An obsession is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. An object of obsession can be a person a thing or an activity. It is much like a fixation actually. As a fallible human being, we have a tendency to psychological disturb ourselves with almost anything. Much as we like to think that we are invincible, we are not. Much as we have proof of our power, as we ‘influence’ others, we are not powerful. We exert money over others to gain power over others, because this makes us feel powerful. Some people strive at all costs to have this power over others, but that’s another story. One that I might consider posting later. For now, I refer to the current craze over Pokemon Go. I’m afraid I am one of those fallen prey to the current ‘craze‘. But, I am not a gamer at all!
I often wonder if I am obsessively healthy or unhealthy. We have the tendency to obsess over something or someone. For me, these periods of obsession is called a fad. I don’t mind admitting that I have a period of blip where I was consumed by burst of activities such as mobile gaming. I could not wait to for opportunities to play games on my phone especially since, nearly everyone old enough who can afford to have android phones, do have one. Awhile ago, I was obsessing over WordBrain. This went on for a few months until I’d got bored playing. Then I was introduced to Game of Thrones by a friend, and I couldn’t stop watching season 1-5 in a weekend! Then that was that! At the moment, I will admit that I am swept by Pokemon Go like millions of others. So obsessed that I play daily for most of the days. My phone is on constant charge. I do go out and walk around to find Pokemon. I recruited many friends and family to play. The benefit is that it gets me out and moving, as I walked 5km to hatch a Pokemon egg! I reached my Fitbit steps quota for the day. I exercised and burnt off nearly 430 calories of cardio (more than I would do in a heavy work out at the gym).
When will it end? – Well, as long as there are benefits to your personal goals, it may or may not end. Obsession will become compulsive when it interferes with your responsibilities, the urges to continual playing will become irresistible. Be honest, ask yourself, what is your personal goals for playing or keep playing.
When does it get out of control? – That depends on the individual’s internal perception and their interpretation of the object of obsession. There are varying degree of obsession and when it is a problem for you is when to think about the why. For me I suspect that I will be playing as long as it gets me out walking, exercising and interacting with my daughters. I have no intention of playing it expertly or to battle to gain any online status (to gain power over other players). So, you could say that I am a hoarder of Pokemons.
When is an obsession a problem? – That depends on an individual’s reasoning for playing. Pokemon games were around 20 years ago and my children were really crazy over the original Pokemon cards game, the miniature toys and cuddlies. As they grew up, the craze moved to Pokemon PC games, in a form of Pokemon Red, Silver, Gold etc. For me, it was a way of interacting with them through play. For me it was the cute cuddly features of the characters. Is it obsessive to know that Bulbasaur evolves into Wartortle and then Blastoist when you battle and train them well? Obsession is a subjective experience for each person. And as long as you are healthily benefiting from the activity, and it doesn’t interfere or get in a way of your real world than it is not necessarily a problem. It is a problem when the object of obsession is a risk to your health, life and to those around you, such as the dangerous craze where people gets out of car in mid traffic to catch a rare Pokemon, recently broadcast. It is dangerous when you are so preoccupied that you have an accident. It is dangerous when you are not playing sensibly or you have insidious agenda.
What can you do to keep obsessive behaviour under control? – Obsessive behaviour is about the needs for control. It is something that we do to satisfy our hidden desire. For me, I tell myself that I need exercise to control and maintain my healthy waistline. In order to be able to rationally think about what is healthy and unhealthy, you need to check and test out the level of your obsession and the degree of discomfort. See how long you can NOT play the game, an hour, a couple of hours, a day? See how uncomfortable you are when you are deprived of the the object of obsession? Start there and see how you long you last before the urges take hold.
Obsession doesn’t have to be a problem as long as YOU are in control of your activity and not the other way round. Ask yourself, without any unhealthy demands, are you in control?