Meloncauli is a former nurse and anxiety management therapist. She hopes everyone can take something away from her articles.
When you suffer with high levels of anxiety, many strange thoughts may develop. They are sudden thoughts that flash through your mind, leaving you feeling more alarmed than ever, thus exacerbating your anxious state. The nature of these thoughts varies greatly from person to person, but they can be so scary and bizarre that you wonder about your safety and that of others around you.
These kinds of thoughts can be attached to anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorder. This article will look closely at the kind of thoughts we tend to get, why we might get them, and what we can do to cope with them.
Understanding Intrusive, Bizarre Thoughts
It is important to understand in the first place, that everyone gets weird thoughts at some time or another. We tend to forget this when are so severely anxious. Here is an example of how a person who does not have an anxiety disorder may think:
A television viewer may be watching a true crime programme on television. It may be about a family member killing another family member. A thought may pop into the viewer’s head along the lines of “I don’t get on with my brother and he makes me sick. I could kill him sometimes. I haven’t got a gun but there must be other ways’! He actually thought for a few seconds about the possibility of killing his brother.
This person may then stop to consider what he just thought. He would realise immediately that it would never happen, and the thought would be forgotten in a minute or two, perhaps with a silent smile at the irrationality of the thought. He knows he is not capable of murdering anyone let alone his own brother. Dumb thought!
You do not believe an average person gets these kinds of thoughts? The fact is they do. People don’t share their weird thoughts with others and keep their nature a secret. We are all guilty of not so nice thoughts often based on such feelings as anger, hate, disgust and jealousy for example.
Occasionally, some people may get a sexually perverted thought popping up in their head. It is fleeting, is not built on intent to act on the perversion and passes as quickly as it arrives. It is as if the subconscious brain talks to you at times without you asking it to! When we do not have an anxiety problem we dismiss these thoughts very quickly. We don’t ask why we thought them or give them any importance.
Intrusive Bizarre Thoughts When Anxious
People who are chronically anxious are in a highly sensitive state. They are over sensitive to comments made by others, their own thoughts and equally to their own fearful reactions. Everything is magnified in the mind of an anxiety disorder sufferer.
Chronic high levels of anxiety produce many physical symptoms that a person is not comfortable with. The sufferers are often only aware that they are trying to control the physical manifestations of their anxiety. When intrusive thoughts start popping up uninvited, sufferers will begin to think that they must be going crazy and definitely out of control. Already tired from the physical repercussions of their anxiety, they often find the thoughts the hardest thing of all to accept and deal with.
The thoughts can be the weirdest and most frightening thoughts you can imagine. They feel totally out of place and shock a sufferer. Years ago when I had panic disorder and was exhausted and sensitive, I would get strange thoughts popping up quite regularly.
One day I was peeling potatoes in my kitchen with a sharp knife. One of my children was playing in the kitchen at the time. Suddenly out of nowhere I thought that had I better put the knife down or I may stab my child! I felt fixated on the knife for a few seconds as if it was glued to my hand, then dropped it and walked out of the kitchen. This began my fear of holding knives. I did not feel safe holding a knife. It petrified me; such was the effect that one thought had on me.
This is just one example of many such thoughts I had. I believed in all of these sudden scary thoughts and felt totally unable to stop them.
Thoughts of Harming Someone
Over the past few years, whilst helping other people address their chronic anxiety issues, I have seen many who have experienced the most appalling thoughts that have scared them terribly. Common intrusive thoughts with high anxiety levels are that you may hurt yourself or others, especially those close to you. Several ladies have expressed their suitability as mothers, because they have had a fleeting thought of harming their children in some way. They believe that if they are capable of thinking these thoughts, then they must be capable of carrying out the suggestions of them. One lady was so scared that she asked her husband to take care of the kids as much as possible, and she kept her distance.
I must say at this point, that it is highly unlikely you would ever carry out an action related to these kinds of thoughts and it doesn’t mean you are going crazy.
You may actually love your children so much and be feeling worried about your ability to cope. A thought about harming your children could purely be centred around your love for them and a feeling of helplessness.
Video- More on Disturbing Thoughts
Other Intrusive Thoughts
I have heard people mention many different but equally disturbing thoughts. Some of the worst ones are attached to a depersonalized or derealized state, posing the question of one’s very existence. The unreality felt at times by those who are very sensitized by anxiety, throw sufferers completely off balance.
