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To ask if it's normal to obsess like this?

(33 Posts)
DandelionGarden Tue 10-May-16 01:35:02

I think I have an obsessive personality but wondered if I'm alone in this behaviour. Do you ever obsess like this?

It doesn't matter what it is over, if I get an idea or want or need something, I become completely obsessed with it to the point where I neglect my everyday life. These obsessions only ever focus around big ideas or decisions usually.

So for example, my car (of which I'm completely reliant) died last week and on Friday I was told it wasn't worth repairing and I should get a new (to me) car. I wasn't expecting this to happen yet (current one only done 72k) and I always thought I would get another of the same model until I realised how unreliable it is. So then the research began. I have spent literally every moment since Friday thinking about a new car. I think bout it so much that I can't hear people talking to me. I have spent hours and hours researching. I joined a motoring forum to ask what I should get and refresh the page often to look for new replies. I've looked at hundreds of car adverts and repeat the search several times to see if new ones have been added. I've researched things like age vs mileage.

All this has obviously taken up a lot of my days so I'm neglecting everything else like playing with the DC, housework and spending time with my BF. I am experiencing a lot of anxiety about choosing the right car and not a lemon. I will have to keep it as long as possible so I want to be happy with my choice.

The thing is, I don't even care about cars! I know I won't give a shiny shit once the decision is made and I've got the car. I know this. But the obsession lies in the making the decision in the first place so I'm feeling even more anxious to get that decision made quickly (0plus I'm struggling without a car). Even so, I still can't help but obsess.

I'm like this with everything but wasn't always. I did the same when I bought my first pram. When I started a new business. When choosing a printer. And each time it's the same pattern, obsess at the neglect of everything else until I lose interest, find something else to obsess about and repeat. When there is nothing to obsess about or I can't fulfill my obsession, I get really depressed and unhappy and have no drive.

I'm starting to think this isn't normal but does anyone else do this?

DandelionGarden Tue 10-May-16 01:37:52

And the reason I'm posting at 1.30 am is because, you guessed it, I can't sleep for thinking about cars! I have done this every night since Friday, I'm knackered. And when I do fall asleep, I dream about my current obsession.

MattDillonsPants Tue 10-May-16 02:04:50

I do. But I obsess over things like...a certain actor....or band...or a cult movement from the past...or maybe a historical period.

I use it as a form of escape I know. I'm sure it's healthy to a point...I usually lose interest quite quickly and feel that I'd know if I crossed over into mental illness though.

Your obsession does sound as though it's affecting your health and I think you should see the doctor as it's actually a form of anxiety.x

Outfoxed Tue 10-May-16 05:19:20

Is it only ever about financial situations?

MardleBum Tue 10-May-16 06:06:32

I'm like this. If I need to choose/plan or research something and its really important to me that I get it just right then I do go into it in a ridiculous amount of detail. It's a good trait in some ways because I am thorough but in other ways it's just a form of anxiety or OCD. I am a perfectionist which sounds like a good thing but it can be a curse. I also find it really hard to make a decision. I'm frightened of making the wrong decision especially if it required a fairly large financial investment. Take something like a wedding dress or a house purchase or something, I would not rest until I'd considered every flipping house/wedding dress that fitted my criteria because I can't bear to think there might be another one out that there that was better than the one I picked, if only I'd seen it!

If we are having people over for dinner and I need to decide what to cook, I spend a frankly ridiculous amount of time looking at recipes and trying to narrow it down. Even if I'd already decided to make let's say belly of pork and a chocolate cake I'd be there for days hours comparing about 50 different recipes for belly of pork and variations on chocolate cake to make sure I picked the best one. I drive myself mad with it but I can't help it.

Waitingfordolly Tue 10-May-16 06:06:52

Yes I'm a bit like this. Maybe not quite as much as you describe but I'm obsessed with finding a holiday at the moment. It's a bit annoying. One thing that helps is the distinction between being a satisficer - being happy with something because it meets your criteria versus a maximiser where you have to be sure to get the absolutely best thing on offer. I try to be a satisficer more. I sometimes feel it's poor impulse control though!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 10-May-16 06:08:25

Are you me?

MardleBum Tue 10-May-16 06:08:34

That's it, I am a maximiser!

daisychain01 Tue 10-May-16 06:22:53

I have a tendency to be like this. Good research, I call it. Haha. Im doing a PhD, obsessing that I need to have considered every angle, every piece of research not leaving a stone unturned. Yup that's me.

