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Horrible thoughts setting off panic attacks

Community Member

Hi all. So I have never felt or had this before. After a bit of stress at work, all of a sudden horrible thoughts come into my head that I might hurt my kids. I love my kids to bits- I could never ever ever hurt them!! Why on earth would I think this? What's happening to me? Why is my brain even capable of thinking this? It is the most worst thing I could ever think - so of course each time it pops up I freak out and have a full panic attack. I am so scared what's happening to me right now. I just want them to stop and feel normal again. Please help me. I am so scared.

11 Replies 11

Community Member

Dear Donna, this must be awful for you. It sounds like you are under too much pressure in your life. Are you able to sit down and write up all the things you are doing each day ? and indentify what is pushing you to this point. Obviously you know some thing is not right for you at this time.  Try and look at what you are doing and what you can diminish  if possible..

Hope this Helps in some way.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Donna, this is an awful feeling to have, but before I continue, can I ask you do you suffer from OCD, because it can be a symptom of this illness.

If not then I will approach it another way. I'll wait for your reply, take care. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Donna,

I know exactly how you feel. I'm just going through the same thing. I just mentioned it to my husband last night about thinking (or the thoughts you have no control over) of hurting the kids but I would never ever do it. I love them to bits, they are my world. It's just so disappointing, annoying, shameful, hurtful that our kids have to be involved in this. I've suffered with anxiety on and off but sine my thyroid episode which brought on more anxiety it's been a bit high over the past few weeks. I'm hoping that this will pass but might have to get some help. Bit confused and not sure like you.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Donna, Karherine and Grace, has anyone watched the 'Anxiety' tape, it's very good, especially the section which relates to the female talking about her OCD.

I watched it after I posted my comment to Donna, so if you have time it's would be good to view.

I had this awful feeling as well as for some reason I wanted to hurt my dear mum. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Thank you so much for the supportive replies.  I was hoping noone would judge me for these horrid thoughts!  I wonder if I think it just to torment myself into thinking the most worst thought possible! 

Geoff - where is this Anxiety tape?  I would love to watch.  Is it on the website?  I guess in a way I do OCD a bit- not in a specific habit - but I like things a particular way, and if its not like that I have to fix it.  Little silly things - how the bed is made, the table cloth not being straight, the kids toys are in boxes of specific types of toys.  But nothing too bad - I can manage ok if its wrong.  I just choose to fix it 🙂 

Grace - thank you - its kind of nice to hear I am not alone.  Its so frightening.  I see a psychologist in a few days and also my doc is testing things like thyroid to see what the sudden cause of this is.  I seem slightly more at ease today.  Its nice.  The cold feeling in my chest keeps coming. 

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
dear Donna, it's where you login, and it says 'hi my name is Anxiety', and there is a section on OCD where a female explains exactly the thoughts that you and I have or had, as my dear Mum is not with us any more. L Geoff. x

Hi Donna

The same thing happened to me 3 years ago , I'd had alot of bad things happen in the few weeks to the lead up of my first ever attack , I will never forget the night I woke in complete horror and thought Oh my god what if I actually do something as horrible as to hurt my kids , I have four boys who are my world but the thought came to me and I felt so internally disgusted that I could even think that , I tortured myself over it making each thought worse and worse because I assumed I had become some kind of horrible monster who hates her children over the thought I could even think of hurting them , I did seek help and eventually I learnt to push the thoughts away , just recently it came back , and it came back hard so i seeked out help from my doctor as the feeling of fear and sadness was overwhelming , I am on new anxiety medication which so far is good. I start seeing someone soon and I hope to understand my condition better  so I can stop these attacks consuming weeks of me at a time . I hope my story helps you a little, knowing other people are going through it makes you feel you are definitely not alone.

Community Member

Hi Donna

There is a world of difference between fantasies and intentions, as I'm sure you realise - think of the weird stuff that happens in dreams. I have suffered from these fantasies, one of the worst experiences of my life. That was at a time when my bipolar was not diagnosed nor properly controlled. Once that was managed, the fantasies went away and have never returned.

