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7 Indications of a Thought Addiction (Video)

Updated on September 29, 2017
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Hi, I am Bill Tollefson. I am a certified life coach who inspires people to achieve what & enhance their lives for the better.

Addicted to Thoughts?

Thoughts can be powerful and positive but there is a darkside

Normally thoughts are a gift. Thoughts are very powerful, influential, and an impressive human strength. Thoughts can be active, creative, conceptual, enjoyable, entertaining, fruitful, haunting, inventive, imaginative, and positive, as well as upsetting and overwhelming.

The Dark Side of Thoughts

Yet there is also a dark side to thoughts. Thoughts can be addicting, habitual, intrusive, negative, painful, traumatic, scary, and stressful as well as unhealthy in the case of depressing, self-sabotaging or suicidal thoughts.

Excessively focusing on thoughts can also become addicting.

Everyone is susceptible to forming an addiction to a thought or set of thoughts. Thought addiction is much more prevalent and common than many think. The concept of thought addiction is rarely affirmed out loud. Therefore, an addiction to a thought remains in the shadows of the conscious and from professionals. Leaving a suffer in a fearful silence. Stuck painfully in their head. Fighting and scared of something that cannot be seen or control.

Your Mind is Your World, Don't Lose It


Definition of Thought Addiction

The definition of thought addiction is the development of a habitual pattern around a thought. Meaning an unhealthy attachment to a thought, set of thoughts or statements. It is important to understand the difference between everyday continuous thought and a full-blown thought addiction. With a continuous thought, it is where the repetitiveness of the thought achieves a goal. A full blown thought addiction is where a thought or set of thoughts are overthought, obsessed about or ruminated on. The flavor of the content of a full-blown thought addiction is destructive, inappropriate or negative.

But in contrast, an addictive involvement with a thought is where the thought becomes toxic and depletes every aspect of the person’s life, inside and out. Believe it or not, everyone gets caught up in a thought addiction at some time or another in their life.

For example, the processes of depressive, obsessive or suicidal thoughts are considered to be habitual patterns of thought which loop in a cycle without the feeling that it can be stopped. Or an overwhelming thought that if the thinking is stopped it will result in personal damage or death. A thought addiction is present when a person’s thoughts become so diluted that the person is locked out of reality and perception is clouded with unreal facts. Thought addiction affects how a person functions in everyday situations with themselves, their thoughts their emotions and others in the world.

Ignoring a thought addiction is a real threat to a person's relationship with yourself, relationships with others and connection with reality. Thought addiction is a real addiction and when understood has merit. Thought addiction many times is the forerunner of a secondary addiction to an emotion, substance or behavior. This means a thought addiction is a phenomenon that serves as a sign or warning of some future destructive attachments yet to be fostered.

Thought Addiction Can Rule Your Mind


Thought Addiction Affects Your Life Directly

Let’s face it, everyone will suffer from an addicted negative, self-destructive, obsessive or suicidal thought from time to time during our lives. Some people become so fixated on a negative, self-destructive, obsessive or suicidal thought it can form a repetitive pattern of thought. This type of thought fixation can more than likely turn into an unhealthy addictive attachment which cannot be let go of, does not serve and becomes unhealthy.

When fixated on these type of repetitive thoughts, a person will spend so much time focused on thinking that it impairs daily living. These thoughts will develop into a constant mental loop, repeating over and over. Once stuck in a thought loop, the person is rarely is able to enjoy life because he or she are constantly worried about something " going wrong or bad happening". The person may get so deep into a thought addiction that all other relationships in their lives are avoided or ignored.

Yet that is why it is important is to recognize when your mind is repetitively thinking the same thoughts over and over again. Because this process of thinking can cause a feeling of losing control of your mind or your thoughts of being toxic. Increased mindfulness through gaining knowledge and understanding can empower you.


7 Tips Your Thoughts has Overtaken Your Mind

Tips are very helpful to become more aware of what is happening to you mentally. Sometimes thoughts are seen as independently produced but that is not so. More accurately, thoughts are a direct byproduct of the content of the belief system, especially the core beliefs contained within. Sometimes when under stress or through those difficult times it feels as though your mind has control of the production of your thoughts and you do not.

So how does a person know that they might be suffering from a thought addiction?

The following is 7 tips to assist in understanding if your thoughts have taken over your mind. If you answer is true on more than 5 tips your under high stress and anxiety which you need to address with a professional.

