Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts, impulses or “mental images”. These thoughts may surround the fear of committing an act they consider to be harmful, violent, immoral, sexually inappropriate, or sacrilegious. There is no intent to act on these thoughts (although your OCD may attempt to persuade you that you will/otherwise) and these thoughts bring no pleasure, causing extreme distress.
Examples of intrusive thoughts:
- Intrusive thoughts or mental images of harming/killing ones spouse, parent, child, or self
- Repeatedly worrying that one has or will physically assault another person
- Repetitive thoughts that one has said or written something inappropriate
- Mental images or thoughts that one considers sacrilegious or blasphemous
Sexual Intrusive Thoughts (SIT) consist of unwanted sexual thoughts. This may include sexual orientation fears, such as the fear of being or becoming LGBTQ. SIT’s may also contain intrusive, unwanted mental imagery of sexual behaviors or actions that the individual does not desire, the fear of committing a harmful sexual act or being sexually aggressive. This is not the same as having a sexual fantasy or being homophobic.
Examples of sexual intrusive thoughts:
- Recurrent fear of molesting a child
- Recurrent fears that one might be homosexual, when in fact he/she is not