His statement delivered with conviction. It’s hard to forget the anxiety and feelings of helplessness that intrusive thoughts can bring.
This personal account- from an OCD sufferer of more than 25 years- has been shared to help understand OCD and the more frequently used terms.
This is an example of an intrusive thought
Intrusive thoughts are the specific thoughts on a topic or theme.
Common intrusive thoughts involve missing the morning alarm and finding an intruder in the home.
The OCD and Anxiety Center describes these thoughts as unwanted and distressing.
In the sufferers account, being tied down and unable to break free is the unwanted thought, bringing on distress and anxiety that still resonates today.
Intrusive thoughts can be seen as individual sparks creating (or contributing to) the metaphorical fire. The fire being the obsession.
Intrusive thoughts can repeat. And repeat.
Frequent intrusive thoughts on a certain theme become obsessions.
nhs.uk describes obsessions as repeated unwanted thoughts. The frequency of these thoughts becomes obsessional and problematic.
Intrusive thoughts vs obsessions
Intrusive thoughts are the individual thoughts that contribute to an obsession.
An obsession can be thought of as a storm cloud. A storm consists of individual raindrops, similar to how an obsession consists of many individual intrusive-thoughts.
Ruminations vs intrusive thoughts
Healthline defines rumination as continuous thinking.
Rumination is carried out as an attempt to reverse, solve or end the problems arising in the intrusive thoughts, often with negative implications.
Intrusive thoughts are the sudden, dark and unpleasant thoughts we experience.
Rumination is processing these thoughts after having one, in an attempt to end the arising anxiety.
Ruminating is our attempt to escape the mental suffering.
Is ruminating a compulsion?
It seems difficult to differentiate between the terms, making it difficult to heal without professional help.
Ruminations vs obsessions
Obsessing can be considered the whole cycle of intrusive thinking and ruminating.
An obsession with being tied to a wind turbine against our will consists of individual intrusive thoughts, resulting in rumination.
Rumination is an attempt to figure out a way to prevent this thought or scenario occurring. This may change our behaviours, such as actively avoiding routes that pass wind turbines.
These behaviours are known as compulsions, and will be looked at in a dedicated article.