Understanding Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

Liberty Psychological Association

Many could have passing intrusive thoughts that seem to be out of their control: The content may feel scary, absurd, or threatening, and may go away after a few minutes. Intrusive thoughts can be scary and worrisome about what might go very wrong in ones life or in the in the life of the ones we care about, or terrible embarrassing impulsive behavior that one might possibly act out.

For some, intrusive thoughts might cause overwhelming anxiety. These kinds of intrusive thoughts might feel scary. So, for example, one might think, “What if I die now?” in the middle of a panic attack, Or one might think that they could hurt others as they are driving down a busy street.

There are other types of intrusive thoughts: Unwanted intrusive thoughts. These are sticky thoughts that may cause great anxiety. They could come from nowhere, arrive with a distressing pain, and cause fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, panic, and misery. The content of these unwanted intrusive thoughts can focus on sexual discus or dangerous, illegal, or socially unacceptable images. Typical examples include murdering someone, hurting a pet, stabbing and attacking a child, throwing people or self out of a window of a high rise building or in front of a speeding train, molesting others, walking out nude in public, grabbing a stranger’s chest, etc. Some might have sudden doubts, like “Did I just punch that guy? or did I just made a fool out of my self? and I didn’t realize it?” “What if I am not alive?” The list goes on and on. These some examples of what are unwanted intrusive thoughts.

Some who experience unwanted intrusive thoughts can become so afraid of committing bad acts that they picture in their mind that they can start sweating excessively, and also fear that their thoughts say something terrible about them. Some others can become ashamed and worried about these intrusive thoughts, so they keep them a secret.

Many of these unwanted intrusive thoughts have more unharmful content like having unfounded doubts about their relationships, their decisions, their sexuality or their identity, about their personal safety, their religion, or dying, or worries about unrealistic questions that cannot be answered.

There are many roamers out there about unwanted intrusive thoughts. One of the most distressing roamer is that having such intrusive thoughts means that one unconsciously wants to do the things that come into their mind. These roamers are not true. It is the effort people put in to fight these unwanted thought that makes it stay and fuels its return. People fight these intrusive thoughts because the content seems foreign, unwanted, and different than who they are. Usually, people with violent, uninvited intrusive thoughts are gentle people. Person’s who have unwanted intrusive thoughts about suicide love their life, and those people who have intrusive thoughts of yelling blasphemies in their temple value their religion. 

A second roamer is that every thought we have is worth dissecting. In truth, these intrusive thoughts are not notices, red flags, or warning signs, despite how one feels about them. They are just unwanted thoughts that need to be left alone.

Their are possibly more than 6 million people in the United States of America that are troubled by unwanted intrusive thoughts that might feel very threatening, that’s because nervousness takes over them. These evil thoughts could be disgusting, and they seem to have a lot of power. People tend to try desperately to get away from them. But all they are, are unwanted thoughts that are just absurd. The more one tries to push them away, by distracting them selves, or substitute them with other thoughts, the worst they become.

People who suffer from intrusive thoughts need to understand that their content is irrelevant and unimportant. Possibly everyone has occasional uncomfortable, weird, bizarre, bad, socially improper, annoying, or violent thoughts. The mind sometimes creates bad thoughts, and these are just part of our stream of consciousness. Intrusive thoughts are baseless. If one does not take them seriously or get into it, it can disappear and get wiped out in the flow of consciousness.

In reality, thoughts even a very bad thoughts are not an impulse. People who suffer from unwanted intrusive thoughts don’t have a issue with impulse control. The opposite their main problem is trying to control them. They are trying to hard to control their thoughts. Most of us know what happens when we try too hard not to think of a thing, it just gets worst. However, those who suffer from unwanted intrusive thoughts might lock themselves in the prison of their own mind. The more desperation, the worst it gets. The proper way to truly deal with unwanted intrusive thoughts is to stop fighting them. Excessive need for reassurance is not the solution.

Unwanted intrusive thoughts are reinforced by getting deep into them, giving them too much time, fighting them, and trying to force them away. One must leave those thoughts alone, and try to treat them as they are nothing, and then they will eventually fade away.

Steps for Changing Ones Attitude and Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts:

  • In ones mind they should be labeled as “unimportant thoughts.”
  • One needs to remind his or her self that these intrusive thoughts are automatic, and baseless.
  • One should let the thoughts into their mind, and not try to push them away.
  • One should relax and learn to let them pass.
  • One should not forget that: less is more, calm down, give it time. Remembering that a sense of urgency will reinforce them.
  • If the thoughts came back again, don’t be surprised and let them float.
  • One should keep doing whatever they were doing before the intrusive thoughts arrived and allow them in. More attention, means more intrusive thoughts.

One Should:

  • Do not get involved with the thoughts in any way.
  • Try not to put the thoughts out of ones mind.
  • Do not spend time to figure out what the thoughts “are all about.”
  • Do not try to see what technique works better.

The above particular approach can be difficult to use. But if one tries it for just a few weeks, there can be an excellent chance that they could possibly see a reduction in the intensity and frequency of unwanted intrusive thoughts.

By; Shervan K. Shahhian

Liberty Psychological Association

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