Common intrusive thoughts

Common intrusive thoughts

We all experience intrusive thoughts. I have worried about suddenly shouting in a lift full of people (thankfully I never have) or doing some other sort of silly behaviour that would generally be frowned upon. This is very common. I thought you might find it interesting to read about common intrusive thoughts that we all have:

The table below shows the results of research findings from a survey of 293 students (198 female, 95 male), none of who had a diagnosed mental health problem.  The column on the left shows the type of intrusive thought and the 2 columns on the left show the percentage of men or women who said they had experienced that particular thought.

 

The research is from – C. Purdon and D.A. Clark (1992) Obsessive Intrusive Thoughts in Non Clinical Subjects.  Part 1 Content and relation with depressive, anxious and obsessional symptoms.  Behaviour Research and Therapy 31, 713-720.

 

Item Female % Male %
1.   Driving into a window 13 16
2.   Running car off the road 64 56
3.   Hitting animals or people with car 46 54
4.   Swerving into traffic 55 52
5.   Smashing into objects 27 40
6.   Slitting wrist/throat 20 22
7.   Cutting off finger 19 16
8.   Jumping off a high place 39 46
9.   Fatally pushing a stranger 17 34
10. Fatally pushing friend 9 22
11. Jumping in front of train/car 25 29
12. Pushing stranger in front of train/car 8 20
13. Pushing family in front of train/car 5 14
14. Hurting strangers 18 48
15. Insulting strangers 50 59
16. Bumping into people 37 43
17. Insulting authority figure 34 48
18. Insulting family 59 55
19. Hurting family 42 50
20. Choking family member 10 22
21. Stabbing family member 6 11
22. Accidentally leaving heat/stove on 79 66
23. Home unlocked, intruder there 77 69
24. Taps left on, home flooded 28 24
25. Swearing in public 30 34
26. Breaking wind in public 31 49
27. Throwing something 28 26
28. Causing a public scene 47 43
29. Scratching car paint 26 43
30. Breaking window 26 43
31. Wrecking something 32 33
32. Shoplifting 27 33
33. Grabbing money 21 39
34. Holding up bank 6 32
35. Sex with unacceptable person 48 63
36. Sex with authority figure 38 63
37. Fly/blouse undone 27 40
38. Kissing authority figure 37 44
39. Exposing myself 9 21
40. Acts against sexual preference 19 20
41. Authority figures naked 42 54
42. Strangers naked 51 80
43. Sex in public 49 78
44. Disgusting sex act 43 52
45. Catching sexually transmitted disease 60 43
46. Contamination from doors 35 24
47. Contamination from phones 28 18
48. Getting fatal disease from strangers 22 19
49. Giving fatal disease to strangers 25 17
50. Giving everything away 52 43
51. Removing all dust from the floor 35 24
52. Removing dust from unseen places 41 29

Mandy X

Info: courtesy of IESO Digital health

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash