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The Urge to Kill

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I have the urge to kill my sister or my parents when they make me angry. It is like my mind would switch into another mode and my body would shiver. There would be this strong sudden urge to kill and I want to do it so badly but a part of me would still never allow that to happen. My mind automatically plans the process of murdering that particular person and I feel like a totally different person. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Is this really normal? I read up some forums and they said it is normal to fantasize about killing others. I don’t even feel bad about imagining me killing the person. When my sister makes me mad, I just want her dead. I wish she would just leave me alone. i would think of countless ways to get rid of her so she would get out of my life, but not only her. When my parents make me angry, I would think the same too. I’m scared that one day I would really kill my family and not feel bad about it. I don’t know what is wrong with me, I told my parent’s about this feeling before, but they were either not listening, or they didn’t take me seriously, but I have to know what is going on, so please provide me with answers. Thank you for taking the time to read my question. (From Singapore)

The Urge to Kill

Answered by on -


 Thank you for being so forthright and courageous about these thoughts. The anger you are feeling is yours to manage — and hurting others won’t help — and in fact makes it worse because the next time you are angry it leads you to the same conclusion.

Anger comes from a need that hasn’t been met and has as its primary goal making others feel bad or guilty. This is where the work is for you. I would highly recommend an anger management group to begin understanding that your anger needs to be a trigger for you to reflect on what you need, not on who you can hurt.

I would begin by reading books on anger management — any one that has good reviews — then look for a therapy group that focuses on helping you cope with these feelings.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

The Urge to Kill

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). The Urge to Kill. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 8 Jul 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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