Intrusive Thoughts

People often experience unwanted thoughts that aren’t in their nature, don’t align with their beliefs, or don’t hold any truth. This may include having repeated unwanted thoughts or doing a repeated behavior to try to relieve the anxiety of the thoughts you’re having. If you experience these thoughts on a regular basis or they’ve started impacting your ability to complete day to day activities, you might be experiencing OCD.

person with intrusive thoughts

What is OCD and How is That Connected to Intrusive Thoughts?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves persistent, unwanted thoughts or images (intrusive thoughts) that cause significant anxiety. If you’re experiencing these, you might feel like its necessary to perform certain actions repeatedly to stop your intrusive thoughts. These thoughts aren’t reflective of your true intentions but are a symptom of OCD. Understanding this can be the first step toward getting the support you need to manage these thoughts and behaviors.

Why Am I Having Intrusive Thoughts?

People experience OCD for various reasons, but the reason why is still being researched. Some common causes that can trigger OCD are :

  • Family – If your parents or other family members have OCD, there is an increased risk of you experiencing OCD as well.
  • Traumatic or stressful experiences – if you’ve experienced a stressful event in the past, that may have caused intrusive thoughts seen in OCD.
  • Mental health disorders  – if you’ve experienced other disorders such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, those might have triggered intrusive thoughts found in OCD.

How to Control Intrusive Thoughts

Partnering with a therapist who specializes in OCD disorders can help you manage your intrusive thoughts and guide you to living an OCD-free life! We use aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) identifies and challenges negative thought patterns. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) gradually exposes you to anxiety triggers without performing compulsions, reducing fear. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment, focusing on actions that align with your values. Together, these approaches offer a comprehensive path to relief and a more fulfilling life.

Are you ready to take the first step?