Living with Harm OCD

(constant fears you might harm yourself or someone you love)

Experiencing Violent Thoughts

Are you having repetitive unwanted thoughts about violence? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, most people admit to experiencing unwanted violent thoughts, including thoughts about harming themselves and the people they love, at some point in their lives. It’s perfectly natural for your mind to make creative connections with violence. While alarming, it’s easier for some people to dismiss their intrusive thoughts than others.

For people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), intrusive thoughts lead to debilitating anxiety. Any attempt to escape or neutralize the thoughts might only make them stronger. Sufferers may quickly find that not only do the thoughts get more intense, but they also seem to adapt quickly, always staying one step ahead. These thoughts present new graphic images that result in fear and anxiety.

You might feel like you’ll suddenly lose control and harm someone you love with a knife. Push a stranger in front of oncoming traffic. Commit suicide. You might even worry that you’ve already acted on your thoughts.

Rationally, you know that none of this is true, but your anxiety is telling you otherwise. All the alarm bells are going off in your head. And in result, you form weird habits, like avoiding knives or sharp objects, repeatedly assuring yourself you love your partner or standing back from the train platform.

A person with OCD has no higher inclination to act on their thoughts than anyone else. So, we encourage you to stop seeking reassurance that you aren’t capable. If you suffer from OCD, you have a severe anxiety disorder that can be treated. Start by getting educated on the disorder and making healthy living choices. From there, find a clinical psychologist in your area that is an expert in OCD and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). And remember, neither your nor any professional should ever assign meaning to your thoughts. They are completely meaningless.