Scary Thoughts as Costumes: The Illusion of Danger

Unwanted Thoughts in OCD

Scary, unwanted thoughts sometimes masquerade as truths. Although these thoughts may have the appearance of danger, their form is intended to deceive.

It’s nearly Halloween, and kids around the country are digging through dusty closets and plundering the aisles of local Halloween shops in search of the perfect costume.

Halloween is the one night of the year when we give ourselves permission to be silly, scary, or fantastical. We can act a little weird, and nobody will disapprove.

On Halloween, it’s normal to see the ghastly holding hands with the divine; fairy princesses walk amongst zombies, lions, and super heroes.

There is something thrilling about handing over the reins to your imagination…even if it’s only for a single night.

But what would happen if the masks got stuck?

What if every goblin remained a goblin and every ghost remained a ghost? The children underneath the make-up would still be our children, but their appearance would remain altered. How would we feel then?

At first, it would be scary to inhabit a world populated by monsters. We would be angry. We would be confused. However, eventually we would learn to distrust our senses in the knowledge that beneath every scary facade is simply a child.

Despite appearances, there is no danger here. We might wish that things could go back to the way they used to be, but eventually we would accept this new world as our reality.

Sometimes our thoughts like to play dress-up, too.

Scary, unwanted thoughts can masquerade as truths. Possibilities can take on the form of probabilities. Although these thoughts may have the appearance of danger, their form is intended to deceive. The semblance of danger is not danger.

In the real world on Halloween night, beneath every sheet, mask, or painted face is a smile.

Beneath every scary thought is simply a person.

*     *     *
Read more about OCD and unwanted thoughts,
be it in the context of sexual thoughts, violent thoughts, or religious thoughts.