Other common intrusive thoughts are about:
- Commiting suicide
- Suddenly dying
- Never finding a cure
- Brain tumours
- Going crazy
- Behaving strangely in public
- Being deserted by everyone
- Losing control generally
- Being allergic to everything
- Being punished
Some of the thoughts can seem obsessional-compulsive in nature and can cause ritualistic behaviours in order to prevent something awful from happening.
Most of all anxiety sufferers are bewildered as to why they should be feeling unreal and why they are having strange thoughts in the first place. Many can’t believe for a moment that it is only anxiety.
Why Do We Have Intrusive Thoughts?
Chronic high levels of anxiety produce a steady stream or rushes of adrenaline. The pouring out of adrenaline keeps us on high alert preparing us to fight or run away. When there is nothing legitimate to run away from, the energy produced by adrenaline has nowhere to go. Have you seen how nervous people wring their hands, talk fast, rush around, play with their hair, and move around in their seats? This is all about having excess physical and mental energy. They have all this energy and yet they feel exhausted. It is a vicious cycle causing a burnout.
A tired mind finds it hard to grasp the rationale at times. A tired mind becomes confused much more easily and finds it hard to cope with the thousand questions it is being asked.
Remember how I said that people who don’t have an anxiety problem get strange intrusive thoughts and dismiss them immediately? These people are not on high alert.
A person with high levels of anxiety is, without realizing it, actually ready and waiting to jump on anything and everything, be it mental or physical in manifestation. The shock of the thought is much more pronounced because these people are highly sensitive, emotional and therefore highly open to suggestion. It knocks them for six!
After the initial shock of the thought, the next thing they will do is dwell on that thought and question it. Rumination is an enemy to an anxiety sufferer. They will analyze it and by analyzing it will give it a profound importance. The whole episode is then stored in memory ready to spring out again at any time. In the anxious state you have performed a reaction that is “anxious”. The next time that the thought arises, the same reaction will follow as if by instinct. In many ways it is learned behaviour. So you have a cycle of:
- Fearful reaction
- More adrenaline
- Another thought
- Same reaction
- More adrenaline
The thing to note is that the reaction is the very thing that feeds the cause.
How to Cope with Intrusive Thoughts
- Recognise that you may have had strange thoughts before becoming highly anxious, but they now have a magnified meaning because of your anxiety. Accept this.
- Learn all about how adrenaline affects your anxious state. To understand is half the battle.
- Look on this as nothing more than anxiety trickery or the bluff of anxiety.
- Change your reaction to “no reaction”, not in the fearful sense at least. This is easier said than done, but as ridiculous as it sounds, try to learn to smile at these thoughts. Know that to give them no importance can break the chain of producing yet more adrenaline, by way of the anxiety they produce.
- Don’t fight the thoughts. Let them be there, quietly and with as much nonchalance as you can muster. Accept willingly and give them permission to be there.
- Engage in normal activity as much as possible when you have accepted the thought. Distraction will not work alone but will merely put off the inevitably of repetition. A nod of acceptance and then moving on with activity is the best way forward. Only you will know if you are truly accepting.
- Tell yourself that you are in control and your intrusive thoughts only mean something if you give them importance.
Thought for the Day
Thoughts are words in the mind. Words strung together with letters. Thoughts conjure up pictures and therefore scenarios when you attach meaning to the words. In the mind of an anxiety sufferer, these scenarios are usually negative. Thoughts only have the meaning and importance that you give them.
Whilst action can follow thought, you have to make a conscious decision to act on a thought.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
meloncauli (author) from UK on August 25, 2018:
Hi. Sorry to hear you are going through this. At the risk of repeating myself, I would tell you that it is the probing - the questioning to determine the legitimacy of the thought that actually gives it further importance. You should try to resist! Your cup IS half full! You are surrounded by love but you question your very self. Have faith. You have recognised that filling your head with negativity is part of the problem. You are capable of seeing that glass half full...now implement it every time you question your thoughts and your very self.
Crystal on August 17, 2018:
I keep this page bookmarked so I can refer back to it when I feel the need for reassurance. I first had intrusive thoughts with post partum anxiety seven years ago (watching the negativity on the news wreaks havoc on anxiety)... But whenever I have anxiety those thoughts haunt me. I know they are not true, only associated with anxiety, but they still pop up. I think I'm going through some hormonal issues right now, and they are making me feel like I'm losing my mind. I know they are just my mind turning my worst fears against me, but why can i know that, repeat it to myself, and still fear the thought? I think the thought is just attached to the feeling of anxiety, but i would give anything to never feel it again... I am set up to speak with a Dr, but of course I'll have to wait a month to get in, so hopefully I can stay strong! I have an amazing life, with an amazing man who really loves me and helps me through this as much as he can, and I have 2 great boys who I know count on me to be strong... They are what keeps me going!
