So, before we go on with this, I would like to give a quick warning. If you are sensitive to topics about mental illness and everything that goes with it, please don't read on. We will be discussing intrusive thoughts, something people seem to never mention.
What are intrusive thoughts?
These are unwelcome, involuntary thoughts, images, or an unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.
Usually, these thoughts are associated with OCD, but can also be associated with depression, PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, and eating disorders. However, even if you don't have any of these mental illnesses, intrusive thoughts still exist. It is part of being human, and I guarantee everyone has had some thoughts.
The Different Types of Thoughts
These thoughts are usually aggressive, sexual, or blasphemous themes. Let's discuss each of these types, and do know these thoughts can be treated if they become too much to handle.
These are the most popular ones, and I guarantee everyone has had at least one of these types of thoughts, especially if you work with the public. Thoughts like these usually involve causing harm to family, friends, children, animals, strangers, or even yourself. Some thoughts can include wanting to push someone, or you yourself jump into traffic, jump from high surfaces, crashing your vehicle while driving. It is best noted to distinguish these thoughts from the suicidal thoughts, due to the obvious latter being much more dangerous, as people usually act on those thoughts more.
So, these are thoughts or images of kissing, touching, intercourse, and even rape with strangers, family, friends, children, animals, and even religious figures. These usually occur when someone has doubts about their sexual identity, and can cause the person to feel shame, guilt, distress, torment, or fear. Again, if these become too over whelming, there are treatments available to help control and push out these thoughts.
These thoughts are much more common with OCD, and usually involves sexual thoughts about God, bad thoughts or images during prayer, and thoughts about possession. Treatment for these types of thoughts is a bit more difficult, due to people believing these are inspired by Satan, and may fear punishment from God.
The brain is a powerful organ, pretty much the pilot for the human body. However, it can also go against you and become your own worst enemy. As for these intrusive thoughts, as I stated before, everyone has had at least one intrusive thought during their lifetime. It doesn't matter who you are, from a well-known actor like Tom Hiddleston, to happy, positive Youtube personalities such as Markiplier, and even the polite cashier at your local grocery store. Intrusive thoughts do not discriminate, yet they are part of being human. Sometimes, life can be difficult, stress gets a bit too much and you think to yourself "Maybe I could get away with this."
People usually have a quick thought and manage to push it away by thinking about something completely different or just thinking of the perfect, logical answer to said thought. Say you are driving down the road and think to yourself, "I could just crash my car into a wall." But, directly after you think, "Well that would be stupid. I don't have the time to repair my car or spend time in a hospital," and go about your day. Most of the time that is the best treatment for these thoughts, though if they get worse, or even evolve into actual suicidal thoughts, please get help. See a therapist, call a suicide hotline, even talk to a trusted and close friend.
I am very curious as to why no one talks about intrusive thoughts. They accompany various mental illness and they affect everyday people, yet no one speaks of them. It should be a valid thing to discuss, 'cause let's face the truth, sometimes people will act on these intrusive thoughts, and may commit a horrible crime. Never act on those thoughts, and don't let them obsess you or drag you down. Never be afraid to reach out for help. That is NOT a sign of weakness. It is more a sign of having been strong for too long and you just need that extra push to get back to how you were. Never give up and always power forward!