I kill people in my head (What does it mean?)

In this blog post, we will try to understand what it means if you kill people in your head. We also try to understand if it can be treated with a few rules to be followed. In addition, we also point a few things that sufferers need to understand. 

I kill people in my head. 

Do you have random thoughts of killing people in your head? If yes, are you confused with what that means? Is it because you hate them or have they done any harm to you? You find yourself not finding an answer anytime soon. 

Such situations scare us. But to our surprise, this is not a rare condition. Having thoughts of killing someone is seen quite often. 

What does it mean? 

Having continuous intrusive thoughts of killing people can mean that a person is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. 

There are various categories of fixations and impulses that make up the turmoil known as OCD and keeping in mind that these cover a wide scope of different topics, they all offer numerous attributes in like manner. These would incorporate intrusive unpleasant contemplations, constant uncertainty, blame feelings of dread of being crazy, and squashing tension. While all types of OCD can be agonizing, incapacitating, shocking, and weakening one of the nastier and additionally frightening is the sort known as morbid obsessions. This is especially valid for those fixations in this classification that are savage in nature and incorporate contemplations of slaughtering or harming others or oneself, or of acting explicitly in manners that are against society’s standards.

Violent thoughts may involve both mental images and impulses to act. These can include those in which people see themselves hitting, stabbing, strangling, mutilating, or otherwise injuring their children family members, stranger’s pets, or even themselves. They may envision themselves using sharp or pointed objects such as knives, forks, scissors, pencils, pens, broken bottles, letter openers, ice picks, power tools, poison, their bare hands, or even their cars. The urges they experience may involve pushing or throwing themselves or others into the paths of trains or cars, out of windows, or off balconies, buildings, or other high places. Some report thoughts of hitting pedestrians, ramming their cars into bridge abutments on the highway, or steering into the path of oncoming traffic. 

Others fear snapping or going berserk in public and harming people. One patient of mine would have thoughts of opening one of the exit doors aboard an airliner. In reaction, sufferers tend to fear being alone with anyone smaller and weaker they feel they could easily overpower, such as children and elderly people. They often avoid going to such places as train platforms, pedestrian-filled street corners, or being in crowded public places. Mothers may experience repeated thoughts of acting violently towards their infants or small children.

This type of OCD is can be called Harm OCD

The main difference with harm OCD is a reaction to such thoughts. For people otherwise, when an absurd thought pops up, they brush it off and move on. Whilst people with OCD are horrified and try to think of such thoughts. This in turn leads to constant and intrusive thoughts, leading to a vicious cycle. 

Can it be treated? 

These principles are put into action in a treatment known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This is a systematic way of confronting the violent (or any other) thoughts in a step-by-step manner. The actual exposure itself is very straightforward. Sufferers can be exposed to violent thoughts in a number of ways. These may involve assignments carried out under a therapist’s direction in an office or on one’s own at home. 

What all these methods have in common is that they don’t reassure. Instead, they are designed to provoke anxiety by essentially saying that the thoughts are true, that the feared consequences will really happen, and that nothing can be done to prevent them. Ideally, exposure should be done whenever and wherever the thoughts occur. Those who suffer from violent obsessions have various types of scripts they write for themselves, and it is important to understand these scripts in order to be able to use them in designing homework assignments. 

You should keep those thoughts away as there are many consequences if you listen to them, they can convict you of first, second or third degree murder as appropriate.

A typical script for violent thinkers runs something like, “I must be having these thoughts because I’m really psycho and want to do these things. Maybe I’ll lose control and really do them. If I do act on my thoughts they’ll lock me up forever. That will be horrible for my family and me; they will suffer because of what I did and I will suffer knowing what I did to them and to my victim. I won’t be able to live with the guilt. I’ll either die in prison or kill myself.” Scripts such as these are worked into a series of graduated assignments.

Rules that help to combat violent thoughts

  • Expect the unexpected — you can have an obsessive thought any time or any place.
  • Never seek reassurance. Instead, tell yourself the worst will happen or has happened.
  • Always agree with all obsessive thoughts — never analyze or argue with them.
  • If you slip and do a compulsion you can always mess it up and cancel it out.
  • Remember that dealing with your symptoms is your responsibility alone. Don’t involve others.
  • When you have a choice, always go toward the anxiety never away from it.

