Author: Veronica Lichtenstein, LMHC
Aug 26, 2019
For a while there, everyone was saying, “I’m obsessed with, ‘avocado toast’, ‘JLo’s clothes,’ ‘Game of Thrones.’” It’s like when people had those bumper stickers that said, “I’m addicted to running” or “I’m addicted to work.” Those statements both mocked the addicts and implied that there were “healthy” addictions.
Then they learned you really could be addicted to exercise (some people with eating disorders are). And ask any spouse whose other half is always ‘at the office’ if being a workaholic is a ‘positive’ addiction. Maybe if you like to be lonely.
Obsessions are recurring, intrusive thoughts that disrupt your day to the point you can’t concentrate on anything except your obsession. (Example: “Did I unplug the iron?”)
A compulsion is an act you must do to alleviate or lessen the obsession—You go back to check the iron again, even though you already did it three times. You just can’t help it. You have to do it. If you don’t do it you won’t be able to think about anything else all day.
But that’s not living your life. That’s living your obsession.