I don't know the answer to how to fix it, but I keep thinking of a variation of the Pareto rule 80% is good enough, don't fret over the other 20% it doesn't have to be that perfect!

VashtaNerada Tue 10-May-16 06:27:25

For balance, I'm not like this! It sounds a lot to me and I'd say that if you're spending a lot of time on any one thing, particularly if you feel you're not spending enough time with those around you, it's probably too much. Could it be anxiety? Is it worth speaking to your GP?

ExtraHotLatteToGo Tue 10-May-16 06:34:56

I'm like this. Totally. It's nice to know I might be bonkers, but I'm no longer alone 😁

Mari50 Tue 10-May-16 06:37:27

I'm like this. One of my siblings even more so. I blame the parents. They would research and over think lots of things.

Waitingfordolly Tue 10-May-16 06:43:03

At least I'm not as bad as my mum, she still hasn't bought a vacuum cleaner after nearly two years of research!

bimbobaggins Tue 10-May-16 06:47:14

Hi dandelion, yes i can totally relate to you. I seem to have lost the ability to make a decision on my own and spend a long time deliberating over even the smallest things. Not sure when it started but definitely got worse when I seperated from my partner 18 months ago.

Fraggled Tue 10-May-16 06:50:29

Yes I'm like this. My worst obsession is booking holidays (which we rarely take thankfully). I get totally drained and overwhelmed with all the various options.

Greyhorses Tue 10-May-16 06:52:54

This is me too! I obsess until I get whatever it is I need and then move on to something else within days hmm

ErgonomicallyUnsound Tue 10-May-16 06:59:58

DH is like this, exactly.

When something big dies, I do a massive inward groan as I know I've lost him for a week at least. No question of me replacing it, as I'm not thorough enough. grin

The big ticket item I do is holidays. And then I'm a bit like it. But only with holidays.

GetAHaircutCarl Tue 10-May-16 07:03:33

As a writer I become super focused on certain scenes and characters, playing them in my mind over and over.

Whilst this is how I pay my rent, I am aware of having to reign it in sometimes.

Funnily enough, I'm a steely pragmatist about most RL stuff and very decisive.

EponasWildDaughter Tue 10-May-16 07:05:23

How are we defining 'obsess' though really? Is this similar to when people say 'oh i'm OCD about this and that' or 'i'm phobic about x y z' - but they're not properly OCD or phobic at all.

I could easily say i'm like you OP. I love to research my next holiday/lipstick/shoe rack ect. I'm good at trawling the internet for the best quality at the lowest price anything. I'll look into something until i understand it before i'll make a decision. It can take up time that i should be using to do something else - but not to the detriment of anything major.

I don't loose sleep over it, I wouldn't miss an appointment for it. Or skip a meal. Or leave DD4 in a dirty nappy, or not wash ect.

How bad is it really OP?

Waitingfordolly Tue 10-May-16 07:05:35

I think it's about working out when it's important, so house buying and maybe holidays, and when less so, e.g. new iron or garden furniture, but it's about control and maybe anxiety. I think I get it from my parents who both tend towards there only being one right way in everything so I constantly have to fight that, and also maybe my own perfectionism.

Sallygoroundthemoon Tue 10-May-16 07:07:48

This does not sound particularly healthy OP and no, most people are not like this. It might me worth having a chat with your GP and getting a referral. CBT might help.

Sallygoroundthemoon Tue 10-May-16 07:08:17

Might be.

EponasWildDaughter Tue 10-May-16 07:09:26

Control. Y Y waiting i think that's what i'd say it's about. Rather than an anxiousness. For me anyway.

AtSea1979 Tue 10-May-16 07:09:36

I'm a bit like this but I'd have bought the car by Friday evening. If I need something new then I have to get it immediately and can't wait and can't settle until I do. For example, I've moved house several times in past few years because as soon as I decide something isn't right with it I need to move.

Ceilinglight Tue 10-May-16 07:13:03

Yes I would describe myself as a maximiser too.
Now I put a limit on how long I research before making a decision and if it's wrong, I just have to accept it because I know I can't spend forever looking into it.
This has only happened to me since I had more time on my hands as a SAHM (I used to work obsessively!!) and no money!!

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