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So confused. Is this hearing voices or intrusive thinking?


Lost and Wandering

Jan 5, 2018
Hey all,

Thank you for your time. Some of you kindly provided your experiences in another thread.

I wanted to ask your opinions, since I know you guys will know better than most, or at least have a better understanding.

I suffer from what I label as intrusive thoughts, since essentially that's what they are, but they don't fit into the three defined common categories and they're related to trauma the happened WAY in the past.

Anyway, I digress. Basically I have been with my girlfriend for 10 + years and she's wonderful. Funny, beautiful and very sweet. I will admit that there will be a ring for later this year.

I recently returned from a trip abroad with my family, then soon took my girlfriend on a trip that involved a long arduous drive. On the day we returned we sat with her family having a nice time (even if I was a little tired) and suddenly a thought hit me from nowhere (paraphrasing) "you're laugh is annoying" or "you're not likeable".

I was so taken aback that I even thought this. I love this girl, so where did that even come from?! Because of these kind of thoughts, I started to have an anxiety attack that I attempted to conceal from those around me. I felt sick to my stomach, sweating and even moderately shaking. I'm sure you know anxiety, so I won't detail it further. But the idea of these thoughts still churns my stomach. Whenever I see her I feel guilty, I feel anxious that I'll think something like that again. It's a vicious circle of course, the more you try to avoid these things they seemingly get worse.

Is this even something related to OCD or Intrusive Thoughts or is it hearing voices? Usually such thoughts are images, not this. But it does feel vaguely like intrusive thoughts. I feel dreadful about it, I want to propose to her but she deserves better surely.

Really confused and ashamed. My other intrusive thoughts are not like this, nor related to anyone.

Love to hear from you.

John Legion

Active member
Apr 29, 2019
I experience intrusive thoughts and they can easily be confused or associated with hearing voices. They can have a similar effect as literally hearing voices and I think the medical professional make little distinction between them. The worst thing about them is, as you say, not knowing where they come from.

You need to condition yourself not to be alarmed by them, it's a case of learning to live with them and I've managed for many years. There's good advice in the sticky threads on this forum but the best thing that has worked for me is accepting they come from the spirit world. Whatever your beliefs are though, always keep in mind that these thoughts, although unsettling, do not have to undermine your confidence and that you are in control. People can and do lead normal lives learning to manage them.