Thursday, January 15, 2015

Intrusive Thoughts

One of my scenes from Notes from Underground was when the underground man reflected that there are some secrets that men refuse to admit to their friends, and some that they will not even acknowledge themselves. This quote reminds me the mental phenomenon known as intrusive thoughts. Have you ever been sitting in chapel and just thought, "What if I just stood up and screamed like really loudly?" and then you find yourself thinking, "No brain, why in the world would I do that." Or a more severe one, perhaps you find yourself driving and start thinking, "You know, I could just make a sharp turn here and cause a really severe accident," and then obviously you think you're insane for a few seconds before disregarding the notion. These thoughts are known as intrusive thoughts, and it turns out that approximately 94% of the population experiences them. These might be hard to acknowledge since you wouldn't want to tell your friends. For example, "Hey, the other day I was just thinking about committing triple homicide." isn't a great conversation starter. These thoughts are especially common with people with OCD, depression, BDD, and even ADHD. However, they occur on the vast majority of the population. Thoughts are typically either aggressive, sexual, or blasphemous thoughts, and they cannot be controlled, they just happen.


Joe D said...

Whenever I get a thought like this, I think of filleting all my thoughts open to see what other dark secrets my brain is keeping from me.
I've definitely thought of the driving one before, and if I think of something like that in Church I just pray more intently in my head. In a way, I feel like that instance is the Devil tempting me away from interacting in a meaningful way with God, for it's your own brain distracting you from either internal meditation or verbal prayer. My sister's old religion teacher used to say "Pray the rosary, whip the Devil!" (and then he would whip the air with his rosary). I enjoy that philosophy because it gives me a way to help stop those thoughts.

Sri Korrapati said...

So when I read this I told Mr. Williams and he laughed at me. I've been telling a lot of people about this actually, some believe me and some don't. Intrusive thoughts are inevitable and I personally thought that everyone has had at least one. It reminds me a bit of mindlessness, and I feel like these things are just apart of human nature. I don't have any comments from a religious stand point, but these thoughts kind of remind me of what Hamlet said, "to be or not to be." He said that the only reason we're scared to kill ourselves is because we don't know whats on the other side. Could this just be our brain subconsciously questioning it or not? In most cases, fear of the unknown or of consequences stop us.