First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Post Reply Are intrusive thoughts normal?
11740 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M
Offline
Posted 17 days ago
Welp, about 1 in 50 people develop OCD some time in their lives and have over 1 hour daily of intrusive thoughts that they can't push away from their minds. 1/50 probably doesn't seem that rare nowadays and OCD is considered one of the most common mental illnesses with relatively easy to diagnose symptoms. Obsessions themselves are rather normal though. It's just the people with mental illness who have this problem pushes to chronic extremes and usually with bad reactions with those thoughts. They attach negative meaning to those thoughts which makes them feel even realer.

In the case of OCD, you cannot "get over the thought" because the mechanisms in their brains that would usually allow for positive reinforcement gets replaced by negative reinforcement. The only way to get away from their thoughts is to find reassurance from them... which only makes them come back just as strong soon enough anyways.

Nobody has ever truly figured out the cause of this but there are several common ideas for why it forms. One is genetics; your brain just malfunctions or it can sit there passively but be worsened by certain illnesses or stress to the point where it becomes a problem. Another is when you at first deliberately try to practice the thought pattern to preserve something important to you but then you overtrain this and it automatic happens when you face certain stimulus. Experiments give evidence that OCD patients and the normal control group both respond to upsetting stimulus similarly except that the OCD group runs over the thoughts much more in the allotted time.



3891 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / M
Offline
Posted 17 days ago

sundin13 wrote:

Its normal until the point where it becomes an obsession.

Anyways, I've always liked the idea of the id, ego and super-ego (though I'm not sure if they are really accepted). Basically it breaks the human psyche into three parts. The id is instinct. The super-ego is the morality. The ego organizes the two and comes up with compromises. Often the reason we have "intrusive thoughts" is because it is our id talking to us. It is our instinctual desires and it is very normal. The problem comes when the super-ego doesn't step in and say "yeah, thats not something you should do" (when applicable. The id isn't always "evil").


I think that model has value to it depending on how a person interacts and views it, i.e separate or involved with it and divided parts or unified as a whole, if that makes sense. Though I would say that there is probably a misunderstanding of instinct by a ego that is very cluttered, confused and swayed with the unchecked conditioning of living in the world/ personal experiences and the super-ego becomes harder to hear and understand, so to speak. If anything it's the conditioning of daily life and society that by default causes a bit of distortion when left unchecked/unquestioned and is responsible for things like intrusive thoughts. Also to clarify I don't think conditioning isn't intrinsically bad, it's quite necessary at times but it defiantly comes with a cost, like when one makes the habitual practice of not questioning/analyzing/understanding said conditioning.

Reading over that makes it far more complicated than I like, a more accurate example of what I think is just simplifying it to two intrinsic human "selves" for a lack of better term, we'll call the first one your "authentic self" which is the self sustaining, self regulating, intelligent, flexible, and "true" expression of oneself as both a individual and a human and then we have the "acquired self" which is just the layers of the conditioning of learning, conditioning, society, and experience that we accumulate in everyday life. The more we begin to understand and realize the layers hopefully the more they shed and the better the authentic self can express itself.

Also a word on obsession, I think obsession can both be a beneficial and detrimental thing it just depends on whether or not your obsession allows you to take care of yourself, you responsibilities in life and leaving some space for flexibility.
953 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / F / Sweden
Offline
Posted 17 days ago
Well intrusive thoughts are for me when they actually become a problem and disability and those are not "normal". There is help to get for them though which I recommend for sure.
22663 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / USA
Online
Posted 17 days ago
I don't have intrusive thoughts really.

I sometimes get intrusive thoughts of the sexual variety at most.

13141 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Offline
Posted 17 days ago

PrinceJudar wrote:

I don't have intrusive thoughts really.

I sometimes get intrusive thoughts of the sexual variety at most.



Vahvi 
3158 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Ever Changing
Offline
Posted 17 days ago , edited 17 days ago

PrinceJudar wrote:

I don't have intrusive thoughts really.

I sometimes get intrusive thoughts of the sexual variety at most.

I feel thought intruded now, stay back



Do you watch NSP also
13141 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Offline
Posted 17 days ago

Vahvi wrote:

Do you watch NSP also


Indeed I do!
22663 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / USA
Online
Posted 17 days ago

Vahvi wrote:
I feel thought intruded now, stay back





14777 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 17 days ago , edited 17 days ago

qualeshia3 wrote:

An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.


So, are they normal to have? Have you ever had any intrusive thoughts? What causes them? Why do some people have them? What are your thoughts on this?


Martin Luther once said, "I can't stop birds from flying about my head, but I can stop them from building nests there."

(And don't worry, he started out JUST as nutty, insecure, and neurotically guilt-ridden as you did, so there's hope.)
Posted 17 days ago

Potentsaliva wrote:


sundin13 wrote:

Its normal until the point where it becomes an obsession.

