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Intrusive Thoughts and Anxiety; Can Intrusive Thoughts Cause Anxiety?

by Jessica Luccy

It’s normal to have intrusive thoughts from time to time. But if they’re frequent or cause you distress, they may be a sign of anxiety or another mental health condition.

In this article, we’ll explore the link between intrusive thoughts and anxiety. We’ll also describe some helpful coping mechanisms.

What Are Intrusive Thoughts?

Most people have intrusive thoughts from time to time, but usually they are benign and cause no distress.

For some people, however, these thoughts can be persistent, distressing, and even overwhelming. They may be about something that the person fears could happen, such as harming oneself or others.

These thoughts can cause a great deal of anxiety and may even lead to panic attacks.

In severe cases, they can interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily life.

Intrusive thoughts are a symptom of several mental health conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?

There are many potential causes of intrusive thoughts. They may be caused by:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • A traumatic event in past
  • Som medications
  • Few medical conditions

Intrusive thoughts are also common in people who have OCD or other mental health disorders.

How Can Intrusive Thoughts Cause Anxiety?

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, repetitive thoughts that can cause anxiety. These thoughts can be about anything, but they are often negative and can be hard to control. Intrusive thoughts can cause anxiety because they can be so distressing and hard to shake.

If you’re having intrusive thoughts, it’s important to remember that they’re just thoughts—they’re not reality.

However, if you’re struggling to manage your anxiety, you can contact a therapist or counselor who will provide you medication and therapy to cope with your intrusive thoughts.

What Are Examples of Anxiety Intrusive Thoughts

Anxiety intrusive thoughts are unwanted, unwelcome thoughts that seem to pop into your head at random. They can be about anything that you’re worried or anxious about, and can be extremely distressing.

Intrusive thoughts are a common symptom of anxiety disorders, and can make the anxiety much worse.

Examples of anxiety intrusive thoughts might include:

  • Worrying that you will get sick or die
  • Worrying that you will lose control and hurt someone
  • Worrying that you will have a panic attack in public
  • Obsessing over a mistake you made
  • Imagining what would happen if you got fired from your job

These are just a few examples – there are many, many more. If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, and can help you to manage and reduce intrusive thoughts.

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts and Anxiety?

If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts and anxiety, you’re not alone. Many people deal with these issues on a daily basis. While it can be difficult to cope with, there are ways to manage intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Here are some tips:

Identify Your Triggers

What situations or thoughts tend to lead to intrusive thoughts and anxiety? Once you know your triggers, you can try to avoid them or be prepared for them.

Challenge Your Thinking

When you have an intrusive thought, question it. Why are you thinking this? Is there any evidence to support it? Often, when we challenge our thinking, we realize that the thoughts are irrational and don’t deserve our attention.

Breathe Deeply and Relax

Anxiety can be physical as well as mental, so it’s important to relax your body as well as your mind. Take some deep breaths and focus on relaxing your muscles. You may also want to try some relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.

Talk To Someone

Sometimes it can help to talk to someone who understands, whether that’s a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline. Talking about what you’re going through can help you feel less alone and may

Can General Anxiety Cause Intrusive Thoughts?

It’s common to experience anxiety and intrusive thoughts at the same time. While anxiety can certainly cause intrusive thoughts, it’s important to understand that everyone experiences intrusive thoughts from time to time. It’s only when they become excessive and disruptive that they become an indication of an anxiety disorder. If you’re struggling with anxiety and intrusive thoughts, it’s important to seek professional help.


Why do I wake up with these distracting thoughts every day?

They seldom present any danger to humans. On the other hand, if your preoccupation with them is so severe that it interferes with your day-to-day life, this can be an indication that you have a deeper mental health issue.

Anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are all conditions that may be accompanied with intrusive thoughts (OCD).

Do I only have anxiety or do I also have OCD?

People who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) have a tendency to switch from one anxiety to another throughout the day (or have a general sense of being overwhelmed). Whereas people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are more likely to obsess on a specific anxiety (or a few of them) and devote an excessive amount of attention to it.

How come my mind keeps coming up with thoughts that I don’t want it to?

Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder are the two conditions that are most frequently seen in patients who experience intrusive thoughts (OCD). Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are some of the conditions that might share these symptoms (ADHD).

How do I get rid of these distracting thoughts?

Advice on how to deal with distracting ideas

Meditation that focuses on being present; cognitive behavioural treatment (often known as CBT);

Just keep in mind that “this too shall pass”.

Keep visualization approaches.

Spend some quality time with a pet.

Bring the notion out.

Put your feet firmly on the ground and breath deeply.

Take a stroll in nature.

Do people who suffer from depression often have intrusive thoughts?

Thoughts that keep coming back over and over again

The majority of people who suffer from mental depression do so as a result of having repetitive thoughts. People who struggle with depression usually find themselves unable to shake a single or even multiple intrusive ideas that keep popping into their heads repeatedly.

Why do I make myself worry over every little thing?

Fear is frequently the root cause of overthinking since it stems from the belief that one is not good enough, whether it be in terms of intelligence, level of effort, or level of commitment. Once you’ve given something your all, you should recognise it for what it is and realize that you’ve done everything in your power to succeed, despite the fact that certain aspects of the outcome may be beyond your control.

Is it possible that untreated anxiety might lead to schizophrenia?

It is not conceivable for persons who already have anxiety problems to acquire schizophrenia as a result of their anxiety disorders. However, some people with schizophrenia do suffer from anxiety. It is important to reassure people who suffer from anxiety that they cannot acquire schizophrenia as a result of their anxious condition, regardless of how severe their anxiety may become.


It’s normal to have intrusive thoughts from time to time, and usually they don’t cause anxiety. However, if you’re experiencing a lot of intrusive thoughts that are causing anxiety, it might be worth talking to a mental health professional. They can help you figure out if your anxiety is related to your intrusive thoughts, and they can provide treatment options.

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