Question: What Causes Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts?

The two most common diagnoses associated with intrusive thoughts are anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

They can also be a symptom of depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar Disorder, or Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Are intrusive thoughts normal?

Yes. These are called intrusive thoughts. While doing, or wanting to do, any of these things is not normal, having intrusive thoughts like these is normal. Sometimes thoughts like these come to us precisely because we do not want to act in this way; they are simply the most inappropriate thing your mind can imagine.

How do you stop intrusive thoughts?

  • Label these thoughts as “intrusive thoughts.”
  • Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and not up to you.
  • Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind.
  • Float, and practice allowing time to pass.
  • Remember that less is more.
  • Expect the thoughts to come back again.

What are intrusive thoughts caused by?

Mundane thoughts leave, but intrusive thoughts last longer and often return. In some cases, intrusive thoughts are the result of an underlying mental health condition, like OCD and PTSD. These thoughts could also be a symptom of another health issue, such as: a brain injury.

What are examples of intrusive thoughts?

Examples of sexual intrusive thoughts:

  1. Recurrent fear of molesting a child.
  2. Recurrent fears that one might be homosexual, when in fact he/she is not.
  3. Repetitive thoughts of possibly touching someone inappropriately on impulse.
  4. Unwanted sexual thoughts or images involving animals, religion, etc.