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View Full Version : Is this some sort of Psychological problem or just an obsession?



Mystic Muse
2010-01-23, 12:33 AM
okay. I have a friend who fixates on every little bad thing they do. If they felt they did something stupid or wrong they start beating themselves up for it every time they remember it.

Is this some sort of Psychological problem or just an obsession?

loopy
2010-01-23, 12:37 AM
okay. I have a friend who fixates on every little bad thing they do. If they felt they did something stupid or wrong they start beating themselves up for it every time they remember it.

Is this some sort of Psychological problem or just an obsession?

Well it is a psychological problem, as it isn't healthy mental behavior, but its not the kind that really calls for meds as much as therapy and trying to get out of the mindset. :smallsmile:

EDIT: I do that as well... Slowly forcing myself out of the habit though.

Boo
2010-01-23, 12:37 AM
Both. Self-loathing comes in many forms. Usually not an obsession, but with the misinterpretation I have from your words, I'd say they sometimes try to think of it so they can remind themselves of their mistakes.

Pyrian
2010-01-23, 12:38 AM
An obsession would be a psychological problem. I guess in this case it depends on the degree - i.e., do they beat themselves up to the point of being non-functional, or are they generally speaking very good at avoiding errors as a result?

Ellardin
2010-01-23, 12:43 AM
Everything CAN be seen as some Form of Psychological problem ect . If your friend does what he/she does it's most likely something happened in their Industry vs . Inferiority , which is stage four of Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Development , (and happens around the 'school' ages ) . Something most likely made your friend turn towards the Inferiority scale of this stage , which may have been anything from an unpleasant teacher to a parent expecting too much of them at such an early age in childhood . This is a personal trait that most likely has been with them for a long time . If they are given 'professional' help they may be able to repress these feels or develop new reactions to how they feel when something 'bad' is done . However , it may be helpful for your friend to have these feelings when something bad happens , because it may give them some inner closure once they think about it enough . This is the extent to how I can answer your question .

Mystic Muse
2010-01-23, 01:00 AM
An obsession would be a psychological problem. I guess in this case it depends on the degree - i.e., do they beat themselves up to the point of being non-functional, or are they generally speaking very good at avoiding errors as a result?

I'm not really sure how to answer this. can you clarify a bit better possibly?

Pyrian
2010-01-23, 01:20 AM
Well, I've known a lot of people who beat themselves up a lot, for various reasons. Generally speaking they grow out of it in time, but there's really two paths they tend to take: they either get really good at the things they focus on, or they become nihilistic about their chances of doing anything right and don't do much at all (or they become abstract artists and I can't even tell the difference, which I think was the point :smallsigh: ). The difference, I think, was whether they beat themselves up too much. There's room for reasonable self-criticism, and even somewhat unreasonable self-criticism. But it can become paralyzing, even blinding.

blackfox
2010-01-23, 01:40 AM
It does sound like a psychological problem, or, at the least, the makings of one. Better words for it would be an unhealthy mindset. The psychological problem part comes if your friend is having debilitating emotions associated with it--intense anxiety/stress or depression/sadness are ones to look out for. Also, the thing about having a mindset like this is that if some highly emotional event came up, it could trigger an episode of anxiety or depression, which would not be pleasant when already dealing with a breakup, death, etc.

thubby
2010-01-23, 09:30 AM
when it comes to this sort of thing it's all a matter of how it impacts their life. if it is ruining his/her life, or negatively impacting their health, then yes, it's something to seek help for.
if it only comes up with how they interact with people it's called social anxiety.

Green Bean
2010-01-23, 09:49 AM
It all depends on the degree. If it's just a periodic "gah, I was so dumb back then", you're probably fine. If it's a serious impact on your friend's daily life, where they miss important events, or you genuinely believe he or she will hurt themselves, speak to someone (friends and family, or a guidance counselor if you're still in school). If it's somewhere in the middle, you still don't need to worry too much; just try to remind them of their successes whenever they get like this.

valadil
2010-01-23, 10:03 AM
It's a problem. Whether or not it's worth seeing someone depends on the severity and your friend.

What you describe actually sounds like something my dad does. He's got some OCD and one of the things he obsesses over is his regrets. Sometimes when we visit he'll come up to me with a tear in his eye and apologize for something he said when I was 6. I never remember the event in question and always assure him it's okay. But it'll have haunted him for 20+ years and he's full of crap like that.

Don Julio Anejo
2010-01-23, 01:52 PM
This has nothing to do with OCD despite what it sounds like. It's a cognitive process called rumination and is literally defined by beating yourself up over mistakes and focusing on what you could have done instead of what you have actually done.

By itself it's not a disorder, it's in fact closer to a personality feature related to neuroticism (everyone does this to an extent, the difference is merely in magnitude). However, it's strongly related to depression, and except for external stress it's one of the best predictors of developing clinical depression.

So the point is... it's fine unless your friend is either undergoing depression or the problem is severe enough that he actually can't function, in which case it probably becomes some kind of an anxiety disorder.

Dr.Epic
2010-01-25, 09:25 PM
okay. I have a friend who fixates on every little bad thing they do. If they felt they did something stupid or wrong they start beating themselves up for it every time they remember it.

Is this some sort of Psychological problem or just an obsession?

To what extent do they "beat themselves up"?

Crimmy
2010-01-25, 09:32 PM
An obsession would be a psychological problem. I guess in this case it depends on the degree - i.e., do they beat themselves up to the point of being non-functional, or are they generally speaking very good at avoiding errors as a result?

And Pyrian beats me once again.

Mystic Muse
2010-01-25, 09:34 PM
To what extent do they "beat themselves up"?

to the "god I'm so stupid for doing that" extent. Oddly they'll speak out loud about whatever they're thinking about at the time or they'll say something along the lines of "stupid" or groan.