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Unexplainable Thought Won’t Go Away

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From a teen in the U.K.: Hello. This is for my friend and I’m asking if anyone has ever had a problem where they have this thought in the back of their minds that is constantly bugging them and making them feel awful. Yet they don’t know what the thought is. And if they could explain the thought to someone, then it wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

It is a bit complex, but I was hoping there was someone who had a similar issue. And if so, what kind of disorder is this and what kind of treatments are available?

Unexplainable Thought Won’t Go Away

Answered by on -


I can’t make a diagnosis third hand or by letter, of course. But I can tell you that this kind of thing is sometimes a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A thought gets started and goes around and around and around in a person’s head. It seems to come from out of nowhere and leave just as mysteriously. In some ways, it’s similar to what people call an “Earworm” — when a song gets stuck in your head and you just can’t make it go away.

Fortunately, this is treatable. Your friend can learn some techniques for getting in control of the thoughts. I suggest your friend see a therapist for some coaching about how to turn down (and eventually shut off) the thoughts in his head.

I wish your friend well,
Dr. Marie

Unexplainable Thought Won’t Go Away

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). Unexplainable Thought Won’t Go Away. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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