Have you ever thought about pushing your partner off a cliff or writing something obscene in an email to work colleagues? Such terrible, terrible or even disgusting thoughts often appear suddenly and out of nowhere. They are thoughts that we would like to get rid of immediately. In psychology we speak of “intrusions”. So these are intrusive thoughts.

Although such intrusive thoughts can relate to anything, their content is usually violent, sexually inappropriate, or disturbing. They often violate the values ​​and norms of the person having such thoughts. For those affected, these thoughts trigger fear, shame or even feelings of guilt. And that’s why they don’t talk about it.

It can be difficult to deal with such thoughts. According to Harvard Medical School, those affected tend to want to dissect and analyze thoughts down to the smallest detail. They hold on to him. However, this can increase feelings of fear, shame or self-doubt.

Exactly how such thoughts arise is not entirely clear. But they mainly occur in stressful times. It is related to the need to have control over one’s own environment, explains psychiatrist Dr. Sue Varma told CNN.

According to Harvard Medical School, intrusive thoughts can be identified by these characteristics:

Intrusive thoughts can be disturbing and unpleasant. According to Anxiety

How to deal with intrusive thoughts:

However, if intrusive thoughts limit your life, this is a sign that those affected should seek professional help. For example, if you no longer drive a car for fear of actually running someone over, or no longer visit your family for fear of being violent towards them. At this point, the line has been crossed between a nuisance and a psychological condition for which those affected need professional help, Sue Varma told CNN.

Quellen: Harvard Medical School, CNN, ADAA