Let’s continue talking about this mental disorder that it is more common than most of us think.
I am going to be talking about a particular part of the anxiety:
What is an intrusive thought?
I am going to describe different situations so you can understand what I am referring to.
You are waiting at a bus stop or a train stop. There is someone near you, and suddenly this image appears in your brain: You pushing that person in front of the bus or the train.
You are in a park, sitting down on a bench, a dog comes near you, and this image appears in your brain: you are kicking that dog.
You are in a car with family or friends. You look out the window. And you see yourself jumping off of the said car.
You are at a party, maybe a restaurant, with people that you love, that you care about. And you see how you are stabbing that person that is so important to you.
With all these situations that I just mentioned, I do not mean that you actually do it. Nor that you actually want to do said actions. You only see these things in your head. You can’t control when or how they appear. They just happen to be there.
It is not a problem to have this kind of thoughts, as long as they are just thoughts.
Everyone (and I do not mean just people with an anxiety disorder, but EVERYONE), has had an intrusive thought at some point in their life, even if they can’t remember. Why? Because the anxiety creates them. And everyone has felt anxious at some point. Even if it was during an exam.
It doesn’t just apply to images where you are doing stuff that you wouldn’t do. It also refers to those thoughts where you see that something BAD has happened to someone.
I am going to narrate one thought that I keep seeing in my head.
My dad works as a truck driver. He spends more time on the road than at home. Everytime that he is later than usual this image appears in my head: The truck on its side, sometimes I even see fire around, from time to time, the image changes, and the truck is falling off a cliff, and most of the times he is not really… alive.
This is one of the thoughts that I have almost every week.
Does it mean that I want him dead? Absolutely not! I love him dearly. But we can’t control these thoughts.
Sometimes thoughts like these come to us precisely because we do not want to act in this way, nor we want that thing that we saw happening. They are merely the most inappropriate thing your mind can imagine.
I also discovered that the more you fight for that thought to get out of your head, the more that feeling is going to stick around.
Like that game: Don’t think of pink elephants. (And you failed, right?)
This kind of thoughts can also be altered if you suffer from OCD (which funny enough, I do).
You will find yourself trying to avoid certain things, actions, places, objects… because you are afraid that you are actually going to do the action that you saw in your head.
I used to be like that long ago. I used to be afraid of myself all the damn time. But you know what? I tested myself. And nothing happened. One of my intrusive thoughts was me throwing my cat off the window. I picked her up, petted her, approached the window, and stood there in the Sun.
I must say that at first, I was petrified. It took me like 30 minutes to convince myself that picking up my cat wasn’t a bad idea, I did that all the time. But since that day I was going to approach the window with her, I was terrified.
I was shaking until I reached the window with her in my arms and I saw that nothing happened. (Irrational fear? Yeah, well. That is the result of Anxiety disorder + OCD).
I will be probably talking about OCD in another post since I think it is a fascinating topic to talk about. And if you have any questions regarding this post from today, don’t hesitate and ask!
To see my first post regarding Anxiety, follow the link below:
Post made possible thanks to Montse M.