Reddit Reddit reviews The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts

We found 18 Reddit comments about The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Personal Transformation Self-Help
The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts
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18 Reddit comments about The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts:

u/evolutionape · 29 pointsr/minimalism

I went through something similar years ago and still struggle with anxiety. I don't believe you ever get rid of anxiety...but I do believe you can change your relationship to it.

What I'll say here is simply my opinion based on my own experience...

I believe that the only way to move forward with your anxiety is to stop avoiding it. To be able to sit with it despite how shitty it feels.

Yes...I know...easier said than done.

What I mean is that...the more you try to run away from it, the worse it becomes.

The more "rituals" (we'll call them) you give into as a way to get away from that ugly feeling you have, the more you feed the anxiety beast.

Lots of people talk about meditation, but very few people approach it in a methodical way. Maybe they read a book about meditation, watched a video, used a meditation app...whatever.

What really helped me was attending a 10-day Vipassana meditation course. You may be familiar with it...or not.

Why was it so helpful? Because I spent 10-days learning and practicing meditation without having any access to the usual escapes.

I didn't have my phone, computer, books, writing materials....none of that.

The entire course is done in "noble silence", meaning that you don't speak to anyone (with the exception of the person in charge in case you have any questions or issues during the course).

In other have no choice but to sit with your self and to observe all of those thoughts and feelings (the good and the bad).

The point of meditation is not to be free from worry or to reach some sort of enlightenment.

The point of meditation is to "train" your mind to observe any thoughts or sensations you might be having without blindly reacting (which is what we do when we turn to our phone, alcohol, drugs, sex, escape).

The course is taught all over the world.

You can find out more about it and where you might be able to take it here.

Again, it's free for first-time students and strictly donation (pay what you can) for returning students. All your meals and lodging is taken care of for you. It's an amazing organization.

If you think 10 days of silent meditation sounds tough....well, it is.

But it's not impossible. And you won't get any real change unless you're willing to do some real (and sometimes hard) work.

That's meditation.

The other thing that's helped for me is to take care of my health. Nutrition and exercise are HUGE when it comes to regulating anxiety.

I won't get into it here...but you can find plenty of info about regulating your blood sugar, maintaining gut health, and other nutritional aspects related to anxiety.

Here's a good video that touches on that.

Finally, you don't really share any info on what exactly you're feeling anxious about. Is it a fear of being alone? A fear of something bad happening to you?

You say you need input and stimulation. Why is that? Why is it so difficult to not have input at all times? Do you feel you are missing out on something when you're not being stimulated?

You need to identify what those fears are if you want to get over the anxiety it causes. You have to look inward (again, meditation is good for that). But even without meditation, you need to really begin to know yourself and sort out where this stuff is coming from. Is it learned behavior from a parent? Is it a response to some trauma?

Maybe working with a therapist or coach might be helpful if you have the means to do so.

Something to consider.

Also, if you're looking for a useful resource, check out The Worry Trap by Chad Lejeune.

Also, if you think intrusive/unwanted thoughts might be an issue...check out Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer.

Hope that helps.

u/AdamE8g · 9 pointsr/TooAfraidToAsk

This isn't crazy. It's totally, completely normal, and a sign that you're actually a well-put-together human being.

If that, and the other comments here, aren't convincing enough, check out The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts by clinical psychologist (and Harvard professor) Lee Baer.

In the book, Baer talks about these thoughts and his own experiences working with patients with concerns about them. His thesis is as follows:

Your brain explores ideas. That's just what it does. You sit there, you're bored, and your brain just comes up with stuff.

When your brain comes up with an idea that your moral values find distasteful, it's totally normal to think, "Hey that's a bad idea." But just leave it there. There's no need to feel any shame whatsoever about those ideas.

Some people feel incredible shame about this totally natural behavior of your brain, and they shouldn't. (The shame itself is totally natural, too, and possibly a sign of good moral functioning -- but, it should be corrected once someone understands that these sorts of thoughts can't be helped and are totally natural themselves.)

Baer offers some techniques for letting go of the shame associated with intrusive thoughts. The basic idea is just embrace that your brain is playing with a silly idea (feel free to have a laugh!), and then gently let go of it. Having an intrusive thought does not mean that you're a bad person, or that you would ever act on that thought. It's just the totally natural behavior of your brain. Celebrate that everything is working right up there.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/OCD

I have OCD, was diagnosed at 22, I’m 24. I’ve had it all my life but didn’t have the vocabulary to articulate what was happening. You need not blame yourself for being stressed with the condition even though you’ve come from a relatively privileged background. Human unhappiness is just that, if you haven’t already I would pursue some books written by professionals of OCD to read about how you are NOT your thoughts. Here’s one called “Imp of the Mind” my therapist recommended.

