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Not Normal

Question:

Dear Doc, I’m a 30yr old woman and I have 5 kids. Over the last few years I’ve been struggling with something. I have these crazy, weird and sometimes even evil thoughts. I know they are not really my thoughts but I don’t understand why I cannot control them. I pray a lot and sometimes it helps but most of the time I just try to block them out. I don’t wanna have these thoughts any more. Some of them make me crazy and nervous. Sometimes I get out of bed 2 or 3 times a night to make sure my kids are breathing. The things that come in my head sometimes are so scary that I don’t even want to speak them into existence. My mind is constantly running and I’m always thinking, "what if," or, "how bad this or that would be." So, if you can shed some light on this I’d be grateful.

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Answer:

What you are describing are intrusive and unwanted thoughts. However, it is important for you to understand that they are your thoughts, although unwanted. Why should this happen?

There could be a variety of explanations for unwanted thoughts:

1. These could be examples of obsessional thinking. Obsessional thinking, just like compulsive or repetitive behaviors, can be the result of a huge amount of anxiety. The intrusive thoughts are an attempt to quiet the fear, even though this does not succeed. If you feel a need to perform rituals, as well, then we could say that you have OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder.

2. The unwanted thoughts could stem from a lot of depression and frustration. Although the thoughts frighten, the aspects of the thoughts that you find so scary are your mind attempting to take control of things that feel out of control: raising kids, dealing with finances, marriage strains, in law problems, employment problems and a whole host of other things.

3. You also state that it feels like your mind or thoughts are racing. The combination of unwanted thoughts and a racing mind could be caused by an underlying Bipolar Disorder.

Anyway, these are just some possibilities. What I suggest is that you have a consultation with a psychologist so that you can get to the bottom of this and resolve whatever this is.

Best of Luck

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