Anyways, I've always liked the idea of the id, ego and super-ego (though I'm not sure if they are really accepted). Basically it breaks the human psyche into three parts. The id is instinct. The super-ego is the morality. The ego organizes the two and comes up with compromises. Often the reason we have "intrusive thoughts" is because it is our id talking to us. It is our instinctual desires and it is very normal. The problem comes when the super-ego doesn't step in and say "yeah, thats not something you should do" (when applicable. The id isn't always "evil").


I think that model has value to it depending on how a person interacts and views it, i.e separate or involved with it and divided parts or unified as a whole, if that makes sense. Though I would say that there is probably a misunderstanding of instinct by a ego that is very cluttered, confused and swayed with the unchecked conditioning of living in the world/ personal experiences and the super-ego becomes harder to hear and understand, so to speak. If anything it's the conditioning of daily life and society that by default causes a bit of distortion when left unchecked/unquestioned and is responsible for things like intrusive thoughts. Also to clarify I don't think conditioning isn't intrinsically bad, it's quite necessary at times but it defiantly comes with a cost, like when one makes the habitual practice of not questioning/analyzing/understanding said conditioning.

Reading over that makes it far more complicated than I like, a more accurate example of what I think is just simplifying it to two intrinsic human "selves" for a lack of better term, we'll call the first one your "authentic self" which is the self sustaining, self regulating, intelligent, flexible, and "true" expression of oneself as both a individual and a human and then we have the "acquired self" which is just the layers of the conditioning of learning, conditioning, society, and experience that we accumulate in everyday life. The more we begin to understand and realize the layers hopefully the more they shed and the better the authentic self can express itself.

Also a word on obsession, I think obsession can both be a beneficial and detrimental thing it just depends on whether or not your obsession allows you to take care of yourself, you responsibilities in life and leaving some space for flexibility.


more of the youth of today should be like you

I'd explain the underlying mechanisms here, but it would probably be long and boring and people wouldnt read it. but I will over pm if anyone is interested.
42457 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 17 days ago

Ejanss wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.


So, are they normal to have? Have you ever had any intrusive thoughts? What causes them? Why do some people have them? What are your thoughts on this?


Martin Luther once said, "I can't stop birds from flying about my head, but I can stop them from building nests there."

(And don't worry, he started out JUST as nutty, insecure, and neurotically guilt-ridden as you did, so there's hope.)


Thanks.
22138 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / F
Offline
Posted 17 days ago , edited 17 days ago
They're perfectly normal. Nothing to worry about, and everyone has them, we just don't say anything because it would be weird and creepy to. So yes, it's normal to have one and then say to yourself "no what the fuck I don't wanna kill my mom" or "jfc why did I think about screwing this person?". Intrusive thoughts range from violent to sexual to borderline weird, while I'm no expert, they're pretty much linked by being something highly inappropriate that randomly pops into our heads and some people have more than others or only one kind. I can't remember having violent ones, but I'm sure I've had them before at some point, I mostly have sexual ones, though even then rarely do I have them, but I can't say I don't have them.

It's normal to be alarmed at first but no, having disturbing or bizarre thoughts like that does not mean there's something wrong with you. However, if you do find yourself having a strong, uncontrollable inclination to act on any of these things then that is case for alarm and you should go see a professional about it.

If someone was to say they've never had intrusive thoughts I'd be extremely skeptical.
98109 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
68 / M / Columbia, MO
Offline
Posted 17 days ago
It's normal.
614 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F / The Ivory Tower
Offline
Posted 17 days ago
Read the Wikipedia page (as in, read the whole thing); it does a fairly good job explaining, and it lists the most common examples of intrusive thoughts.

Every once and a while the average person might have an intrusive thought; it's not like we have full command of the thoughts that occur to us or how our mind wanders or reacts to things. The problem comes when those thoughts bother you for extended periods of time: sure, it might occur to you while you're driving that you could steer into oncoming traffic, but if you're constantly thinking "I could steer into oncoming traffic right now - what if I did? What's stopping me? What if I do it in a few minutes?" such that these thoughts are competing for your attention, distracting you, and distressing you, that's when it's a problem. When I was 10, and my family moved to a new house in which the kitchen sink had a garbage disposal, I was terrified I'd stick my hand in it and turn it on. All I'd have to do is walk over, stick my hand in, and flip the switch. And I used to sleepwalk when I was little, so I was worried I'd do it in my sleep. What was stopping me? Sure, I'd be afraid to actually do it, and that fear means I probably would be able to stop myself. But the possibility that I wouldn't stop myself remains. Indeed, it was entirely possible some part of me was curious to do it, just to see what it was like - to be rebellious. Humans aren't rational creatures. And if you realize that some small part of you actually might want to carry out the intrusive thought - which was something I realized - you become all the more afraid, because you've discovered a "real" thing within yourself to justify your worry.

The space of possible worries is chasmic, and what works as sure mental footing is deceptive. Thankfully my intrusive thoughts are much less frequent now, and not nearly as troubling.
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.