I get bad thoughts

Every once in a while, very unpleasant or disturbing thoughts come into my head. Since there are many of them, it begs the question, “Am I one disturbed human whack-o?”

Although some people might think I am, I believe I am relatively normal (“relatively” being the operative word here). What I am referring to are thoughts that we all get but are embarrassed to admit. Here is a short list of thoughts or images that I have either had myself or that have been reported to me by clients. Some of them are funny and embarrassing, others are mortifying. None are unusual:

Less disturbing ones can include things such as imagining an inappropriate sexual act with a person you would normally be attracted to (burying your face in a woman’s cleavage, grabbing a football player’s ass), or doing something illegal (scratching your neighbour’s Porsche, stealing from petty cash, attacking your boss). More disturbing ones can include thoughts such as performing sexual acts of an unwanted nature (animals, children, grandparents, undesired homosexual thoughts, etc.) or of doing something harmful to loved ones (killing your children or parents, driving into oncoming traffic). At times, instead of specific images, you may imagine a disturbing state of mind or situation (imagining your life without your spouse or children and finding pleasure in that thought).

Suffice it to say there is no shortage of these types of thoughts. Occasionally, they pop up simply because of triggers in our environment (films, news stories, etc). Other times, they pop up in response to frustration or anger. We have a right to feel anger. We have a right to feel sexual attraction. We have a right to dream of good and bad things. The fact is that these thoughts and images are manifestations of normal emotional states. Most people don’t question them and simply get on with their lives. They let the emotional states pass. For others however, these thoughts trigger a series of questions and assumptions that can torture them.

A wanted thought can be acted upon. An unwanted thought cannot.

The definition of “normal” can of course be subject to a great deal of interpretation but if we use the simple definition of normal as referring to things that are common, or not out of the ordinary, then these thoughts are normal. The only reason they are thought to be signs of a disturbed mind is that they are usually too embarrassing to share. This gives us the mistaken impression that we are alone with our freakish thoughts. Not so. As I said, I get them myself (I won’t tell you which thoughts from then above list are mine and which are from clients!)

This was the subject of my January 12, 2010 column posted below.

Of course if I’m wrong about all of this, you might want to keep your distance from me….

I get bad thoughts

(Source: J’ai des mauvaises pensées. Journal Métro, January 12, 2010)

Do you ever have a thought so disturbing you could not even bring yourself to share with anyone? Do you ever think of running off the platform in the Métro, or of strangling your baby, or of steering your car into oncoming traffic?

If you are normal, then the answer to the above questions is: Of course you do!

I could come up with a long and very disturbing list of thoughts that people can have but I will spare you the gruesome details. Suffice it to say we all have them and they are not signs that anything is wrong with us.

Horrific thoughts

Horrific thoughts come to all of us. They are the signs of a fertile imagination, fed in part by the many fantasies, dreams, books, and films we all experience. Sometimes they just pop up in response to cues that we are barely aware of. At other times they can come to us when we find ourselves in an emotional state such as anger or depression. When this is the case, it is not at all unusual to imagine what it would be like to act on those feelings. We can even have some pretty vivid images of these acts in our heads.

Why do I have such crazy thoughts?

It is a popular assumption that our thoughts may be a sign of some subconscious conflict and that we might act on such horrible secret desires if we do not resolve the source of the conflict. This is an assumption that freaks people out. It is also completely ridiculous.

Yes, we can act on our negative desires if we actually harbour them, but no, having a bad thought is not a sign of such desires.

Bad thoughts are normally signs of anxiety, not of secret desires. When we fear something, it is normal to imagine that very thing. This is how our brains respond to fear. It is a way of ensuring that we do not act in any dangerous way. The more you fear something, the more careful you are.

A window into the minds of others

There has been some excellent research to show that normal people get the same number of bad or horrific thoughts than people who are highly anxious or obsessive. The difference between these two groups is a simple one. Normal people get these thoughts and think nothing of them. The thoughts then go away. Anxious people get them and question why they have them. They then try to control their thoughts. Failure to do so makes them think that the thoughts are stronger than them, which of course increases anxiety and makes the bad thoughts come more often.

The reality is much simpler. A thought is a thought and a desire is a desire. The two are not at all connected.

Tagged as , , , , , , , .

Posted in Anxiety, Mental health.

Posted on 26 Jan 2010

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


124 comments to I get bad thoughts

  1. marion
    On Nov 18th 2013 at 17:23

    I get bad thoughts and am pleased by your blog because no one ever says what the bad thoughts are and reading your blog you actually sate what are the bad thought are . I am not going mad x

  2. monica naymik
    On Mar 14th 2014 at 22:13

    I just wanted to say these are excellent examples of my present situation. And I feel I have a better understanding of.my thoughts

  3. JJ
    On Apr 30th 2014 at 19:40

    Thank goodness I found this website! I thought for a moment I was going crazy. I’m a pretty normal person, single parent with the typical 8-5 office job. For the last couple of weeks I have been experiencing these horrific thoughts, I think they were triggered by the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley. Since then these bad thoughts keep popping into my head randomly!

  4. Melissa
    On Jul 20th 2014 at 00:39

    I have come to find great comfort reading this article. Honestly, I am a VERY kind hearted person. But I find myself obsessing over very negative things, especially murders involving children. Once I hear or see a story about a young child getting killed, especially on purpose. I obsess over it, I picture the child’s face, I picture the child’s cry and it Literally makes me sick to my stomach. I have a two year old son, and sometimes I get thoughts of harming him, to the point where I will cry and think to myself “why am I thinking such things?” Does it make me a bad mother? I would NEVER hurt him in any way, but just the thought that every human is capable of doing disgusting acts scares the hell out of me. I would very much so like to see a therapist to try and cope with these intrusive thoughts but I am scared they will report me as a bad mother or that they will think I am evil and have me put away in some mental hospital. I know I am never capable of hurting anyone, but when I get those thoughts especially about my adorable son I feel shameful.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Jul 21st 2014 at 16:52

      You have no reason to feel any shame. Your fears are a reflection of your love. Period. They are not a sign of anything except anxiety. Just let them come and go naturally. You do not need to control thoughts. They are not reflections of any secret evil desires.

      No reputable psychologist would ever report you for intrusive thoughts. Just make sure he or she understands anxious and obsessional thoughts. Anyone who thinks they are a sign of something else is a quack.

      Thanks for your comment. Take care.

      • Joe
        On Mar 20th 2018 at 04:24

        You seem like you really know your stuff about anxiety and intrusive thoughts, excellent responses to all the questions. Do you also help people as i have the same issue anxiety for 25yrs and the last 6yrs the bad thoughts i hate them as i know i have to just let them go but obsess over certain ones and then get the bad anxious feeling Thank You in advance for any answer much appreciated!

    • Kat
      On May 20th 2017 at 00:30

      So scary, just read your post from 2014, going thru the same thing after hysterectomy so frustrated. Hope your doing better.

    • Tina Biles
      On Jan 5th 2019 at 00:32

      It’s not easy atall having aniexty I to have suffered many years I’m happily married with two lovely boys and to have been getting like horrible thought s

    • Claudia
      On Feb 24th 2019 at 06:02

      Hi Melissa,
      I struggle with the same thoughts,I have a 4m baby and I been explained by my therapist that it is a sign of anxiety, nothing else. I hope you feel better soon!

  5. Jodie
    On Jul 24th 2014 at 21:29

    But what if the bad thoughts are indications of unwanted desires? What do you do then? I worry that I am really a bad person because of bad thoughts I have. I try to convince myself that a bad person acts upon these bad thoughts/desires, whereas I do not. What if the reason I am quite lonely is because people see something in me that I am trying to hide? What do I do about all of this ‘stuff’?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Jul 25th 2014 at 13:08

      They are not. In fact they are the opposite of secret desires. They are the ‘fear’ of them. When you fear something, you imagine it. I don’t know if I can convince you but believe me, this is a very common fear and not something you need to control in any way.

