Murderous thoughts

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

More and more I’ve been having murderous thoughts. I don’t even have to know them, sometimes they are complete strangers but I still feel a specific rage towards them that compels me to think of their gruelsome end. My thoughts also progress in gruelsomeness. For example around 5th grade my thoughts would just be putting someone in a punching bag and punching them till all your anger is out. But around 8th grade my thoughts were more along the lines of like cutting each finger one by one and slowly and dipping the person’s hand into salt water to increase the pain. And in 9th grade, my thoughts were more like cutting and scraping the living flesh off the bones while the person is alive and fully consious. Most of the times I even laugh at my thoughts because I can see them suffer. My friends think I need help.

A: I’m with your friends. These are not normal thoughts for a 14-year-old. Sure, lots of kids think about these things now and then. Movies and video games are full of these kinds of images. But you’re talking about a longstanding preoccupation with harming others. It’s to your credit that you wrote. I think a part of you is upset by the images and knows it’s beyond what is okay.

I think you need to do two things:

  1. Talk to your doctor. Believe it or not, there are medical problems that can cause people to have disturbing thoughts.

  2. Make sure you are getting enough sleep as well. Sleep disorders can scramble a person’s thinking.

If everything comes up fine medically, it’s time to see a counselor who specializes in adolescents. An experienced counselor can help you sort through what these images are about and teach you how to manage them. Too shy to talk to a counselor? Then start by talking to the counselors at the Boys Town hotline, 800-448-3000. Counselors are there 24/7 to help teens like you.

You made an important first step by writing. Now please do follow through. You deserve to have more control over your thoughts.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Mar 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Murderous thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/03/13/murderous-thoughts/

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