If you have ever experienced intrusive thoughts, then you know how scary and frustrating they can be. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that pop into your head unexpectedly and make you feel very anxious or uncomfortable. They can be about anything but often involve violent or sexual images. If you are struggling with intrusive thoughts, don’t worry – you are not alone! In this blog post, we will discuss it and deliver some tips for dealing with intrusive thoughts.
- 1 What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
- 2 Best Way For Dealing With Intrusive Thoughts
- 3 Can Intrusive Thoughts Turn Into Psychosis?
- 4 When To Consider A Professional Doctor For Help?
- 5 Conclusion
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, involuntary thoughts that can cause feelings of anxiety and distress. They often involve violent or sexual images, although they can also be about things like death or self-harm. Intrusive thoughts are very common and have been linked to several mental health conditions such as OCD, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Here are some of the most common types of intrusive thoughts:
- Obsessive worries about contamination or germs
- Doubts about your sexuality.
- Thoughts related to religion or spirituality
- Recurring images of violent acts.
- Fear of harm to self or others
- Thoughts about death and dying.
- Worries about not being able to control your thoughts
- Sexual fantasies and images.
- Acting or talking awkwardly.
Best Way For Dealing With Intrusive Thoughts
We have listed some tips that may help you manage your intrusive thoughts:
Therapies can help you learn to identify, manage and cope with intrusive thoughts. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which is a type of talk therapy, can be especially effective in helping you gain control over your thoughts and emotions. ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) is another type of therapy that can help you better manage your intrusive thoughts. DBT can also b useful in helping you gain control over your emotions and reactions to intrusive thoughts.
Meditation & Exercises
Meditation can help you to become more aware of your thoughts, allowing you to take a step back from them and make more conscious choices about how to respond. Mindfulness meditation is particularly helpful for managing intrusive thoughts as it teaches you how to observe your thoughts without judgment. Exercising can also help to reduce stress, improve your mood and focus on something positive in the present moment.
Spend Time With Kids And Pet
When dealing with intrusive thoughts spending time with children or pets can help you shift your focus away from them. This can be a great way to take your mind off of your thoughts and focus on something more enjoyable. Playing with children or pets is also a great way, which can help reduce stress and improve mood.
Recognize And Accept Your Thoughts
Acknowledge that these thoughts are not a reflection of who you are or what you value; they are just unwanted intruders in your mind. Remind yourself that thoughts cannot harm you and it’s ok to acknowledge them while letting them go. Don’t repel or judge yourself based on these thoughts, instead, try to find acceptance in them.
Imagery techniques like visualization can help redirect your thoughts away from intrusive ones. Visualize yourself in a calming, safe place and focus on the positive things in your life. As you do so, the intrusive thoughts should become less intense and eventually fade away.
If your intrusive thoughts are severe or difficult to manage on your own, consider speaking to a doctor about medications that may help. Certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can be effective in managing intrusive thoughts and helping you gain more control over them. It is effective to control OCD, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Try To Stay Focused In The Present
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to intrusive thoughts is that they can quickly spiral into worries about the future. Regularly reconnecting with the present moment through mindfulness or meditation can help you stay grounded and keep your focus on what’s happening right now. Finally, be kind to yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to always be perfect; give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. It is the best self-help technique that is used for dealing with intrusive thoughts.
Mindfulness activities can be used to help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and build your capacity to manage them. Examples of mindfulness activities include deep breathing exercises, body scans, mindful eating, yoga, or other physical activities that help you focus on the present moment.
Additionally, journaling or writing down your thoughts helps to process them and can provide a helpful outlet for any intrusive thoughts. Listen to music or do any creativity that would help you to relax and focus on being in the moment.
A few self-care activities that may also be helpful include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
Can Intrusive Thoughts Turn Into Psychosis?
Intrusive thoughts can be disturbing, however, they are not the same as psychosis. Psychosis is a severe mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and speaking, and other abnormal behaviors.
It’s important to remember that intrusive thoughts alone do not indicate the presence of a mental disorder or psychosis; they may simply be the result of stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. If your intrusive thoughts are causing you distress and impacting your daily life, it is important to reach out for help from a mental health professional.
When To Consider A Professional Doctor For Help?
If your intrusive thoughts are severe and persistent, or if you find yourself engaging in behaviors to cope with them that are harmful or interfere with your everyday life, it is time to seek help from a professional. A mental health professional can help you identify any underlying causes of your intrusive thoughts and provide strategies for managing them.
Additionally, therapy and medication may also be beneficial. Talking through your concerns with a qualified doctor can help you gain better insight and control over intrusive thoughts, as well as work on any underlying issues that may be causing them.
Intrusive thoughts are a common experience and can be difficult to manage. However, with the right strategies and support, you can learn to recognize them for what they are and take steps to reduce their intensity or frequency. By engaging in activities that focus on being present, managing your stress levels, and seeking help from a mental health professional if needed, you can gain better control over intrusive thoughts and create a sense of peace in your life.
Take care, and don’t forget that you are not alone! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, ERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session