Home » Ask the Therapist » Intrusive Thoughts or Not?

Intrusive Thoughts or Not?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I am a 12 year old who has not been diagnosed with any disorders. My problem: “intrusive” thoughts. These thoughts started like this: I felt guilty because I felt happiness when somebody died in a movie I was watching. I decided to test myself out by thinking of the most repulsive action ever and then then try to make myself tempted. The repulsive action was harming my mother. I was confident that I would have no urge to do it. I tried tempting myself by having my brain repeatedly cheer do it! I felt an enormous urge to do it, which stressed me out. Does this count as an intrusive thought? My worst problem is the urge to do it. This urge kept coming and coming. Sometimes I feel like I want to give into this urge. Sometimes I feel like I have to carry out these urges. Is this another part of intrusive thoughts? And if you don’t think this is an intrusive thought, could this urge be related to curiosity, desire for infame or maybe even psychosis? Could I be confusing the adrenaline I feel with the urges. These urges get stronger when I feel love for my mother. So my questions are, do these thoughts count as intrusive thoughts, and are these urges normal?


Intrusive Thoughts or Not?

Answered by on -


It does not seem like an intrusive thought. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that enter your mind against your will. They can be very distressing. You willed the thought of harming your mother into your mind. That is the opposite of an intrusive thought.

The urges you wrote about and the energy behind them could be excitement or nervousness. They could also be related to curiosity but not a desire for infamy or a psychosis.

It is difficult to answer your question about whether or not these are normal thoughts. You are free to think anything you want and your thoughts could have occurred in response to a movie you were watching.

It is not healthy to want to harm your mother. Those thoughts can be distressing especially if they are frequent and lead a person to consider acting on them. At that point, it’s best to consult a mental health professional to prevent them from worsening. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Intrusive Thoughts or Not?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Intrusive Thoughts or Not?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 Sep 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.