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Heart Of Darkness

Question:

Hello there. I’m 16 years old and I have a question. Sometimes I imagine myself killing someone close to me. Like i could see myself throwing my sister off a ledge or stabbing my boyfriend. These images occur when I’m with the them at the place. This has only happened twice…but is it normal to wonder like that? I dont mean to let myself wonder like that. I love my boyfriend and my sister very very very much. Sure I get annoyed with my sister, she’s 9 1/2 yrs old. But theres nothing wrong with my boyfriend and I. Should I seek help? Is there something wrong with me? Could this be connected with post traumatic stress or anything like that? I’ve never had any mental problems. I get great grades and have many friends. But I do have to say I have a bad temper. Just looking for some advice.

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Answer:

There isn’t any way to know what the nature of your problem is via email. There could be something serious going on, or your concerns could be a very normal developmental stage. Which of these two scenarios best fit you can only be known by someone who knows you and your background fairly well, and is in a position to know answers to questions you’ve not provided. If you are really worried about whether you’ve got a problem, I encourage you to visit with your family doctor and ask her or him what the deal is.

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p> The above being true, I get the sense that you’re a rather bright young person who is just becoming aware that it is part of human nature to have both positive and loving and also negative and violent impulses inside one’s self and that this diversity is okay so long as you don’t act on your worst impulses. We are socialized to be good to each other, to work hard, to be obedient, and in general to become good citizens. There is no room in this happy vision of an idealized person for selfishness and aggression. When we first realize that we sometimes have selfish and/or aggressive feelings anyway our first impulse is often to worry that we have somehow become contaminated or that there is something wrong with us. But feeling sometimes selfish or aggressive is not evidence of contamination, but rather just more or less evidence of being human. It is perfectly acceptable and perhaps even inevitable that you will sometimes have these sorts of feelings. What is not acceptable nor inevitable is that you should ever feel free to act on them; particularly when they involve violence.

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Comments
  • Jeremy

    I felt this a few times in my life, usually in fleeting moments. I always felt like it was just a fear of something taboo happening, or thinking of something I least wanted to do that I know I'd never do.

    I knoe I've also expirienced times where i felt like saying F* you to someone who I either love or respect or is in a position of power that I want to impress. I always assumed it was only part of my OCD and nothing serious.

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