And another I recommend because of her groundbreaking outspokenness regarding the subject.

u/FoxesBadgers · 3 pointsr/OCD

Yes, loads of things. I could write you a book. But actually there's already good books with all the things I would want to say to someone newly-diagnosed with OCD :) Two excellent ones that should have lots of tips for you are The OCD Workbook by Bruce M. Hyman ( ) and The Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer ( ).

Another excellent resource for how-to advice on dealing with pure O is The OCD Stories videos on YouTube. :) They're by a dude with OCD himself, and feature interviews and advice from a bunch of OCD experts and authors, many of whom have treated hundreds of OCD cases:

Also there's some debate in OCD research circles as to whether you can recover fully from OCD or whether it's a life-long chronic thing you have to keep 'coping' with can make your own mind up on that point, I guess, based on what you experience and what you find. But some of us are hopeful that with the right treatment we don't necessarily have to just 'cope' with it for the rest of our lives but may be able to make a full recovery :)

u/coltech · 3 pointsr/Anxiety

You are not broken. I have had the exact same worries when I was younger and before I new I had OCD. I just COULD NOT stop worrying that I was gay, pedo, trans, whatever. It was so bad that I cried myself to sleep many nights and even threw up about it on a few occasions. I thought I was some strange freak that no one would understand. But I was wrong. It's textbook OCD. LOTS of people have this same issue. As someone who has been through this already I'll tell you that you can manage through this. You need understand that worrying gives the intrusive thoughts power. You need to accept them. That doesn't mean agree that they represent your true desires (they do not) it means accept that they are there and let them happen WITHOUT worrying about it. Once you stop noticing them, they will subside. I cannot recommend this book enough for people with pure o OCD

It is one of the few books that covers what you are going through and has a lot of really great tools to deal with it. I also recommend getting a therapist that specializes in OCD and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and ERP (Exposure Response Prevention).

u/thursdayborn · 3 pointsr/ttcafterloss


Regarding resources:
The International OCD Foundation has some info about OCD including perinatal OCD: Fact Sheets and Brochures, Long list of books, and some Expert Opinion articles..

This is a general book about OCD that I have recommended to patients with OCD.

This is a workbook for anxiety, depression and obsessions during pregnancy and postpartum.

The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts is a book specifically targeted at people who primarily have intrusive thoughts. Be warned that the descriptions of some of the thoughts depicted in the book are quite graphic though.

Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts: Breaking the Cycle of Unwanted Thoughts in Motherhood is a book about obsessive thoughts specifically related to postpartum.

Perinatal Support International is a great website for finding local help. They also have a 24/7 support line you can call.

And finally, the MGH Center for Women's Mental Health also has great resources for a variety of perinatal mental health conditions.

(I have mild OCD symptoms myself so it's been interesting and eye opening treating perinatal patients with OCD and wondering if mine will get worse or better with pregnancy and postpartum).

u/3ruses · 3 pointsr/Anxiety

This sounds like “pure O” ocd.

This book is very helpful.

u/nknwnbrdrln · 3 pointsr/OCD

I understand. Sounds like me, and I'm diagnosed. Reading helped me (ex: Finding a therapist with real OCD experience helped. Thinking these thoughts are disgusting and evil and fucked up is part of why they continue to infest your head. Thoughts are thoughts. Everyone has fucked up thoughts. It's our messed up brain chemistry and our psychological reaction to them that keeps us obsessed.

u/ferocious_llama · 3 pointsr/OCD

Hey there,

While it is impossible for any of us to tell you whether what you are dealing with is OCD or something else entirely, I just wanted to pop in to remind you how devious and adaptive OCD can be.

Sometimes the disorder can get all meta and make us fear we don't have OCD at all, that it's something else.
And though these thoughts can be terrifying, particularly when you have intrusive thoughts that are so viscerally disturbing, it's important to remember that the nature of this disorder is to target and exploit your greatest fears. It knows how to hit you where it hurts, and it would really hurt if you were to find out that you never had OCD in the first place. So there's that to consider.

Also, I have experienced something similar to the "magnet" sensation, which I chalked up to attention. What I mean is that, if you focus hard enough on a particular part of your body for long enough or intensely enough, you will feel a "tingle" or even an energy in said body part. From what I have read, this is primarily referenced in discussions about body checking behaviors in sexual obsessions (for example, someone with sexual obsessions is changing a child's diaper and gets an intrusive thought that maybe they are turned on, so they think about or "check" their genitals to see if they are turned on, thereby CAUSING genital sensation and increasing their own fear and panic). I am wondering if it is possible that something similar may be going on here for you: Do you think you may be inadvertently engaging in "body checking" that is feeding your intrusive thoughts/obsessions and helping to generate these sensations?

Lastly, I just want to recommend that you check out this book about violent intrusive thoughts. It features stories about real people's obsessions and how they worked alongside a therapist to get through them. I found it so, so helpful and comforting to read after I got diagnosed. (Sorry, not sure how to embed the link on mobile):

Stay strong, and keep asking for help! Sending you lots of love.

u/hmtyrant · 2 pointsr/OCD

The Imp of the Mind

This book is awesome and really gets at the heart of the matter.

u/0bsessive · 2 pointsr/OCD

Hi there. I'm going to post what I posted in another thread some months ago. It's sort of my go-to advice to people like us (I've suffered the same obsessions).

