Magical Thinking Explained

Sometimes, magical thinking can serve as a symptom of an underlying mental health condition. This type of magical thinking usually feels uncontrollable and creates a lot of distress.

Here’s a look at how magical thinking can pop up in different conditions.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Magical thinking (also called magical ideation) commonly occurs as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People with OCD typically engage in specific rituals, or compulsions, to quiet the obsessive thoughts they experience.

Someone might believe, for example, they’ll get into a car accident unless they tap the hood of their car three times.

While some people with OCD perform these rituals without really believing they have power, others have a strong conviction that failing to perform the ritual would have negative consequences.


People with anxiety often have high levelsTrusted Source of magical thinking.

For example, you might:

  • spend a lot of time worrying about outcomes that are less likely or realistic
  • believe planning for every possible negative outcome can protect you against those outcomes
  • find it hard to take concrete action because of your worries

Leave a Reply, All comments will be moderated - Many thanks for your contribution

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.