Anxiety is a normal part of life. We all feel it at some point when we have a major test, interview, meeting, or some other important occasion approaching. For people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, however, this develops into an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations to the point that it cripples the person’s lifestyle.
At the heart of most anxiety disorders are obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts. These are scary, intrusive thoughts and/or images that occur over and over. The more the person tries to stop them, the more they persist. Like anxiety, the average person experiences these types of thoughts at one point or another. However, for those with anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder or depression, these thoughts become paralyzing, panic-provoking, and unrelenting.
Dr. Andrew Rosen, a South Florida mental health professional notes that there are three categories of obsessive thinking and intrusive thoughts:
- Inappropriate aggressive thoughts or violent obsessions about harming others or oneself. Like many other intrusive thoughts, this is a part of being human, but for many they can become severe or distressing to the point that a person may be afraid to perform their typical daily functions.
- Inappropriate sexual thoughts or images regarding intimate actions with strangers, acquaintances, family, friends, religious figures, or any number of other people. These thoughts often lead to confusion, guilt, shame, or self-loathing.
- Irreverent religious thoughts that compel a person either toward acts they consider sinful or toward obsessive religious actions. A person crippled by these thoughts might feel a disturbing fear of reciting prayers incorrectly, or be tortured by the urge to perform blasphemous acts during religious rituals.
If you or someone you know is dealing with obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts that have begun to obstruct their normal way of life, it’s important to seek help. Counseling for obsessive thoughts can include exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Your South Florida mental health professional may also suggest combining therapy with medication depending on your individual situation. Without treatment, a person with this level of intrusive thoughts can eventually find themselves cut-off from their friends and family. But seeking treatment can help initiate a return to normal life.
For more information about mental health therapy in South Florida or for help in dealing with obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts, call Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida. They can be reached by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.