Discussion Topic

Intrusive Thoughts

Posted on 03/14/12, 04:47 pm
Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome involuntary thoughts, images, or unpleasant ideas that may become obsessions, are upsetting or distressing, and can be difficult to manage or eliminate. When they are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and sometimes attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), the thoughts may become paralyzing, anxiety-provoking, or persistent. Intrusive thoughts may also be associated with episodic memory, unwanted worries or memories from OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or psychosis. (This information is drawn from Wikipedia.)

It is important to note that Intrusive thoughts are not the same as hearing voices. Having intrusive thoughts does not mean someone is necessarily schizophrenic or psychotic. Intrusive thoughts are common among trauma and PTSD sufferers.
Showing 5 Replies
  • Reply #1 03/14/12  4:52pm
    exactly whats happining to me every single day...thoughts of the abuse and abuser....i dont want to think about it,it just happens....and i see now that its normal,thanks for posting this
    amy
  • Reply #2 03/14/12  4:52pm
    I have periods in my life when I have bouts of nightmares that can last a few months at a time, and then subside for a time. During these periods, I will frequently waken in night with words that were shouted at me during childhood racing through my mind. I can also experience intrusive thoughts when I isolate myself too much or when something around me triggers a flashback or bad memory.

    If you suffer from intrusive thoughts, don't for a minute think that you are crazy or somehow defective. You are a normal person reacting to traumatic events in your past or present, and your mind and body are simply doing what they can to cope with it.
  • Reply #3 03/14/12  4:59pm
    i have a few abusers...the man i got a order of protection from 2 yrs ago,still haunts my dreams at night...im in fear that he will find me.i moved an hour away..from where he lives....

    then theres my dad...the thoughts come everyday but not dreams....i know im normal..as i can be...but what my dad did is unspeakable and he should be in prison
  • Reply #4 03/14/12  5:29pm
    Many survivors ask, "If I don't remember the trauma, or if I don't have strong feelings about it, isn't that better?" Dissociation eventually takes far more effort than it is worth. The more we try not to, the more feelings and thoughts assert themselves, unconsciously demanding our attention. It takes an enormous toll to keep perfectly legitimate memories and feelings about childhood trauma in deep freeze. In the long run, one is better letting the thaw happen, and with the support of others, participating in some manner of "cure" that will allow life to go on.

    i thought this to be on topic...we have to thaw out the feelings and memories to heal...
  • Reply #5 03/14/12  10:20pm
    I agree with you, Amerika. I believe we do have to "thaw out" those memories. I understand that for some people this isn't always possible. My ex-husband was abused as a child and only two clear memories from prior to age 7. His sisters, however, remember everything. His own therapist and their therapists recommended not forcing the trauma to surface. They felt that if it had not surfaced after 30 years on its own, that it was better left alone.

    However, if you already have good recollection, trying to suppress it only does more harm than good. At least, in my case it did. That's when the intrusive thoughts were the worst. I could be reduced to a puddle in no time, no matter where I was. Now that I've dealt with more of the abuse than I ever did before, grieved, come to a level of acceptance I can deal with, etc.....I don't have those intrusive thoughts so much. I've learned that healing is never OVER, its an ongoing process. New life experiences, age, etc., will always come into play and new levels of understanding can be gained.

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We survived child abuse, but the pain still remains and so do the other effects which can last a lifetime. We are often unable to find adequate help, and we are seeking answers that can help us understand what happened so that we can go on to lead normal lives. (Please note that this is a group for child abuse survivors only. If you are a professional in the mental health field, a member of the clergy, or a child abuser yourself, we ask that you not join this group.)