1. When a thought in your head consumes all your time and you're unable to stop thinking about that thought no matter what is happening in your life

2. When you are so focused on a thought or set of thoughts that you are not experiencing what's happening in the moment

3. When you find yourself returning to a thought you promised you would not think about ever again

4. You spend more time in an attachment with a thought than interacting with yourself or others in your life

5. When eating and sleeping patterns are severely disrupted due to constant fixation on a particular thought or set of thoughts

6. Experience an increased in anxiety or stress when you think of specific thought or set of thoughts

7. When being in fear a state of what you're thinking and you feel your thinking will cause something bad to happen to you

Is Thought Addiction a Fact?

Thought addiction exist and are a fact of thinking life. A thought addiction lays so deep in the shadows of the subconscious mind you may be so completely unaware you're out of control of your thoughts. Once a thought addiction has formed, it can become very debilitating.

From that point on, thought addiction can seriously deplete all your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy. Thought addiction can also drive you into forming one or more secondary addictions, sometimes in an attempt to quiet those thoughts.

Way Out

There are ways to rid yourself of a thought addiction. Don't lose faith. Simply, determine your core beliefs through recognition, delete the core beliefs which are negative, self-destructive or don't serve you and then create new ones to take the place of the old beliefs.

What to do?

If you or someone you know suffers from a thought addiction, seeking help is very important and will be extremely necessary before it leads to another additional or secondary addiction.

To find out whether you have a thought addiction or not, take a free online self-grading thought addiction assessment.

There is a new alternative profession called Mind Coaching that can help people suffering from thought addictions, obsessive thinking, ruminating or caught in negative thinking. Someone who is a master in mind coaching can teach the skills required to become healthy minded and have a respectful command of their own thoughts. Coaching can support one through all the difficult stages of recovery.

© 2011 Bill Tollefson


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    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      I hadn't thought of thinking as a potential addiction before. It is an addiction if it takes up a lot of time, is an escape from reality, keeps you from functioning or doing things you used to enjoy, leads to bad consequences, you can't control it or get enough of it, and you've tried to stop but can't! Thinking problems are symptoms of other disorders as well: OCD, depression, anxiety, psychosis, delusions, chemical addiction, bipolar d/o, etc. I wonder if the new DSM will include thought addictions. Are you aware of any discussions about that? I'd be interested in hearing more about how your interest in thought addiction developed. I might go back and re-read the interview you did with Happyboomernurse, which was very well done, by the way:) It took me awhile to grasp what you meant by thought addictions at first because of a pre-existing DSM paradigm; but now I see how it fits. Thanks.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Very interesting Article. What we feed out mind is very important. I didn't know how powerful our thoughts could be until I listened to a few of Tony Robbins CDs.

      Excellent Hub. Thanks

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Happyboomernurse Thank you for all the support. Keep me updated on the possible nursing journal article. Anything I can do just let me know.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      You are so welcome and I do hope we'll be able to get a joint article published in one of the nursing journals. Am currently working on getting editor approval and will be in touch with you by email.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida


      Thanks for your comment. I continue to share my knowledge and the information that I think can help other have a better life and reach their potential. I really appreciate your following of me.

      Yes my interview in the Hub Pages Weekly looks great and reads really well. It was an honor to be interviewed by you. You did such a great job from beginning to end. I hope we can work together again. Thanks so much.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida


      Thanks for reading my HUB and your question. I want to welcome you to HUB pages. I have been on HUB for a year and I really enjoy the experience.

      Yes Thought Addiction is real and it can lead to suicidal thoughts. In fact every addiction starts and ends with a thought, so read this other Hub article on thought addiction and it will give more information Thanks again

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Great article about thought addiction and differentiating addictive, potentially harmful thoughts from healthy thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing this info on Hub Pages where many can benefit from your expertise.

      BTW, Your interview in the Hub Pages Weekly looks great! So proud to have worked with you on it.

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 6 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      Thanks for the article, it was very interesting. I am new to HubPages, and I definitely want to read your other articles on the subject. I did not realize that this pattern was an addiction, but it totally makes sense. Can or does this addiction lead to suicide?

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thanks for the comment and follow. Understand that one of the major barriers to not recognizing the one has an addiction is denial. True denial is found in all addictions. I agree that thought addiction has been over looked. As I have said in other HUB articles on this subject "every addiction known to man starts with a thought" including thought addiction.

    • wysley profile image

      wysley 6 years ago

      Excellent article showing the clear difference that makes up a thought addiction. I agree most people may not realize they are actually experiencing a thought "addiction" and may even deny it when pointed out to them (much like other addictions). Just like other addictions, thought addiction can indeed be harmful and even deadly. So glad you are bringing the information to the fore in such a clear and concise way.