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I See It Normal to Imagine Hurting/Killing People

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I keep imagining hurting strangers I walk past in the halls of my school. I don’t even know them, but I get these vivid mental images of slamming thier heads into the wall or kicking them. I’m not even physically capable of things like this. I’m generally a really gentle person, and lately I’ve been overly emotional, for no reason(sad/angry)? The idea of smashing peoples heads in excites me (if that’s important) but I know that wrong and that I get excited scares me. (From Canada)

I See It Normal to Imagine Hurting/Killing People

Answered by on -


  The fact that you are noticing what you are thinking and feeling and are disturbed by it is a good thing, as it is an opportunity for you to gain some self control and perspective.

Writing us here is a good start — and I would strongly consider that you find a counselor to talk to. Do this sooner rather than later. The fact that you do not want to do these things is important. If you can talk to your parents about wanting to speak to someone please do that. But if not, talk to your school counselor and let he or she know that you are not sure what is going on, but that you would like to talk to someone about these feelings. They are trained to help and will make sure you get what you need.

Don’t wait on this. There is help for symptoms like these and people ready to assist.

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

I See It Normal to Imagine Hurting/Killing People

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). I See It Normal to Imagine Hurting/Killing People. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.