Intrusive Images - Where do they come from?

I get frequent Intrusive images flashing in my mind - they come on quickly and strong - Like I am resting in my room and all of a sudden I see in my mind - images of masked men dressed in black clothing breaking down my door and others entering through my window attacking me - I see this happening vividly in my mind.
Or I will get images of me choking and falling to the ground - dying from a stroke - I can see it all so clearly - picturing myself going through this torture. They are flashes of horrible images - yes more images than intrusive thinking.
I am trying to figure out if this is part of schizophrenia? bipolar? OCD? Anxiety? or depression? I have all of these disorders - it is very upsetting to say the least. Does anyone have an idea? I would really like to know

idk wave, it is not nice when this happens, its like you are not in control of your imagination and these things just pop up, a bit like an over active imagination only in a bad way, i guess if you are thinking negatively all the time you are more likely to have this happen, but how do you try to think positively more? i don’t think yo can think positively all the time can you :frowning:

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lol Me thinking positive thoughts? I dont think so :smile: But seriously, I am trying to work on calming these images - but man it is nearly impossible - it is like an over active imagination but not the good kind

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Could these be considered hallucinations?

Sorry you are seeing these things :hearts:

Hi Barbie - no these are not visual hallucinations, more like an active - negative imagination, I see the images (imagination) vividly happening to me - it doesnt happen every minute, but it happens from time to time - pretty frequently

These sound like deep subconscious fears surfacing… Our brains contain entire hidden libraries of thoughts and images…some we never see until they surface unexpectedly. It’s similar to when you are almost asleep but not quite and a very vivid image will appear behind your eyelids. It’s in that inbetween state where a dream can emerge as you are partly awake.
Another possibility is a demonic intrusion, but most likely it’s just subconscious fears…and i think most people get them from time to time…

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I have a feeling its a bit from all the above. I think the intrusive thoughts come from a deep fear.

I’ve been noticing that mine are all anxiety triggered and then the Sz takes the image and really fills it in nice and solid.

My slight anxiety of my youngest brother trying to hurt my kid sis spiraled out of control to vivid dreams and a full blown images coming to my mind almost like a hallucination but still in my head.

My other worst intrusive thought came back recently as well… that I just beat the pieces out of my sis. I broke her arms, hit her, injured her very deeply… I can see it. I can actually see myself doing this.

Sometimes this would hit first thing in the morning and I would mistake it as a very real and vivid memory. I would be convinced that I had just beaten her yesterday. Then she walks in and she’s fine. Not a bruise on her, not a scratch… perfectly Ok.

But it’s such a real and vivid picture in my mind.

Now that it’s happening again… I’m paying attention and I do believe that it’s an anxiety about something specific that my hear circus decided to hold on to and make bigger.

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i had one last night about my son being involved in a car accident on his way home from devon. i even phoned him and told him where to sit in the car…poor thing. i get them all the time. they go from the heights of fancy to the depths of depravity. i can’t control them. i just have to live with them i guess and not pay them too much heed. i know how you feel. i don’t want to see these things either. they just kind of pop up when i’m least expecting them. :frowning:


It seems like your fear is something happening to you… my fear is me doing something horrid to some one else. I hope you feel better soon and find a way to just let this pass through your mind without giving it much heed as @jaynebeal suggest.

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I have been more anxious lately, thanks to my new med Lamictal - I kind of think that my anxiety could be triggering it and then the schizophrenia part of it just highlights it and gives it more color! Thanks J, and I am sorry that you are going through these images as well - @jaynebeal I hope these images get better for you also

Yikes!! I hope it is not demonic intrusion, This would mean that I would have to call a priest, and I am not too crazy about religion :smile:


talking about the imagination and these visuals you are getting in your mind, it is hard to tell where these things come from but my guess is that everything you have ever experienced and heard and learned like everything that goes into your head throughout your life is all part of your unconscious mind,

its like the iceberg analogy where you have the largest part underneath the surface keeping it afloat but in the mind this is your unconscious and the small part of the iceberg on the surface is the conscious mind which is the part that interacts with people etc

then the bit in between is the subconscious which is sometimes called ‘the gatekeeper’ and this is the part that controls what is appropriate and it should stop these negative flashes of images but something is wrong and somehow this image has been allowed to surface for some reason which means it has broken through the subconscious in to your conscious mind.

which is really sucky for you and anyone else that this affects :frowning:

you might find this link on youtube about it might explain it a lot better but it is a very difficult thing to fully understand, i think the more we can understand about where our thoughts are coming from the better we can get with more insight i mean.

I think that these images (vivid visual oriented) imagination are part of my subconscious fears - when I am anxious they surface - and are transformed into these intrusive images - they are not so much thoughts as they are vivid mental images

Chemicals acting up in the brain.

This makes me think that the Lamictal I am taking could be aggravating/causing this situation - I am going to tell my pdoc when I see her soon - there is this possibility


Definitely smart to talk to your doctor because an adjustment in meds could help tremendously.

I also get intrusive images frequently, they are very disturbing, images of crime, self-harm and running away and going mad. Sometimes the crime images are linked to my paranoia, like for example thinking the new neighbours had guns and would shoot us.

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I get those images too. In my opinion I think it would be the schizophrenia. I only have paranoid schizophrenia and depression and they sound like what pops into my head. Like I will just be lying in bed and the image of me breaking someone’s neck or being bitten in the neck by a person with sharp fangs will flash in my head. It’s not like I want to break someone’s neck. I don’t feel anger or anything.

I treat them the same way I treat discursive thoughts during meditation. I just accept them and let them pass by. I think if I were to focus on them they would cause me undue stress and be more frequent.


I get intrusive thoughts too. I just ignore them. that’s why I say I’m still haunted…

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I try to do that too. Sometimes my mind wanders into that type of stuff and I use my safe word. Other times they just pop up and I envision me getting killed in a car wreck. What’s particularly weird with my mind is that it narrates it, “that was the last time she spoke with her mother on the phone./” It is scary when it happens, but thinking about it now helps me to see it like a cheesy true crime show narrative. I know though, that when it happens again I’ll be scared again, but I try to not let it get at me physically. You know where you feel fear? I try to not let it get to that point, or at least not for long.

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