Homicidal thoughts or harming thoughts are quite common in a type of OCD called “Harm OCD.” It can get pretty bad. As a counselor and a sufferer, I have dealt with many people who had this particular type of OCD. In fact, they come to me all the time! I typically do some sort of differential diagnosis with them to make sure it’s OCD and not something more serious.
Below are some cases of obvious OCD or OCD-like thinking:
1. OK so one day me and my sister were just talking and all of a sudden I get this weird urge to choke her. I would never do that to her. I can’t even kill a bug and I’m not bi polar. This has happened again recently with my other sister, the thought just randomly occurs. If it helps I have been diagnosed with panic disorder. Please don’t be mean and say I’m a psychopath or I’m crazy. I need to know if any one else has experienced this to. Please help!
2. I do too sometimes. Sometimes while I’m driving I feel the urge to swerve into traffic. Sometimes for no reason I get the urge to choke my dog or hit her to death. (Of course I’d never do it.) It feels like you have no control over yourself. It feels like your actually about to do it but you don’t.
3. Believe it or not I’ve been through the exact same thing I had violent and sexual urges that I couldn’t control but I never hurt anyone I just always felt like I would, some specific urges I had were to drown my sister in the pool , every time I was someplace high up I would have a strong urge to jump off. I had these urges from age 10-15 and I was scared to be around people but I found out it is OCD look up OCD violent urges online.
I finally talked to somebody about it and said I was worried I would hurt somebody and they said the reason the urges don’t make me a violent dangerous person is because I’m worried about it were somebody dangerous would either not care or enjoy it.
4. i think everyone thinks these thoughts, not because you want to do them, but because your brain can think it. Its just putting yourself into a scenario, kinda like a daydream. Ive thought that way…”what if i just punched her…what if i slipped and fell and hit my head….what if i swerve into traffic??” tons of things will cross your brain…you’re human and its curiosity. I think you’re just fine. Unless you start getting the urge to actually follow through with it, or attempt it. Don’t sweat it.
5. Guys… I have that too. Sometimes ill sit and watch tv and suddenly ill have a random thought of killing my mom or hurting my dogs. Anyone in my house hold. I’m completely fine when these thoughts occur. I’m not mad, nor upset. And my family never did anything wrong to make me think such things…I would NEVER hurt anyone…
And it scared me. Sometimes i avoid certain objects i could hurt people with and i stopped watching my favorite crime shows. It all freaks me out now.. Ive asked a friend, and he has it too but not as extreme. More of a “what if” thing. He says im fine and he thinks everyone has these thoughts at one point.
Some of these folks may not even have OCD, but at any rate, all of these thoughts have an OCD-ish feel to them. It’s quite common for non-OCD’ers to get thoughts like this once in a while.
This case is more difficult:
Hello. This isn’t very easy for me to let go into the world, but I would like people’s opinions. I am on the other end of a 1.5 year bout with OCD and being terrified that I am going to indulge in homicide. Things are much better now, but yesterday at work, I got all my issues worked up in my head and at one point I genuinely wanted to indulge in homicide. I actually wanted to do it.
During that I had slight panic attacks running and of course it worries me that the curiosity of doing such an act is attractive. Now, I have read many posts here on how to self help your OCD, but this is the first time I have ever been genuinely attracted to the horrible thing I’ve been afraid of for such a long time, and that’s the difference between being afraid of intrusive thoughts and being attracted to them. Is that normal psychology for an OCD sufferer, do you think my thoughts got twisted in knots and then I deceived myself into thinking I wanted to do it, or do you think I should seek some help?
The thread goes on and on, and some folks are are telling him to go to the ER and check himself in. The guy who posted this is worried that he felt like he really wanted to do it. However, many of the OCD’ers I have dealt with have told me that they feel like they want to act on these thoughts. In every case, they were given a diagnosis of OCD by multiple clinicians. The thing is that OCD itself can make you feel like you want to do these things. It can also make you feel like you might or would enjoy them. All of this causes more panic, anxiety and attempts at thought suppression.
So if someone comes to me with classic Harm OCD stuff and then tells me that they feel like they want to act on these thoughts, I am not particularly worried. It’s probably more the OCD convincing you that you want to act on the thoughts or that you might enjoy them more than anything else.
This case is much more disturbing.
Hello, My name is Ryan. I’m 17 years old. I’m posting this here today because for quite some time i have been obsessed with murder, blood, torture, and rape. When I see someone walking down the road, my mind unconsciously comes up with random ways of torture I could try on them, I’ve been doing this since I was around 15, but now something’s changed – I feel its getting harder and harder to control, I’ve had to start journaling and drawing what I would like to do to my victims.
I feel I could take countless human lives and not stress about it. Will someone please tell me what’s wrong with the way I think? My parents told me its a stage, but I know it’s more. Just someone please try to give me insight on why this is happening.
