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How to tell if a guy is obsessed with you

By Faeza
11 April 2017

IN the movie titled, When the Bough Breaks, the ugly dark side of life and relationships is brought to light. A professional couple in their 40s, John and Laura Taylor, played by Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall, are in a committed relationship and they desperately want to have a baby but they struggle. So they decide to find a surrogate, someone who will

carry their child to term. Fortunately, they find a surrogate mother Anna, played by Jaz Sinclair. They then invite her to come and stay with them.

FALLING FOR THE WRONG MAN

As the pregnancy progresses, Anna develops a crush on John and starts obsessing over him. She yearns for the admiration and love that Laura is getting from her man. In the process, Anna starts hurting those around her including her boyfriend, whom she had

initially plotted with to milk the couple out of money. The plot thickens as the couple fight their way to have back their lives before Anna became obsessed with John. Although this is a movie that has many twists and turns, the truth is that in our everyday lives someone is confronted by such a similar situation. Either someone is obsessed with them or they are

obsessed about someone. Sadly, sometimes the situation turns deadly. But before it gets there, you can take action. Move! spoke to a Kyalami- based life coach, Karabo Dean Chababa, who gives advice on how to deal with a person who may be obsessed with you.

SIGNS OF OBSESSION

“Obsession usually happens when someone is trying to fill a sense of emptiness in their lives. People get obsessed when they have lost something in their past or present, so they get obsessed with something that reminds them of that thing or person. It usually comes from not being able to accept a loss,” says Karabo, adding that there are warning signs that you should look out for when you suspect that someone may be obsessed with you.

“An obsessed person will snap at any moment. They lose touch with reality, and they may have violent thoughts to harm themselves or the object of their obsession,” says Karabo. “The worst thing an obsessed person can do is take a life of the person they’re obsessed with. If things don’t go their way, they can also end their own lives.” A person who is obsessed with you may also physically stalk you by doing everything you do, and accidentally be at places that you frequent. Karabo explains that the person can also stalk

you on social media and constantly check who you are talking to. “Obsession is a reality that people deal with on a daily basis. With the use of social media, people have taken obsession to digital platforms. This results in cyber stalking, cyber bullying and identity theft,” says Karabo.

DEALING WITH OBSESSION

Karabo says that obsession is a mental illness. “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness. It is made up of two parts: obsession and compulsion. People may experience obsession, compulsion or both,” he explains. “This illness can be very challenging and hard to explain to other people. A person who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty about their behaviour. These feelings can make it hard for them to seek help.” Many people describe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as something

that takes over your life but the good news is that it is treatable if you seek help. “It’s important to talk to a health professional as soon as possible when you notice behaviour

that you are not used to in yourself or your partner,” says Karabo.

ENCOURAGE YOUR PARTNER TO GET HELP

According to Karabo, there is a type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. “This kind of therapy is shown to be effective for helping people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It teaches them how their thoughts, feelings and behaviour work together. It also teaches them the skills of solving problems, managing stress, realistic

thinking and relaxation,” he explains. Karabo says for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

patients, therapy may also include a strategy called exposure and response prevention. This involves exposing the patient to situations that trigger their obsessions and teaching them new ways to respond to that.

SUPPORT GROUPS

“Support groups can also be very helpful. They are a good place to share your experiences, learn from others, and connect with people who understand what you’re going through. You can also practise many Cognitive Behavioural Therapy skills at home like problem-solving and challenging anxious thoughts on your own. Small steps like eating well,

exercising regularly and practising healthy sleeping habits will also help,” says Karabo.