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Terrible Fear that I Am Going to Kill Myself or Someone Else

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From a teen in the U.S.: For months, I have been having thoughts that I am going to kill myself or my family. I am afraid that I am a killer and not a good person, and this has made me want to kill myself to avoid hurting someone else. I have been diagnosed with OCD, specifically harm OCD, but I’m just having trouble believing that I’m not just an awful person. I never actually want to hurt anyone, but there are times when I feel like I have to, like my brain is telling me that it has to and is going to happen. I feel out of control.

I’ve also been having some issues with suicidal thoughts. Most of the time, it’s not that I hate life, it’s just that something inside me is telling me that I should kill myself. It’s not like a voice that I hear or anything; I don’t think I’m schizophrenic.

Do I really have OCD, or are my thoughts indicators that I have some sort of murderous or psychopathic personality? And how should I deal with these suicidal impulses?

Terrible Fear that I Am Going to Kill Myself or Someone Else

Answered by on -

A.

The first thing to do is to see a therapist. You said you’ve been diagnosed, but you didn’t indicate what you did with that diagnosis. I hope you are seeing a therapist regularly. The therapist can monitor and perhaps refine the diagnosis, can reassure you and can teach you new ways to manage your anxiety and the obsessions.

I doubt you are a bad person. I do think you are suffering and you deserve help. OCD is particularly responsive to a combination of some medication with talk therapy. Most people need the combination — at least to start. If you haven’t started therapy, please ask your doctor to refer you to a clinician who specializes in OCD. If you are in therapy, I hope you sharing your thoughts and concerns honestly and completely. Your therapist only knows what you choose to share. Although your thoughts may be frightening for you to talk about, you owe it to yourself to bring them up in session so they can be dealt with.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Terrible Fear that I Am Going to Kill Myself or Someone Else

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Terrible Fear that I Am Going to Kill Myself or Someone Else. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/04/27/terrible-fear-that-i-am-going-to-kill-myself-or-someone-else/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.