Disturbing Images, Thoughts about Loved Ones

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, manic depression, OCD, and generalized anxiety disorder. Before I continue I must tell you first that I DID consume psychoactive elements such as psilocybin mushrooms and a MDMA for a year and a half, i took MDMA regularly, and magic mushrooms 2 times.

A year or so passed by and I start seeing disturbing images about my little brother and thoughts. I don’t know weather it’s guilt or some other thing. Because I feel like i did not devote time for him or attention did not spend time with him as a normal brother would. This makes me feel so guilty that I want to commit suicide. I love him so much, because he is my only brother and he is 10, i am 24. I love him to the point where I start getting this images in my head as if someone wants to kill him or hurt him, these images are so vivid i mean how is it even possible? I feel that he lives in a cruel world, i feel like the world is too dangerous for him. I want to guard him with my life but i’m afraid that I won’t be there. I feel like he is far from me although he is the reason why I live. After seeing news or reading news online I come across horrifying stories where kids disappear or get killed, or slaughtered and when I see my brother I start picturing that its happening to him and I want to just kill myself, just stab myself when i see this nightmarish images with my brother, i avoid seeing him because i am afraid that I will start picturing it. Sometimes its so disturbing that I just give, whatever will happen happen.

Please help. Any advice will help. I love my brother,

A. If I were interviewing you in person I would inquire about whether your mental health symptoms are under control. My sense of the situation is that they may not be.

The disturbing images may be a symptom of one of the disorders that you were diagnosed with, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is not uncommon for individuals with OCD to experience disturbing images about someone they are worried about. These images tend to be intrusive and difficult to control. A common type of intrusive thought associated with OCD is feeling unrealistically responsible for the well-being of another. This seems to be similar to what you are experiencing.

I would recommend consulting a mental health professional about your symptoms. You may never learn their origin but that is not the goal. What is important is their removal.

You did not say whether you are taking medication. If so, your symptoms may be a sign that a medication change is required. Modifying your treatment plan may be necessary.

When these images occur do your best to focus on something different or positive. Some ideas include watching TV, playing a video game, calling a friend, listening to music, and so forth. The idea is to distract yourself so you can’t focus on the disturbing images.

Your symptoms may be indicative of an untreated mental health disorder. I hope that you are able to get the help that you desire. What’s most concerning about this situation is that you mentioned suicide. If you feel that you may harm yourself, then it is imperative that you seek help immediately or call 911. Please write again if you have additional questions.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 May 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Disturbing Images, Thoughts about Loved Ones. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/05/23/disturbing-images-thoughts-about-loved-ones/