How to get rid of intrusive thoughts

It is possible for you to control your thoughts. Dealing with OCD related thoughts is a task in itself. Here are a few things to do as well as a few things to avoid while trying to control OCD related thoughts.

  • Label these thoughts as “intrusive thoughts.”
  • Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and not up to you.
  • Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind. Do not try to push them away.
  • Float, and practice allowing time to pass.
  • Remember that less is more. Pause. Give yourself time. There is no urgency. 
  • Expect the thoughts to come back again
  • Continue whatever you were doing prior to the intrusive thought while allowing the anxiety to be present.

 Try Not To:

  • Engage with the thoughts in any way.
  • Push the thoughts out of your mind.
  • Try to figure out what your thoughts “mean.”
  • Check to see if this is “working” to get rid of the thoughts

What the sufferers need to understand 

  • Your thoughts do not determine who you are 

It is important for sufferers to understand that the thoughts are mere thoughts and do not cause anxiety, but rather the anxiety is caused by the views sufferers take of the thoughts. They need to overcome the idea that, “If I think it, it must be real.” It should be noted that people who suffer from these thoughts have no history of violence, nor do they ever act out on their ideas or urges. 

Although OCD can project extreme and bizarre thoughts into people’s minds, it is not the thoughts or the anxiety as much as people’s solutions to having the thoughts that represent the real heart of the problem. It is the compulsive acts that people perform to relieve their anxiety that cause the paralysis that they experience. Compulsions are seductive in that they offer the illusion of immediate relief from anxiety, even if it only lasts a brief time.

 Compulsions, paradoxically, start out as solutions but eventually become the problem itself. They may grow from taking only a few minutes per day, to taking up hours at a time. Instinct tells people with OCD to avoid or run away from the things they fear and they erroneously believe that this is possible. Unfortunately, the opposite proves to be true, and the avoidance only worsens the problem and increases fear. 

  • Stopping the thoughts is very difficult 

It is important to understand that applying a break on such thoughts can sometimes be impossible. For example, if I ask you not to think of a pink elephant, your brain will do nothing else but think about it. This is also called the pink elephant effect. The harder you try not to think about something, the more you’ll think about it. So what do you do instead? Let the thoughts come. Don’t fight them, don’t judge yourself for having them, simply let the idea of murdering your family wash over you, and then finish ordering your caramel latte like it ain’t nothing.

  • Talking about it in normal conversations will make it weird 

Imagine you meet your friend for dinner and tell them out of no where that you feel killing them. This would most certainly weird them out.  So you need to make sure that you build a close and trustworthy relationship first in order to avoid your friend thinking you are crazy. 

Having someone to talk about your thoughts makes a great difference. Opening up to your friends and family about your violent thoughts can help you feel more comfortable. You also realize that people love you no matter what. Hence it would be absurd to open up about your thoughts at a dinner party. 

  • OCD is difficult to treat 

Even though there are medications and therapy for OCD, sometimes OCD reaches a state where it cannot be treated. It can be controlled, different coping mechanisms can be used, but it does not go away completely. One may have to be on regular medications and constant therapy to avoid such violent and harmful thoughts. This does not mean that you do not go for therapy. Because if you do not, you will not be able to cope with the thoughts and they will hinder your daily activities. 

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.


In this blog post, we have tried to understand what it means if you kill people in your head. We also tried to understand if it can be treated with a few rules to be followed. In addition, we also point a few things that sufferers need to understand.

FAQs: I kill people in my head 

Are murderous thoughts normal?

Homicidal thoughts are common, accounting for 10–17% of patient presentations to psychiatric facilities in the United States. Homicidal ideation is not a disease itself but may result from other illnesses such as delirium and psychosis.

What mental illness makes you violent?

The intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior, or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.

Are OCD thoughts true?

No, they are not. Think of your OCD as a separate entity; you are not your thoughts. People with OCD have the same thoughts as people with “normal” brains, but our brains get stuck in an uncontrollable loop. It is uncontrollable because no amount of reassurance from someone else or self-rationalizing will help.


How I Treat OCD Killer Thoughts: Treating Violent Obsessions



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