Others have mentioned OCD and anxiety - truth is, we can't tell what's going on. We can certainly tell you that you're not alone, and that others have had these feelings and fantasies and learnt to deal with them.

To figure out what's going on seek professional help. See a trusted GP, and get a referral to a clinical psychologist or to a psychiatrist. You don't have to do this all by yourself.

Take care, and stay in touch.

Community Member

Hi Donna,

I wanted to write and say your definitely not alone. I suffer from the same kind of thoughts , regularly unfortunately, but they are much worse when i am under pressure and stressed. They are so horrific;  extremely violent and sometimes sexual in nature.  I hate them and get so frustrated as i don't seem to have any control over them. They are always the same though! and i have come to recognise them,  which takes some of the anxiety out of the whole experience.  Shamefully they always pick on the same people,  my family and recently specifically my niece,  which is just horrid. They leave me questioning whether i would actually do those things and whether i love her at all.  I loose confidence in myself, sometimes even staying away from family,  and fear hospitalisation.  I also have thoughts that i should kill myself because i am just so horrid. 

I am learning some tricks though,  via a psychologist and my g.p.  I have put them below.It is a very slow frustrating process.

Take the pressure off where you can and use some TLC.  Try and gather some strength and don't give in to thinking you will always feel like this or are criminally insane, things the thoughts have told me about me. I know now that they do go away and i am sometimes free of them and will recover, even if only for a while.

Oh and get some good help. Just medicating the problem is not the answer without a supportive clinical psychologist.  xx sare


There is another class of intrusive thoughts that I call intrusive obsessive thoughts. These thoughts seem to come from out of nowhere, arrive with a distressing whoosh, and cause a great deal of anxiety. The content of intrusive obsessive thoughts almost always focus on sexual or violent images. Here are typical examples of intrusive obsessive thoughts: hurting yourself or others or doing violent aggressive or provocative things.

People who experience intrusive obsessive thoughts are afraid that they might commit the acts they picture in their mind. They might imagine hurting someone or committing an act of sexual violation. Intrusive obsessive thoughts can be very explicit, and most people are embarrassed and frightened of them. There are a number of myths about intrusive obsessive thoughts. The greatest myth is that having thoughts of a sexual or violent nature mean that you want to do the things that come into your mind. This is not true. You do not want to do the things that enter your mind when you have intrusive obsessive thoughts. In fact, the opposite is true. People with intrusive obsessive thoughts are gentle and non-violent.

Remember that the content of your thought is irrelevant and you must apply the paradoxical approach to cope with them. If you try to engage your thoughts in any way—such as reasoning with them, pushing them away, altering your behavior to stay away from threatening situations—all these approaches will only serve to make them stronger and more intrusive. As with other forms of anxiety, your job is to do the opposite.

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Steps for coping with Intrusive Thoughts

·       Label these thoughts as "intrusive obsessive thoughts."

·       Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and you can safely ignore them.

·       Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind. Do not try to push them away.

·       Breathe diaphragmatically until your anxiety starts to go down.

·       Continue whatever you were doing prior to the intrusive thought.

Try Not To:

·       Engage the thoughts in any way.

·       Push the thoughts out of your mind.

·       Try to figure out what your thoughts "mean."

·       Convince yourself that you would never do what the thoughts are saying.

·       Change your behavior so that you avoid the possibility of acting on your thoughts.

Try to:

·       Label your anxiety level and watch it go up and down.

·       Allow the thoughts to remain without hindrance. (They will go away on their own).

·       Focus on managing your anxiety in the present. Diaphragmatic breathing is especially helpful.

This approach can be difficult to apply. But if you can keep applying it for just a few weeks, there is an excellent chance that you will begin to see a decrease in the number and intensity of your intrusive thoughts.