Have you ever thought about something that disturbed you or interrupted your peace? Did it ever sound like, you’re not good enough to achieve your goals? These fleeting thoughts that cause distress and are often unprompted are known as intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are not uncommon, and in fact, studies have shown that more than 94 percent of people have experienced intrusive thoughts at least once in the last three months.
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or repetitive thoughts usually creating disturbing or graphic images that can interfere with your daily functions. “Most people experience intrusive thoughts through trauma, past events and regrets,” says Evelyn McGee, Therapist at Centerstone. “These thoughts stem from the rational voice and it is thinking of the worst possible outcome that could happen.”
Some of the reasons people tend to shift to this thinking is due to previous paranoid behaviors, learned behaviors, traumatic experiences, severe stress or potential psychosis. An important distinction to make is that some intrusive thoughts are normal, and we all have something in our lives that might provoke those thoughts. Intrusive thoughts become worrisome when they begin to impact one or more of your daily functions, they threaten physical harm to you or others, and when you feel extreme discomfort.
When you experience intrusive thoughts, it might be hard to determine what you feel and what is real. “Intrusive thoughts are merely assumptions, not facts,” says McGee. You can follow these methods to help minimize intrusive thoughts and help your mental health in the process:
If you or someone you know is struggling with their intrusive thoughts and mental health, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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