Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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					  Relationship Obsessive Compulsive
           Disorder (ROCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) always concerns attachment,
addictions, obsessions, relationships, identification, participation mystique1
and so forth. They (as well as introverted and extraverted) are key words and
terms in this paper.
There are introverted and extraverted attachments and they are similar in the
sense that some of the same psychological experiences are felt irrespective of
whether it is attachment to:

    Thoughts, ideas, attitude, feelings (inner introverted) OR
    A person (outer extraverted)
In part 1 of this paper we will discuss relationship obsessions bringing in
those key words, attachment, identification etc. And we will focus specifically on
Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (ROCD). Then in part 2 we
will discuss introversion and extraversion because the person’s psychological
type helps us understand the experience of ROCD. In general Part 1
discusses the problem and part 2 the solution. However the conclusion to
this work goes into more depth about problems and solutions. For example
in part 2 we discuss introversion so in the conclusion we discuss the risks
associated with the introvert not working on their own psychology
concerning relationships with others.

Part 1: Links/Similarities to Drug Addiction and
                   to Trauma
Psychological possession concerning another person is common. It’s an
addiction. When the other person that you are addicted too turns negative
(e.g. when you realise that the other person is not be the great person that
you convinced yourself that they were) then the addiction remains in-place
anyway. So now part of you wants to be free from them… while another part
of you is psychologically possessed so cannot get free. The possessed person
is caught in an extremely unhealthy situation… on the one hand
remembering the positive addiction and on the other hand now experiencing
the negative addiction.
Links/Similarities to Drug Addiction: Addiction to a person is the same
type of psychological experience as addiction to a drug. The following is
quoted from a drug addiction webpage:
“Admit there is a problem and be willing and open to change. Admit that
we are powerless over drugs and that your lives have become unmanageable. Most people
can't or won't. Most people won't admit they don't want to quit. They say they should and
that they want to, but deep down they don't really want to. But that's okay, you can still
get help. There are two main types of treatment: community-based or 12 step, both can
Try a 12 Step program if it suits you. If you want to try a 12 step program, go to
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), SA (Smokers Anonymous),
or one of the other programs that use the set of guiding principles for recovery from addictive,
compulsive, or other behavioural problems that was originally developed by Alcoholics
Anonymous. Unfortunately most people won’t go until they are so desperate and have run
out of other options so now they are ready to listen”. 1

Links/Similarities to Trauma: People who are traumatised cant delete the
memory. They either accept the memory or they remain destroyed.
Acceptance is the healthy option because otherwise the problem gets worse

and worse. That means that your psychological health gets worse and worse...
until you cannot think straight in everyday life.

It will dominate your mind… and eat away at you from the inside.

In ROCD you can’t literally forget your boyfriend or girlfriend... but you
need to not be bothered that their existence is in your mind. That ceasing to
care is the key. You have to accept that (s)he is in your MIND. You must do
that. Then when emotional thoughts come with their image you must stare
those thoughts in the face and NOT CARE.

Only when you cease to care will you have more freedom. But you can’t
delete him/her like you delete typed words on a computer screen. You can

The American Psychiatric Association informs us that:

“Obsessions are persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as
intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress. […] The
individual sense[s] that the content of the obsession is alien, not within his or her control,
and not the kind of thought that he or she would expect to have. However, the individual is
able to recognise that the obsessions are the product of his or her own mind and are not
imposed from without (as in thought insertion).” 2 It is for reasons such as this that
Jungian Psychology refers to two minds in one person… a conscious mind
and an unconscious mind. For example, Carl Jung’s closest collaborator,
Marie Louise Von Franz, says if someone refers to ‘mind’ “A Jungian would at
once add the question: ‘Which mind? The conscious or the unconscious mind?”3

When I say that the person has to be able to accept the images, thoughts,
feelings without caring that they are there… and when I link this to trauma…
I most certainly also acknowledge the difference between [R]OCD and Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD) The key difference is that for ROCD
sufferers the prognosis is more positive due to the fact that an extreme/horrific
incident is the cause of PTSD… and not of ROCD. Therefore that makes the
PTSD negative psychological associations, memories, reactions etc so much
more understandable.

Part 2: Introverted Psychology in an Extraverted
Part 2 of this paper is focused more on the cure of ROCD than the problem.

At first sight Buddhist Psychology appears to be introverted due to its clear
emphasis on eliminating desire and craving wherever it finds it. However,
attachments can be to anything hence introverted attachments exist too.
There is no point appearing to the whole world as if you have relinquished
desire while secretly spending hours each day fantasising in the secrecy of
your own mind. Hence Buddhist Psychology is neither extraverted nor
introverted. Rather it is disinterested in such categories. Jungians tend to at
least try to give up on the outer world (although some such as the Jungian,
Erich Neumann, try and be introverted and extraverted).1 The typical
introverted Jungian though still seeks out the exotic (fairy tales and myths) as
if they were magic medicines. Unfortunately they are not and I think that
such introverted desire is unhealthy. It’s merely swapping extraverted
attachments for introverted ones. For example it is swapping relationships
with people in outer world for mystical and mythical books. But many people
are addicted to introverted religions and many Jungians fall for introverted
religion in this way. So I lean towards the Buddhists in eliminating
introverted and extraverted desire. However, I live in the western world and a
society (Britain) that is slanted towards extraversion. Therefore I advise other
introverts who live in extraverted cultures to use their nervous energy to
make sense of their extraverted culture. So be aware of the dangers of
potential relationships. (See part 1 and conclusion). Don’t crave self-identity
but be aware of cultural reference points that enable you to function in
everyday psychosocial life. Buddhism doesn’t emphasise cultural reference
points so this is a distinction from Buddhism. Moreover, using up so much
energy to clearly ‘think’ each day for the rest of time, is definitely not