I am honestly not sure what is going on with this guy, but one thing it is not is OCD. No way does a Harm OCD’er journal and draw pictures about torture, rape and murder. Forget that. The OCD’er would be terrified of having the thoughts in the first place, would not enjoy them at all, and would most likely viciously fight them from the first time they showed up until they went away, if they ever did.
The OCD’er doesn’t want those thoughts or feelings in his head for even one second. He would never just indulge in them for pleasure or write journals and draw pictures that delight in murder, torture and rape.
Truth is most Harm OCD’ers are so scared of their thoughts, etc. that they start avoiding all situations that might set them off, including any TV shows, movies or writing that has to do with murder, rape, torture, etc. If they watch or read something along those lines, they will feel serious anxiety and nearly have a panic attack.
In the thread, a few of them ask him questions to see if this is OCD. He says he enjoys the thoughts and feelings very much. That doesn’t sound like OCD one bit. However, he does say that he tries to resist them at times, but he can’t. Now that is very odd. But there may be occasional resistance with non-OCD stuff.
The fact that he feels like he could kill countless people without a single worry in the world is also disturbing. No way would an OCD’er feel that way.
It is interesting that a number of other commenters said that they had similar thoughts and feelings, especially when they were teenagers, and at some point, they just went away. That is very hopeful. I had assumed that once you get to the point where you are fantasizing about rape, murder and torture all the time, even to the point of doodling and journaling about your fantasies, you are pretty much gone. But apparently this is not so, and people can easily move out of this kind of thinking. That is a very good thing indeed.
The following are some cases of homicidal thinking in schizophrenia:
1. Yes but not intentional homicidal thoughts more like random ones that come in my head like if I see a bus pass by me sometimes I would have thoughts of breaking the windows with a baseball bat and screaming at the passenger or punching someone randomly passing by me but not of anger I barely get angry anymore just random thoughts.
2. Hi, I’m new here to this board. I was just curious if anyone feels these symptoms. I feel this way all the time. Whenever someone looks at me wrong. All I want to do is hurt or kill that person. I was recently hospitalized a couple months ago. I’m always scared to death. All I wanna do is crawl in to a dark room and cry. Sometimes when I’m driving I think what if I just turn the wheel and kill that jogger running.
Seriously I see a pdoc and have seen the same doc since I was a little kid. My pdoc says it’s just delusions. But it’s so real!!! I was diagnosed with paranoid sz. about 3 years ago. Does anyone feel this way? Please anyone I would love to know that I’m not alone here.
3. Hello Weenska, you most certainly are not alone. I get homicidal thoughts too. The scary thing is that they are all about killing children. You see, I work in a children’s’ hospital, and for some reason my mind is set on hurting the patients there. I get so nervous when I have to go clean a room with a patient sleeping in there.
The nurses are outside of the room sitting at the nurse’s station, and I’m alone in the room with the patient. While I’m cleaning I get evil thoughts of how I could swiftly kill the child without anyone seeing. My mind comes up with so many ways on how I could get away with it too. It’s like I’m constantly fantasizing about being a secret, mysterious child killer. Isn’t that awful?
4. I know I’m not a bad person and could never harm anyone. You’re not a bad person either. Why we get these kinds of thoughts flowing through our head is beyond me. I want you to know that whatever filthy person our minds may try and persuade us to be, that its not who we really are. 🙂
5. Princess is right, you’re definitely not alone! I have homicidal thoughts about my hubby. I don’t sleep well at night so a lot of the times I am just sitting in bed watching my hubby sleep. I would think about what it would be like to actually commit a murder. I can picture myself smashing his head in with a baseball bat, or poisoning his food, I even can see my self sneaking up on him and stabbing him in the back.
I’ve told him and at first he thought it was kinda funny, but now I can tell he’s sometimes a little edgy around me. I love him so much and I don’t want to lose him…To me, this is so much more than some kind of delusion. Its like the devil himself is tempting me. I hate feeling so sick and twisted inside. Anywho, yes I can relate. I know I’m not bad, and I will fight these thoughts off as hard as I can for as long as it takes!
6. I’ve always been a real docile person, but when I got sick I had some homicidal thoughts.
7. In 1980, I had a lot of violence in my head and I was afraid for about a week that I would get violent. It scared me and made me feel bad, but I managed to control it.
8. I get these thoughts of hurting people sometimes too. I haven’t acted on them so far.
9. I used to get terrible homicidal thoughts. There were command voices, and there were the videos/images that played in my head about terrible crimes I was committing. I have been hospitalized over 20 times, and many of these were for homicidal ideation. I would be taken to the inpatient unit and put in isolation because I could not control myself.
But after the fact when I would get re-stabilized on meds, my T told me that she did not think I had it in me to hurt another person. I have never hurt another person. I am generally very kind and calm. She wanted me in the hospital because she was afraid I would hurt myself. After I had the homicidal thoughts I would feel SO guilty about having the thoughts that I wanted to kill myself because I was such a “bad” person. But, I am not a bad person. Now I have been stable on Clozaril for 6 years, and I no longer have homicidal thoughts… ever.