  1. Right now, you need to distract yourself as much as possible until you find someone who can teach you coping skills. Watch TV shows, be with friends, exercise, anything you can to get your mind unstuck for any number of minutes or hours. It sounds like you're already okay at doing this, but the reason you want to do this is so that you can stay sane enough to....

  2. Find a therapist or psychiatrist. I have no idea how things work in the UK in terms of finding help but a brief google search leads me here: Try to find someone who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Exposure and Response therapy, and especially someone with experience with OCD. Your obsessions will not be weird to them and if you choose wisely, they'll know just how to treat them. Consider finding an OCD clinic or group therapy as well. Medication can help.

  3. Teach yourself about OCD. Definitely read The Imp of the Mind. It will help contextualize a lot of what you're going through and speak specifically to the kinds of worries you have. That book will show you you're not alone. Learn about the physiology of OCD to help you think about your symptoms more objectively.

  4. Learn to release some of the tension that builds up from having such an awful obsession and keeping it secret. Watch Maria Bamford on OCD (I'm whoring her out to this community because I think she's amazing). Tell a good friend. Find forums online, including this one, to vent to and hear from others. Make art or music, or work out, or some how get the awful negativity within you out. The more you let it stew in your head, the worse it will feel and the more real it will feel.

    This is long so I'm going to stop now. I can share more of my story if you want, or you can look through my post history. Please please please don't give up because it's so worth it once you get to the other side. I promise there's another side.
u/SloyWater · 2 pointsr/OCD

I've developed this problem over the last year. "For A long time I've felt like I was secretly a psychopath and one mistake or loss of control away from killing someone." That is exactly how I felt and still feel sometimes.

So yea, you're not alone. It's 'scum bag brain' in its highest form! The literature stresses that it can beaten and that automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) are often derived from stress; which I've had plenty of over the last two years.

I read this book and found it constructive:

u/kaReach · 1 pointr/Romania

Din experienta, ajuta sa vorbesti cu un psihoterapeut, insa e bine sa consulti si un psihiatru si sa te interesezi de medicatie. Sertralina (unde locuiesc se vinde cu numele de Lustral, in RO s-ar putea sa fie alt brand) m-a ajutat cu o problema legata de ganduri intruzive/ruminare care nu e OCD get-beget, dar e o chestie suficient de asemanatoare cat sa cred ca ar putea sa te ajute si pe tine. De asemenea, cartea asta m-a ajutat sa inteleg ce [email protected] se intampla in mintea mea si cum sa trec peste. Knowledge is power, cum zic englezii.

In rest, vad ca ai primit sfaturi bune pe thread-ul asta asa ca nu mai repet ce-au zis altii, dar sper sa te ajute ce am scris mai sus.

u/certainly_doubting · 1 pointr/ROCD

Copy-paste form my previous thread so it doesn’t go missing:

Here are some resources that I think are essential reads for anyone suffering from ROCD and/or depression

ROCD: Relationship OCD and the Myth of "The One" - Great writeup written by therapists who are specialized in treating ROCD

Love You, Love You Not - Excellent ROCD 101 short book targeted towards people who have ROCD. It's very insightful as it is written by someone who has dealt with it and learned to successfully manage it. I just re-read it recently while going through a relapse, and it punched me with even more power than the first time

Imp of the Mind - Although it does not talk about ROCD specifically, it is all about Pure O. It helped me to look at ROCD and other intrusive thoughts in my head from another perspective. Some of the cases in the book are bizarre and funny, which made me feel like i don't have it so bad

Brain Lock - This should be part of anyone's OCD treatment swiss-army knife!

The Noonday Demon - If you struggle with major depression, as I do, this is dense but an incredible read. The author has a TED talk that is really good: Depression: The Secret We Share

Don't Panic - This one borders more on self-help books, which I kinda don't like, but a must-read if you struggle with panic disorder

u/IheringSavigny · 1 pointr/OCD

Please, take a look on this book

Do not worry about people saying that you are horrible, sick. That is a common fear, almost the majority of the population have fears like that (my friend said me that always has the fear to throw hot coffee in someone when he is drinking), that is an evolutive feature. But a small part of the people, namely people with OCD, become obsessed with those feelings and fears. Read that book, and you will see how to treat this (spoiler: not running away of the moments that you have those fears)

u/Narayan93 · 1 pointr/OCD

You can try The Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer.

u/EarBucket · 1 pointr/Christianity

Read this book, make an appointment with a therapist, and talk to your pastor. Ask some people to pray for you.

You might want to try dropping into the Psalms for your devotional reading for a while. Lots of wonderful prayers in there asking God for defense against your attackers.