      • Irina
        On Jan 11th 2016 at 15:14

        Dear Camillo, what do you mean by “they are the fear of them”?

        • Camillo Zacchia
          On Jan 11th 2016 at 18:31

          I mean that the “fear” of a desire is not the actual “desire.”
          A thought of something is not the thing itself. For example, the fear of cancer is not cancer. It is a fear.

          There is a painting by René Magritte of a pipe. The caption says, “This is not a pipe.” It sounds obvious but it true. A picture of a pipe is not a pipe. You can’t put tobacco in the picture and smoke it!

          • Irina
            On Jan 12th 2016 at 16:01

            So that ‘desire’ is not even a desire, but just bad thought representing fear of something like that happening?

    • khwahish
      On Jan 18th 2019 at 07:16

      I felt the exact same way for soo long hunni 1 week! I thought about hurting other loved ones, my brother in particular which freaked me out and whenever my mum would leave the house to go do something, i would tense up and get scared that the reason i was thinking these things was because i was meant to act upon them, whenever she would say “I’m going to leave.” I would scream on the inside. In fact I’m still slightly going through it and I have suicidal thoughts aswell, a lot of them in fact of me stabbing myself but they don’t affect me as much because they’re images of me being hurt by me, not anyone else. I remember trying to see what changed in my life, what I did wrong to have these thoughts. But listen,listen,listen! These thoughts aren’t desires if you’re afraid of them!Do you like the thoughts? if you think about that question you might start to ponder and think well, maybe i do and then get freaked out, wrong!If you’re worried you’re becoming bad person, which I do too, we’re in the same position okay, then you aren’t becoming one because most people who are mentally distressed wouldn’t know. Whether it’s on deadly murderer level or not, I know this because my mum once believed she was seeing things intensively and things were watching her when reality the starts in the sky are nothing more than stars in the sky, and when we told her nothing was happening and nothing was watching anyone she didn’t believe us and said she wasn’t crazy and there were drones surrounding our house she said we were all crazy and she was normal. See what I mean?And another thing mad people aren’t ashamed of themselves until they’re punished. Don’t beat yourself up over thoughts, if you aren’t a bad person in someone elses eyes then don’t be one in your own.And again bad people don’t wanna believe they’re bad they see themselves normal or they take it enthusiastically, if you know that acting on a bad thought is wrong you’re perfectly sane to me. And please if someone else you know is around you and you know they think you’re a good person and then you feel shameful of the thoughts you have and you think ‘I’m not who you think I am’You are not alone that is so common.

  6. Julian
    On Aug 15th 2014 at 02:51

    I always get bad thought running through my head very bad thought about every thing need help

    • Bryan cook
      On Sep 16th 2019 at 15:30

      I get bad thoughts too. It’s been picking up alot more recently. Have you had any luck

  7. Julian
    On Aug 15th 2014 at 02:56

    Getting worse every day

  8. L
    On Dec 20th 2014 at 06:07

    First, thanks for the blog post. I have to ask, is it normal to have the severely bad thoughts for a prolonged amount of time? You use the phrase “every once in a while”, but what if these thoughts are daily? Should that person seek help?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Dec 22nd 2014 at 14:45

      A thought that comes “every once in a while” will normally pass. However, if you worry about them, they stay and stay and stay! In other words, when you question your thoughts you end up focussing on them and they stay. If you don’t care what comes into your head, it will run its course and go away. It’s just like a song that you don’t like. It eventually passes even when you do nothing to it.

  9. Annie
    On Jan 24th 2015 at 03:16

    I often have horrific thoughts about bad things happening to me or the people I love that can be overwhelming and intrusive, sometimes causing insomnia. These thoughts have plagued me since I was a child. They are often triggered by things I have seen or read about. Over the years I have developed strategies to talk myself down and distract my mind. I noticed that it’s worse when I am very tired and stressed. What bothers me now, is that my 5 year old son has now started exhibiting this behavior. I have great sympathy for him and I also feel guilty because I must have passed this anxiety trait to him. My husband doesn’t understand and thinks we’re both a bit silly. What can I do to help him cope?

  10. jomon joy
    On Feb 28th 2016 at 05:49

    i can’t able to stop thinking bad thought.it’s really rule me.please help me other wise I lost my future

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Feb 29th 2016 at 19:33

      A thought is only bad if you give it meaning. When we are anxious it is normal to have intrusive images and thoughts. Anxiety is a very treatable condition so you can have a completely normal future.

    • khwahish
      On Jan 18th 2019 at 07:19

      you’re future is not lost! It’s just a thought, go smell some flowers! Go do some yoga have a really tasty milkshake, do something generous for someone. Give someone something you really want then you’ll feel amazing it really works

  11. Alex-Rose
    On Mar 15th 2016 at 03:50

    I thought I was going insane. Because of a video I clicked on thinking that something cool was going to happen but it was a trick and it was a baby being…. Hurt… In a way that was so mortifying and disgusting that I was traumatized for the whole year and still am. Of course I clicked off literally 2 secs after I noticed what was happening. But its haunted me ever since and I cant go a day without thinking about it. It makes my head hurt and makes me feel weird and have a weird feeling in my stomach and body and makes me feel sick. And I in no way ever want to do that to anybody or any young child, but it pops in my head everyday, every night and everything I do because that video scared me and made me really worry about the world and want to save every child out there from that happening to them. But every kid I see the baby turns into them and I cry. But I feel if I talked to people about it I thought people would think I’m weird and twisted. But it really has me shaken and question my life because what I saw was horrible and I want it out of my head I cry every night. I seriously thought of commit suicide over this… It really messed me up. I want these erased from my mind because I’ve seriously lost sleep cause of the constant over playing it in my head. I seriously need it to stop because I seriously think I’m crazy but I know for a fact it’s not me.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Mar 15th 2016 at 12:31

      As I wrote, these are not reflections of real desires. They are unpleasant thoughts that come into all of our heads (sometimes provoked by a film, or by an event in the news, or just a spontaneous thought). The problem is that when we try not to get them we inadvertently give them more focus and they happen more often. But thoughts don’t go away when we force them to. They go away on their own when we don’t care about them and don’t give them any meaning.

      • Irma
        On Mar 25th 2016 at 16:35

        Please help me

        I don’t know why but this has been my problem ever since.

        They say that you attract whatever you think about. So I do creative visualization. I try to think about the things that I want to happen in my life. I try to imagine it and picture it in my head. But after a few seconds a random disturbing thought pops into my head. Usually about my fears. I don’t want to attract these bad thoughts I don’t want to think about them but it seems like my brain is automatically or trying to force me to think of these things. Pls help me control them. I tried everything o replace them with a positive thought but it’s still pops randomly.

        • belteregaga
          On Nov 26th 2018 at 08:54

          First – English is my 2nd tongue :)

          Second – I would like to thanks dear Camillo for raising this issue before 10 years and the kind and useful advice, may God bless him.

          As I understand thought is a seed of act, if it get space and attention it grow forest.

          Truly, I also a victim of bad thoughts anxiety, I blame myself many times and even hate me, I couldn’t understand even what is going on me and was difficult to overcome.

          Thanks to my Lord! At last I found a big solution for me is to pray. YES, whenever I feel anxious and bad thought, I develop the understanding that is not me but its a whisper of bad spirit then when i start praying I will forgetting it and be calm.

          Since then whenever bad thoughts is strongly come to my mind, that means my soul is thirst for pray.

          I have a son also, I took him a church and pray and sing, god is so WONDERFUL.
          Pray is my weapon and great solution.

