I Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone! When Depression Becomes Obsession

Updated August 18, 2021

Just Can't Stop Thinking About Someone? 

Do you find that you're obsessed with thoughts about your romantic partner or your ex? If you are, you're probably wondering, "Why can't I stop thinking about someone," and how to stop thinking about someone. Having lingering thoughts about a partner after a recent breakup for a reasonable period are normal.

However, if you find that you're still constantly thinking about someone for a long period after your relationship has ended - or you're having this issue while still in a relationship with someone - you need to take action to learn how to stop thinking about someone (before things get any worse.)

It's hard when you just can't stop thinking about someone.

In Need of Some Support?
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.

Source: rawpixel.com

When you can't stop thinking about someone, this is a sign of something bigger no matter what you do. In this article, we answer the question of "What does it mean when you can't stop thinking about someone?" We also discuss how maladaptive behavior patterns and unhealthy attachments in intimate relationships can foster mental health issues like Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD). Let's start with a simple definition of maladaptive behavior.

Maladaptive Behavior And Obsession

In a nutshell, maladaptive behaviors are behaviors that cause negative outcomes when applied in most situations. For example, in the case of obsessing about someone and constantly finding yourself thinking, "Why do I keep thinking about someone?" Here, the maladaptive behavior pattern obsesses and places all of your time and mental energy on someone else. One-sided behavior patterns like these rarely yield a positive result.

When it comes to maladaptive behavior and obsession - there is no scenario where obsessing about anyone or anything can produce a positive outcome. Both obsession and maladaptive behaviors are unhealthy behavior patterns.

According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of obsession is related to "an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind." One of the most important questions that you can ask yourself at this point is true, "Why do I keep thinking about someone?" The next step is to follow up with outside professionals and resources to learn the real answer.

Unhealthy Attachments In Intimate Relationships

When people grow up in households where unhealthy attachments in relationships are the norm - chances are substantially higher for developing more unhealthy attachments in adult dating and relationships. Without proper redirection, unhealthy attachments and maladaptive behavior patterns can become your family legacy.

Some reports link human behavior to genetics. This means that some researchers believe that unhealthy attachments and maladaptive behavior patterns result from genetics being passed down between families. Others believe that maladaptive behavior patterns are learned. If this sounds like the concept of nature vs. nurture in different terms, you're exactly right.

Source: rawpixel.com

While there is some debate about the cause of maladaptive behaviors like an obsession, many mental health professionals agree that the behaviors can be changed or "uninstalled" by applying cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. (CBT) is a behavior-based form of therapy that focuses on eliminating negative behaviors by eliminating the underlying maladaptive behaviors that cause them.

This behavior-based therapy model focuses on understanding human behavior and expression is the first step to making the necessary changes in the brain to eliminate the behavior over time. Now that you understand more about maladaptive behavior patterns, what's causing them, and potential treatments, let's look at one obsessive-compulsive disorder that may be closely linked to the reason why you're constantly thinking about each other.

Relationship-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD)

Many people have heard the term obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), fewer people realize that there is a component of this disorder related to dating and married relationships.

People who suffer from (ROCD) find that their entire world seems to begin and end with the other person in their relationship. The relationship-obsessive compulsive disorder can show up in relationships that are still ongoing and in situations where recent relationship breakups have happened. The hallmark of (ROCD) is being plagued (obsessed) with excessive worry or fear about the other person in the relationship - mainly, doubting their love or affection for you.

Feeling sad or low regarding issues surrounding the relationship is normal from time-to-time inactive relationships and those recently broken up. However, when feelings of sadness become a way of life, and negative outcomes start happening due to your inability to focus on other areas in your life, you have a more serious issue.

Inability to carry out daily functions, including having issues with mood, behavior, and sleep since the relationship began (or ended), are signs of normal behavior turning into obsession and the potential of a mental health issue like ROCD, anxiety, and depression becoming a reality are hi.

Find A Therapist

Now you have the potential answer to the question, "Why can't I stop thinking about someone?" Regardless of your issue is as severe as a relationship-obsessive compulsive disorder, if your situation has started to affect your life negatively, you need to learn new coping strategies to handle it. Finding a licensed and affordable mental health provider like a therapist or professional counselor is as easy as entering a quick Google search for licensed therapy providers near me.

A licensed therapist can provide you with assessment, talk therapy, and medication management services to deal with the issues you've been having related to your obsession with your partner. Your therapist can help you identify what triggers the issues that cause you to feel obsessed and respond in maladaptive ways. Using a series of screening questions and diagnostic tools, your therapist can help you develop a treatment plan to mitigate the ongoing symptoms of obsession and help you answer, "What should I do? I can't stop thinking about someone!". They will help you to stop thinking about reasons why your behaviors are justified. 

Therapy matching websites like MyTherapist.com can help you get matched with licensed psychologists, social workers, and professional therapists online. This therapy matching service connects mental health care seekers with board-certified therapists licensed to provide counseling services in your state of residence. Connecting with online therapists in your state provides you with instant access to quality mental health care services that can help you overcome the related challenges that you've been facing in your life.

MyTherapist.com is a therapy directory that provides therapy matching for the following credentialed mental health professionals and experts.

Psychologists (Psy.D / Ph.D)

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC / LPCC)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)

How Online Therapy Sessions Can Help

When you begin taking part in online therapy sessions, your therapist will introduce you to new ways of solving problems and critical thinking skills to help you make better decisions. Online therapy sessions are conducted like regular in-office therapy sessions - without the face to face contact. Options for receiving therapy include online chat, video chat, and audio or phone sessions. How and when you have your therapy sessions is up to you and your counselor or therapist.

In Need of Some Support?

Source: rawpixel.com

Many people enjoy the flexibility of scheduling options that taking part in online therapy provides. When you're matched with your therapist, you gain access to a suite of "always-on" mental health care services that offer a combination of free and paid options. Today's mental health providers belong to therapy platforms like BetterHelp.com that provides affordable counseling and therapy services to mental health clients 24 hours a day.

Also, to talk therapy, clients who use the BetterHelp platform can access self-help resources and advice through mental health-related blog articles and community forums.

Weekly sessions with a board-certified therapist at BetterHelp.com start at just $40-$70.00 per week compared to traditional out-of-pocket therapy expenses of $65.00-$200.00 per hour.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand what could be driving your thoughts of "Why I can't stop thinking about someone" are you able to pull yourself out of the negative spiral that now seems to be controlling your life - or do you need help? In most cases, people cannot rescue themselves from the clutches of obsession and maladaptive behavior. While a small percentage of people can independently resolve mental health challenges, most adults aren't. This doesn't make you weak. This makes you human.

As mental health awareness continues to grow and information on mental illness becomes more transparent - the stigma that used to be linked with mental health issues is starting to change. According to research done by the American Psychological Association via the Harris Poll, mental health statistics apply to adults in the United States annually.

  • 1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with chronic mental illness annually.
  • 19.8% of adults in the United States receive some form of inpatient or outpatient treatment for problems with emotions, nerves, and mental health.
  • When it comes to gender, women reported more mental health concerns, with 22.3% of women and 15.1% of men reporting mental health issues annually.
  • The number of mental health cases reported annually - 11.2 million cases are considered serious cases and involve mental health diagnoses like schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BDP).

After looking at these staggering statistics, there is no wonder why there has been an increase in mental health care services due to mental health awareness and advocacy campaigns. Today's mental health advocates foster knowledge and awareness that provide a productive change in the United States mental health care industry. If you're ready to take charge of your thoughts by taking better care of your mental health care, contact a therapy expert to learn more today.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist Today
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.