Any tips for self soothing through this time?
Aditya on March 12, 2018:
You can eliminate these thoughts through a simple technique. The trick is to not offer any resistance. The technique is quite simple - once a thought comes to mind, just observe it without judgement. No fighting, just acknowledge that the thought is there, if resistance comes up then notice that too without getting agitated.Acknowledge and let go, let it disintegrate in your minds eye and be gone. Try it every time such a thought comes up. It works.
Nicholas on November 12, 2017:
Thank you for this article. For most of my adult life I've wondered why these bizarre thoughts on repeat were the stickiest when I was in a very anxious state in my life, and I've had about half of those in that illustration bubble. I guess my question now is when does one know if it's just Generalized Anxiety or the Pure O?
meloncauli (author) from UK on November 04, 2017:
Yes I believe you can. Being extremely tired can cause us to misinterpret too.
Alex on October 24, 2017:
Hello Melancoli.. 2017 i developed anxiety which lead to intensive thoughts! Any negative emotion .. gives me intrusive thoughts. My intrusive thoughts have been recently of “losing control of myself” that feeling of “going crazy” .. it feels like an IMPULSE .. right after and its so distressing. I even get them when i feel tired and fatigued. Can you get these thoughts/impulses even when u are in a fatigued state ???
r on October 09, 2017:
i am always tensed and stress every moment. i feel so depressed at times and think i will become crazy. i have health anxiety and afraid of losing dear ones. please help. i have been through bad times in the past and after my daughter birth its been more panic. am afraid of worst happening to me and who will look after my daughter and so many dreadful thinking all the times and of course everyday routine stress. i feel heaviness in my stomach and palpitation, dizzy, gas, head ache, body pain and so many issues
meloncauli (author) from UK on September 09, 2017:
No I haven't but do please feel free to contact me if you feel you could offer any advice on the matter. Thanks for dropping by.
meloncauli (author) from UK on September 09, 2017:
Thank you very much indeed for your very welcome comment.
Tbug on September 08, 2017:
Good article. I have dealt with panic/anxiety for many years. It can be debilitating. I have been on antidepressants for as long and am now tapering off. Which in turn beings on anxiety. I want to feel normal again and not need medication. I believe it is essential to have someone to talk to while going through tough patches. Have you considered opening a Facebook page for those of us dealing with this to share and offer support?
raghuraman iyer on September 06, 2017:
I came across this wonderful article only now. I am 85 and have also experienced these intrusive thoughts and anxiety. luckily these did not affect me much since I came to know every other human being undergoes these ordeals.
many people suffer them without sharing with others or approach a counsellor or a psychiatrist
I suggest every reader of this article should take at least ten copies and distribute to others free thus doing a service to humanity. At least 75% of those who read this article would be able to free themselves from these intrusive thoughts and anxiety and live a happy life and also others to do so.
meloncauli (author) from UK on September 03, 2017:
Notice how negative and fatalistic those thoughts are. Have you ever considered that positive breeds positive? Its easy to get into negative thinking patterns so that they become your norm. You know the old 'glass half empty or glass half full' scenario? Try and put the glass half full into practice for every negative thought. Write down all those negative thoughts and purposefully find a positive opposite thought (glass half full). Look at this list at bad times of the negative mindset. Repeat the positive alternatives over and over.
Kylie on September 02, 2017:
Very happy to have found this article it's helped me so much I had a anxiety breakdown last night I couldn't shift the thoughts no matter what I do mine are about my partner that he's cheating on me or lying about things I know hes not he is the best partner ever we've been together a long time I have two voices one good one bad the bad one won he's very understanding. There not always about him they can range from the world ending to all sorts like the elite are going to take over mine are crazy thanks for reading
meloncauli (author) from UK on August 29, 2017:
Hi Austin. Ah but theres the con with anxiety. If you can persuade yourself to the negative which is common, you too can persuade yourself to believe the positive. It works both ways.
Austin c on August 29, 2017:
After reading this article made me very relaxed and at peace with myself ....10 minutes later I started questioning "well what if this isn't true" ..."why should I believe this and not believe that I have a disorder" ...." What if there's actually something wrong with me and I'm just using this article as an excuse "
meloncauli (author) from UK on August 22, 2017:
Hi Deanie. So glad you found the article hepful and a comfort. You might be surprised how common these thoughts can be. Some dom't even like sharing often because they ate afraid people will think they are crazy. They are not, you are not. Address the root cause, learn how to not add that second fear that feeds them and with time they will dissipate. Thanks for dropping by to comment.