          In my understanding, we are like a liking pot, a liking pot require a filler otherwise it will end empty, it is stressful. Lord god is our true filler. Yes he can fill us with his ultimate peace ,hope and love oil.
          We better not move away, to not left empty.

          I’m happy to share you this link below


          May god bless you all.

  12. Bryson
    On Apr 10th 2016 at 20:57

    I have had bad thoughts like these for about a year now and I have been very scared of them and always questioned and worried about why I have had them in my head, it scares me so much and I didn’t know what to do but reading this helps me out a lot knowing other people get these thoughts also, because I’m a very nice person and these thoughts I get are horrific and I know I would never do them but it feels like my mind is controlling me as crazy as that sounds, day in and day out it feels like I’m in a constant war with my mind and it scares me sometimes I’ll just break down and cry cause I don’t know what to do, and I keep telling myself that over time these thoughts will go away, but it has been over a year now and it is really taking a toll on my mind and body.

  13. L
    On May 16th 2016 at 04:07

    These thoughts are extremely damaging and horrific. Isn’t there some pill or medicine to make them go away permanently? I don’t feel like myself anymore, and the worst part is, I can never say what is going on, and they are the main factor of why I am severely depressed. And there doesn’t seem to be a cure for it. One day, I just woke up and there those thoughts were, like a plague. If somebody could whip up some magic pill to erase them from my mind, that’d be just swell, but I can’t find anything online.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Jun 17th 2016 at 03:18

      Antidepressants can reduce the frequency and, more importantly, help you feel less scared of them but the best remedy is to let them be. They are fears, not desires. If you don’t fight them (and thereby give them significance) they will dissipate naturally.

  14. Bhoomika
    On Oct 11th 2016 at 08:53

    Does it mean that one is suffering from multiple disorder as he is getting bad thoughts again n again?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Dec 22nd 2016 at 13:36

      Absolutely not.

  15. Courtney
    On Nov 20th 2016 at 07:19

    Sometimes I have thoughts in my head of a loved one dying. In the past my dad has had a heart attack and could have died that day I still think about what if he did. Sometimes I think about car accidents happening with loved ones and I just feel sad and depressed. I don’t want these images in my head but they happen and make me sad I don’t know what to do..

  16. Anon
    On Dec 7th 2016 at 17:31

    I’m a kid and I saw a video on YouTube about top ten things you should not search up. I didn’t search them up or watch them, but the thought of these videos makes me feel sick, and sometimes I get disturbing thoughts about how much power one has. This article gave me great comfort

  17. Anonymous
    On Dec 10th 2016 at 04:58

    This post gave me so much comfort. These past few days I have been in a terrible anxious state because I keep having horrible recurring thoughts, such as wanting people I love to die, and saying I never loved people in my life who have already passed on. I know that this is 100% NOT TRUE, I love with my whole heart and family is my number one priority. These “thoughts” come into my head when I’m alone with myself and I get myself into a panic attack, thinking to myself “why would I say that in my head I don’t think that AT ALL. and then I start thinking that I’m insane and I’m a horrible person for even having the thought in my mind for a split second. I would do anything to rid my mind of these thoughts. It’s getting worse every day because every morning I remember the horrible things I thought to myself the day before and it starts all over again. I don’t have ocd because I don’t have any ticks or obsessions with cleaning and perfectionism, but I seriously think something is wrong with me. But reading this post gave me comfort in knowing I’m not alone, and that just because these thoughts come into my head it doesn’t mean that’s how I feel. And that’s a huge thing for me, because I’ve been beating myself up about this.

  18. Vyakti
    On Jan 5th 2017 at 18:11

    Great. Very good article. I am inspired to handle-well not handle :) -fearful thoughts now.

  19. Marie hardy
    On Feb 4th 2017 at 08:31

    I have bad thoughts that run through my head of wonting to kill myself why out of the blues and it repeat s it in my mind over and over again and i get really scared .this been going on for years . And i wont it to stop i have kids that need me . as well as i wont it to stop
    Thanks marie

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Mar 1st 2017 at 14:52

      You clearly do not want to kill yourself so you CANNOT. Quite simply, you cannot do something against your will. It is just the fear making you imagine it. It is the OPPOSITE of a desire.

  20. clyde owens
    On Feb 14th 2017 at 19:14

    i am so glad that i found this website. Because I didn:t understand what was going on in my head. My thought was so confusing. Little did I know that I am not the only one with these thoughts

  21. Bailey
    On Feb 28th 2017 at 15:58

    How long do these thoughts usually last? I have been thinking awful things for about a week now and every time I think of it I am driving in my car. It slipped in my head one time when I thought about going to hell and now it has just created a big black hole in my head. I feel like it is consuming me but I just want to scream or die every time I think of it. What if it never goes away?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Mar 1st 2017 at 14:49

      The thoughts stay as long as you pay attention to them. When you do, you just keep focus on them. They are like a bad song that comes into your head. If you don’t care that they are there you will evtually get distracted and they will be gone. They don’t mean anything. Don’t fight them.

  22. Marche
    On Mar 13th 2017 at 07:28

    As I read your post I immediately related but reading the other comments I truly empathize and became emotional. Im so thankful for your blog and the brave comments of others. I was feeling alone in this “disgusting place” my mind. Knowing in my heart these were not desires and reading that they are fears lifted a weight. These things that i see are so horrific even my deceased love ones are involved at times causing me to apologize to them, feeling shame and confusion. You have helped me in a way undesirable to words and i can’t truly determine if this will help them go away because the more you try not to think or as you said give attention to the thoughts the more the thought circulates. Regardless I have truly found a tiny bite of peace on your page.

  23. Billie Brown
    On Mar 17th 2017 at 01:46

    A family member of mine kept having thoughts of being in love and attracted sexually to his mother and sister and felt like he had to talk about it to make it go away but when he told it the people it involved got really upset and thought he had something really horribly wrong with him mentally . Is this something to be worried about ?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Mar 17th 2017 at 18:14

      No. It is just another example of an unwanted bad or intrusive thought. It is an example of the fear of being perverted. As I said in the article and in other comments, it is not a desire. It is the FEAR of a desire. It is another form of anxiety. He is not “crazy” or “deranged.” He does suffer from anxiety which is a form of mental illness but he is not mentally ill in the sense that that your question implied.

    • Maryam
      On May 16th 2018 at 02:54

      I’m dealing with the same thing did the thought go away ? How do you maks it stop , I’m so tired of them

  24. britney
    On Mar 18th 2017 at 23:13

    I’m scared I might be going crazy. I have bad thoughts that I don’t wanna think and I’m starting to have anxiety. like, sometimes ill feel this pit or sinking feeling in my heart for a brief second. I have disturbing dreams. last night I dreamt I had to escape a woman who burned children alive. I’m just scared I might have psychosis and I really, really, really, wanna be normal. I wasn’t raised right or even at all. there are a lot of memories I have to literally shout out of my head sometimes I find myself hitting my head to get these thoughts or memories out. I’m scared my mental state might be slipping. how can I lower anxiety?

  25. Pingback: anxiety kills.  | LJFGXIV

  26. N
    On May 29th 2017 at 06:09

    Wow thank you so much! i have been letting my thoughts and anxiety take over me for almost 2 years now, and have been in and out of depression. everyday wondering if I’m going crazy or scared that i am going to act on these thoughts one day. Reading this has lifted such a huge weight off my shoulders, and i already feel my brain is cleaner. I’m going to save this page and come back and read it when ever i start to feel these overwhelming thoughts trying to take over me. Thank you so much!!

  27. Jess
    On Aug 20th 2017 at 06:44

    This was a huge help to read. Because I literally torture myself over some of my thoughts. And they scare the crap out of me I’m scared that I’m a horrible person for having them and it just aggravates my anxiety even more. But. I do feel a lot lighter that I’m not the only one. I hate having them. But I would NEVER act on them. I just obsess to make them stop and it makes it worse. Gotta work on my self talk. But thank you. This was really helpful!

