I am going to try and make this as brief as possible. I have been having thoughts of violence, of killing people. I want to make it clear that I do not want to because I think of what that can do to my future, to my family, and to my friends. I will have daydreams or dreams that are so vivid and real to me. I do things basically to try to satisfy these violent thoughts and urges by watching certain shows or movies, playing violent games and reading about violent crime scenes for example. I will admit that I used to kill small reptiles and the occasional squirrel, never cats or dogs because I like them too much and no one notices killing of reptiles. I would dissect them and see what various things would do to their bodies. This is the first time I have ever admitted to such things because I know that these signs never point to good things plus it gives people the wrong idea. I don’t know what to do or how to handle this because honestly I don’t know a psychiatrist who would see me out of fear of I might hurt them or someone else. More importantly, if I were to say anything like this or self harm or anything else along those lines my insurance won’t cover me. So if I could get any advice on something that would help or a way I could get help that would be great because right now I’m kind of stuck with myself.
A: Thanks for writing in with your question. I’d first like to suggest that you put your worries to rest about a psychiatrist (or any other mental health professional) refusing to see you because of the thoughts you are having.These kinds of issues are included in our training and we deal with them on a regular basis. Do not let this deter you from seeking help.
Now, if your thoughts of hurting yourself or others get very serious and you and your therapist cannot come up with a plan to keep you or others safe, you may be hospitalized for a few days to be stabilized. But again, that’s not a bad thing and can be very healing. I’d also like to say that in all my years of working in the mental health field, I have never had a client lose their insurance because of what they talk about in treatment. I’ve also never had anyone lose their insurance (or job) for being hospitalized. The insurance companies typically only get data such as the diagnosis, functioning level and dates of treatment, rather than details from the sessions themselves.
I recommend that you steer clear of violent shows and video games. There are those who feel that these activities are “cathartic” and help folks release these feelings rather than act on them, however, there are many experts who believe just the opposite. If you already struggle with violent thoughts and feelings, exposing yourself to these themes tends to increase these feelings rather than decrease them. If our unconscious mind controls 90% of our behavior, what do you want to be putting in there? You would most likely benefit much more from finding ways to be kind to yourself and others. Try prayer or meditation, find ways to volunteer in your community, fill your mind with thoughts of peace, and go find a good therapist or psychiatrist.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 May 2014
Counts, H. (2014). I Have Violent Thoughts but Feel I Can’t Go to a Psychiatrist. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 31, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/31/i-have-violent-thoughts-but-feel-i-cant-go-to-a-psychiatrist/