Marie on August 22, 2017:
Thank you very much, I keep comming back to your article in last weeks as it's really describing a lot from my own experience. I am currently reading Hope for your nerves from Claire Weekes, the way of acceptance and floating feels to me as a good way towards recovery.
Besides of intrustive thoughts I get sometimes just a strange anxious sudden feeling-mostly after having a look at a child. It's not a thought or imagine- just a kick to my belly and I feel then that I should feel wrong. It's very frightening although I cannot find any explanation here. Can this be also counted to anxiety?
Thank you once more for the supportive words. M.
meloncauli (author) from UK on August 21, 2017:
I am not sure of your friend's diagnosis, but the intrusive thoughts of a severely anxious person could be loosely seen as paranoid. There is a measure of mistrust, usually of your own safety and even sanity but the thoughts can seem compelling. A person who is having ongoing levels of high anxiety will feel very drained and tired, but then of course the anxious mind is rarely quiet making any quality sleep hard. Another vicious cycle.
Deanie on August 21, 2017:
I have read this article at the right time.
I can identify with it that much, I literally burst into tears.
I have been going through intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety for the last 2-3 months.
Knowing there are so many others going through the same thing has helped me a little already. I literally thought I was going mad!
Thank you so much, Im so glad I came across it. I will now try to deal with this in a positive way, instead of being scared.
meloncauli (author) from UK on August 21, 2017:
Thanks for your comment as it is most encouraging in that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I actually feel that someone has to have experienced scary intrusive thoughts to understand what another is going through. The thoughts are so convincing! Its as if you have spiralled into a different world where you are not sure of anything any more but such thoughts are alarming and there is a tendency to home in on them. Of course the more you ruminate about them the bigger and more realistic they become.
Jade on August 18, 2017:
This article is absolutely beautiful! I went through a period of awful anxiety, I thought I was going to commit suicide or just simply go crazy. I also had the same kind of thoughts about being a danger to myself, I would fixate on a hob and think I might burn myself on it for example and I'd have to leave the room. I also threw all the knives away in my house. When I spoke to doctors they didn't really understand and just said 'you may have psychosis', they then put me on anti-psychotics. I was having constant disturbing thoughts questioning reality, thinking people had been swapped, buildings looking fake etc. I had to drop out of uni, and many people would just be like... you 'just have anxiety, just sort it out'... It got so bad that I was too petrified to be awake so I'd have to take diazepam a lot to sleep (I was always careful to not become addicted). I'd think that I was having strokes, something seriously wrong with my brain, I was slowing going crazy. In fact, every day it felt like I was fighting against becoming 'crazy', it felt like if I 'let go' I'd become completely 'crazy'. I also had thoughts about supernatural things, I convinced myself there was a black figure in one of the rooms in my old flat... I couldn't bear to go in that room anymore - therefore confining myself to basically one room. It lasted for about a year and a half before I started to calm down, and just now I'm coming across articles like yours that explain other people have been through the same thing! It is so exhausting and every single day feels like a struggle that you need to get through, but - to anyone reading this struggling with intrusive thoughts - although you think it will never get better, it will! Keep battling away and being that strong person you are. Don't let the thoughts win, play the game.
Mohammed on July 29, 2017:
Thank you for this article. It's one of the best I have read.
meloncauli (author) from UK on July 26, 2017:
It certainly isn't easy because it almost seems like a split second reaction. Wear an elastic band around your wrist and concentrate on twanging it three or four times to remind you, distract you, and pull you to the realization that you must move on...change the subject. Dont forget to smile at the absurdity of these thoughts.
Jazzoid on July 26, 2017:
Involuntary thoughts and reaction to a badly handled childhood are probably as common as soldier's PTSD. Thing is, they are there many times a day interfering in my life and I'm reacting before I realize it. I react as much to the intrusion as the horror story itself. I expect the best answer is to ignore or let them go and if I could do that I'm sure they would peter out. It's just not as easy as it sounds.
meloncauli (author) from UK on July 10, 2017:
I am glad you found it useful Kyle. Keep getting out and don't let the agoraphobia win.
Kyle Reidy on July 09, 2017:
I've been struggling with anxiety for years, and the darkest times have been the past couple of weeks, nearly turning in to agoraphobia... This is the best (most applicable) article I have read on anxiety. Thank you for helping me on one of my worst days yet.
meloncauli (author) from UK on June 28, 2017:
Thanks for dropping by to read my article. The drawback to medication is that typically the antidepressants used for anxiety disorders take a few weeks to fully kick in, and are renowned for increasing anxiety levels during this early period. If you persevere this should ease off. That said, medicating anxiety is kind of putting things off for a later date unless you choose to be on and off them for years! Actually addressing how you handle your anxiety levels is the best way forward. Mindfulness is great and exercise will help burn off all that excess adrenaline and give you a 'feel good' factor.
