man on couch looking disturbed

Dear Dr. Expert, 

I think I’m going crazy! I keep having disturbing thoughts pop into my head. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed! I look at a boy at school, and then all of a sudden, I see myself kissing him and then I worry that I’m gay! I also have thoughts of picking up a knife and stabbing my mother! I’ll just be listening to music and then all of a sudden, I have these horrific violent thoughts pop in my head. Now I don’t want to go in the kitchen if my mom is in there, just in case I snap. What’s happening to me, am I going crazy?

Looney in Langley

Dr. Expert: Dear Looney in Langley, 

It sounds like you’re having obsessions. Obsessions are unwanted and upsetting thoughts or urges to do things.  We all have some intrusive and disturbing thoughts like that once in a while. It’s important to remember that just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true or that you’re going to act on it! It can be really helpful to think about these thoughts as brain spam or junk mail.  The more you fight them – the more these distressing thoughts will return. So, when they pop up, instead of running from them or analyzing them, gently remind yourself that they are just thoughts and let them come and go. Don’t attach any meaning to them and file them in your spam folder!  Good Luck! Click here to learn more about strategies to address obsessional thoughts. (link to adult OCD section).