Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Irrational Thoughts

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Question
I have no idea what's come over me, but it's frightening. One moment I'm living a normal life, yet the next out of nowhere I'm suddenly bombarded with disturbing intrusive thoughts that I can't get rid of. These are irrational thoughts that revolve around urges to worship the devil, cannibalism, harming loved ones and an unhealthy preoccupation with mental illness, going insane and spending the rest of my life locked in an asylum to escape the outside world. I'm aware how crazy this sounds and I'm deeply embarrassed to admit this.

I would never act on or want these things, yet they are stuck in my head and I don't understand why. Following the appearance of these thoughts I've experienced visual/auditory hallucinations, memory loss and a sense of detachment from myself and reality, as if I'm trapped within the warped reality of my own mind and observing myself from a distance. Yet I'm still able to function somehow as if I'm on autopilot.

While this has only been affecting me for a month, it's paralyzing me and negatively impacting my work, studies and relationships as I'm unable to concentrate on anything else besides these thoughts. Prior to this I did go through a spell of depression and I also have some history of anxiety, so I'm not sure if that triggered this or not. But it's getting worse and consuming me, I just want to be myself and live a normal life again but have no idea what's going on.

Answer
You appear to be developing an obsessive disorder.  Could be genetic, might just occur out of nowhere.  Never clear where these things come from.  You ought to get an evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist, as this type of problem is usually easily treated.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.

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Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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