SMC on June 28, 2017:
Thanks for this. What great info. I am in the middle of such an anxiety event right now! I am going on week 5 or 6. I feel like I have always had something with (work or family) to stress about and this has hidden my anxiety. Now that (work and family) has leveled off from my stress my anxiety is at an all time high. I trying mindfulness and exercising daily. Working to an extent. The thoughts are changing from worrying about me having a heart attack etc, to scarier things. I am trying to let them go. But, as mentioned it is not easy. What are your thoughts on medication to ease. I have tried to different types and both made my anxiety worse.... Thanks in Advance.
sankalp on June 17, 2017:
Very nice article dealing with anxiety disorder from past 1 month it all began with a health check up and google went to an ENT he removed a white patch from my throat i was ok no questions asked later googled it everyday maximum result cancer i do smoke& drink not a heavy drinker got really scared cause getting married soon went to doc again he said that was nothing just as fungal patch on tonsil releaved at that point however that stories from google of cancer sufferer and treatment side effects scared the hell out of me was still not convinced a month later a panic attack occured (26 May 2017) and life changed upside down all negative thoughts that too convincing thoughts went to a psychologist and ditto he also provided a same solution as urs meloncauli but its difficult a question how can we •Don’t fight the thoughts. Let them be there & • Change your reaction to “no reaction”, not in the fearful sense ? :)
Tom on June 12, 2017:
Great advice. I've dealt with anxiety and the thoughts. Advice I would give is realize thoughts are not reality. Acknowledge them and move on, refocus on whatever you are doing. Meditation is good at teaching this. I can add, when your body is in fight or flight (anxiety) your brain is set to analyze and collect information to get out of danger, so it's perfectly normal. Also with fears you do need to face them, analyze bad thoughts and then look at reality, try describing your real surroundings and situation. Best advice I've heard is, getting anxiety from thoughts is a good thing. It shows you are scared of them and there's nothing magical that will make you act on them.
MJ on May 23, 2017:
I'm currently dealing with pretty severe anxiety. Thank you for making me feel not so alone. I wish no one had to deal with it, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one with weird thoughts that just keep circling my brain.
Laura Jacques from Norfolk, United Kingdom on April 25, 2017:
I might be a little late to the party, but this is something that has greatly affected me. I think I am going mad, and that I am an awful person, and like you mentioned, it has even caused me to doubt my ability to become a mother. It's reassuring to hear that it is just part of my anxiety, and there are ways to deal with it. Thank you.
MA on April 07, 2017:
Just reading your article helps me calm down. Thank you so much! Some really great information and very helpful :)
Cnk123 on March 11, 2017:
This is a great read, I am personally going a lot of anxiety and having through intrusive thoughts. This article has helped a lot I also am seeing a phycologist. Can I ask how long your intrusive thoughts lasted?
Lori Colbo from United States on March 06, 2017:
Hi Meloncauli, I commented here once but just reread it when my notifications showed you had another comment. Your article seems to focus on intrusive thoughts people feeling that they will harm someone or do something crazy. My question is what about paranoia. For example, you are out to Target lets say and you feel everyone is staring at you or following you. You feel panicked and leave. Or you notice a lot of traffic at night on your quiet cul-de-sac and believe or suspect you are being stalked or watched.
I know someone who experiences this once in awhile. Usually when they are lacking in sleep. They have another mental health diagnosis so adequate, quality sleep is very important. This person once was afraid of a very sharp knife with a sharp hook on the end. They thought this knife was out to hurt them and they threw it away. I am more inclined to think it is delusions/paranoia but not sure if it qualifies as intrusive thoughts.
meloncauli (author) from UK on March 06, 2017:
Ideally you should learn to laugh at the absurdity of the thoughts. Sounds difficult doesn't it as they are so convincing at the time. Perhaps you could remind yourself that thoughts are only as meaningful as we actually make them because it's true. It's not the thought that's the problem, it's the meaning we attach to it. Maybe you could have your own personal word or phrase that you attach to an intrusive thought the minute it springs to mind, such as, "Whatever!" or "Ok but I'm not afraid of this any more". I know it sounds simplistic but we create rituals with intrusive thoughts, so it makes sense to create a ritual that reinforces positivity.
