Intrusive Violent Thoughts

Something I’ve been dealing with for a few years now. On a regular basis I’m barraged with grotesque and violent mental images. I’ll be walking by someone and instantly think of killing them in some way. Or killing a lot of people.

It’s disturbing, but I try not to focus on it so much. They’re just thoughts and I have no control or power over them. It’s the same thing as when I have incredibly violent dreams where I have to do terrible things, I can’t control it. I’ve had those morbid nightmares since I was very, very young but the intrusive thoughts only started recently. Doesn’t mean I’m ever going to do it in real life. (I can’t even kill mosquitos after all! I greatly value and respect all life.)

Does anyone else get these? I wonder what the cause of it is? I have an idea but nothing set in stone.


I do get violent and disturbing dreams or twilight visions… or fog thoughts. There have been times that in my head, I’ve been sure I hurt people I love.

I’ve seen it…. In the dream… or the other state… I’ve broken my kid sister’s arms, I’ve punched her… I’ve broken her nose. I wake up feeling ashamed, horrid, scared and very upset.

But it was all a very real… very bad dream. It felt real, it sounded real in my head. But when my sis would come in to wake me up or get back into reality, she didn’t have a scratch on her.

I am very close to my sis, we’re best friends and I would never hurt her. But I would still get these odd twilight dreams and visions in my head.

I hate it and I don’t know why it happens. I too am not violent, would never hurt anyone, much less my kid sister.

I’ve still been getting these vivid twilight dreams, but it’s taken on a new flavor. It acts more like a prediction of the future.

As far as what causes it? I have no idea. Stress… anxiety… family drama? It could be lots of things.

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I’m not even always stressed when I get them I don’t think. It just descends on me kind of like a fog, like you said.

Geez my nightmares have been awful. I’m always forced to fight. I remember one nightmare I had when I was 10 where I got trapped in a tower. Every floor I went up a demon came in and I had to fight for my life. I was commanded to fight by some unseen force. I had to do such awful things, I remember one point fighting this weird owl demon with piercing eyes and the force told me to kill it but I was so tired I just wanted to stop fighting but it told me I had to go for its eyes. I really didn’t want to but I had to or I would have been killed, so I had to claw out its eyes with my nails. It was disgusting.

I’ve had to snap necks, tear off heads, I’ve ripped a man in two, the list goes on. 99 percent of the time I do it because I have to, not because I want to. I usually wake up from fighting dreams exhausted and upset.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover the rest of the messed up content in my dreams. Ugh. Ugh.

Sometimes the intrusive thoughts get really bad. And I won’t go into detail about those because they sicken me, but it’s been awful stuff and then I realize I’m caught in a loop focusing on it and agh. You know I try to act like it doesn’t bother me but the more I talk about it the more I realize it does. Why the heck do I go through this?!

I know what it is like. I’ve had to kill and mutilate in dreams and fight to the death, sometimes against very tough odds. I’ve had lucid dreams where I literally raped some of the female entities to get revenge, it was intense!

I remember one dream, a female witch/entity was cackling and I started strangling her. Her head collapsed into her body and then her body disintegrated into her clothes and she disappeared. It was cool.

That sound pretty terrible( to both Anna and J) I’ve kept my imagination shut down after year of SZ. I don’t get violent. My mind is more worried about the linguistic side of things. I hope that as time wears on your minds will become less active in exploring realms you don’t care to partake in.

J man your obvious an innocent and good hearted man. Those dreams must have an extra weight on your soul. I hope they don’t plague you forever.

Hope both of you can find peace.

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To many errors to correct in that post…

I’ve had a few too many maybe.

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When psychotic I’ve dealt with intrusive thoughts of this kind as well. They were really disturbing since, unlike the hallucinations, these were felt like my own thoughts just not under my control - at times I would have a thought insertion delusion attached to it but mostly not. There was a period when these intrusive thoughts were violent in content, then later a period when they were racist, then a period when they were sexual in nature. Once I could place things in perspective and saw that there were these thematic periods their impact on me decreased a bit. What also helped was paying attention to my body. There would be intrusive violent or racist thoughts but I wouldn’t feel physical hatred - that helped to not take them not too seriously. Similarly with the obscene stuff, I would get extreme sexual intrusive thoughts but wouldn’t feel aroused or anything. Although some obscene sexual stuff can be really disturbing, the violent stuff is the worst I think because you start to wonder whether these thoughts could get you in danger. There was a night when I hadn’t slept for two days or so, being very weak, my mind’s content was almost entirely comprised of intrusive thoughts - almost no ‘me-thoughts’ left that could reflect on them and dismiss them, that was scary. As for the cause: in my case there were consecutive themes in consecutive periods. What was common to them is that they all transgressed taboos. I think this connects with a more general retread from and rejection of society that takes place in Schizophrenia.


That is a great idea. Sometimes I get so upset at this happening, I find myself in a fight with my own brain. Then I’m just slipping into my own circular thinking and it gets worse.

Thank you for this idea. I will give it a try… usually I just hide away for a bit if I’ve got any rational hold left.

I never looked at it this way. I just always had a very gut reaction… trying to reaffirm I’m not a horrid person. I’ve never really taken a moment to figure out much about them… I recoil instead of investigate.

But your observation has given me an idea. Maybe this will help me face them down better and let them pass. Thank you for this.

I also get violent intrusive thoughts sometimes. They usually come out of the blue and torment me, often thoughts of my husband been harmed or hurt in a bad way or dead - and I’m the perpetrator, just that I’m not, its Alien up in my head inserting those thoughts in my brain.

I know that just after I graduated high school, I started having them almost constantly for 2 weeks and went into the hospital for the first time. I was already depressed and suicidal for the better part of 2 years before the last semester of high school. My first main pdoc at the time diagnosed me with depression with psychotic features. I was getting some long needed help. The schizophrenia didn’t happen for about another 6 months. Worst 2 weeks of
my life, I think.

I used to have this very severely. Medications have changed my brain. Mine were out of paranoia, that is, I felt special, persecuted and in danger because of it, and then reactively aggressive.

It’s not fun. I still have an aggressive side that I drain with the working out. I understand it quite well due to my education- it is based on malfunctioning cortisol, the fight or flight hormone- I am in fight mode most of the time but I have medicine and outlets for it, and better yet, I understand it.

I used to be truly insane.

I think thoughts of doing violence to others are defensive measures designed to help us from being hurt ourselves.

It must be hard for you to go through these violent intrusive images i also have intrusive thoughts and images I believe people in my body is causing this. I’m afraid of them because I believe others can see hear them. Try finding some peace talking bout it with someone you trust. These are not thoughts you want to have nor are you a bad person. I often self blame myself, but now I don’t place too much importance on my thoughts/visions too.


I don’t blame myself for them anymore or think they make me a bad person. I know I can’t control them. They just disturb me. I don’t like it, I wish they would stop.

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