Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Intrusive thoughts

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QUESTION: I experience intrusive thoughts. These are thoughts that pop up into my mind, involving the most inappropriate content I can imagine at the time. I have no control over them. More I try to suppress them, more they intensify. Sometimes presenting as thoughts, images or impulses. Mostly sexual, violent or religious in nature. I understand your advice doesn't constitute a face to face consultation, but I would very grateful if you would give me some reassurance about them. Are they common? Do people like yourself have it too? Please understand that I don't like these thoughts, but they come outside of my control. More I try to suppress them, worse they become. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER: Hi, Damien, thanks for your questions. Yes, they probably are more common than people realize. As you noticed, the more you try to stop them, the worse they get. Therefore, the solution is to stop trying to stop them.

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QUESTION: HI again, so basically, you do not think that the thoughts have meanings? I mean, they are so inappropriate, sometimes I can't describe them. And I start to worry what others would think.And do people like yourself experience them?And I start to worry,whether I find all of the thoughts appropriately disgusting. And also, I frequently have a fear that if I dream about these thoughts, then that would be a confirmation I enjoy them unconsciously. If I dream about them, I might get very distressed, but then again, I can't control my dreams. How can I prevent it? Is there anything you can do to put my mind at ease? Thanks in advance

Answer
Hi Damien,

"you do not think that the thoughts have meanings?"
---- no, thoughts are, essentially, without meaning.

do people like yourself experience them?
--- all people have different / unique thoughts. It's more of a difference in level/ amount than in category/ type.

How can I prevent it? Is there anything you can do to put my mind at ease?
---- yes, stop trying to prevent them, and stop trying to stop them when they happen. Easier said than done, though, but that is the answer. Its like chinese handcuffs.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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