It is also important not to fall for the introverted error of waffling to oneself,
sounding clever to oneself… (i.e., don’t self-delude). This is also seen in the
shadow of the introvert who can get mouthy to others… even if the mouthy
chatter is only said in the secrecy of the introverts mind! It will be clear
thinking about relationships with others (and other societal and cultural
material) that takes up so much time and energy. It is not fantasising that I
recommend. Fantasising is too isolating. Even introverts should accept that
they are inextricably connected to their cultural context.

The introvert can be healthy. (S)he will need to spend much time using up
nervous energy in crystal clear thinking… and this may mean that (s)he
cannot hold down a traditional 9-5 office job! However, so long as the
introvert is an effective thinker and can get stuck-in to thinking then (s)he
can be healthy. Indeed, the extraverted outer world is the individuals material.
Hence the introvert does have a great deal of connection to the outer world.
However, this extraverted outer world is not something that the introvert will
physically and literally engage in as much as the extravert does. But (s)he will
spend a life-time making sense of it in their inner mind… and of course, this
will include relationships. (see conclusion, below)

With regards to the relationships with others, the introvert needs to be aware
of their sensitivity concerning the actions of other people. It is harder for the
introvert to accept that extraverts can be mean and so forth. And when the
introvert thinks that they have found an extravert that is also relationship
material, then there is the danger of addiction to that person… because this
may be the first time that the introvert has ever had such feelings. Hence
where the introvert is concerned, it is very important that (s)he is conscious
of their own psychology. The danger is that sensitivity will regress into
ROCD and Paranoia.

Ignoring the psychological problem will not help. ROCD (and all addictions)
have to be confronted with crystal clear healthy criticism of self and other.
Otherwise the following could happen to you…

…The illness that is ‘paranoia’ could be experienced. According to the
American Psychiatric Association (2000) Paranoid Personality Disorder is
defined as follows: “…a pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such
that their motives are interpreted as malevolent. This pattern begins by early adulthood and
is present in a variety of contexts. Individuals with this disorder assume that other people
will exploit, harm, or deceive them, even if no evidence exists to support this expectation.
[…] They suspect on the basis of little or no evidence that others are plotting against them
and may attack them suddenly, at any time and without reason. They often feel that they
have been deeply and irreversibly injured by another person or persons even when there is no
objective evidence for this. They are preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or
trustworthiness of their friends and associates, whose actions are minutely scrutinized for
evidence of hostile intentions. Any perceived deviation from trustworthiness or loyalty serves
to support their underlying assumptions.”1

In his text titled Concerning Rebirth Jung defines paranoia as “identity of the ego-
personality with a complex,” as something similar to an extreme state of possession. 2
An individual suffering from paranoia will experience frequent psychological
dissociations due to the fixed idea (i.e. the addiction and its associations)
being triggered over-and-over again and engulfing their conscious psyche.
The paranoid person often makes chance happenings that occur in their life
fit the narrative of their paranoia. Each time this occurs they experience yet
another dissociation. The following Jungian thought is relevant in relation to

“In the course of development the archetypal figures become tamed by being incarnated in
and through actual relationships to actual persons; these persons come gradually to be
perceived with more or less accuracy in terms of their actual nature and character. In other
words, they become more humanized. Perceptions become more appropriate, less ruthless,
more compassionate; the archetypal projections are withdrawn, and the capacity for truth
emerges. And then both the paradisal and the terrifying worlds begin to recede.”3

1. Participation Mystique refers to a psychological mindset that is unable to
differentiate between subject (mind) and object (other). Individual
consciousness only emerges when differentiation is experienced. Thus
individual consciousness necessitates the overcoming of participation

Part 1
1. WikiHow to do anything Website

2. American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p457

3. Von Franz in Jung, 1964, p385

Part 2
1. See the chapter titled ‘Centroversion and the Stages of Life’ in Neumann,
E, 1989

1. American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p690

2. Jung, 1940/1950, par 220

3. Gordon 1993, p303

American Psychiatric Association. (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders. (4th ed., text rev.)

Gordon, R. (1993) Bridges: Metaphor for Psychic Processes (Karnac Books)

Jung, C. G. (1940/1950) Concerning Rebirth. In Collected Works, vol. 9, Part
1. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Princeton University Press, 1981)

Jung, C, (1964) Man and His Symbols (Dell Publishing)

Neumann, E, (1989) The Origins and History of Consciousness (Karnac
Books Ltd)

WikiHow to do anything Website: How to Overcome an Addiction:


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