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In Psychology, there are different definitions of the term, “obsession”. Various scholars have attempted to define an obsession in diverse ways. In fact, it is closely related to the term “compulsion”, which may be rendered to mean desires, drives or certain needs, among others. Nonetheless, these definitions often incorporate the same notions and ideas (Carter & Colleen 548). Research has shown that instances of obsession may be genetically or naturally acquired. Obsessions are rendered normal. However, they may bring about complications when they hinder an individual’s productivity. Psychologists assert that obsessions may, in fact, be a type of disorder (Frost, Randy & Gail 1-2). This paper will explore the different definitions of obsession apropos of psychology.
An obsession refers to the instance of having irritable, unwanted and distractive thoughts. These thoughts often interfere with a person’s natural being. Clearly, intense obsessions may result in distress and depression in an individual. As prior mentioned, obsessions may be closely tied to compulsions (Carter & Colleen 548). These are conditions that force individuals to oblige to certain actions. They often arise when one desires to react or respond to a given obsession. It is also necessary to understand that strong obsessions may lead to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Howbeit, as the name suggests, it occurs when an obsession is integrated with a compulsion (Carter & Colleen 548).
An obsession may also be defined as a disorder involving a constant attachment to a person or thing (Hammer, Barry & Allan 473-474). According to Sigmund Freud, obsession may be defined as a fixation in which individuals exhibit unattached relationships with given objects. The habit often begins from childhood and proceeds during a child’s development into their adulthood (Hammer et al. 473-474). Therefore, it is factual that obsessions may be acquired genetically.
Other psychologists define an obsession as the inability or hindrance of an individual to shun away certain emotional thoughts (Frost et al. 1-2). Often, these thoughts bring about anxiety in the persons. It is chief to understand that most people pursue the obsession to avoid instances of anxiety (Frost et al. 2). Mostly, the emotional thoughts are classified under love related obsessions. Cases of obsession in love often include one party being obsessed with their lover. These individuals rarely venture into other things thus solely focus on the existence of their partners. However, obsessive love may be dangerous when the obsessed is dissatisfied.
Similarly, compulsions are reactions to obsessions. These actions are often compelled or instigated by one’s mind. Compulsions play different roles regarding obsessions. Some are used in intensifying the cases of obsession while others attempt to reduce those obsessions. As discussed earlier, integration of obsessions and compulsions results in OCD. The disorder arises when individuals possess obsessions that are directly connected to compulsions. It is important to realize the correct diagnosis for OCD. Those persons with obsessions lacking compulsions cannot be diagnosed with OCD (Carter & Colleen 548).
In summation, it is salient to note the various definitions of obsessions. They, however, contain similar concepts phrased uniquely by different scholars. The paper has explored the main notions and ideas that constitute an obsession. It has also examined Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an integration of obsessions and compulsions. Through the paper, there is also insight concerning the existence of different types of obsessions. Lastly, it gives an overview concerning the distinctions between obsessions and compulsions.
Carter, Kenneth, and Colleen M. Seifert. Learn Psychology. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013. Print.
Frost, Randy O, and Gail Steketee. Cognitive Approaches to Obsessions and Compulsions: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment. Amsterdam: Pergamon, 2002. Internet resource.
Hammer, Max, Barry J. Hammer, and Alan C. Butler. Psychological Healing Through Creative Self Understanding and Self-Transformation. Houston, TX: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co, 2014. Print.