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Is It Normal to Have Urges to Torture Other People?

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Recently I’ve been thinking about physically torturing others and I’ve been kinda concerned about it. I would think about a random person on the street and have urges to gut them and play with it and cut off their tongue so they won’t scream etc. and I would just laugh at their pain, I have HUGE urges to do them and hear voices saying to & kill them all’ or & grab something sharp and make it count’ and have delusions of me doing them for a split second. I don’t know if this have something to do with it but as a kid I was very angry who seemed calm. When someone would annoy me I would just hurt them out of no where, I wouldn’t have remorse for them when I did this, I would just examine their crying faces and try to see what was happening with them. Almost like they were my lab rats and I was the scientist experimenting. I need help.

Is It Normal to Have Urges to Torture Other People?

Answered by on -


Most people do no have the urge to torture people. Generally, people who are unsettled or unhappy have unpleasant thoughts of a wide (mostly negative) variety. You mentioned being a “very angry” child. That would suggest that something bad had happened to you. You didn’t say what made you angry so it’s difficult for me to know. I suspect that it might have been harm done to you by someone in your life.

Perhaps the anger from your childhood explains your urges. People often feel the way you do when they are in severe distress or in response to something unpleasant happening (or having happened) in their lives.

If you have the opportunity to begin counseling, you should take it. Counseling could help you to control or eliminate these urges by addressing what underlies them. In other words, these thoughts are prompted by something. Counseling could help to uncover what that “something” is, and most importantly, what to do about it. Ask your parents if they will assist you in finding a local therapist. If that’s not an option, speak to the school guidance counselor, social worker or psychologist. They can help you to resolve this problem. Thank you for your question. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Is It Normal to Have Urges to Torture Other People?

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). Is It Normal to Have Urges to Torture Other People?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 16 Jan 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.