When intrusive thoughts become severe, recurrent, and anxiety-provoking, they can become an obsession. Obsessions are best known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People with OCD often are in crisis from compulsions in behaviours as well as thoughts.
OCD becomes a problem when it intrudes on your mental or physical everyday wellbeing. These thoughts can be quite frightening at first if you don’t know what they mean, intrusive thoughts will lessen if you accept them and allow them to pass without giving them too much attention or trying to push them away. It’s a lot like the pink elephant analogy, if I tell you not to think about a pink elephant what’s the first thing you think about ?? Point in question.
Remember these are just thoughts, do you have control over your dreams? It’s the same with the intrusive fleeting thoughts. Acceptance as simple as the word is not such a simple action but in time it becomes easier to accept the thoughts and this then takes the power away from the anxiety, which is feeding the thoughts. People who are more sensitive to anxiety are more likely to experience intrusive thoughts (Hames, 2012).
When does it become a concern I hear you ask, ok well while we do all experience common intrusive thoughts, some are more people are more affected by them. Complex PTSD or OCD intrusive thoughts can severely impact on someone’s life, sleep, or even appetite and daily mood but to name only a few, others they can just be fleeting thoughts. So, for instance, there is a difference of a thought fleeting in that you really want to hurt a person and the thought goes as quick as it comes, however, if it stays and it causes you distress, it can result in disturbances that are hard to manage if you don’t know how to deal with them.