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How Do I Get Evil Thoughts Out of My Head?

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From a teen in the UK: Hi there I understand you can’ respond to everyone but I would appreciate if you could give me an answer. When I was below the age of 10 (about 9) I read a newspaper article describing a real life sadistic and disturbing event that happened and I remember “enjoying this”; but I knew how wrong it was and was shocked as to how an individual could have carried this act out. I completely forgot about it and when someone mentioned this story I remembered that I read about it but I must have blocked it out the fact that I enjoyed it.

This sounds strange I know and I wish I could be more specific but it really is causing me distress. I feel quite disconnected from reality sometimes and anxious and unhappy. I am not a sadistic person and I have empathy but the fact that I enjoyed this is so evil, twisted and sick. I just don’t feel like I can speak to a therapist as it is so evil. I think there are two factors going on – regret at what I did and also what actually happened to the individual in the story haunts me :( is there something wrong with me ?
Thank you in advance

How Do I Get Evil Thoughts Out of My Head?

Answered by on -

A.

I think the story was very disturbing to your young mind. It is a normal part of moral development to struggle with both the attraction of the power of a terrible deed and setting personal boundaries so we don’t do them. In your case, your efforts to not think about it makes you think about it. (The same thing would happen if I told you that under no circumstances should you think about a purple cow. You would struggle not to think about it, which would make you think about it.)

Since you haven’t been able to get away from the thoughts, it would indeed by helpful for you to talk to a therapist¬† Trust me. Therapists aren’t easily shocked. We deal with difficult subjects and people’s pain about them every day. A cognitive-behavioral therapist can help you figure out what you are teaching yourself by holding onto the thoughts and can help you learn how to channel them to something more useful and much less stressful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Get Evil Thoughts Out of My Head?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How Do I Get Evil Thoughts Out of My Head?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/11/12/how-do-i-get-evil-thoughts-out-of-my-head/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Nov 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 Nov 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.