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Intrusive Thoughts: A Factor Underlying Many Problems

Intrusive thoughts are a commonly reported symptom of much larger problems. They are defined as “unwanted thoughts that intrude on our consciousness” (Donaghey, Egan, & O’Suilleabhain, 2018, para. 1). It has been estimated that over 94% of individuals experience intrusive thoughts and these thoughts are related to a variety of conditions including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, insomnia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and decreased quality of life and engagement (Donaghey et al., 2018). It has been suggested that psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, personality traits such as neuroticism and decreased extraversion, and poor emotional regulation are related to the production of intrusive thoughts (Donaghey et al., 2018). These relationships indicated the importance of finding ways to manage and reduce intrusive thoughts.

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Donaghey, C., Egan, J., O’Suilleabhain, P. S. (2018). Psychological factors of intrusive thoughts in an Irish student population. Clinical Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://clinicalpsychologytoday.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/psychological-factors-of-intrusive-thoughts-in-an-irish-student-population/