  28. Lamara
    On Sep 21st 2017 at 19:28

    But, what if you’re happy.

    Imagine standing, laughing with the one man or woman you have falling in love with. Completely safe and having fun. Then, all of a sudden you get this image of a bullet going right through your partner’s head. So vivid that you see the blood splatter against the wall.

    Why on earth do I have bad thoughts when I’m HAPPY.

    These thoughts rip me apart inside. I could even be at work, laughing with a co worker and boom, the thought of my house blowing up so I have no family or anywear to live.

    Please explain why I have these thoughts when I’m happy.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Oct 13th 2017 at 02:32

      These thoughts often come when we want them least. For example, when we talk about something or someone in our lives that are precious we tend to do things like knock on wood. This is because when we talk about positive things it often comes with an unspoken thought like…”And I hope this doesn’t change
      It may not seem normal but it is.

      • Marti
        On Mar 5th 2018 at 21:25

        Thank you, you are a Godsend for so many who NEED to know we’re ok. I wish our minds did not work this way on planet Earth.. I think our minds are speeding up and we’re like radios, also picking up others thoughts.

  29. Julie
    On Nov 8th 2017 at 06:13

    Thank you! This makes sense to me. I feel lucky to have read this information.

  30. R
    On Nov 20th 2017 at 07:40

    Could severe ptsd cause these types,of thoughts to come more often? I’m always afraid, of everything. On a normal uneventful day I’ll have thoughts that say horrible things. On worse days, its louder. And when something horrible happens, even if i want to cry, I have the clawing feeling of horror with the thoughts opposite of how I feel. When something dies, the thought that it’s better dead comes up. When I really just want to cry… Where I’m supposed to feel love, it twists it around and hurts. It almost feels like my mind is being torn in half by who I am and anothet version of myself. I sometimes have to argue with my own thoughts because they’re so cruel… Is this normal too? Or is it because my years of abusive situations and near death experiences that have permanently warped my mind? I cant talk to anyone about it either, when I tried it never went very far. So i have to constantly act like a ball of sunshine to cheer everyone around me up, even if I want to just disapear…

  31. Nick
    On Jan 8th 2018 at 08:03

    for some reason i see very disturbing images in my head sometimes (like mentioned above, the killing ones) i would never hurt anyone
    is there something wrong with me??

    why am i having these horrible thoughts?????

    please someone help me, i don’t like them :( :( :( :(

  32. AJ
    On Jan 21st 2018 at 16:20

    I’ve always had horrible thoughts. Even as a child. I have these horrible thoughts multiple times a day everyday. Examples of the horrible thoughts are: My parents dying in a car crash, myself dying, my father’s friend dying by wrecking his motorcycle. I am so scared. I’ve had these horrible thoughts since I was 6. I’m only 12, why do I have these horrible thoughts?

  33. Cherry
    On Jan 27th 2018 at 22:07

    Thank you very much for writing this post, I’m feeling a lot better now, I thought I was the only one who gets these thoughts, but reading that it’s normal is reassuring.
    I have a similar thing as Lamara
    These thoughts come when I’m happy, and they’re really disturbing.
    My question is, how do I stop paying attention to them? How do I not care about them? When I’m doing something and the thoughts come, what do I think? Do I think about that horrible thing whatever it is? Or do I force myself to think about something else..? I tried the latter but it didn’t work…They just keep coming back
    I don’t know how to stop it, please help me

  34. Dr A N Badwe
    On Apr 13th 2018 at 04:57

    Good article helped to clear wrong assumptions Thanks

  35. Maryam
    On May 16th 2018 at 02:52

    İ get thoughts and imagines that I’m sexually attracted to my dad and i know in fact that I’m not ! İ can’t make the thought go away and i can’t even sleep , do i really feel like this , is it deep desire of mine ? It’s really disgusting for me and they’re accompanied by images please how can i get rid of them ? And how do you stop thinking about them ?

  36. Jacob
    On May 28th 2018 at 22:14

    Hey so ever since August I’ve been having a big issue. My friend posted a picture of her niece in in a little bathing suit and I thought it was cute. But the first think that I thought was cute was her bellybutton and for some reason that creeped me out. I was scared that that was what pedos think, but I didn’t think of it sexually.
    But after I told myself I don’t have sexual desire towards kids, my brain started making me feel like I do, yet I don’t (ps I’m also a huge Hypochondriac so I think that might be the issue there)
    I love kids and I always have, but I never loved them in a sexual way and my brain is frightening me that I might turn into someone like that. It calmed down a little over the past couple months but now it resurfaced especially after watching a Black Mirror episode about pedophelia. I know I’m not a pedo because when I see videos of them on Instagram and Facebook, I just feel joy watching. I’ve even held baby dolls to make sure I don’t do anything, and I don’t, I rarely even think about while holding it. I haven’t been held a real baby in a couple years or have been left alone with one. I know I’m not going to do anything, but I’m scared I’m going to in the future.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Aug 7th 2018 at 12:44

      You can never do something against your will. Yours is a common fear. It is a fear of a desire, NOT the desire itself. It is the same as hypochondria. The fear of cancer, for example, is not a cancer.

  37. Melissa
    On May 30th 2018 at 10:10

    I’m so glad I found this blog. I seriously thought I was going crazy. Everyday I have thoughts that I will lose contŕol of myself and that I will hurt someone or hurt myself. These thoughts scare me more then anything.

  38. yuvraj
    On Jun 11th 2018 at 04:01

    i love you for this beautiful life changing artice,thanks a lot i was punishing myself for a long time over these little bastards.

  39. jess
    On Jul 4th 2018 at 04:26

    thank you, thank you so much for this. i’m constantly having bad thoughts that i would hurt my family… hope it would go away in a matter of time.

  40. Byanju
    On Aug 2nd 2018 at 03:36

    I am going through the same situation, my mind is having a tornado of bad thoughts..whenever I see people or any object..I only think something bad related with it..this includes my parents,my loved ones
    These thoughts are really weird,scary and unpleasant..
    Whenever I'm into something,they just pop up by own
    And i get worried.There is a furniture in front of my house,The noise of it(cutting,carving) makes me to think scary related to my loved ones.
    Whenever I try to sleep ,thoughts like this pop up by their own..  i know its just a fear and thought..but I am unable to remove it…
    Whenever some people come infront of me I think of something bad with them automatically!
    I really want this things to get off my mind

    • Ahmad
      On Aug 13th 2018 at 04:55

      Im going through the same thing. Im afraid that I might do it really. I was thinking of jumping out of our house instead of hurting them. Mine is really strong although I don’t get the urge to action but I get this imaginations and voices saying in my head to kill or harm others. I need help. Im only 18 and a mental health facility is not an option for me and my family. I get the imaginations doing things to them and now the imaginations I get are just a normal feeling but Im afraid of really doing it.

  41. Kailly
    On Aug 3rd 2018 at 06:33

    So I agree with this I guess but I think my thoughts are a little different than what you’re explaining. I’ll get a random dark thought, almost an urge, at a random time as I’m doing something, anything. I can only remember one instance because that’s when I sat back and went “What the literal fuck man…” It is as follows, I was washing the dishes. I had just put the dishes on the counter and was about to fill the sinks. As I was just about to start reaching for the garbage disposal switch, I imagined vividly reaching down into the garbage disposal instead. I wasn’t anxiety or angry, I wasn’t feeling depressed. Washing the dishes actually calms me if I’m not angered by having to. This day I was relaxed to begin with. No one was in the room so I wasn’t getting my anxiety about people watching and judging me. I didn’t imagine the blood or pain just an objective image of what it would look and by extent feel like to reach into the disposal instead. If someone could direct me to a blog or website that more accurately explains what’s going on that would be greatly appreciated.

