The Other Sides of Having Intrusive

Many of us experience intrusive thoughts, unwanted images or words that cross your mind, making you wonder, “Where did that come from?” When I think about intrusive thoughts, I imagine them coming from the one on my shoulder with the pitchfork.

With anxiety, this may play like a loop of negative thoughts or worries. For someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder, these thoughts can be even more graphic and persistent, leading to compulsions to get rid of them. I go through this weekly throughout my dad.

Many people feel shame over these thoughts, but it’s important to remember they are just thoughts, not facts or actions. Remembering that can help take away the shame so you can manage them instead of letting them control you.

Here are 4 intrusive thoughts that can be intruders in your mind & go through my mind too:

“I always feel like everyone is looking at me and laughing no matter what it is. If someone is laughing it has to be at me. If people are talking it’s about me.”

“[I think] people do see me as a burden — that I’m not really liked much, and my friends just tolerate me because they feel sorry for me.”

“I have random thoughts of hurting myself badly. Like, I’ll be chopping veggies with a big knife and my brain will go, ‘you could just put that through your hand.’ I never would, but it scares me that my brain chooses to acknowledge that I could. It always comes at the most random times too.”

“‘He doesn’t love you, nobody loves you, you don’t deserve happiness. It’s all going to crash around you. He’s going to leave. You do too much. He hates you. He’s using you.’”

After reading those and dozens more, more than 150 readers responded by sharing their own or offering support to others.

I understand now that I’m not the only one who deals with this, and to everyone who is struggling… just know that you are not the person that your mind is telling you you are. You are strong and even though this may seem frustrating and difficult, you have the power to overcome this.

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