Home » Ask the Therapist » Destructive ‘Experiments’

Destructive ‘Experiments’

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Since i was little I’ve had a desire to watch as thing fall apart. at first is was just things but over the past five years I’ve started to feel the urge to see what happens when the human mind breaks down forcibly. I’ve never been a violent person but recently i have found pleasure in tormenting people with small changes only noticeable to certain my mind i had been listing them as experiments, but i noticed that they have been escalating in severity and i’m not sure what i’m doing any more.

Destructive ‘Experiments’

Answered by on -


You didn’t say what type of “experiments” you are engaged in but given your mention of finding “pleasure in tormenting people” I don’t imagine that they are harmless. In addition, you are “listing” these as “experiments,” in your mind. That might be your way of rationalizing the fact that you are harming people. If so, that is a worrisome development.

You might be familiar with the case of Theodore (Ted) Bundy. He was a psychopathic serial killer who murdered at least 30 women that we know of and perhaps many more. He was eventually caught and imprisoned until the state of Florida executed him in 1989. The day before he was executed, he gave a lengthy interview in which he described the increasingly overwhelming urges that led him to eventually killing people. He clearly recognized that he had these urges and chose to do nothing about them. Instead, he indulged his urges and killed people. What if he would have sought help? Would there have been a different outcome? I would answer, a resoundingly yes. It is easily the case that he might have never progressed into a murderer. Seeking help is what a responsible person would have done.

Please do not misunderstand my use of the aforementioned example. I’m not suggesting that you will progress into a murderer or commit any acts of violence. I provided that example solely to demonstrate two main points: (1) That people often have a sense that something is wrong early on, before they have committed a crime; and (2) people have choices. Early signs that something is wrong are an opportunity to prevent immoral and/or criminal behavior.

It’s never okay to harm people. It is both morally wrong and illegal. If you are engaged in illegal activities, you could go to jail. If you were to go to jail, your life would be significantly compromised and unpleasant. It would mean the loss of freedom and depending on the nature of the crime, spending the rest of your life in prison. That may sound extreme however, it does happen to people who don’t heed early warning signs and who choose not to seek help. My advice: Heed these early warning signs and seek help. These types of urges often develop slowly over time. With intervention, they can be treated. It is the most responsible course of action and it could save your life. Don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions or concerns. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Destructive ‘Experiments’

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). Destructive ‘Experiments’. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 17 Jan 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.