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      Hi everyone, My daughter’s intrusive OCD thoughts are so violent that I’m shamed to admit she now scares me. She tells me her thoughts, they are so weird and I begin to panic, wondering why she has that thought. If her thoughts were less violent, then it wouldn’t bother me as much. Is it possible that OCD thoughts are just nonsense and not at all real or related to anything real?




        intrusive thoughts don’t mean anything, they pick up on your worse fears


          Hi i just wanted to reach out and offer some support.

          I know from experience that helping a loved one through this is extremely distressing but it is resolvable. You can come through this feeling enlightened and stronger.

          A couple of things that i think you need to appreciate is that you should feel very proud that your relationship with your daughter is strong enough that she feels able and confident to open up to you with those thoughts that she finds most distressing and frightened about. Well done you. Many kids dont have that important relationship with their parents and you should also be grateful and proud that you have developed the trust and openness that she is able to talk because only by talking and understanding OCD, will she be able to overcome it. A point about your daughter, is that i bet she is bright, intelligent and imaginative. The horrific thoughts and imaginings she is thinking about are all completely normal. We watch gruesome things on TV and humans have a morbid fascination of horror. Most of us struggle NOT to look at a car wreck as we pass by. We imagine ourselves in the situation as victims bystanders or perpetrators. In a young imaginative mind we should expect the same. Whilst ALL  thoughts that are perfectly reasonable (though usually the odd ones are kept inside the head rather than spoken out loud as it would be unusual and embarrassing to tell our friends and family about ALL our dream and thoughts), it is the continued and repetitive nature that becomes an issue. Struggling to break free of them and finding that we cant stop the thinking is what OCD is. It is the inability to break free from the focus because we feel that by resolving the thought we might find a way to stop it, that is the problem. In other words, trying to answer questions and find evidence that one is not a perpetrator of horrific acts, is the error that her ocd thinking pattern keeps making. The thoughts are ALWAYS thoughts that we find disturbing and that make us anxious. Again, you must remember that your daughter is troubled and frightened by these thoughts because they represent the OPPOSITE of who she is. If she has OCD, i bet without meeting her, that she is a nice kind person?

          OCD repetitive ruminations are ALWAYS driven by anxiety. Take the anxiety away and the thoughts evaporate. Not entirely because as I said, horrific thoughts are normal. It is the way OCD (anxiousness) keeps them at the front of our thinking that effects our behaviors and wellbeing. They become intrusive. But once the anxiety goes, so does the intrusive nature and distress. That is where you need to find help. CBT or Acceptance Therapy will teach her how to let go of those thought patterns or schemas.

          To help you specifically, remember that fear is catching.. It keeps us, as groups of animals, safe. When 1 deer is spooked and responds physically to a danger, (eyes wide, muscles tight, heart rate and adrenaline up, all senses attuned to the danger) the whole herd responds to the spooked deer and they all run even though they dont know why. Your anxiety is being driven by the fear you see physically manifesting itself in your daughter. Help her by keeping calm. Soften your face and eyes, breath and relax, sigh gently and smile understandingly when she tells you her horrible thoughts. Keep offering her support and space. If you look scared and look like you are trying to “work out what it means”, she will interperate that as justification for her fear.

          This is a good exercise for you.. next time you sit with her to talk about this, she will possibly try to interperate what the thoughst mean. Ie “How do i know i wont do those things” (i could tell you how to respond but thats another post!!) when she starts talking in a way that scares you, notice how you are physically responding like the deer in the herd. Notice with GENUINE INTEREST, what happens to your body. What is happening to your heart rate? Can you feel the adrenaline causing butterflies? Are you physically tight with shoulders hunched up? are your eyes and senses attuned for danger? The answer will likely be yes to all the above. THE KEY now, is NOT to stop them. Let them wash through you like a wave. Become an interested and curious adrenaline junkie for a moment. Let the physical aspects of fear wash through you and be curious as to what damage it might do.. I Promise there will be none. You might feel drained afterwards, but people pay money to go on a rollercoaster- right? My promise is this…. As soon as you stop resisting fear and anxiety, it drops away and you will almost laugh at how simple it is to overcome. But your acceptance and embracing of fear has to be genuine…dont hope for it to go, dont engage with thinking either, just WATCH the physical attributes of your fear with curiosity. Be curious as to what happens to anxiety when you will it to do its worst, rather than wish it to stop.

          If you do this you will help your daughter by showing you are unconcerned, it will give you some insight into how she will resolve it over time (not allowing anxiety to fuel a repetitive thought schema) and help you find someone who can guide your daughter to developing a skill set that not many people are blessed with (an ability to focus on things without fear). She might, like my loved one, go on to be a world leader in her stressful and challenging field. I am immensely proud of my relation for her mind boggling achievements and equally for the strength and courage she showed when getting to grips with OCD.

          Good luck..

          Forum Moderators

            Forum moderators here:

            We just want you to know that you can also contact the OCD Action Helpline and Email Service to talk to or email someone who understands OCD.

            Our Helpline volunteers provide confidential information and support for people with OCD (and their families, friends and carers too). Most volunteers have personal experience of OCD; all understand OCD and how it can impact the lives of family, members, friends and carers. Contact our Helpline by:

            – phone: 0300 636 5478
            – email:

            Best wishes,

            Forum Moderators

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