When OCD Gets Scary- Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

Horrific intrusive thoughts are common in OCD. These thoughts can be distressing and unwanted, causing anxiety. These thoughts can vary widely from person to person, and they often involve distressing and unwanted content. It’s important to note that experiencing these thoughts doesn’t mean a person wants them or would act on them. The notable sign that your disturbing thoughts are OCD-related is that they disturb you. They disturb you because they are unwanted and are inconsistent with who you are or what you value. And remember, having a thought does not mean that you will act on that thought. The fact that the thought disturbs you is actually a sign that you are less likely to act on it.

Common themes of intrusive thoughts in OCD may include:

  • Violence: Thoughts of harming oneself or others, even loved ones.
  • Sexual: Intrusive sexual thoughts that are unwanted and distressing.
  • Religious: Blasphemous or sacrilegious thoughts that go against one’s religious beliefs.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), specifically Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), is a common and effective treatment for OCD. This therapy helps individuals confront their fears gradually and learn healthier ways to cope with distressing thoughts. 

Postpartum OCD is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that occurs after giving birth. Like other forms of OCD, it involves intrusive and distressing thoughts, often accompanied by compulsive behaviors. These thoughts are typically related to the health and safety of you and/or the baby. You may find yourself overwhelmed by disturbing thoughts and images of you harming your child. You may also find yourself avoiding specific places or tasks. Some of those struggling with postpartum OCD may avoid caring for their baby altogether, due to intense fear. 

Common themes of horrific postpartum OCD thoughts may include:

  • Harm to the Baby: Intrusive thoughts about accidentally or intentionally harming the baby, even though the person has no intention of doing so.
  • Contamination: Fear of the baby getting sick or being harmed by germs, leading to excessive cleaning or avoidance behaviors.
  • Intrusive Sexual Thoughts: Unwanted and distressing sexual thoughts related to the baby, which can be extremely distressing for the parent.
  • Checking: Compulsive checking behaviors related to the baby’s safety, such as repeatedly checking if the baby is breathing.

Postpartum OCD can be challenging, but it’s treatable. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), particularly Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), is often recommended. Medication may also be considered in some cases. 

The Unfiltered Therapy team is specialized in treating OCD. Reach out for support.

Anxiety, Individual Therapy, OCD, Parenting, Uncategorized




When OCD Gets Scary- Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

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