Obsessive Love Disorder (O.L.D.)

If you’ve never watched the Netflix Original series, You, I’d suggest you check it out if you’re into psychological thrillers.

The series follow a seemingly friendly guy name Joe Goldberg who meets this cute young woman, Guinevere Beck aka “Beck” , at a bookshop where he works. As the series goes on, viewers discover just how obsessed Joe is with Beck.

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The series is based on a novel by Caroline Kepnes of the same name.

Book cover of Kepnes's 2014 novel

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. Therefore I cannot diagnose anyone. However, based on the characteristics and actions of Joe Goldberg, there’s a slight chance that he would have been diagnosed with Obessive Love Disorder, or maybe not. However the series is awesome and I thought it’d make a great segue.


So what exactly is OLD?

Unlike erotomania, which is an individual’s paranoid delusion of someone else (most times a celeb or someone theyve never met) being infatuated with them, the person being obsessed over are alive, real, and someone they may even be romantically involved with However, both erotomania and OLD are considered attachment disorders. ( Borderline Personality Disorder is also another attachment disorder)


Symptoms of OLD:

  • Posessiveness/Controlling behavior

  • Overwhelming attraction to one person

  • Obsessive fanatasies about the person

  • Inability to accept rejection

  • Popping up/stalking

  • Extreme jealousy

  • Low self-esteem

  • Making/drawing images of the person or obsessive thoughts

  • Going out their way to spending an excessive amount with the other person

  • Desire to “protect” the person


DANGERS

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I’ve recently published a nouvella where O.L.D. is mentioned just to bring some awareness to the disorder. In the story, one of the characters becomes obsesseed with a coworker.

You can check it out below:

Click here to purchase or hear a sample of the audiobook.


Treatment

PSYCHOTHERAPY- As always, seeking a licensed mental health professional is highly recommended. Medication may be prescribed, as OLD is often a disorder attached to other underlining mental illnesses.


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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Alas, the one post I’ve been dragging my feet on posting about

BPD

(also known as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder)

(Not to be confused with Bipolar Disorder, which is NOT a personality disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.)

I want to apologize in advance on the multiple videos posted below. I wanted to include as many educational resources and references about the topic at hand.


What exactly is Borderline Personality Disoder?

I recommend listening to at least the first 10 minutes of the below video. Out of all the videos, I ‘ve found that Dr Ramani breaks down the traits and characteristics the best.

It is important to remember that not everyone suffering from BPD have the same characteristics or traits, as there is a spectrum. Not every individual with this disorder is “crazy”, violent, and obsessive as portrayed in media. Therefore not everyone with BPD are exactly alike. Also, only FIVE of the 9 criteria must be met to be diagnosed, which means not all suffering with BPD are suicidal or etc.

As always, it is recommended to not self-diagnose. Please seek a professional for a proper diagnosis.

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The Stigma of BPD

1. STIGMA ONLINE:

Borderline folks catch a lot of flack online. Just look through the many videos and comments on YouTube from disgruntled exes.

Men and women with BPD are often thought of as toxic, manipulative, and attention-seeking by some, when in fact, those with BPD feel love intensely and most have a fear of abandonment. Alot of times theyfeel a great sense of guilt whenever they do cause disruption. I wil admit that it does take a very patient person to be able to involve themselves romantically with someone with BPD. Of course this also depends on where the person with BPD falls on the spectrum and the traits they possess, as not all individuals are the same.

2. STIGMA IN HEALTHCARE SETTINGS

And if that isn’t bad enough, people with BPD are also discriminated against by mental health professionals

This is because they (people with BPD) are one of the hardest to treat because the disorder often misunderstood. In fact, not all therapist are willing to treat or understand enough about BPD. Those with BPD are often dropped as patients (see The Stigma Associated With Borderline Personality Disorder and Why Do Therapists Stigmatize People with Borderline? )

3. STIGMA IN HOLLYWOOD/FILMS

I’ve come to notice that alot of films based on a character with BPD are often exaggerated and doesn’t help the stigma already attached with BPD.

Such as:

Single White Female

Welcome to Me

A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

As stated, not all individuals with the disorder have the same traits. Many cannot work and receive disability, while others are high-functioning.

The lack of knowledge is one reason why I recently published a fictional short story of a woman dating while secretly dealing with BPD. The story was written to help education and bring awareness.

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(Click here to hear a sample of the audiobook)


Common BPD jargon:

SPLITTING:

when someone sees someone as all good or all bad and no in between. Its the reason why people with BPD tend to idealize others or demonize other people out of the slightest of things.

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“FP”: FAVORITE PERSON

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Image result for bpd favorite person


TREATMENT

1. PSYCHOTHERAPY (Talk Therapy).….Seeking a mental health professional is recommended. Most professionals will suggest group therapy with others with BPD. Individual therapy is often long-term.

2. MEDICATION.....Depending on the severity/circumstances, medication can also be prescribed for emotion regulation.

3. AGING/TIME....For some, BPD may not a life-long disorder. Some are only affected for just several years, with the symptoms decreasing in intensity as they get older. The disorder mostly affects young women, but there are older men and women who are affected.

4. DBT Workbook (Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook). DBT is considered one of the most effective methods for treating BPD. Some professionals use it for group therapy but the workbooks is also recommended for individual use and can be found at online retail stores like Amazon.


CONCLUSION

There is so much more that can be said about BPD that i’m sure was missed in this post such as mood swings, impulsiveness, dissociation, and etc.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the best thing you can do is research. There are also online support groups on Facebook for not only those with BPD, but for loved ones of those with BPD, as loved ones are also often greatly affected. Some have admitted that being around those with BPD is like always walking on eggshells.

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Normal Grief vs Masked/ Delayed/& Prolonged Grief

When I was eleven my father died. I didn’t cry when my aunt broke the news to me, nor did I cry during the funeral. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30s that I finally broke down and cried over my father’s death. However it wasn’t without consequences. One could even point out that my clinical depression (atypical) & trichotillomania, more than likely stemmed from what is referred to as Masked Grief.

Then there’s Delayed Grief.

Unlike delayed or masked grief, sufferers of Prolonged Grief Disorder “deal” with the loss head on, but not in the most healthy way. A great example of this may be the main character of the television series, Monk.

In this series, Adrian Monk, has a hard time letting go of his deceased wife, Trudy. Even after over 9 years, he refuses to take off his wedding ring, he keeps his late wife’s office intact (while still paying rent for it), he refuses to date, his coffee table is kept the same angle his wife would have it when she rested her feet on it, and much more. His loss of his wife has even magnified his OCD to the point where he has to see a shrink. There are even scenes where he hallucinates and have full conversations with Trudy.

Although the symptoms may not be as exact as those I’ve just stated, below are signs of one who may be suffering from prolonged grief disorder:

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Normal grief is defined as having 5 stages:

1. Denial & Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining (“if only..”)

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

It is not always necessarily in the same order for everyone nor do everyone go tthrough all five.

As if grief alone isn’t difficult enough to deal with, grieving isnt as always cut & dry. In fact, there are various other types of grief that many people may not even be aware that they or someone they know may be dealing with.



Coping with Grief

Below are a few resources for coping with a loss:

How to deal with Grief when someone you love dies (Video)

1-800-273-8255

It is always recommended to speak with a professional or at least someone you can confide if you’re having thoughts of suicide or feelings of hopelessness .

Bereavement Groups and Online Resources



(Update: 10/28/19)

Rest in Power grandma