etc.). I get the feeling that if I completely cut myself off from studying anything related to this I'll just make myself more unhappy.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can tell the difference between me starting to obsess about it in a damaging way because of my OCD and just being interested in it because of Autism? How can I reconcile these two conflicting needs I have?



BeaArthur
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Aug 2015
Posts: 4,922

09 Jan 2016, 11:13 am

nomral wrote:
Does anyone have any ideas on how I can tell the difference between me starting to obsess about it in a damaging way because of my OCD and just being interested in it because of Autism? How can I reconcile these two conflicting needs I have?

A trusted friend or therapist can give you feedback.

Also, if you start telling your friends and acquaintances what to think about their relationships, you are probably verging onto unhealthy territory. And if you start thinking about your own relationships in extreme ways ("if this continues, I will die," etc.) that's a hint to pull back.

Try to keep the special interest at a remove from your actual life. Because this is a social/interpersonal special interest, it runs the risk of seeping into your own social/interpersonal life. Most people don't like to be constantly analyzed!


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