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Aug 7th 2018 at 12:40

      You don’t need to look for a hidden meaning behind that image. Your anxiety is simply telling you to be careful and it does so with strong images. We have dreams of all kinds, some good, some bad. It is our imaginations spinning scenarios. Nothing more. As unpleasant as these anxiety-driven images are, they are necessary in that they help us prevent injuries and accidents. If we don’t get them we are more likely to get hurt. Just let them be and don’t give them any more meaning.

  42. Miss Ross
    On Aug 8th 2018 at 13:18

    Goodness me, thank you so much for this. This began happening to me almost two years ago after I had a really scary trip. Since then I have had all kinds of thoughts appear in my mind many moments in a day, everything you mentioned here. I know they’re not me because they’re the furthest thing from what I want but it is still extremely exhausting and depressing dealing with this so often. It feels like being possessed. It’s scary as hell. However it has fueled me to seek truth and healing and this has helped to liberate me greatly. Nothing can overcome love. My self-hatred for everything I haven’t done in my life has harboured an environment where these bad thoughts flourish. The more you work on real, genuine self-love (which is nothing like being egocentric and conceited as that is fake and only happens to cover insecurity and self-hatred) the more you liberate yourself and inevitably those around you by living in love. We are an extension of the universe and hatred will continue to manifest in the world if any form of it exists in ourselves. To everyone out there experiencing this please know you are not bad for having bad thoughts. We are all connected but different in how we act on these thoughts. People who want to cause suffering and do it with no remorse are the ones who are bad. Don’t take responsibility for things you wouldn’t do. It’s so hard on your heart and soul. There is no pill or any amount of just focusing on the ‘positive’ that can heal this. You need to heal fear, anger, negativity and everything by expressing it in a healthy way, such as writing, talking to people you trust or music for example. Nothing can be abandoned in life, it can only be transformed. The pain that exists exists because we hate ourselves. Negativity is erupting because much of humanity tries to get rid of it. It is alive and is part of the yin-yang dance of opposites all around us that is life. It does not need to feel painful. It feels painful and expresses in an unhealthy way when we imprison it. Heal yourself. That is the real you. Love and freedom to all.

  43. Jess
    On Aug 11th 2018 at 13:53

    Wow this was helpful . I am seeing a therapist because just 2 months ago I was told I have anxiety and that gave me anxiety about having anxiety ! I started fearing I would go crazy or “off the deep end” . I work. 10 hour a day job in silence and it’s been torture the thoughts that come to my head ! The more I don’t want to think of something the more it comes up ! I’ve never been this person . Always strong , confident , now I felt like I was questioning. and doubting my own self . I quit drinking and trying to change my life style, my therapist believes this all could be factors to my anxiety also. Just want it to go away and go back to normal !

  44. Vane Avila
    On Aug 14th 2018 at 00:51

    So how do you stop this thoughts? I really thought my mind was schrizopic

  45. Friendly
    On Aug 15th 2018 at 12:54

    Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Dr. Steven Hayes and The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris are self-help style books which are very helpful in teaching how to effectively handle distressful thoughts and feelings through a number of easy-to-use “cognitive defusion”strategies. Both of these books teach the reader about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). If you look up ACT, you will see it is backed by a plethora of research and is based on principles of the science of behavior analysis. I myself have successfully used both of these texts. Thoughts and feelings are just that, as the author of this blog has stated, which is consistent with ACT as well.

  46. Amy
    On Aug 16th 2018 at 19:14

    Just read this and I’m feeling a little better to know that I’m not the only one to have bad thoughts.. I am one to have them every day because I stress about having them, which then Causes me to have anxiety attack.
    What are the best options before medication would you consider trying to help calming my thoughts.

  47. diwakar naidu
    On Aug 24th 2018 at 13:15

    Sir i was suffering with bad thoughts when i see others because in reality i don’t want to think like that but we can’t stop our thoughts so i get one answer for that if i get bad thoughts about anyone i just think like this the peraon in my thoughts is not he the person in my thoughts is me only because in thiughts everything is possible in this way we can stop our bad thoughts

  48. Akshay
    On Aug 28th 2018 at 12:27

    Im glad i found this website. Thank you for this. I needed this, I keep getting thoughts about murdering my parents in particularly gruesome ways, and keep thinking of the pain and disappointment they would feel before going, and these thoughts have haunted me for days and nights, making me cry and even puke occasionally. I just want to know I would never act on them. Hoping to hear from you, Camillo.

  49. Marie
    On Sep 6th 2018 at 17:11

    I have been stressing over an awful image/thought for a month now. I had what was almost a bad dream except I was half awake one morning and it involved a beastilality image with one of my dogs and it came out of no where. It bothers me so bad and really disgusts me. I usually can not stress like this about bad dreams and images but this has bothered me bad. I will say reading this article has been a help. I am a dog lover and this idea disgust me so it’s like it sticks around making me feel like a creep. Even though I know I’m not into that whatsoever. It keeps coming back and making me feel anxious. I am going to get an appointment with my GP to see if they think I may have a form of anxiety or OCD.

  50. paul
    On Sep 10th 2018 at 13:30

    thank you so much. this helped me a lot. bless you..

  51. Kim
    On Sep 18th 2018 at 10:56

    Hi I and a 23 year old woman that loves life I was happy bubbly person. I recently happened on having a complete mental breakdown.i am on medication for anxiety and depression and have had suicidal thoughts and it is because I am going through exactly what is in your blog I need some help I really need some help the thought are disgusting so horrible I don’t know what do I know they are not real and they will never happen but it is traumatizing me to the point where I would kill myself just to make it stop they a so horrible thoughts about dead loved ones thoughts of my partner thoughts of her family young nieces nephews my baby nephew my family young and old it is eating me alive I have lost all characteristics of the old Kim I use to be I feel so far away from that person that I used to be that I think she is gone for good it is affecting my relationships with my partner and my family Kim is gone and I don’t know how to find her anymore I feel like the life is being toren out of me and I don’t know how long I can life having war with myself. My life was great and in the the matter of a few days this happened and I’m do I g on 5 months of therapy and tablets but I want to know what’s wrong with me I need to know exactly what it is. I done with it. I want to be me.

  52. Mls
    On Oct 2nd 2018 at 08:53

    I feel blessed to have found this blog i was recently told id got anxiety and depression and since id started avin horrific images ov somthing bad happening to my loved ones and it made me feel sick to my stomache because i know im a good person who wud harm no1 especially my own and now iv seen this it gave me a good understanding ov wat is goin on in my mind so thankyou so much and remember u are not alone and will always be that good person u always av been

  53. Sam
    On Oct 9th 2018 at 11:29

    I NEEDED TO READ THIS! Thank you so very much. I suffer anxiety. I suffered a couple of miscarriages and finally had my beautiful baby. Since then I keep thinking if everyone around me dying. I am so aware of these thoughts that now whenever I am bit busy I think these thoughts.
    I started t think if these are desires but how could this be. I now know it’s so something I am scared of happening that I think the opposite. The idea of loving without my loved ones is the one thing that scares me. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders as I read your article. Thank you

  54. Dee
    On Oct 14th 2018 at 03:35

    This is my story. When I was 12 years old, I store a triple X movie with my good friend.
    The movie had oral sex, ejaculation etc. OK so it was What it was. A few years later, when I was about 15 years old, I somehow imagined What I saw in the movie on my mother’s face. I felt Bad so
    I felt guilty for thinking such thoughts ;especially for my mother as topics
    Of such nature are taboo. I eventually told my mother in college that I
    was feeling guilty about these thoughts .
    She was very understanding and told my not to feel guilty; she said it’s normal
    She said even a murderer can be forgiven.
    After I told her my bad guilty lost a lot of their power.
    I felt better. Before my heart use to skip beats and my
    thoughts use to haunt me more the more I thought of not thinking them.
    I saw a phychiatist who said I was scaring myself
    The anxiety part of it makes you believe that what if , what if I get
    Worse thought tomorrow and that makes it worse, it’s only when you stop
    Caring too much about what the mind is able to generate that you get better
    Everyone reading this blog will get better because the mind is restless; it
    Can’t bother you even if you tried , time moves forward and it drifts to other things rather than ocd
    thoughts . Expect you mind to come with weird thoughts ,
    Know there is a big difference between thinking disgusting thoughts and
    your beliefs . You are not sick . Actually you are more normal than most because
    Just have a critical conscience . Accept all thoughts .
    Practice breathing exercises from thick may hand book the blooming lotus ( yoga)
    Accept a monkey mind ; it can’t control it , it will do what it’s doing, you just have to change you
    react to disgusting thoughts ,let them be,
    Instead being at 8 be at 4 to your reaction to your own thoughts .

