A couple waits side by side for the arrival of the metro, just behind the security cordon. The train arrives, and for a moment, the idea of pushing his girlfriend into the tracks crosses his mind, which goes without saying, would mean certain death for her.
But he loves her and he would never consider hurting her. Why then did this idea cross her mind?
Understanding Obsessive Ideas
If our protagonist in the story is a person like many, he will think that we do not always control the things that come to mind, will not give more importance to him and will continue his life as always. Maybe they will marry their partner next year, or maybe they will fight and each will continue on their own, remembering the relationship more or less positively, but without a single memory of any incident. violent of any kind.
If it is another group, also very numerous, This idea can possibly torment you for days, months, or even years.. “Why do you think that? Maybe I’m a potential killer? Would I be able to do something like this? In many cases, you can even avoid going as close as possible to the security line in metro stations, or even try to move as little as possible with your partner using this means of transport, deciding to walk ( you can consider this as an unwanted waste of time) or using other means, such as taxis or Uber (which undoubtedly means financial losses).
But we will concentrate, above all, on the psychological aspects of the question. Is our protagonist a psychopath? Do you have urges that will one day spiral out of control and drive a loved one to certain death? With a certainty that can never be 100% absolute (like everything), we can say no.
Most likely, by distance, it is that you pay more attention than necessary to certain intrusive ideaswhich are embarrassing and generate anxiety and guilt.
The nature of the appearance of thoughts
As said above, we do not constantly control the ideas that come to mind. But yes you can control what he does once these ideas appear.
Some decide not to give it much importance. Maybe they get upset about something like that for a while, then forget about it and move on. Others may, in a desperate attempt to prevent these thoughts from happening, engage in endless dialogues in their heads to verify, over and over again, that one is not what one fears, and that these thoughts are wrong. Looking for “that” answer that leaves them alone.
And often they find it (after wasting considerable time, which could be used for more productive things)… While later the thought comes even stronger“What if one day I can’t control myself and cause my girlfriend to run over her train?”
In the same way, great anxiety can appear when he is with his girlfriend waiting for the metro, so he decides to avoid this situation, by asking for an Uber (which also generates momentary relief, but does not solve the problem). underlying problem).
So what to do in these situations?
Fortunately, there are extremely effective treatments. It is not the idea to do a full review here of how such a case would work, but a few key concepts can be named.
I consider that the main thing is to generate an attitude of acceptance of these thoughts.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the endless dialogues you have internally to reduce anxiety and make annoying thoughts go away, in the short term, as we said, can get the job done. But in the long run, it only reinforces the behavior that precisely whenever such a thought pops up, what to do is waste time, again and again, daily, fighting it with logic. Just to keep it popping up.
Likewise, avoiding taking the metro will not solve the problem in the long run, and it will surely waste our money and time.
By accepting that these ideas can come, we remove their power over us. The spirit is constantly communicating things to us that are often contradictory with each other. It’s a useful tool we have for life, but it’s not all we are. Once the idea arises, instead of starting a ritual, internal or external, or any sort of avoidance, what we want to do is accept that idea as something that communicates our mind. Accept, in turn, the anxiety that this generates.
As a conclusion…
It’s okay to feel anxious, it’s okay to have unpleasant thoughts. These are inevitable things that happen to all of us. What is avoidable is what we do once they appear.
Maybe that sounds unconvincing, maybe even counterintuitive. But I invite you to pay attention to me for a week, and only in this aspect: not to start the internal dialogues to seek proof that these ideas are false. If after a week the anxiety and the frequency of these thoughts have decreased, you are on the right track.
As a last point, obsessive thoughts and the anxiety they generate are not something that can be “cured”. We can have relapses until the end of our lives, and that’s fine. What matters is the extent to which they affect us in our life, be it in time, energy, health (of all kinds) and in the pursuit of our goals. In any case, it is possible to live by considerably reducing its effects on us.