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How can I stop thinking about killing someone?

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All I can think about is homicide. Nearly all my thoughts are detailed ways to kill someone. Or imagining the feeling. It's starting to affect my sleep because I lie awake thinking about this.

I know these thoughts are normal to some extent, but I keep getting severe urges to act upon this. I know I won't, but I want to get rid of the temptation and knowing I'll end up in prison doesn't get rid of the thoughts.

If I should ask for help, what should I say? We don't have a school counsellor and I'd rather talk to my mum. I don't know how to ask, what to say. Or will these thoughts go away?

This question was submitted by 'Valerie'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Valerie and thank you for writing in.

Okay, now, in all probability this is just obsessive thinking and, as you say, not something you would or will really act on.

Obsessive thoughts are driven by emotion. That's why thoughts driven by such extreme feelings as anger, hate, jealousy, fear, and love tend to be compulsive and obsessive. Sometimes if we are stressed, our minds find stuff to obsessively think about and this could be of the 'What is the worst thing I could do?' variety.

So, I have worked with nurses who feared and obsessed that they would harm their patients, although they knew they never would; mothers who feared they would harm the children they loved; and plenty of folk who imagined they might jump when up high, even though they were in no way suicidal. When stressed, the mind (in some people) creates these scenarios to give the stress 'shape' and 'body'.

Having said all that, I think you should tell someone, tell your mum, talk to someone about this. I am pretty sure you would never do anything like that, but I don't know you, so I have to say:

Get help now and talk to someone who is mature.

As well as that, the more you relax, stay calm, and enjoy your life, the quicker those thoughts will pass. There is enough bad stuff in the world and there is no way you want to add to that.

Speak to your mum today, if you haven't already, but remember these thoughts will pass.

Did I mention you should speak to someone? Well, I will say it again. Talk to someone. Having obsessive thoughts is very common, but you mentioned 'severe urges', so I urge you to seek support for this right now.

All best wishes,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - March 25th, 2015 in

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