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Thoughts of Wanting to Get Hurt

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Is it possible to get rid of thoughts and silent my mind? Because some of my thoughts disturb me. I don’t want them but they are always there. Sometimes I even think I actually desire them or why else they would be always on my mind? I think they might be a little bit similar to intrusive thoughts but I’m not sure. There are the normal thoughts such as randomly thinking of jumping out of window or slashing my wrist while cutting vegetables. I’m used to them and I’m not worried because I know for 99% that I won’t do any of it. Only if it’s to prevent my family’s grief and hurt.

But for a while, I have been having thoughts and ‘desires’ of wanting to get hurt or be abused. When I hear or read about people who were abused or mentally ill, some part of my mind gets jealous. I’m aware that this is messed up. I know it is absolutely wrong since there are people actually suffering and I don’t want to invalidate their pain, because abuse is wrong. I like to think I don’t do it intentionally but I’m not even sure anymore.

These thoughts of wanting to be abused are always in the back of my mind. Someday I can ignore them somehow, but often they are driving be crazy. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall or do anything to shut them up. I almost started self-harming again just to silent them and to somehow punish myself for having them. Luckily, nothing bad ever happened to me but that could be due to the fact that I barely leave my house. What if I were actually and purposely looking for situations to get hurt or what if I didn’t run away if something were happening. This mostly disturbs me but some part of my mind wishes for it.

I used to think that these are unwanted thought and that I simply couldn’t get rid of them but lately I’ve started questioning it. What if purposely think those things? What if I actually wanted to have abusive childhood? What if I actually wanted to mentally ill? This concerns me because it is even more messed up. I think I’d be honestly disgusted with myself, if I didn’t feel empty most of the time.

I read a few posts on the Internet and many people said they wish these things to happen to them for attention. I’m pretty sure that is not my case. I’ve always hid my problems and emotions from other people – e.g depression, self-injury. No one knows about my issues. I don’t understand why I am like this since I’ve always had a wonderful life and family. The only things messing it up is my head. I feel like I am such an ungrateful person.

I guess I wanted to ask whether these thoughts are ‘normal’ and what could I do to stop them? Because I don’t like having them and they are morally wrong. Thank you.

Thoughts of Wanting to Get Hurt

Answered by on -


 You mentioned that you barely leave your home but didn’t explain why. Perhaps you work from home because of anxiety or some other reason. Knowing why you don’t leave your home is a key piece of information that would have helped me to understand what might be wrong.

If it’s fear that’s keeping you in your home, then you might have anxiety or depression. Those disorders could also explain why you have these distressing thoughts.

Your thoughts of harm may be a form of passive suicidal ideation. It could be something like this: “It doesn’t matter if something bad happens to me because I don’t deserve a good life and no one would care if I am gone.”

It could also be that you see yourself as unworthy and believe that you deserve to be harmed, abused or killed. Those types of thoughts as described are commonly associated with depression.

Idle time may be a contributor to this problem. Let’s assume that you do work from home and that is the reason for your rarely leaving your home. People who work from home often are isolated and feel lonely. You might have less time for introspection if you were working outside of your home and interacting with people. That type of distraction could help. It is not a cure but spending less time alone would force you to think about something other than your distressing thoughts.

To answer your question directly, your thoughts are not “normal.” They are indicative of someone in psychological distress. Counseling is the ideal place to address these types of thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy works to change both thinking and behavior. I would highly recommend it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Thoughts of Wanting to Get Hurt

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). Thoughts of Wanting to Get Hurt. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 15 Apr 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.