Harming Obsessions: Symptoms and Treatment

Harm OCD is a manifestation of OCD in which an individual experiences intrusive, unwanted, distressing thoughts of causing harm. These thoughts are inconsistent with the individual’s values, beliefs and sense of self. Harming obsessions typically center around the belief that one must be absolutely certain that they are in control at all times in order to ensure that they are not responsible for a violent or otherwise fatal act.

Harm OCD attacks the things we love the most, and does so with such brutality and lack of mercy as to astound even the most creative minds. OCD sufferers may also discover violent obsessions appearing only after extended battles with other forms of OCD have run their course. Untreated, OCD naturally gravitates toward whatever is most likely to produce compulsive behavior. So when one obsession stops producing, another one often takes its place until treated. In fact, it is the intensity with which we experience love for our children, partners, relatives, etc. that makes them targets for OCD – they are the most likely to stir in us the greatest motivation to protect.