Having intrusive thoughts? Let’s look at a few different types of intrusive thoughts, and what they might mean.

Having intrusive thoughts? Let’s look at a few different types of intrusive thoughts, and what they might mean.
Having intrusive thoughts? Let’s look at a few different types of intrusive thoughts, and what they might mean._ichhori.com 

You're going about your day when you have a strange, uncomfortable, even shocking thought. Maybe you're talking to someone when you imagine punching them in the face. Alternatively, you can't stop picturing random people naked. Why does this stuff keep happening if you don't want to think about it?
These are known as intrusive thoughts, and almost everyone experiences them from time to time. People can usually ignore their thoughts and move on. However, intrusive thoughts can become out of hand at times. If your thoughts are causing you significant distress or interfering with your daily life, this could be a sign of mental illness. Seeking treatment can assist you in learning to manage your thoughts.
Let's take a look at some different types of intrusive thoughts and what they could mean.

Thinking about hurting yourself or someone else

Invading thoughts can be violent at times. You may consider hurting yourself or someone else. Usually, there is no intent behind it—you don't want to do those things; it's just a random thought that enters your mind. But you might be afraid that deep down inside, a part of you does want to act out, which is why you're worrying so much about it.
Such thoughts could be a symptom of an anxiety disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People suffering from postpartum depression may have intrusive thoughts of harming their baby.
If you intend to act on these thoughts, or if you are already acting on them, that goes beyond intrusive thoughts. If you're having difficulty controlling your aggressive behaviour, you'll need to learn how to manage your emotions more constructively. If you are considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK or text "MHA" to 741-741 to speak with a trained counsellor from the Crisis Text Line.

Intrusive sexual thoughts

Most people, regardless of gender, have frequent thoughts about sex. It's entirely natural. However, if you are ashamed of these thoughts or believe that having them makes you a bad person, you may become fixated on them. Remember that thoughts are just thoughts—even if they are shocking or frequent, they do not define you as a person.
People are also prone to having intrusive thoughts about their sexual or gender identity. Defining your identity can be a time-consuming and difficult process. It's understandable that you'd be thinking about it a lot because it's stressful. However, it is common for people with OCD to obsess over thoughts that do not appear to be consistent with their identity. For instance, you may identify as a lesbian but have intrusive thoughts about having sex with a man.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-concept is a common symptom of depression. When you're feeling down, it's easy to become fixated on thoughts like "I'm such a loser," or "I'll never amount to anything." These thoughts can be so emotionally charged that they appear to be facts rather than intrusive thoughts.
Negative thoughts frequently fall into common patterns known as thinking traps. These are mental shortcuts that can cause us to become trapped in our negative thinking. Reframing—finding new, more positive ways of thinking about the same situations—is one way to deal with them.

Delusional thoughts

If your thoughts are strange or paranoid, you may be suffering from psychosis. You may believe, for example, that the FBI is watching everything you do or that someone is attempting to poison you. You may even see or hear things that no one else sees or hears. Psychosis is a symptom of a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Drugs can sometimes cause psychosis.

Other intrusive thoughts

These are only a few examples of the most common types of intrusive thoughts. There are numerous others. The important thing to remember is that intrusive thoughts are something that happens to you, not something that you are. If you suspect you are suffering from any of the mental illnesses discussed here, take one of our mental health screenings to see if you are at risk.
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