Psymplicity Healthcare specialises in the diagnosis & treatment of intrusive thoughts in adults. We are currently offering initial 2-hour assessments, either online or at our Harley Street psychiatry clinic, at the reduced rate of £495.
Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that appear suddenly, out of nowhere, and are often unconnected to what you may be thinking about. They are typically unwelcome involuntary thoughts that may be upsetting, negative, or sometimes even harmful. Despite them lacking any rational logic or reasoning, they can feel extremely real and highly likely to occur.
Most of us do experience some form of intrusive and invasive thoughts, and they are considered normal. According to research, a staggering 94% of people experience intrusive thoughts that are unpleasant on a daily basis. However, if a recurring occurrence of these thoughts starts affecting your mental wellbeing and hampering your ability to lead a normal healthy & happy life, this can become a cause for concern. Intrusive thoughts can quickly become extremely distressing if they turn obsessive - it is vital to seek support and treatment from a specialist psychiatrist if you are experiencing obsessive intrusive thoughts.
By seeking the right treatment and guidance, you can learn to manage and control these thoughts. You can equip yourself with the right tools to get a grip on these thoughts and prevent them from taking over your life.
While there may be no clear, specific reason for a particular intrusive thought to occur, understanding the characteristics of the thoughts and the impact that they have over your emotional and physical wellbeing is important.
While these are just some examples of disturbing intrusive thoughts, these thoughts can be categorized into the following types, based on their nature:
Intrusive sexual thoughts are unpleasant and often trigger guilt and shame. These thoughts do not imply that you have a desire to commit a violent or inappropriate sexual act, rather that you are fearful of the possibility of this occurring.
Harmful intrusive thoughts involve acts of violence towards yourself or another person. Experiencing these thoughts does not necessarily mean you have the intention to act on them, however it is important to seek treatment and understand the root cause, so that you can learn to manage them. Continued thoughts about harming your newborn child could be due to postnatal depression and with the right treatment, you can overcome it.
Delusional thoughts can cause extreme distress as you are constantly battling with the boundaries of reality. You may feel strongly that someone is trying to harm you or you are being followed or someone is plotting against you. You could also be hearing and seeing certain things that are not witnessed by others. If you have consistent fear or paranoia, you could be experiencing psychosis, which will need to be treated by a qualified psychiatrist.
These types of thoughts include distressing images, situations, and thoughts about death - either your own death or that of your loved ones. This could constantly make you fearful that you or your loved one could die due to an accident or a non-existent health issue. The constant barrage of these thoughts can instill a crippling fear and make it difficult for you to cope.
When intrusive thoughts become uncontrollable or obsessive, they may cause you to forcefully develop compulsive patterns or actions in order to overcome them, resulting in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Examples of such OCD behavior include repeatedly checking if the door is locked over the fear that an intruder may hurt you, or a paralyzing fear of driving due to constant worries about running over a pedestrian. These OCD behaviors, caused by irrational intrusive thoughts, can have a crippling effect on your daily life.
Intrusive thoughts are as powerful as you can let them be. So if you do not give intrusive thoughts the power to control you by reacting strongly, you will be able to take away its power to control your life. Intrusive thoughts continue to persist and affect you depending on how you react to you. The more you focus to suppress it or eliminate it altogether, the stronger and more frequent do these thoughts become.
It is important to bear in mind that these are just thoughts and that they will pass. Therefore try not to ‘buy into’ them by thinking about them. Attempt to cultivate the approach of observing your thoughts and labeling them as intrusive yet not getting caught up in them.
Here are a few ways to get a grip on these thoughts:
Do not try to fight these thoughts. Do not spend all your efforts in fighting them and struggling to get them out of your mind. Instead, accept them. Try to remember that these are fleeting thoughts that do not carry any significance in your life. If fighting and retaliating against them you are only losing your peace of mind, your patience and are increasing your stress levels. When you make peace with the thoughts, accept them, and let them pass on, your anticipation of the thoughts will make you less anxious and the stress of dealing with the thoughts will also decrease.
Try to see the reason behind your reaction to these thoughts - do you fear them or are disgusted by them? Why do you think that is? Could it be because they go against your belief system? Is it because you value your loved one so much that the very thought of losing them causes you unimaginable fear? Could it be that the thoughts are strongly reiterating your core values and principles? Understanding the rationale for your reactions to the thoughts will train your mind to deal with them less adversely and eventually let the thoughts pass over.
Remember, these thoughts do not define who you are. These thoughts do not reflect on your true nature or your intentions. Fearing them and trying to prevent them for occurring strengthens the hold the thoughts have over you. By telling yourself that you do not fear them, you are taking the power away from them. Allow the thoughts to occur, let your mind and body process them and then they will pass over.
