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Dealing with Homicidal Thoughts

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For a while now I’ve been struggling with thought of hurting people. Around a year ago I did act on them and tried to kill someone who was very close to me. The thoughts were manageable for a while but they are stronger. I’ve also become almost obsessed with mass shootings, knives, guns ect. It would make more sense to me if it was people I didn’t like – but it’s people who are very close friends. They haven’t wronged me or hurt me in anyway and yet I look for chances to hurt them whenever we’re alone. I don’t want to tell my friends as I don’t want to risk scaring them off for good. These thoughts last quite a while and have developed into plans to the point I am carrying weapons around to try and look for an opportunity. I haven’t really spoken to a therapist as I don’t want to tell my parents about this. Can you recommend any ways to deal with this?

Dealing with Homicidal Thoughts

Answered by on -


Understandably, you don’t want your parents to find out but this problem is admittedly worsening. In your own words, you have become “obsessed” with extreme violence, look for chances to hurt your close friends, are experiencing homicidal thoughts that are growing stronger and are engaging in a premeditated plan to hurt people. If you were to ignore all of these signs, these red flags, you would be making a mistake. These are red flags that are telling you that you need help. You’ve tried dealing with this on your own and it hasn’t worked. This problem has only become worse. Your strategies didn’t work. Your ideas haven’t worked. The most responsible course of action is to consult a professional. That’s what responsible people do. To do anything else would be irresponsible and wrong. To ignore this problem, and to simply hope it goes away on its own, even though all evidence suggests otherwise, would be the wrong course of action.

Imagine for a moment if you were to carry out your plans. Many negative things could happen to you. If you try to carry out an extreme act of violence, you could be killed in the process. It’s not uncommon for mass shooters to be killed by the police. The probability of you being killed by the police during a mass shooting event is fairly high.

Let’s say that the police didn’t kill you in the process of an extreme act of violence. In that case, you would be arrested and spend the rest of your life in prison. In many states, it won’t matter that you are young. Many laws are written such that an individual can be put in prison for life for extremely violent acts, no matter their age. If you are sentenced to life in prison, your life would effectively be over. You would lose your freedom and you’d be living in a very small cell for the rest of your life. That’s not what you want.

Imagine what this would do to your parents. They would be the parents of a killer. They would have to live their lives knowing that perhaps there was something they could’ve done to help their daughter, had she only come to them and asked for their assistance. There are countless stories of young people who were struggling, who did something they later regretted and realized after the fact that it all could’ve been prevented, had they simply asked for help. You don’t want to be one of those people. Learn from their mistakes and ask for help now, before it’s too late.

The wisest and smartest decision you can make is to ask for help. You don’t have to go to your parents and tell them specifically why you want help. In other words, you don’t have to tell them that you have an increasingly strong desire to kill people and this is why you want help. You can be vague and still ask for help. If your parents won’t listen to you, the next step is to go to the school guidance counselor and ask for their assistance. Again, you don’t have to detail why you want help. It’s enough to simply say you want help and that you want to see a therapist. A therapist would be in the best position help you.

I hope that my response to your letter has convinced you to ask for help. Anything else would be irresponsible and wrong. Please consider seeking treatment. Call the police if you feel that you cannot protect yourself or may harm someone. They can protect you from doing something you may later regret. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Dealing with Homicidal Thoughts

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. (2020). Dealing with Homicidal Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Jan 2020 (Originally: 2 Jan 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Jan 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.