Q. I have been completely obsessed with thoughts of my pdoc. I was diagnoses with bipolar 1 10 years ago. The years have been very difficult to say the least. I have gone through 8 psychiatrist before finding the pdoc that I have now. I’ve had him for 8 years. Naturally, I don’t always agree with his treatment, but appreciate the fact that he listens to me and takes my concerns to heart when making medical decisions. Since having him, I have certainly known that he is a physician above the rest. His visits are a minimum of 45 min. sometimes lasting 1-1 1/2 hours depending upon the current situation. My bipolar has been very difficult to treat and I have refused to take many medications because of their side effects. My pdoc doesn’t hesitate to spend time with me chatting and carrying on light conversation as a part of our office visit. I always leave feelin uplifted and as there is is hope. However, what was once appreciation and respect, has developed an obsession. I want to learn as much as possible about him, his wife, family, etc. I think this is insane. Believe it or not, I don’t have sexual fantasies about him nor do I have a knight in shining armour fantasy that he will some day come and take me away from all this. I just have this obsession to know about how he lives his life – the details of it. Part of it is, he knows so much about me and I know nothing about him. He definately has a wall up and is very clinical when it comes to sharing anything about himself. I don’t understand why all of a sudden this is happening. I don’t understand why I can’t stop myself from researching he and his wife. I don’t like being this way. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’m thought about telling him but I do not want to lose him. I don’t want to tell my therapist because I just don’t want anyone I know to know what’s going on inside my head. Having these thoughts trapped inside of my head are actually, at a slow boil, driving me crazy. Do you have a suggestion on how to eliminate this obsession. I’ve been through enough pdocs to know there’s not another one like him out there for me.
It is encouraging that you have found a mental health professional that can help you. As you know, finding someone effectual can be a difficult and long lasting search. I do not think that it is that unusual to want to know more about your psychiatrist (I think this is what you meant by pdoc) since after all you have developed a deep, long running relationship with him. What I am curious about is why this obsession is occurring now. You have been seeing him for eight years. Has this obsession lasted eight years or is it only recently that you started to feel this way? If so, why now?
My main concern about this situation is your inability to control the obsession. The best solution to this situation is to be honest with him about what you are doing. It is important to be honest with him since after all, he would likely be the very person that could help solve this problem, since, after all, he is who you have been relying on for advice and problem solving help for years. If you are honest with him then possibly you and he can explore why you are feeling overpowered by the need to know this information about him. There is an excellent chance that he can help you work through this just as he has helped you with other past problems. Be forthcoming and be honest. Take care.