Hamrock on February 22, 2017:
I have had intrusive thoughts coupled with anxiety on and off over the years. In the past relaxation has got to grips with this but after a break of 7 years it has returned. After getting very stressed over real life issues.
I'm having problems with accepting these thoughts and moving on. Is it best to let it wash over me then go back and have a look when I've calmed down. or just tell myself at the time it's only a thought? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Pamela on January 29, 2017:
This has to be the best site I've ever come across in understanding and addressing intrusive thoughts. Amazing
Cody on January 25, 2017:
I have just recently experienced severe anxiety for the second time in my life (the anxiety has been going on and off for a few days) but this time it was coupled with violent intrusive thoughts, a feeling I have never had and it really scared me. I could rationalize intellectually that the thoughts and the anxiety were sort of playing off of each other, I could mentally get past one for the other to come back and again trigger the cycle. Anyway just now I am starting to educate myself on the matter and I found this post and I just wanted to thank you, I was so scared and this was a big release for me and I just started to cry and could feel some of the weight lift from my body and psyche.
Thank you, and to the people who are suffering, keep your chin up and keep moving through. God bless.
meloncauli (author) from UK on January 20, 2017:
Hi Angie. The reason you feel hot is because when fear is introduced, the adrenaline produced increases blood circulation to parts of the body. You think 'something is very wrong with me' and the adrenaline is preparing you to fight the fear. The same heat would be produced if there was a real danger.
Angi on January 19, 2017:
Wow!! I never knew that Anxiety could cause bad thoughts. I've been having extreme Anxiety for the past 4 months now non stop and now all these intrusive thoughts come out of nowhere and they scare me so bad that I get a hot feeling all over my body and feel sick to my Stomach. Anybody else experience this??
Nicole K on January 16, 2017:
Thank you for your hub! I have intrusive thoughts sometimes as well, as I would imagine many, if not all people do from time to time. I was just praying about this very subject tonight, and feel a lot better after stumbling upon your hub. It's comforting to know I'm not alone, and I had not really consciously thought about the connection to anxiety. I think distraction helps and also acknowledging that the thought is just that, a weird thought and nothing more, and praying about it. Surrendering that thought to the Lord and "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" 2 Cor. 10:5 helps me. God bless and thanks again!!
meloncauli (author) from UK on December 25, 2016:
Glad you found it useful. :)
Blair on December 23, 2016:
Wow that was good, needed at a time like now for me, thank you for whoever took the time to place those words for us all :)
anonymoose on December 13, 2016:
i've been having very detailed violent thoughts lately, and have experienced them throughout my life. i grew up with a borderline, alcoholic mother, and a neglectful father who was an alcoholic as well. i've had terrible anxiety most of my life, and it's hard for me to establish lasting connections with people, probably due to feeling like my parents are just abusive strangers who never gave me a comfortable space to live. the thoughts, coupled with the feeling of isolation, make me feel like a weird loser. i'm not a violent person and i feel awful when i upset people, but these thoughts make me feel sick and like i'm going to corrupt people just by being around them. this article really helps, though. it's good to know that my thoughts are rooted in a very real physiological cause--and the disturbing, bleak nature of my childhood definitely adds to it as well. thanks so much, and good luck to all of you.
huckles on December 10, 2016:
I'm 22 and I had a panic attack while on weed idk why but a intrusive thought poped up and since then hasn't gone away it has changed my life comptley i have like 3 or 4 of them I'm trying to just let it just go through it does work but some days it over welms me and I startig asking my self why am i thinking this i do exercise and that try to eat healthy idk if the weed is with my head or what ... I went to a phytrist and shesaid i had to go on meds ... But i dont want to at the start it wasnt major but over time it got worse at some point it stayed away for 3 days I thought I was good then it just happend again .. Had a panic attack them thoughts poped up what should I do?
meloncauli (author) from UK on December 09, 2016:
You are welcome. I feel it helps a bit to know you are not alone with the symptoms too. Anxiety can make you feel so strange at times and can be scary.
Terese on December 01, 2016:
2013 when i started to feel my fear syndrome, scared to travel alone specialy in buses,. I did everything just to throw away those fears but still its bothering me always until now..sometimes i felt like im becoming crazy... I hope i can cope with this.. Live like normal as others..
firstname.lastname@example.org on November 26, 2016:
I have thoughts that are repetitive and worrisome. They lead to some anxiety that changes my life
Jim on November 22, 2016:
Has anyone experienced this after long-term dexamethasone use, and had experience of how the NHS diagnose it or treat it ?
