Intrusive thoughts are one of the most alarming things that can happen to you. It’s like having a devil in your head saying the most appalling things it could possibly say to you. When this happens it’s common to feel like you’re going mad, that there’s something wrong with you, that you’re evil or even that you’ve been possessed in some way.
There are many examples of intrusive thoughts ranging from the mild to the outright horrifying. Some common themes are self attacking such as “you idiot” or “no-one likes you”. Another theme is related to violence such as “I’m going to swerve my car into that bus” or “I’m going to stab him”. Other examples involve sexual violence or blasphemy.
If any of these sound familiar I’m very happy to tell you that you are not going mad, that you’re not evil or anything like that. Studies show that everyone has these thoughts from time to time but most people find it easier to notice them and let them pass. They don’t get so distressed by them. While it’s very painful the fact that you get so anxious about it is a good thing. Your reaction shows how awful you find the thought and how strongly you oppose it.
The earlier you seek support the better since this issue can get worse and is harder to treat the longer it goes on. Over time it can have a terrible effect on your sense of self, your ability to function well and your ability to trust yourself.
Whether you are becoming concerned about some of the thoughts you are having or if you are locked in rumination for hours a day counselling can help you. It can specifically help you to be less afraid of your thoughts, generate more positive and realistic thoughts, take more control over your thinking and learn to trust yourself again. Especially, It can help reduce the terror that comes from having intrusive thoughts.
If you have very severe intrusive thoughts I may need to refer you on to more appropriate care and have some good contacts for this. However, Please know that with the right support you can recover from this and improve your life.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or to book an initial appointment.