    Time will heal you ,

  55. Cameron
    On Oct 18th 2018 at 10:34

    Is it normal that if these thoughts persist that the thoughts can cause you to dream about such things?

  56. Sarah
    On Nov 23rd 2018 at 22:18

    When I was a child, maybe 7 or 8 years old up until I was about 12, I used to get really bad thoughts. These thoughts weren’t any regular thoughts. My brain would tell me that I killed people even when I really hadn’t. This severely traumatized me and I would cry to the point of me not being able to breathe as I felt as if I was choking. My mind had me fully convinced I was a murderer and I would not listen to what anyone else would say. It got to the point where I could walk past someone during the day and at night I would get these thoughts telling me I murdered that person. One time I saw a trashbag on the side of the road as we were on our way to a family get-together on Christmas and I swore up and down that there was a dead body in that trashbag and I had killed them. The thoughts I would get weren’t just thoughts.. I manifested them into my reality believing that I was a murderer. I would lock myself away in my room and try to stay away from anyone and everything. There was one time where I had a couple of family members over and I convinced myself that I had killed them and myself and that we were all just ghosts. I went to extensive therapy and every single one of them said I was a very bright child with an active imagination. I didn’t believe anything they said. I ended up growing out of this as I got to middle school and now I know nothing I believed was a reality. I still have no idea what it could have possibly been that caused this to happen in my head.

    • Cat
      On Mar 2nd 2019 at 13:11

      God bless you. I’m so you had such a difficult time as a young child. My heart broke for you when I read your brave story.
      I am a very sensitive person and always have been even as a child. I just think some people’s minds are more sensitive and therefore we take everything we think very seriously, which in-turn can cause us to ruminate over why we thought what we did, and if that make us bad, and how can we stop, and why haven’t we stopped, and on and on..and then it just turns into a mushroom cloud of obsessions, which manifests, into more obsessions…If we are very analytical people looking for absolutes to the way things work in the world, and in our own minds, it can cause our obsessions to be greater than someone with a mindset that isn’t as sensitive and analytical.
      The fears we have about our fearful thoughts, can really take a toll on our mind to the extreme like you experienced. I hope you are doing much better, you are very special and brave to have shared your very experience especially going through it as a young child. Many blessings to you.

  57. Babajide
    On Nov 27th 2018 at 14:54

    Thank you for this.

  58. Alex
    On Nov 27th 2018 at 22:08

    Thank you for this it really helps – I I suffer from anxiety & our going though therapy & resonantly I’ve been having horrible thoughts
    About bad things happening to my children. Quite a few times a day these thoughts have been
    Playing on my mind and it’s really starting to up set me

  59. Measwell
    On Dec 1st 2018 at 11:02

    Why, me as well!! Thank the lord for your article with all these peoples comments, how much suffering goes with this condition, but don’t despair,many people have it, its not just you..

  60. Scott Irwin
    On Dec 1st 2018 at 22:44

    I’m 18 and I recently had 2 seizures(never had any before) since then I’ve been experiencing the things you speak of, weird thoughts etc. I’ve had lots of issues with anxiety and depression the last few years but since my last seizure its been completely out of control.

  61. aileen
    On Dec 3rd 2018 at 20:36

    what can i do to stop these thoughts? they are troubling me almost everyday and are frequent unless I’m listening to music… What can I do?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Jan 14th 2019 at 16:10

      You need to do nothing. They go away when you stop caring if you get them. The more you try to stop them the more you focus on them.

  62. Shubhangi sharma
    On Dec 16th 2018 at 10:53

    Sir please reply my comment i myself imagine the dead bodies of people and then find the reason why i imagined it but after imagining it i fit them in tv serial produced by me (imaginary) but i feel guilty i think whether l am bad person will law of karma effect me ? whether i am having pleasure behind this thought whether it a secret desire and I am terrified of my thoughts therefore I always try to make my thoughts twisted and connect an imaginary problem in simple words I am afraid of my bad thoughts and the more i am afraid the more it comes and I am always in doubt whether I am good
    or bad?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Jan 14th 2019 at 16:05

      Of course you are good. There is no doubt.

      • sandra
        On Feb 8th 2019 at 08:52

        I’m so pleased wif ur article,I always have dis fear of an going to go mad,I am jst to aware of everything on my head,e.g i may see a lady crossing the road,and I imagine mysef coming down from my car to hit her lik m going crazy,it’s been happenin to my for few months now,I don’t want to go mad,how to I stop dis taught please I need ur help,I m alwz scared lik m Wil go mad d next min.pls help me

      • Victor Orji
        On Feb 20th 2019 at 12:25

        I have been seeing solutions to sexual weakness on TV. I became anxious and researched about it. After researching I began to develop fears that I have sexual weakness and has cuasued me anxiety

  63. yogit
    On Jan 15th 2019 at 21:33

    Hey Dear, Sometimes our thoughts are uncontrollabe.But one thing you should keep in your mind that you are not a single person having these kind of problems.Dear,dont worry bad time is temporary.Obviously it will end.Keep some patience and one day you will be a happy person

  64. Mono
    On Jan 19th 2019 at 02:22

    Why do I get bad thoughts sometimes I think what I would do if I hurt someone I love I would never do that but why do I get these thoughts sometimes

  65. Juuso Voutilainen
    On Jan 20th 2019 at 00:47

    Hey, great post. As I am also someone who suffers from numerous intrusive thoughts and OCD, this is a help. Also my very first times when I have opened up about this in public. If any of the commenters around here would have an opinion to share in what I’m going to ask, it would be lovely. I have minor OCD’s, ritualistic in fashion (mostly doing things for a certain amount of times, and some other variables to “get it right”), but sometimes it flares up from quite the random things, usually if its of the scary/disturbing sort. For example, I might see a video or something on the internet, and if it’s somehow disturbing or unpleasant, I might ignite an OCD where I have to rewatch it as many times so that “I get it right”. I fought with a thing like that for a long time, and the thing it taught me was that following the compulsions only gave reasons to do it again, cause it’s never really “right”. But now I’m at the brink of something similar, and even though I exactly know that following the compulsion doesn’t help, I still feel powerless over it sometimes. I would love to know that why the brain assigns such importance on getting something “right” even though the experience might be negative? And why the brain figures out that the ritual is not “right” because of a thing which has absolutely no connection to the matter whatsoever and why the compulsions feel so compelling that they are almost overpowering at times. I mean there is a factor here which relates to the fact that I don’t want to avoid certain content just because it might fire up my OCD, so that’s why I exposed myself again to something like it, not sure was it good or bad thing. Thanks all!

