Updated: Mar 24, 2020
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The mental health community has a long standing relationship with intrusive thoughts, they are weird and can be distressing or amusing. That’s the point, they’re intrusive. Now I can’t be bothered to research the particular theme that I am going to talk about briefly, but trust me I remember it pretty well. In a list of 100 most popular intrusive thoughts a large group of university students who had never been diagnosed with a mental health condition or considered themselves to be suffering, were asked to review the list and give their thoughts. 80% of students identified that they have had more than one intrusive thought identified on the list. I think that’s interesting, are some just more vulnerable to these thoughts than others?
Now what if I talked about intrusive urges. This is something I’m more uncertain of. I don’t actually know if any one will connect with this, but I’m hoping someone does. I get this itchy feeling. Like my body isn’t the real me, the real me is trapped inside and it needs to claw its way out. I’m not talking metaphorically here, I’m talking literally. It’s hell, torture… I’m trapped. This feeling leaves me with urges which I suppose could be categorised as intrusive but also oddly specific. I’ll give you my top five:
Peeling off my eyelids
Using a potato peeler to peel away my skin
Continuously bashing my face into a brick or concrete wall
Tearing my skin off with my finger nails
I’m yet to find a way to conquer these urges. They control me and consume me. I can’t escape them or relieve them. It’s an itch I can’t scratch. In the past I have made attempts to complete these urges. I suppose you could argue I’m doing better now, considering I don’t try to complete them anymore. But on the other hand, I’m left with no release. No “ahhhhh satisfaction” moment. And in some cases, that’s more difficult.
I end up pushing the people I love into frustration at me. My boyfriend, my everything, I will sit and headbutt him on his shoulder, repeatedly, like a baby rhino trying to get its mother’s attention. I need noise everywhere I go, headphones on, TV on, radio on. The house is like a club scene with the noise. This could go on for hours.
So tell me, am I really doing any better?