What Is Compulsive Care Giving?

You can find a range of videos, podcasts, and other resources to help your loved ones fight the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Having a loved one with a mental illness can be difficult, and if you don’t have time for yourself, it can be difficult to do everything you can to support you when you’re burned out. Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with harmful family effects, and caregivers involved in this disorder experience significant stress and reduced quality of life (QOL).

Studies have shown that people with negative childhood experiences are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems that lead to a chronic state of high-stress response. Earlier a study found that children exposed to prolonged stress hormones release that reduce the size of their hippocampus, a brain area that processes memory, emotions, and stress management. People who are emotionally and physically neglected by their parents have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases than adults.

When a person grew up in a chaotic home, especially one with addiction, abuse, mental illness, or compulsive behavior of any kind, children try to adapt to their environment to meet their basic needs. A childlike bonding scheme is dedicated to attunement to the moods and needs of parents and others. In short, caretaking has all the hallmarks of codependence and is rooted in insecurity and a need for control. It takes from the recipient and gives to someone else without attachment, and it does this without giving.

Unlike help and care, which are positive behaviors, compulsive caregiving is consumed by the need to repair others, to the point where one loses one’s own identity and never develops, and one suffocates the person one wants to help with their space and works through their own problems. Unusual desires and needs for others can be an addiction, and caring behavior can be taken to extremes.

We have been taught that it is good to be helpful, but it is selfish to take care of our own needs. When we take care of our own needs, we neglect that we can empower others to do the same and support their decisions. This does not mean that we care less about our loved ones, but we permit them the dignity to make mistakes and find their own way. The truism that “giving is better than receiving” is a clichΓ© that reflects the pro-social trait of selflessness. Caretakers think they know what is best for others, but they only know what is best for themselves.

Caretakers tend to behave dramatically: instead of focusing on the problem, they produce dramatic results by focusing on solutions. Caretakers do not trust the ability of others to care for them, but they do trust others, enabling them to activate their own inner leadership and problem-solving skills. They start fixing problems that occur before they ask for help.

Compulsive care is a negative pattern that can hold you back, confused about why you feel this way, and unable to pinpoint the cause of your discomfort. The common thread that people who share childhood experiences find is an increased sense of empathy and the ability to connect with others. This is not to say that the negative effects of their childhood are lessened, but that they are able to make sense of their suffering.

What begins as an act of love can quickly turn into resentment if well-intentioned advice or wisdom is not followed. It is compulsive to feel responsible when others cross boundaries with unsolicited advice, to be judgmental, to know what is best for others, to form ties or expectations; to feel exhausted, frustrated, anxious, unappreciated, or resentful; to prevent others from thinking for themselves; to use unassertive, intrusive or “you” statements; to try to control the recipient or caregiver; to practice self-care without respecting other opinions or help; to be the ‘gender truth’.

Dr. Gabor Mate, the author of The Body Said. He talks about coercive care as a coping mechanism that a child uses when the needs of parents are more important than their own. When an adult is stuck in a pattern of compulsive care, the inability to pay attention to their needs manifests itself rather than cancer. Instead of focusing on what to do next, the caretaker tries to find a new caretaker. When they lose someone, they project this onto the search for a new person in need.

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