Tortured by intrusive thoughts again

So, lately I’ve been having intrusive thoughts again. It doesn’t help that in my Intro to Ethics class, we’ve been discussing things like ethical egoism. This is where people only act in their own self-interest. For example, if someone likes watching buildings burn, then it is okay, according to ethical egoism, to set a building on fire and watch it burn, even though the people inside will be killed. We’ve also been studying Social Contract Theory, which states that equal, free, rational people build a social contract according to their self-interests. This leaves out children and infants from the social contract, so it’s okay to kill children and infants according to Social Contract Theory. These are such terrible things, and they torment me. How do I get rid of these terrible thoughts?

I don’t know the answer as I struggle with intrusive thoughts. One thing I use is distraction, when they happen I try to focus on a storyline in my head. It works sometimes. I’ve read that the rubberband snapping method is a waste of time.

Another thing I do, because I have incredible guilt at what “intrudes,” I tell myself they are not me, that it is only a flaw in my illness. These thoughts are not me, but rather my subconscious pushing out scenarios against my conscious will.


Thank you for your response. I’ll have to keep reminding myself that these thoughts are not the true me.

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I have the same problem, but no encouraging things to say about it… wish I could help. I’m gonna try switching meds.


Thanks for your understanding. Maybe I will try switching meds too. I didn’t have this on Risperdal.

You can try to rationalize it all you want, there is no excuse for murder. I find even the mention of any attempt at the justification of killing children and infants to be reprehensible.

Get some meds that work.

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For your information, I am pro-life. I think even abortion should be illegal.

A pro-lifer who contemplates murdering infants and children?

Did you even read the post? Or understand what an INTRUSIVE thought is? It’s a thought we are FORCED to hear. Not one we CHOOSE to think about.


Of course I read the post. If you are thinking of murdering a child even in the slightest then you need to be hospitalized. I’m being generous in suggesting you get on meds that work.

You’ll find zero sympathy from me in regards to murder.

there are times we have to distract the mind, pretty much everyday i have to do it from some rubbish in my head.
nature helps me to see sense, but maybe when thinking the terrible thoughts you do, you look at the positive opposite of that.
e.g children being killed the opposite being go and see the beauty of children playing in a park, their innocence, the need for them to be protected.
or the burning of a buiding and the people inside dieing and the opposite being the sorrow of the relatives left behind and the goodness that those human beings had in their hearts who perished .
i don’t know if any of my waffle helps, but hey i’m trying.
take care

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They are intrusive thoughts. It doesn’t mean we are thinking about doing those things. We see it in our minds, it is based on fear of bad things happening. In a way, it is phobia. When you think of the bad things that happen in the world, do you assume you want to do them because you think of it? Of course not and it’s no different here.


I am not unfamiliar with intrusive negative thoughts. The difference is that I sought help. I didn’t ponder the justification of going through with such actions.

Go to the hospital.

I don’t ponder the justification of going through with such actions–that was my ethics professor.


Maybe try your best to keep in mind that the Social Contract Theory is just a theory. Try to distance your emotions from it if you can. I don’t know if you can look at it like say a math equation. Just numbers or theories without an emotional reaction to what they create. I hope it gets better for you.

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Find a soothing and peaceful pastime. I used to listen to acoustic music (like paramore unplugged for example) when I was struggling in recovery and having intrusive violent thoughts. Just stay away from alcohol, I remember when I discovered the alcoholic lifestyle and it took some hard work to detox. Alcohol and drugs are so good that they will ruin your life.

Try spending time with pets, that makes me feel better. I often nap with my kittens to escape everything for a couple of hours.

I have quit having intrusive thoughts about violence, but I do have intrusive thoughts about weightlifting. I often start thinking about squatting heavier weights while trying to go to sleep and I start sweating and my heart rate goes up. I just sort of let it pass and live with it. It is very important for me to exercise very intensely or else I have pent up energy and aggression. If I did very well lifting during the day, I don’t have intrusive thoughts about it. Same goes for sexual thoughts. I used to be tormented by uncontrollable thoughts about sex and violence, but I am not anymore. I mean, I still sometimes think about the two animalistic activities but I am not always. I think I have discovered a time and a place for each, but medication and therapy in particular have really helped me.

My shrink explains to me why I have these sorts of thoughts and how I can deal with them and keep them under control. The first shrink I went to when I was psychotic was a shrink my dad had seen, he told me that I was just one of those people who had “controlled mayhem” going on in their heads. He said that if I wasnt mentally ill, I would have probably made it in the SEALs, which was my lifelong dream before schizophrenia struck me. I was always training my ass off, I would run 45mins a day, lift for an hour, and go to Krav Maga practice for at least an hour every night. You could say that my aggression was always there. I was very cool and calm and calculating when I wasnt pushing myself physically like an animal. I was a rather scary kid, but everyone thought I had noble intentions. I think I just wanted to prove to myself how strong I was, I didn’t really care about anything else. I wanted to be recognized for my controlled aggression.

But in my evaluation a year after my onset, I showed key indicators of psychopathic deviance, so I guess I was just a dog the whole time. Now I don’t show as many signs of it, I think it was due to my schizophrenia at the time.

Sorry for the wall of text, I just know what youre experiencing and I have come a long way with the same problem.

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Thanks @BarbieBF for your advice and for your good wishes. I definitely did get emotionally involved. Now we’re getting into utilitarianism which my professor has promised is more hopeful. I actually told him today that the class should be called Introduction to Unethics. And he laughed (fortunately).

Thanks @mortimermouse for your advice and understanding. I’ll bring it up again with my therapist, though he isn’t very good. I wish I could afford a $125 per session therapist. Sorry you didn’t get your first dream to be a SEAL because of schizophrenia. But now you can have a new dream with your degrees in psychology.

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I’m also taking a class on ethics. It’s called Ethics in the Information Age. We also covered the theories you’re talking about but study it from the point of view of technology. I also know what it’s like to have intrusive thoughts. It scares me because I keep seeing it too. They come up with topics you wouldn’t think would trigger them. Like hearing about animal abuse triggered me one time. I would never act on them which my psychiatrist called egodystonic. I think that’s what he said. It means it’s contrary to your nature, which sounds like it’s that way for you too. The only thing that has helped is the ECT. Those treatments really pulled me out of the depths of madness. The other things I do are to stay away from MSG and violent movies. Good luck to you.


Thank you @SunGirl for your empathic and kind response. Thank you also for confirming that these are just theories taught in a classroom–I didn’t just make them up. You are strong for not being triggered by these theories. I think I am egodystonic as well then. I’ve always been afraid of ECT because of possible memory loss and inability to concentrate.


Don’t pay attention to everyone. Some people don’t understand. Ethics is interesting though. I just wrote a paper on product recalls and the ethical implications of it. ECT isn’t that bad. I’ve been getting it since 2012. I’ve always had memory problems so it’s hard to say what effect it’s had. The only problem is I get very anxious with it because I woke up too early twice and was paralyzed from the muscle relaxer so I felt like I couldn’t breathe which is my biggest fear. It’s really been a godsend though. Good luck to you.