What Are Severe Intrusive Thoughts and Why Do They Happen?

what are severe intrusive thoughts and why do they happen?

Do you ever have thoughts that make you feel really uncomfortable? Thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere and make you feel like you’re going crazy? If so, then you may be experiencing something called severe intrusive thoughts. In this blog post, we will discuss what severe intrusive thoughts are, why they happen, and how to deal with them.

Can Intrusive Thoughts Be Serious?

Intrusive thoughts are not necessarily serious in nature. They may not be distressing or concerning, and can often be easily dismissed without a second thought. However, for some people, intrusive thoughts can become so severe and persistent. That they become disruptive to everyday life and need to be addressed through professional help.

Extremely disturbing intrusive thoughts can also be a sign of underlying mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If the intrusive thoughts are causing significant distress or impacting your daily life, it is important to seek professional help.

And do not forget that severe intrusive thoughts are not your fault — they are a normal part of living and thinking. But when they become too disruptive or overwhelming, it’s important to seek help. The right time intervention can make a real difference in helping you to manage these thoughts, and find relief.

What Are Severe Intrusive Thoughts?

As we are aware now that intrusive thoughts can be serious and can even lead to mental health issues, it is important to understand what exactly are severe intrusive thoughts. Severe intrusive thoughts are those which cause intense distress and suffering and can become an obsession.

These thoughts have a tendency to be recurring, persistent, and more difficult to manage than regular intrusive thoughts. They often involve topics such as death, self-harm, or harm to others.

Severe intrusive thoughts can cause a person to become paralyzed with fear and anxiety and may lead to depression, suicidal ideation, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And even other mental health issues. Hence, you should be sure to seek professional help if you find yourself struggling with severe intrusive thoughts.

How Do I Know If My Intrusive Thoughts Are Severe?

Generally, the thoughts of daily life are normal and fleeting, but when intrusive thoughts become severe, they can start to affect your life. It may not be easy to identify the severity of your intrusive thoughts very often.

So, here are a few symptoms that may indicate that your intrusive thoughts are severe. And need to be discussed with a mental health professional:

  • Occur frequently to the point of disrupting your normal activities.
  • You can feel overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts which cause anxiety and fear.
  • Intrusive thoughts can lead to obsessive behavior such as spending too much time on something or checking things multiple times throughout the day.
  • Difficulty concentrating due to intrusive thoughts.
  • Feelings of guilt and shame because of the intrusive thoughts.
  • Increasing avoidance behaviors or having difficulty functioning in day-to-day situations due to the fear created by intrusive thoughts.

In addition to these symptoms, if you find yourself feeling trapped by your intrusive thoughts, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist or psychiatrist can help you learn techniques to better manage intrusive thoughts and reduce their severity.

Why Do People Have These Thoughts?

The reason why severe intrusive thoughts happen to people is not fully understood. However, there could be some triggers and risk factors that increase the possibility of a person having intrusive thoughts. These can include:

  • Trauma: People who have gone through a traumatic experience, such as sexual or physical abuse, may be more likely to experience intrusive thoughts.
  • Anxiety: Another common trigger of intrusive thoughts is anxiety. People who experience high levels of anxiety, particularly about their own performance or ability to do something well, maybe more prone to having these thoughts.
  • Depression: People who are depressed may also be more likely to have intrusive thoughts due to changes in the way they think and process information.
  • Personality Types: Some personality types may also be more prone to having intrusive thoughts. People who are perfectionists or those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may experience more frequent intrusive thoughts than others.
  • Stress: Stress can also play a role in triggering intrusive thoughts. When people are under a lot of stress, their minds may become overwhelmed and they may start to experience intrusive thoughts as a result.

It is important to note that having intrusive thoughts does not mean that a person is going crazy or has a mental illness. In fact, most people will experience intrusive thoughts at some point in their life and they can be normal and generally benign.

Moreover, there are some causes that are beyond a person’s control, such as genetics and brain chemistry. Remember, having these thoughts is perfectly normal and the best way to deal with them is to learn how to cope with them in a healthy manner.

How Do I Stop Severe Intrusive Thoughts?

Well, it does seem not easy to deal with intrusive thoughts and can feel very frustrating, but there are a few tried-and-tested techniques that you can use to help manage your thought patterns.

1. Mindfulness: Acknowledge the intrusive thought without trying to suppress it or push it away. Just observe it without judgment and practice refocusing your attention on something else such as your breath or a soothing thought.

2. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a type of therapy that can help you to challenge and replace intrusive thoughts with more helpful and realistic ones. You can do this by questioning why you think certain things, looking for possible evidence for or against them, and working out new approaches or perspectives.

3. Distraction: This is a great way to step away from intrusive thoughts and focus on something else for a while. Doing something enjoyable that absorbs your attention, such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a walk can help you take your mind off the intrusive thoughts.

4. Self-care: It’s important to take care of yourself and find ways to relax, reduce stress and improve your well-being. Activities such as yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises can help you break the cycle of intrusive thoughts and help you feel more in control.

5. Create a support system: Connect with people you trust and talk to them about what you’re going through. Having someone to listen and provide understanding, validation, and reassurance can be invaluable in helping to manage intrusive thoughts.

It might feel like a struggle but remember that intrusive thoughts are common, and normal and don’t mean anything about your character or worth as a person. It is possible to take control of these thoughts and with the right strategies and support, you can learn how to better manage intrusive thoughts.

Why Won’t My Intrusive Thoughts Go Away?

In some cases, intrusive thoughts can persist for weeks, months, and even years. This is especially true when intrusive thoughts are associated with a mental health condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In these cases, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health provider.

And there could be some reasons why your severe intrusive thoughts won’t go away.

1. You’re Trying To Force Them Away: The more time and energy you spend trying to make the intrusive thoughts go away, the more entrenched these thoughts become. This is because, during this process, you may inadvertently be reinforcing the thought and its associated emotions.

2. You’re Not Identifying Your Triggers: It’s important to understand what triggers the intrusive thoughts and then work on avoiding those triggers. When you’re exposed to these triggers, it can bring about a resurgence in your unwanted thoughts.

3. The Thoughts Have Become Habitual: Intrusive thoughts can become almost like a habit or an ingrained pattern of thinking. If this is the case for you, then it can be difficult to break out of that pattern without help from a mental health professional.

4. You’re Not Practicing Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness and being aware of your thoughts can be an effective way to cope with intrusive thoughts. It helps to distance yourself from the thought and to observe it without judgment.

5. You’re Not Addressing Any Underlying Causes: If your intrusive thoughts are the result of an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, then it’s important to address these issues head-on in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of the intrusive thoughts.

If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts, it’s important to reach out for help. A professional can provide you with the support and guidance needed to work through these issues. With the right treatment plan, you can learn how to manage your intrusive thoughts and live a happier life.

It may take some time, effort, and patience but don’t give up. With the right help, you can take control of your thoughts and move forward with your life.


To conclude, severe intrusive thoughts may cause a lot of distress and can be difficult to manage. However, there are strategies that can help you cope with your thoughts. Such as talking to someone you trust or engaging in activities that distract you from the thoughts. And, most importantly, using mindfulness techniques to focus on the present moment.

It is important to remember that intrusive thoughts are normal and common for everyone and that most people will experience them at some point in their life. With the right resources and support, you can learn to manage your intrusive thoughts and reduce their presence in your life.

For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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