  66. Monica
    On Jan 21st 2019 at 12:54

    Hi I don’t why Everytime I see children I imagine them naked especially girls. This happened after I felt uncomfortable changing my friends daughters diaper and I seen her vagina. I would never hurt children I love kids why do I get that thought. It’s haunting me and I want it to go away please Camacho respond. I feel disgusting that I imagine that when I see kids. When I was 13 I was molested by my cousin idk if that plays a role. Because of these thoughts sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to be a mother it’s really bothering. Makes me feel sick but I know I would never act upon anything to hurt anyone

  67. Anja
    On Jan 25th 2019 at 01:36

    Hello! I came across this page due to my eagerness to know what my thoughts mean. My brother and my mother always had a closer relationship and she always favored him over me and my dad and I were rough as well (during highschool years). I had this idea for a long time that my mom was sexually attracted to my brother and was always trying to subtly seduce him with her soft and feminine movements. It made me uncomfortable when I wasn’t around both of them sometimes that I had to leave. I didn’t really freak out at the time but it was a thought I had and due to my persistent upbringing of many unwanted intrusive thoughts I decided to start with this one. I’ve also had instances where I thought if I’m sexually attracted to my other family members. Something always sexual would be in the back of my mind it was sick. Now I have a boyfriend and I am convinced him and his non blood related aunt have sexual chemistry and he is attracted to her sexually in a way. I even had a dream about it and now I’ve attached that dream to her and genuinely dislike her. I get super jealous when they talk in the household and I don’t know… it’s was as soon as he moved in to that house. I’ve told my boyfriend about this and he says I’m sick and it makes him angry. Which I can completely understand but I can’t refrain from the fear. I also started questioning my sexuality obsessively last September and it’s been persistent since, the thoughts are in my head for most of the day. Then I have doubts I don’t even love my boyfriend and that he doesn’t love me. I’m extremely scared of him leaving me for someone else who is better and sharing that bond we have with them. It’s torture. I even get thoughts that I may attracted to my own mother, my brother and cousin. It’s just ruminating in my head and can’t get out which makes me think it’s real. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it’s scaring me. If you have any idea of what this could be it would help a great deal. Thank you!

  68. Shaubhagya kumar
    On Jan 26th 2019 at 11:46

    Sir i have a lots of negative thought a day if one day my mind fails to get a negative thought till my bed time it grabs one and disturbs me i have thought like when it gets triggered by the environment eg i watched a tv show there they had something missleading than after that my brain start thinking with the victims perspective of that show even if i know deeply that it is not true but than also it gets stucked like hell i try to fight from my thought it gets stronger i know that it is not true but my subconscious mind not accept that it is getting worse day by day .
    One point helped me from your article that what you are thinking it must be a negative thought not your desire .

  69. Jayne
    On Feb 5th 2019 at 15:22

    So glad I found this blog. I get negative thoughts that can cause a fuzzy anxious feeling in the pit of my tummy or even the onset of a panic attack. 11 years ago, out of the blue, I suffered depression. I was quite a new mum, list a grandparent and also had an operation, more severe than I thought and had a awful time with depression for a few years. I have a very close family who helped me get through, I saw a psychologist but was always too scared to tell her my real feelings, negative intrusive very thoughts, caused by the depression incase she said I was just a bad person. The depression scared the hell out of me because, for the first time ever I didn’t care about dying, and that scared me as I am so scared of death normally. So back to now. I got through the depression and n9w don’t like to talk about it, as it was horrid and I said things I now regret but my family knew it wasn’t me speaking. Now, I have days where I may be mentally weaker, where I will worry about depression coming back, I would hate it. I have found that when I go away with my job, I start to think,,’oh as I’m alone, what if I go mad, what if I get negative thoughts. I’m on the 10th floor what if something clicked and I just open the window and jump out, and the fuzzy anxious feeling comes. I try to stop the intrusive thoughts but then think, why do I think like this, maybe I actually want to die? Do I? No I don’t but my thoughts may get so strong they will make me do it. So now I’m so scared of the power of thoughts, I think them even more, but I know, when I get home, back to my family, my loved ones I won’t think of anything like that but will remember I thought it so what does it mean, exhausting, killjoy thoughts. This blog has made me feel so much better as it does make you think, this thought is so negative it must be true. I am happy with my life, my job, my family, I’m lucky. But I’m scared of getting depression again and I’m sure my mind makes me think things to make me think it’s on its way back?

  70. Anonymous
    On Feb 7th 2019 at 23:03

    Thank you for this

  71. Denise
    On Feb 17th 2019 at 14:36

    This post is just but absolutely an answer to all of my bad thoughts. As I feel them now, this anxious thoughts in my head going over and over again. I feel very uncomfortable and it just made me cry. I believe that I am not a bad person. I have been diagnosed with Depression a few years back and I’ve stopped medicating thinking that I was okay. Up until recently I would think of harming other people just because of some documentary movies I’ve watched. I feel so scared. So scared that it just makes me cry and I can’t hardly breathe. Sometimes, when I think about the thought of harming a person, I would just control myself and just imagine harming myself instead. I thought I was going crazy. I don’t know what to do. I just want to live a very normal life. I can’t even open up my thoughts to people because I don’t want to sound crazy to them and I might scare them away. I feel really bad. I am still crying maybe because I am a little happy with this article. But, still, I want the bad thoughts to just stop.

  72. Mindy
    On Feb 27th 2019 at 13:42

    “They then try to control their thoughts. Failure to do so makes them think that the thoughts are stronger than them, which of course increases anxiety and makes the bad thoughts come more often.”

    The massive amount of stress I’ve been under has given me C-PTSD, and with it came a barrage of negative thoughts. I went so far as to self-induce partial amnesia by blocking out the thoughts as they arrive. They go away VERY fast and hurt MUCH less, but I have memory issues now.

    If I let them come and endure the torture they bring as they’re intensely vivid (like I’m living it all over again) will they stop eventually? Will I get my memory working properly again?

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Apr 24th 2019 at 21:31

      Of course they will lose their intensity. A thought is not a reality. Looking at it will help you see that a fear of something is not the thing itself. The less you care what comes into your head, the less you will be bothered when they do come. This will in turn make them come less often because you will stop reinforcing them.

  73. Gabe
    On Mar 11th 2019 at 00:54

    How do I know if this isn’t a desire? Because I’m scared that it is and I’m actually going to end up hurting myself or someone else

    • Camillo Zacchia
      On Apr 24th 2019 at 21:26

      The fact that you are scared by them is pretty good proof that they aren’t desired!

  74. Alessia Austin
    On Mar 12th 2019 at 19:27

    if someones have to face disturbing thoughts or bad thoughts, so they need to do let the bad thought flow by, Change your focus, Face the thought with courage etc. If you want to get read of disturbing thoughts then you can try this.

  75. Tom
    On Mar 27th 2019 at 21:38

    This article is wonderful and the comments are even better. I feel like I’m not alone after reading what everyone has said and it has helped with my horrible thoughts. I kept fighting this horrible thought of killing in my head and it just kept coming back. I was terrified that I was changing but after reading the article and comments I feel much better. I’m letting the thoughts be thoughts which is tough at first but gets a lot easier. They’re still a little haunting but it is beyond relieving to know it’s okay.

  76. Ashley
    On Mar 28th 2019 at 05:42

    Dr. Z,

    I am writing this comment to express my overwhelming gratitude to you for writing this post. You very well may have saved a life with this article. I have always been a bit of a hypochondriac and so when I read about the nature of being plagued with violent, intrusive thoughts, I automatically started experiencing them myself. While I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would NEVER act on these thoughts, they still troubled me deeply. For the past three weeks, these awful thoughts have made me question my character, my morals, my beliefs, and my sanity. I’m applying to medical school this year and these types of thoughts have even convinced me to consider not pursuing a career in medicine because I am more of a hazard to people and could never actually make a difference. This is heart-breaking, considering I have dreamed of becoming a doctor and helping others for as long as I can remember. However, this post has really brought me back to reality. You helped me confirm what, deep down, I already know to be true. These intrusive thoughts are reflections of my worst FEARS and not my “secret desires.” These thoughts do NOT make me dangerous, “evil,” malicious, bad, or a hazard to others. God bless you, Dr. Z! You have inspired me to advocate for those who are having the same experiences that have taken over my life recently. This is no joke, running away from your own brain is a special kind of hell and this is a common issue that needs more attention.

