Disturbing thoughts are a prevalent silent symptom of anxiety and anxiety disorders. They tend to pop up at any time of day or night and can be very distressing and difficult to control. Intrusive thoughts can be frightening because of their focus on socially unacceptable things like violence or sexually explicit images. Patients often feel as if they may act on these thoughts and images and wonder if theyâre abnormal because they have these thoughts. An individual may become preoccupied with these thoughts and experience difficulties with daily functioning.
Many individuals are ashamed or embarrassed to confide in anyone and keep their thoughts to themselves. This often compounds the problem and makes the situation even more frightening, especially for children. Patients become threatened by their thoughts because they are usually so foreign to how they really feel. These fears and attempts to block or dismiss the thoughts often fuels anxiety and can lead to more attacks. The key to dealing with these thoughts is to ignore them and not give them so much power or to seek professional help from a therapist who can provide patients with effective coping methods for their intrusive thoughts.
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