10. From my perspective, It might b “normal” 2 have homicidal thoughts about some 1 I don’t like or doesn’t like me. But I have homicidal about the ppl i LUV the most! It’s like the thought pops up in my head then I got a whole bunch of cause n effect scenarios.
It could b like if i c a hammer on the table, I could bash my loved one in the head. Or it could b some insecticide, n I could add a dash of death 2 a meal. I mean yea, I been thru some bad shit, but this is just fucked up! After i realize what I just wuz thinking, then I start feeling all bad, then the potential bad endings, n it bothers me. I mean, I’m ain’t necessarily a bad dude, but damn that shit ain’t cool, feel me?
11. I get homicidal thoughts when I am deeply disturbed. I make up shit in my head on how I could kill someone and get away with it. I have really good self control, and I’m a good person, and it bothers me deeply. Most of my homicidal thoughts are about my brother though because he is clearly the Antichrist. I talked to God when I was actually planning on killing him and he stopped me. He’s a crackhead and pill popper big time and only uses my disabled mother for more crack money.
Luckily he has found a place to live so he doesn’t bang on our doors at 530 or call my phone anymore. He threatens a lot towards our family, but I can do so much more harm than he could. My father passed away in January and he was the only person who could keep him in line. The constant family feuds we’ve been having has at times caused me to the point of pure insanity. I talk about killing him openly with my family and how he just needs to die.
Of course, they’re very freaked out. I’ve always had homicidal thoughts even before schizophrenia. But they have just been getting worse about my brother. I think about killing other people sometimes, but it’s mostly my brother because he’s a piece of shit. This morning he came by again and I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t heard voices in over a week, they come and go, but this morning voices were telling me to murder someone.
12. When I read this post, I immediately remembered my early teen years, when my illness really started getting bad. I had my first hallucinations when I was about 14 or 15, and that’s when I started having thoughts of killing people. At first the thoughts were of killing people at school, like a random school shooting, and then killing myself. Then came the thoughts about killing my family members and then myself. I skipped school all the time because of it. I feel sick just typing this. I want to delete it and pretend it never happened.
This one is deeply disturbing. Some sort of homicidal thinking she had actually led to her trying to kill her brother, probably when she had schizophrenia:
I’ve had thoughts like that before too. I used to go to school with a girl who I thought was perfect. I wanted to kill her because I felt so flawed next to her. The point is, NEVER act on these impulses. Never hurt anyone or you will regret it horribly. I tried to kill my brother once and he avoided me for years (can you blame him?).
As you can see, homicidal thinking is extremely common in schizophrenia. In fact, the vast majority of schizophrenics seem to experience it at some time or other. Some of this stuff looks very OCD-ish to me. Whether it justifies an additional diagnosis of OCD or not, I have no idea. You will notice that in many cases, anti-psychotic medication specifically for schizophrenia made the thoughts go away. This implies that it was not an OCD process driving the thoughts but instead it was a schizophrenic process. If it was an OCD process, the anti-schizophrenic drugs would not have worked.
The question is how does the schizophrenic homicidal thinking above compare to the OCD-type ideation in quality? Honestly, I do not have the faintest idea.
One way it differs is that in schizophrenia it can take the form of command hallucinations ordering the person to commit violent acts. Fortunately, they do not give in to the thoughts most of the time. There is something a bit similar in OCD where the person experiences thoughts inside their head ordering them to carry out various homicidal and violent acts. The difference is that in OCD it will be a thought and in schizophrenia it will be an external voice. And in schizophrenia, there is much more likelihood that the person will act on it. The chance that a person with OCD will act on the thoughts is just about nil.
However, in schizophrenia, this thinking is much more dangerous as it regularly leads to episodes of violence. However, as you can see above, only one of the schizophrenics above ever acted on their homicidal thoughts, so in many cases, they are able to control themselves.
I have never worked with schizophrenics, and I don’t know how to deal with homicidal ideation in schizophrenia. I imagine it is a very tricky area to determine a schizophrenic with this type of thinking is dangerous or not.
People come to me after reading my articles. They are basically self-diagnosing with OCD, or they have already been diagnosed by a clinician. I have found that people are pretty good at self-diagnosis for this condition. They often write me telling me that it is as I could see inside their minds and tell them what was going on in there. All of the people who came to me with homicidal or violent thoughts had OCD so far, so I haven’t had to worry much about differential diagnosis. I did have one client who was truly homicidal, but that person was thinking in a completely different way and it wasn’t OCD driving the homicidal ideation, it was something else altogether. There wasn’t much I could do about that person either.
Unfortunately, I think most of the people who are truly dangerous are simply not going to show up for counseling or therapy. They either like to feel this way or don’t care, and they don’t see any problem with their way of thinking.