    To everyone else who commented on this post: Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, and bravery. You are all so courageous for opening up and sharing your stories. Your voices need to be heard because you are helping reach those who may feel they are unworthy of a voice due to the intrusive thoughts that plague their minds. I truly believe that MOST human beings are inherently GOOD. We are troubled by thoughts of immorality, aggression, violence…etc. because it goes against who we really are. We are NOT these thoughts, they merely bounce around in our restless minds to confirm our very worst fears.

  77. Nathan Montoya
    On May 11th 2019 at 03:43

    Ive been having anxiety for a couple years now and recently I had a major anxiety attack last saturday and have been having some bad intrusive thoughts since then, reading this and seeing that this is a normal with people like really helps

  78. david rowe
    On Jun 7th 2019 at 10:40

    Hi. I sometimes get thoughts of hitting people when I’m talking to them even loved ones it’s scares me as I often have to put my hands in my pockets or fold my arms. So I don’t lash out I hate it how do I stop these thoughts

  79. Madison
    On Jun 16th 2019 at 00:57

    Thank you! I was so worried I was a psycho or insane! I was scared. But, I feel better! <3 Thank you for this. And knowing others have it makes me feel normal. I feel bad for what I think and for anyone who has it. But thank you for this again, I feel normal!

  80. Madison
    On Jun 16th 2019 at 01:06

    I have this awful thoughts, and now I know it’s normal. My friend is going through it with me, so we talk to each other. I shared this with her, and I’m sure she will feel better.

  81. Raquel
    On Jun 24th 2019 at 19:36

    Does anyone still use this thread anymore? I could use someone to talk to

  82. lucky
    On Jun 25th 2019 at 13:32

    I have been gtting some recurring thoughts of sexual impropriety.
    Like grabbing a womans ass when i see it. It all started from watching shows and movies which involve murders ,axts of sexual violence etc kike big little lies, when they see us, abducted in plain sight.

    I am extremely scred that i mighht do it because the urges may turn into actions. More so because i think about these things full time now. I am not eating, working or doing anything well anymore. Not able to engage myself in anything.

    This has taken over my life now.
    Help me…
    Before i commit some crime
    I meed these to stop and lead a simple life

  83. Mary
    On Jun 29th 2019 at 11:40

    Made me feel better. I have anxiety and depression
    Unfortunately my psychiatrist takes light of my situation. I live in Melbourne, Australia and, I am wondering if you may know or recommend me to a suitable professional. I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
    Many thanks
    Mary Luz

  84. Sara
    On Aug 5th 2019 at 19:36

    All I can say is I’m so glad I’m not alone, the thoughts freak me out so much and they won’t leave, ecspecially ones to do with my children, I have to shake my head, I try and run away in my mind from them and I notice the more I try to do that the more they keep appearing, such thoughts have made me want to kill myself because living with these thoughts freaks me out and it’s not the type of person I am, I have severe anxiety,Complex PTSD, and I am constantly living in a hypervigilent state, and when these thoughts arise I start questioning myself, I’m so glad I have learnt THOUGHTs are just that, thoughts, they are scary and I really find it so difficult to live inside my head at times and with images I never want to see, I will never ever act on such thoughts, I to did believe that having such thoughts means im severely unwell and so scared if having them means I could act on them, which in my heart there is no way, No Way, they still freak me out, I’m glad I’m not alone, I guess if I address this anxiety maybe the thoughts,freuquency and severity will decrease, I’m so glad I can be open about this and see I’m not alone, I’m not a psycho, I’m not going to be put in a psych ward and that I am normal and it is fear and anxiety that provokes the images and thoughts, doing some research and seeing how many people relate and don’t talk about it because it is pretty scary, ecspecially with all the movies, the news,our own experiences in our lives (trauma,abuse), all trigger such thoughts and images and I can understand all that, I just want them to stop because my mind does not stop racing and I find it so difficult to sleep,i have severe anxiety and I really need to get through this and be able to let them pass and not hold onto them and continuously have themanifest in my brain and the more I don’t want to see or think of such things the more they appear and won’t leave….. Thank you for your post and for all those who shared there experiences…..we are not alone and I am so grateful

  85. Anonymous
    On Sep 16th 2019 at 15:37

    I still handle my day to day routine and nobody notices the difference. However all day these images or thoughts or sounds play in my head. When I try to focus on them they blur. When I distract myself with music or work or talking to someone they become more graphic or louder. I love my family and friends and have a decent life. I’m not crazy but I feel like I’m losing control over my own mental state. It’s like I’m not the one driving. Any advice

  86. George
    On Sep 26th 2019 at 21:51

    Very good blog, for the past week I have had nasty horrible thoughts about my daughter getting cancer my mind randomly hoping for it. My little girl is 2 and I love her to pieces, me and her mom love her so much and I hate myself and feel so bad. Yesterday I went into my works toilet and head butted the wall repeatedly and smacking my head. I hope these thoughts go away soon because this is not me and I hate it so much :( . I will never tell my girlfriend these thoughts as they are disgusting and sick

  87. Betty
    On Oct 10th 2019 at 01:50

    This is an excellent article that Im very happy to have come across. Very helpful article. Helped me normalize my horrific unwanted thoughts!

  88. Elsie-May
    On Nov 5th 2019 at 12:50

    Thank God for this, some thoughts I get are quite horrible and I knew other people got them but not sure to what extent, I was worried I was psycho but when you think about it psychos wouldn’t feel sick to the stomach at these thoughts, I feel disgusted in myself for getting such a thought it makes me feel sick but I can see how normal people just move on and people with anxiety stress over it. I seem to freak about about why I had such a thought and overthink it, I was worried something was wrong with me but seeing this has made me feel like I’m not alone, It’s sad tho because I feel even though it’s something everyone gets why when you tell others you get these thoughts do people look at you like you’re crazy.. and say they don’t get them? I don’t understand why, and if it’s such a human thing to get these thoughts why do we feel we need to hide them?.. here we go with me over thinking it again

  89. Shwes
    On Nov 8th 2019 at 19:27

    Thanks for a lovely post. Does relieve highly anxious people like me. I also suffer from bad, negative thoughts especially during highly stressful situations even though I dont like the thoughts. Trying to control them is not possible as they come automatically in certain situations. I can help they mostly come during stressful times or when I am frustrated. But I fail to understand why would a bad thought about someone I love so dearly pop up during an extremely stressful situation that is even unrelated to them. Also, i fear this whole thing about “law of attraction” and theories that “we are our thoughts” or we become what we think. This makes me feel even worse as I dont want these thoughts to materialize or harm others. I dont want these thoughts to become energies. I hate the thoughts but just cant get rid of them. So, what would you say about this whole law of attraction and thoughts defining us. I am not one bit of the automatic negative thoughts that come to my mind. I would think I am compassionate and loving unless these disturbing thoughts pop into my head and it ruins my day and my mood to a point that I become more frustrated that they are not going away. Its a vicious cycle and mentally draining. I feel like I have so much to offer to the world, yet I am trapped into the negativity of my mind which is very limiting. I want freedom from them. I have tried everything – meditation, prayers (that are more like compulsions now), breathing, but they still get me. I lost my mother 2 years back and that made everything worse. Now I fear losing older people which has turned into another disturbing repetitive thought although I understand perfectly that this is the way of life.