The occasional worry or weird thought, no problem. Not much distress, and it doesn’t usually interfere in one’s life. The problems occur when the weirdness progresses or the worry or thought becomes an obsession (often called intrusive thoughts), meaning you can’t seem to stop thinking these thoughts. These tend to fall into four categories, not necessarily mutually exclusive.
- You are giving a lecture/making a presentation and all the people are laughing, talking, and leaving.
- If offered a promotion, would I be willing to move?
- Which of my coworkers wants to have sex with me?
- A coworker is trying to get me warned, fired, demoted, or transferred.
- If I were in charge, I would . . .
- I feel terrible but I won’t call in sick, because some people might think I’m lying.
- How’s the best way to ask for a raise?
- In staff meetings, I just want to stand up and scream.
- Thoughts of aggressive, violent, or perverse sexual acts.
- Sometimes I go to sleep thinking thoughts of assault or murder, especially gory scenes.
- What can I do to avoid loneliness?
- Can others smell my breath, body odor, sweat, or feet?
- Do people think I’m exotic or just weird?
- Am I likable?
- Can people love (romantically) two or more people at the same time?
- How can I tell who I can trust?
- The one who cares less has more power. With which of my friends do I care less?
- Are they judging me as much as I’m judging them?
- How many of these people aren’t wearing underwear?
- I fear dying of asphyxiation when my inner scream never pauses to draw in breath.
- What is the sound of my inner voice?
- How do I know my brain stays in my skull when I sleep?
- I keep thinking thoughts of religious shame, hell, and Satanism.
- I worry about germs eating/destroying my body from the inside out.
- What if my life were a book, available for anyone to read?
- How do I know that my childhood memories really happened?
- Every night I go to sleep planning my funeral.
- What were my parents’ lives like before they married?
- How would my life be different if I’d made just one decision differently?
- What, if anything, would cause me to commit suicide?
- How many ways to commit suicide can I think of?
- If I had to lose one of my senses, which would I choose?
- Why do I drink?
- Should I change my wake/sleep pattern to be more typical?
- How would the world be different if I’d never been born?
- I think my brain is shrinking.
- I imagine having sex with people I’m not really interested in.
- Every time I take a business trip, I imagine awful things happening to my husband and children.
- If tomatoes are fruit, is ketchup jam?
- How did humans decide how dinosaurs sounded?
- With climate change, insects are taking over the world.
- Imagining unusual creatures doing unusual things.
- Saying the same word over and over till it starts sounding weird.
- How many life forms are there in outer space?
- To what extent are people shaped by their names?
- What are the side effects of various body piercings?
Bottom Line: What are your weird thoughts or worries? And what function do they serve?