Hey long story short, I am 19 years old and for the past 5 months or so I have this horrible thought that I might be a psychopath/ sociopath and might one day kill someone. The thoughts worry me alot and deep down I know I'm probably not these things but I can't seem to stop thinking about these thoughts. Every day I spend, almost constantly just thinking and thinking! It's becoming to much. This all started when I looked up the definition of a psychopath and I cried and started shaking uncontrollably. I have a history of constantly worrying about myself but when I was younger, I mainly worried about my physical health but my anxiety left around the time I started high school. Anyways any help or advise will be very helpful and I will really appreciate it. Thanks for listening
While obviously, we cannot diagnose you over the internet...I can reassure you that you are most likely NOT a sociopath. WHY? Because most people who ARE spend NO time worrying about the kinds of disturbing things they think about, or would like to do. In fact, anything that KEEPS them from having those thoughts make them mad. Psychopaths do not sit around and worry about being a psychopath, if that makes sense.
What's more likely for you is that you're dealing with an anxiety disorder, perhaps panic disorder, OCD, something like that. Chronic anxiety often comes with a symptom called "intrusive thoughts", which is exactly what you describe. They are gut-wrenching terrifying thoughts..usually centered around harming yourself or (more commonly) others...or fears of being crazy, etc. I've had them myself and they're terrible. They are SO upsetting because you CAN'T get the thoughts out of your head, which solidifies your fear that you're insane (am I close?)
When I have had IT's...I would think, "Well, no SANE person thinks about stuff like this, so I MUST be nuts". I thought for sure I was headed for a lifetime in a padded room wearing a fancy white jacket that fastens in the back.
I was SO relieved when my psychiatrist and therapist both explained to me what intrusive thoughts were and reassured me that in NO way was I crazy and in NO way would I ever harm a soul. I'm SURE the same applies to you as well. There's a BIG difference between a THOUGHT and an INTENT. A BIG difference. People who are wanting to REALLY harm someone will fantasize about the act...the thoughts give them pleasure, not fear like you are experiencing. I had those discussions with my doc and therapist at about age 25...15 years ago, and guess what? I never went "crazy" yet...I think that's a pretty good sign.
It sounds like you've been dealing with some kind of anxiety for far too long. Have you ever sought professional help for it? You are at the precise age when the onset of an anxiety disorder becomes most apparent (late teens to ealy 20's). Everything you describe points to chronic anxiety, or an anxiety disorder.
You can start by asking your family doctor to rule out any kind of medical cause for your symptoms of anxiety. There are some common medical maladies that will mimic panic and anxiety. Once you get a clean bill of health (which I'm sure you will), ask for a referral to a psychiatrist, who can properly and thoroughly assess you and give you an accurate diagnosis (there are many different KINDS of anxiety disoders). Then, you and your p-doc can formulate a plan to address it...that may include therapy, or therapy and medications. Most certainly this is bothersome enough for you that its affecting your life quite a bit. It's definitely time to do something about it.
Very best to you...no worries, I would bet that you aren't crazy. Well, no more than I am...and I PROMISE you that I'm not typing this from a padded room. It would be awfully hardf to type with both hands behind my back! ;0)
Thank you so much, you explained what was going on so well. I can definitely agree on the fact that I have an anxiety disorder, I saw a phycologist and she told me it was anxiety to, although part of me didn't full believe her. But you put it in perfect sense for me and I can't thank you enough. I think ill go and see a doc, just to see what sort of help their is with dealing with my anxiety or even just keeping it under control. Thank you so much for your help, ill keep you posted
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