This Valentine’s Day, longing hearts everywhere will eagerly anticipate a romantic gift or gesture from their partner. For millions, however, Valentine’s is the worst day, despite good relationships, leaving them confused and conflicted, guilty or mistrustful, due to “Relationship OCD” or “ROCD.”
ROCD is a form of OCD in which the sufferer has irrational doubts of their partner’s love, and goes to extreme lengths to compulsively check up on them. They constantly call them, or inspect their call or email history. Valentines is one of many tests of their partner’s love. They analyze their words, tone of voice, and facial expressions. They ask for reassurance. They drive themselves crazy, unable to think of anything else, and eventually cause the relationship to dissolve, perhaps, ironically, this very Valentine’s Day.
On the flip side, many other ROCD sufferers doubt their own love for their partner. They set up tests of their attraction and find endless minutiae wrong with their partner. Some wonder whether giving a Valentine’s gift will be leading their partner on, and feel guilty they will eventually hurt or cheat on them. They break up repeatedly only to reunite a few days later.
Psychologist Steven J. Brodsky wants star-crossed lovers to know that their hot-and-cold behavior might indeed be due to a anxiety disorder and that the right kind of treatment could save their relationships. Many of his clients have gone on to form happy marriages and families, and annually send photographs to him.
Dr. Brodsky is the clinical director of the OCD and Panic Center of NY and NJ. He has appeared on NBC Nightly News, The TODAY Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other news and discussion media. For more information, visit Dr. Brodsky’s website.
Source: OCD and Panic Center of NY and NJ