Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, urges or worries that repeatedly appear in the mind. They are intrusive and not controlled and interfere with your thoughts. These obsessions can cause fear, discomfort, anxiety, and sometimes self-loathing . People sometimes feel that they cannot share their obsessions as they feel like they are wrong to experience. It is important to remember that obsessions do not reflect your personality. Some examples of obsessions are:
- Fears of initiating or failing to stop harm: for example, worrying you have harmed someone by not being careful enough.
- Intrusive thoughts, images and impulses: violent thoughts or images, religious or blasphemous thoughts, relationship intrusive thoughts that often appear as doubts about a relationship, sexually intrusive thoughts or images.
- Fears of contamination: physical contamination (e.g. by germs) or mental con-tamination (e.g. ‘internal uncleanliness').
- Associated with order or symmetry: for example you might have a fear that something bad will happen if everything isn't 'right'.
People may experience more than one of these types of obsession.