Obsessions: What are they?


There are three forms of obsessions:

  1. Words in your head which includes doubts, such as “what if…?” “did I…?” “was that…?”


    1. I have had such doubts. I would think “what if the tire came off the car while driving on the expressway?” or “what if the spot on my arm is cancer?” “did I turn off the stove? (as I am driving to work, even though I had not used the stove all week for breakfast).
  • Images like a sudden picture in your mind


    1. One of my first obsessions was an image of a sharp object being rammed into my eye. I would be in the shower, at church, at work, anywhere and this image would pop up in my mind.
  • Impulses or sudden urges to do something

A. I want to slam my hand on the restroom stall door, scarring the sh@$ out of whoever is in the stall. I want to drive my car like a bumper car and hit all the cars around me. Of course, my car would not have a scratch.

Obsessions intrude abruptly into my mind which are unwanted, inappropriate and upsetting. Once an obsession occurs, it steals away my attention and I am hard pressed to think about anything else. I might be able to save my mind from the current obsession, but the relief is only temporary because more are on their way. The thing with obsessions is that it involves thoughts and ideas that are inconsistent with my personality, moral values, ideals and goals.

We often hear “obsession” described as a passion, enthusiasm, or preoccupation with something such as a hobby, celebrity or a romantic partner. The word obsession I am using is not a passion, enthusiasm or preoccupation. Instead, it refers to unwanted, unwelcome, recurring thoughts that happen against my will and the obsessions are about unpleasant topics. When my obsessive thoughts take up more than an hour over the course of a day and/or compulsive acts take up more than an hour over the course of a day, it is considered to be obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Here are some websites with more information on OCD.