To overcome these negative thoughts, it is important to develop and maintain good habits that help your emotional and mental wellbeing. Get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly, practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, and eat clean. These will help your body rid of negative toxins, improve your overall health, and reduce stress levels considerably.
Intrusive thought can be managed with a range of effective treatments. Psymplicity Healthcare provides a highly personalised intrusive thoughts treatment plan, which is bespoke to each client and designed to include a comprehensive range of interventions, techniques, and support mechanisms.
The appropriate treatment approach for your condition will be discussed with you during an initial consultation with a senior member of our specialist team. Depending on the severity and level of distress caused by intrusive thought, we may recommend one of the following approaches:
Psychiatric consultation – this is appropriate when the intrusive thoughts are causing a great deal of distress and are linked to high anxiety levels. It is also useful when they have been occurring over a long period and previous psychiatric consultations have not helped to alleviate them. Our consultant psychiatrist will take a thorough history and will formulate an effective treatment plan, perhaps with medication to reduce some of the symptoms.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and ‘Third Wave’ approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialogical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) are all clinically proven to be effective for intrusive thoughts.
Psychotherapy can also be effective. The practitioner might explore with you the origins of your intrusive thoughts and help you to gain a greater understanding of your anxiety. They will seek to build up your inner psychological robustness so that you feel more empowered and in control and experience less intrusive thoughts.
Our close-knit team of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists are highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of intrusive thoughts. We provide clients with a bespoke and completely confidential service.
Dr Beider is a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist. He is a specialist in general adult psychiatry, ADHD and ADD, sleep issues, addiction and medicolegal cases and is able to prescribe medication. He has worked at Psymplicity for the last five years. Dr Beider also has practising privileges at the Nightingale Hospital in Central London and can admit patients under his care to the Nightingale Day Therapy, Inpatient, and Addiction programs.
Dr Duffett is a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist. He is a specialist in ADHD, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Dr Duffett works collaboratively with patients to enable them to best manage their mental health and find where appropriate the most effective treatment option including prescribing medication.
Dr Basit is a consultant psychiatrist who has vast experience in the diagnosis and treatment of Adult ADHD. He also has experience in diagnosis, treatment and management of functional mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar affective disorder and psychosis; in particular the interaction between physical illnesses and mental health problems, as well as medicolegal reports.
Our psychiatric team are specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions and many others. Each patient is treated on a case-by-case basis, meaning that your treatment plan is unique to you. We have two clinics across London and appointments available, so contact us today and book yours now.
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We provide a comprehensive and holistic service to help treat your OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Through cognitive behaviour therapy and medication, you’ll slowly begin to overcome your compulsive behaviours.read more
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Schizophrenia is a type of psychosis that stops sufferers from distinguishing their thoughts from reality. With your own unique treatment plan, we’re able to help you limit the symptoms you experience.read more
While drug & alcohol addictions are seen as the most common, it’s possible to get addicted to anything. Our fresh approach to the treatment allows us to pinpoint the root cause and then create a bespoke treatment program.read more
Psymplicity are now offering an initial 2 hour online intrusive thoughts assessment and diagnosis at the reduced rate of £495.
If you would like to speak with our highly qualified and approachable team, please call us now or request a call back through our contact form.
Intrusive thoughts are absolutely normal. Everyone experiences intrusive thoughts that crop up suddenly, out of the blue and have no relevance whatsoever to what they may be doing or thinking at that time. However, consistent, anxiety-inducing negative intrusive thoughts can be distressing and if they start affecting your health and happiness, seeking professional help will help you cope.
While intrusive thoughts are pretty common and they are mostly fleeting images or thoughts or visuals, continued persistent negative thoughts can sometimes become obsessive in nature. If you face distressing thoughts frequently and they have started to affected your behavior or actions in an obsessive manner, you may be experiencing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
There is no clearly defined reason for the occurrence of intrusive thoughts - they can manifest from nothing. However, if continued intrusive thoughts cause you significant distress, a professional psychiatrist will be able to help you analyse the reason behind some of the thoughts and the rationale behind your fear of them.
The very first step to overcoming intrusive thoughts is to stop fighting them and start accepting them. By accepting them as involuntary thoughts that will occur but eventually pass, you can manage the stress and fear associated with them and can limit the control that these thoughts have over you.
While we understand that intrusive thoughts can sometimes be stressful, there is no way to completely stop them from happening. You can however effectively manage them and cope with them by dealing with them through acceptance and overcoming your deep-rooted fears over them. If you find that you are unable to manage these thoughts and they are causing far too much anxiety or distress, our trained specialists are here to help you.