Della on November 20, 2016:
This article is so much of what I have dealt with on and off during my anxiety. My anxiety comes and goes, it's been gone completely for several months and just tonight it came back but I'm hoping it'll go away again soon! It's always super helpful for me to read stuff on anxiety and I feel like I'm not crazy at all to see how many people can relate! Thank you for this!
Yasmine on October 03, 2016:
Thank you for writing this article. I have a job interview tomorrow and I'm freaking out for no reason. I have a really high anxiety disorder. I'm on medication but i always have butterflies in my tummy.
I will try my best to cope up with the anxiety by following your points...
Thank You so much xxx
Edgar on September 04, 2016:
Wow I like this!!! I been suffering with intrusive thoughts for 4 years after working as a correctional officer!! It has ruin my life where I'm never happy cause my thoughts make me worry and very upset that I might act on them and go crazy. I'm glad that I saw this page makes me feel that I'm not alone! Thank you for this article!!
meloncauli (author) from UK on June 23, 2016:
Thank you Jo :)
Jo Lim on June 21, 2016:
Amazing article written. This will help many especially in our modern society where stress is high. Thanks.
meloncauli (author) from UK on June 01, 2016:
Thanks so much for reading and leaving your comment. Severe anxiety can affect us in so many ways.
Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on May 27, 2016:
It's so easy to think you are the only person suffering anxiety when you are going through tough times. This article is a good example of how people can help themselves. It's well written meloncauli with practical advice and I'm sure you've help many with this article. Well done and thanks.
meloncauli (author) from UK on May 10, 2016:
Thank you so much. It's a subject thats close to my heart. Xx
Lori Colbo from United States on May 09, 2016:
Meloncauli you write some very informative articles on mental health issues and they are well written in format and content. I just want to say thank you. (insert heart)
Rebecca C Mandeville MA on March 13, 2016:
Glad this popped up on my page - likely because I just wrote a hub on anxiety as a health-seeking signal. I'm a licensed Psychotherapist and I already know of a few clients that will benefit from your wonderful article here on intrusive thoughts. Thank you for putting this together.
Kawai from Singapore on February 25, 2016:
I think mindfulness, as simple as it sounds, is the most simple and effective method for anxiety relief. Some people may underestimate the powerful effects it can have and simply brush it off. I personally try to practice mindfulness everyday and it has been pretty life changing. For example, I have the tendency to worry about the week ahead, the things I dread having to do, people that I need to face e.g. - but I am able to snap myself out of it quite quickly when I tell myself to just focus on what I have to do just for today. I also try to find small rewards for myself when I get through a hard day - e.g. longer hot shower, a small chocolate, watch a good video/movie.
My anxiety has also gone down a little when I stop trying to multitask. Just do one thing at a time.
And when disturbing intrusive thoughts are taking over, I find distraction is really helpful. Watching something brainless on YouTube helps me to feel lighter and happier.
Thanks for your post - enjoyed reading it!
Saoirse from England on December 15, 2015:
Thank you for writing this.
It's horrible what anxiety can do but it's how we react to the thoughts that the key to getting better. Just easier said than done!
Catherine on November 28, 2015:
This helped me so much! Thank you so much for posting this, these thoughts can be so life-consuming!
Liz on October 24, 2015:
My anxiety stems from emotional dilemmas. Unsolvable problems. I escape using Facebook. I have to have mental stimulation so FB, the internet, web browsing, email reading, etc., do it for me.
I finally stopped all medication. It really didn't help me. The stress of living under an overbearing narcissistic husband and autistic child just about did me in. There was nowhere to go except to shelter myself from them by using but to Facebook, etc., as an escape.
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 16, 2015:
Hi. You have so much on your plate right now and you obviously have a measure of depression @Angela Have you shared how you feel with a professional? If you haven't maybe you should. Its hard with so little information to offer good advice but do feel free to send me an email. X
Angela on October 15, 2015:
I am having problems coping with everyday life, I feel kicked when I need to have a supportive family. I am a single mother, and my parents are a big part of my life, sometimes my mother talks down to me, I come home and cry, and my X's parents have actually called CPS on me, saying I have mental illness and do not accept help; and my house was a fire hazard, etc...They did this to me before, while my father was in ICU, after a 19 hour "cleaning" surgery, because of all of his blocked arteries. I lost a 70,000 a year income and have NOT worked at all this year, I do not know how I do stay caught up on my finances, except by the grace of God. I wish I knew how to deal with this, however, I definitely do not want to hurt my children; but sometimes I'd love to just run away with them, and no one knows where I am. I am very depressed, crying and sad 98% of the time. I wish I knew what to do, how to do it, and stress relievers ~My children and doing things outside with them are so pleasant~ I do feel stomped on, and cannot find a job, after working from home making fantastic money as a transcriptionist; EMR has done away with my job, and I have worked at two facilities since then, just as a temp. Any advice?? Your article is fantastic, thanks a million!
