Intrusive thoughts are the pandemic of 2023

Controlling the voices from inside

Kobe Tavis, Guest Columnist

Many people think college is a giant party where you learn a few things, but the stress can sometimes outweigh the good — something most students know better than anything else. During this point in the school year, many students feel overwhelmed with the amount of school work due and their own personal issues that have built up. Until stress takes over and they lose a bit of themselves till there is nothing left.

I’ve been struggling with anxiety and intrusive thoughts about myself and others, something that is challenging for anyone to face. The idea of being overwhelmed with personal problems and having to deal with schoolwork that will shape your life can cause struggles that make any free time we do get as not enjoyable.

One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been unavailable for several weeks.

“I have to help my mom get ready for surgery and LMC is stressing me out too,” the student said.

It’s unfortunate to hear, but then it got even worse when the student said some of the worst words that you could ever use in a sentence, “I’d rather be alone.”

Depression can make you want to isolate yourself from everyone around you and that can lead you down a dark path that you don’t know how to dig yourself out of. Before you know it, depression and intrusive thoughts become your reality.

You’re gone, and so are many others at LMC who have OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder — whether they want to admit it or not.

An amazing mentor in this field is my own therapist, who deals with these kinds of problems all the time. She’s an expert on intrusive thoughts and knows well what the best thing to do is when you have thoughts constantly challenging you.

“It’s all about learning to retrain your brain to fight against distorted thoughts,” she told me “What really helps is what we talk about in terms of distorted thoughts and when you have those distorted and limited thoughts that leads to anxiety. It’s only when you challenge those thoughts that you will understand the difference between what’s true and what’s false.”

So many of us face intrusive thoughts on a day-to-day basis that it’s only a matter of time before we all become impacted by this mental health challenge. Therapists can help you push through a lot, so allow yourself to challenge those intrusive thoughts and become better, not only in spite of them but because of them.

If you need help with intrusive thoughts, depression, or other mental health issues, Los Medanos College offers TimelyCare, a free 24/7 service for students in need of health care. Find out how to access it on the Wellness page on LMC’s website at