Dealing with Racist Intrusive Thoughts: How to Address Racism in Your Mind

Racist Intrusive Thoughts

If you’ve ever had a racist intrusive thought, you’re not alone. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts or images that pop into your head unexpectedly and make you feel uncomfortable. They can be about anything, but they often have to do with taboo subjects like sex, violence, or religion. Racism is a particularly sensitive topic, and it’s common for people who aren’t racist to have intrusive thoughts about race. If this has been happening to you, don’t worry – there are ways to deal with it. In this blog post, we will discuss how to address racism in your mind and get rid of those pesky intrusive thoughts!

Defining Racist Intrusive Thoughts

what are Racist Intrusive Thoughts

Racist intrusive thoughts are defined as unwanted, persistent thoughts about race that cause anxiety or distress. These thoughts can be about any race, but they are usually about the person’s race. For example, a white person might have racist intrusive thoughts about black people, and a black person might have racist intrusive thoughts about white people.

These thoughts are different from racist beliefs, which are held consciously and deliberately. Racist intrusive thoughts are more like ” mental hiccups” that happen randomly and without any control. They can be upsetting, but they don’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad person.

It’s important to understand that having racist intrusive thoughts does not make you a racist. Just like having intrusive thoughts about sex doesn’t make you a pervert, or having intrusive thoughts about violence doesn’t make you a psychopath. Everybody has intrusive thoughts from time to time – it’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Racist intrusive thoughts are different from everyday prejudice in that they are involuntary and uncontrollable. They can also be very disturbing and hard to shake off.

Causes Of Racist Intrusive Thoughts

There is no one single cause of racist intrusive thoughts. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Stress: Intrusive thoughts are more common when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or tired.
  • Triggers: Certain things can trigger intrusive thoughts, such as seeing a news story about racism or watching a movie with racial themes.
  • Obsessive personality: If you tend to worry a lot or have obsessive tendencies, you may be more prone to intrusive thoughts in general.
  • Genetics: Some research suggests that intrusive thoughts may run in families. This means that if your parents or grandparents had them, you may be more likely to experience them yourself.
  • Personal experiences: Having traumatic experiences around race can instill a fairly dominant fear regarding racism

Signs Of Racist Intrusive Thoughts

The most common sign of racist intrusive thoughts is feeling anxious or distressed when thinking about race. Other signs include:

  • Trying to avoid anything that triggers your thoughts
  • Spending a lot of time trying to “neutralize” your thoughts with positive ones
  • Fixating on a person’s race instead of other qualities
  • Having trouble concentrating or focusing on other things
  • Prominent pre-occupation with the fear of coming off as a bad person
  • Analyzing all your words and actions
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Excessively researching and reading about race-based topics
  • Being preoccupied with worry about being a bad person
  • Experiencing physical symptoms like sweating, racing heart, or nausea

Effects Of Racist Intrusive Thoughts

Racist Intrusive Thoughts effects

Racist intrusive thoughts can have a significant impact on your life. They can cause you to:

  • Isolate yourself from friends and family
  • Excessive need for external validation and reassurance
  • Lose interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Fear of being labeled or perceived as racist by others
  • Miss work or school
  • Have trouble concentrating or working
  • Avoid social situations
  • Experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems

Treating Racist Intrusive Thoughts

Racist Intrusive Thoughts treatment effects

It is important to acknowledge that just like any other psychiatric disorder, the effects of racism OCD can also be effectively managed through various interventions and tips.



Therapeutic intervention can be an effective treatment for racist intrusive thoughts. A therapist can help you understand your thoughts and work on managing them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is particularly helpful in treating intrusive thoughts. CBT can help you learn how to manage anxiety, challenge negative thinking, and reduce avoidance behavior.


Anti-anxiety medication and antidepressant medication may also be prescribed in some cases. These medications can help reduce the overall level of anxiety, which may make intrusive thoughts less bothersome. However, it’s important to note that medication is not a cure for intrusive thoughts and should be used in combination with therapy.

Self-Help Tips

If you’re struggling with racist intrusive thoughts, there are things you can do to lessen their frequency and impact. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Talk to someone you trust about your thoughts: This can help you feel less alone and give you some relief.
  • Challenge your thoughts: When you have an intrusive thought, try to question it. For example, “Why would I think that? That’s not true.”
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment without judgment. It can help you focus on what’s happening right now instead of getting caught up in your thoughts.
  • Reduce stress: Stress can make intrusive thoughts worse. Try to find ways to relax and de-stress.
  • Get rid of anything that triggers your thoughts: If there’s something that consistently triggers your intrusive thoughts (like certain news stories), try to avoid it.

Intrusive thoughts are a common occurrence, and most people will experience them at some point in their lives. However, for some people, they can be very distressing. If you’re struggling with racist intrusive thoughts, know that you’re not alone and there are treatments available that can help lessen their impact on your life.


If you’re dealing with racist intrusive thoughts, don’t worry – you’re not alone. These thoughts are common and they don’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad person. There are ways to deal with them, and in this blog post, we’ve discussed some of the most effective strategies. If you want to learn more, or if you need help getting rid of these thoughts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional.

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