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Why Do I Want to Watch People Suffer?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I think this started ever since I moved school. I am and I know that I am a very emotional person. I got very depressed for some reason and I have been struggling to stay focused. I don’t have much trouble at school but I feel like it’s getting worse and while it’s getting worse I get these like urges on people I don’t know. I start to picture them being tortured by me and what scares me is that I seem to enjoy it even though consciously I know that it’s wrong. Everyday I feel like my emotions are like fading. I cant sympathize much anymore like I used to and I became more distant to people. I fear myself everyday not knowing if I am mentally sane or not. I live my life in fear and I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t want to tell my parents because they didn’t deserve to have a mentally insane child. I haven’t had any problems with this until now. Why do I have the sudden urge to torture someone and watch them suffer?

Why Do I Want to Watch People Suffer?

Answered by on -


  I think you are very insightful to have noted the move may have been a trigger for you. Since your profile says you are in college I would highly recommend talking about these images and feelings with the college counselors. They are trained to help students in transition and equipped to help. I’d do this before the end of the school year, so you have some skills for coping in place before the summer.

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

Why Do I Want to Watch People Suffer?

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). Why Do I Want to Watch People Suffer?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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