Eve on December 31, 2014:
I have always had OCD obsessive thoughts, not the usual worrying about germs type of OCD, but just annoying, intrusive thoughts like endless analysing, making sure thoughts are in even numbers etc...it pretty much rules my life but I have learnt to manage it somehow...usually too embarrassing to talk about as they are things that have no justification for worry.
rik on December 13, 2014:
A very good read which confirms information I have read elsewhere. I am currently in an anxiety relapse but using great articles like this allows me to keep the faith that I can ignore my horrible thoughts and feelings and get over anxiety again. It takes true commitment but recovery is completely possible as I found out many years ago.
meloncauli (author) from UK on July 30, 2014:
Thanks very much Si. I am glad it has been of some use to you.
Si on July 28, 2014:
This has seriously helped me to realise I'm not going out of my mind one of the most useful Pieces of information I've ever read thank you
meloncauli (author) from UK on December 01, 2013:
Thank you so much :)
McGrath7 on November 30, 2013:
A truly exceptional read, I've suffered with this problem and found this really stimulating, credit to you for wanting to spread the word and wanting to help people, thankyou.
meloncauli (author) from UK on September 29, 2013:
It certainly is! Thanks for dropping by to comment :)
wwriter from India on September 28, 2013:
The human brain is amazing. Both the problem and the solution lie within the brain!
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 23, 2012:
Thanks so much for your comment K9keystrokes and the follow. :)
India Arnold from Northern, California on October 22, 2012:
What a crazy good hub! The connection between intrusive thoughts and anxiety is amazing. You make this difficult subject easy to understand. What a smart read! Thanks for putting it all together.
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 06, 2012:
Thanks for the comment gsidley.
Yes I agree with your comments entirely.
There is a similar effect to , "don't think of the word elephant" and then all you can think of is the word "elephant"!
Best wishes to you too :)
Dr. Gary L. Sidley from Lancashire, England on October 06, 2012:
Another scholarly hub, meloncauli, full of helpful guidance and explanation.
Two coping strategies that you mention I think are particularly helpful:
1. To just let the intrusive thoughts happen without trying to resist - if you try and push them out of your mind you tend to get a "rebound effect" where the thoughts push into our minds with greater force.
2. Challenge beliefs about the thoughts (referred to in the literature at "meta-beliefs") such as "Thinking things means I really want to act them out", "These thoughts mean I am going crazy/losing control."
Thanks for another great hub.
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 05, 2012:
My pleasure catgypsy!
catgypsy from the South on October 05, 2012:
No, thank you meloncauli for wanting to help people.
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 05, 2012:
Hi catgypsy and thanks for the comment. I am so glad you have enjoyed reading my hubs. It pleases me greatly if anyone feels better for reading my articles.
I have known so many people, myself included who have been dogged down by huge anxiety problems, and since I recovered a few years ago, it has been my aim to spread some helpful words and help as many sufferers as I can. Thanks again :)
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 05, 2012:
Thanks for your comment kimberlie. I hope you found it interesting. :)
catgypsy from the South on October 04, 2012:
This is so familiar to me that it's like reading my life history! When I first started having anxiety problems, this would happen a lot and it's so scary. As the years have gone by and I've lived with anxiety for so long, I can handle any weird thought better because I know what you say is true, it's just a reaction to anxiety out of fear.
Your hubs on this subject are excellent and I have treasured reading them. Even as long as I've dealt with this, I still love reading anything that makes me feel better and your hubs always do. Such great writing, meloncauli! Thanks.
Kimberlie Kacan from Brooklyn, NY on October 04, 2012:
The human brain never ceases to amaze. I've never looked too much into anxiety disorders so I never realized exactly what they were about. Thanks for shedding some light!
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 04, 2012:
Glad you found it interesting Carol. Thanks for dropping by to read it.
meloncauli (author) from UK on October 04, 2012:
Thanks Leah. I hope it will be helpful too!
carol stanley from Arizona on October 03, 2012:
Very interesting and a topic I have never really thought about. However it was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.
Leah Lefler from Western New York on October 03, 2012:
I had never thought about the way that intrusive thoughts and anxiety go hand-in-hand, meloncauli. This is a great hub on a difficult subject matter, and I hope it will be helpful to someone who needs it!