ZocdocAnswersI have been having disturbing thoughts lately. What is wrong with me?

Question

I have been having disturbing thoughts lately. What is wrong with me?

I have been having disturbing thoughts lately. The nature of these thoughts makes me falter in directly seeking professional help in person. It occurs a few times a day, and has been getting progressively worse. I will be doing my daily routines when a vivid video, as if a horror movie is playing in my head, will start. It will play over and over again, depicting either myself causing harm to others, or others causing harm to me. I can't go near cooking knives anymore for fear of triggering these episodes. Can you help me? Am I going insane?

Answer

This is a good question. It is very important that you seek care as soon as possible with your primary care doctor or psychiatrist (if you have one) to discuss your symptoms and have a full history and physical. If the thoughts are telling you to do harmful things to others and/or yourself and you are worried you will act on them then you need to go to the emergency room now to be evaluated before you hurt someone. From what you are describing it sounds like you are experiencing auditory hallucinations or delusions. This can be a sign of many things, such as schizophrenia, depression with psychosis, mania, side effect of certain drugs or medications, to name a few. If you have a history of violence or something tragic happened to you in the past, it is possible you are suffering from PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder. The doctor who evaluates you will ask you many questions about your mood, sleep, appetite, relationships, etc. Depending what is uncovered, he or she may order additional testing such as blood work. Again, it is very important that you seek urgent medical care to get a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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