Magical Thinking OCD. : Hi guys - I've been... - My OCD Community

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Magical Thinking OCD.


Hi guys - I've been dealing with OCD for 20+ years now and it has absolutely escalated to other tendencies. Initially, I started with numbers and compulsions and moved on to intrusive thoughts (with compulsions depending on my level of anxiety). I was so embarrassed by it and worked so hard to hide it and I guess I was successful in doing so because I recently confessed my condition to a close relative and they were shocked. Talking about it substance and made it real. So I worked so hard on suppressing it. But it's been consuming me and I feel sick, and I have not gotten any help. The wait time is incredibly long to see a doctor, especially now mid-covid. Recently I decided I wanted to understand it and started doing some research and came across the term "magical thinking OCD", which seemed so relatable. I found this definition online: "Those with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) feel like they have an expanded sense of responsibility to themselves and others. People with OCD may think they have the power to prevent bad things from happening or from harming themselves or others, or may believe that their thoughts can cause or prevent events from occurring in real life. This is referred to as magical thinking and allows people with OCD to feel safer and in more control, regardless of how illogically or irrationally their thoughts or behaviors are perceived by themselves and others." Anyone here familiar with this kind of OCD and how have you dealt with it?

18 Replies

I think so magical OCD is like counting OCD. In counting OCD people think that if they won't count to a certain number or do some things for a certain time then something bad will happen and if they do that then they can prevent the bad stuff.

You can read these articles on counting OCD and relate it to your thoughts.

Jazzmine in reply to Albertina_G

Thanks for sharing! I started reading. The thing with me is that I don’t have a number, so it doesn’t feel as structured I guess. I just fixate on thoughts. And a lot of the times right when I find a somewhat comfortable thought, I find something (anything) wrong with it, and I spend an enormous amount of time trying to replace that thought, or obsessing over it and what it could mean. Everything seems to be associated or bring me back to that thought until I’m mentally exhausted and my anxiety is off the charts. For the most part, it’s also the first thing on my mind when I wake up. Again, mentally exhausting.

I have heard of this and I have this form of OCD myself.

Jazzmine in reply to LuvSun

Sorry to hear LuvSun. Are you seeing someone to help? How do you manage?

LuvSun in reply to Jazzmine

I’m not seeing anyone presently. I just try and tell myself that I don’t have that kind of “power” to control things and move on. It’s a continuing battle but I manage to get through day by day.

Jazzmine in reply to LuvSun

That’s a good technique I suppose. I should focus on my day by day too. I spend so much thinking about the what if’s of the future time that that depletes me most of the time .

It's all ocd, it does not matter the name or handle it's given ,pure,or magical ,it's all a form of trying to have certainty and control over the intrusive thoughts ,

I don’t personally have it but this sounds exactly like my DD. She’s getting ERP now but she’s resistant because she’s still fairly young but I’m hopeful. I’ve read a lot about it as well. Wishing you much luck, try NOCD if you are ok with virtual therapy.

Jazzmine in reply to Carbon21

thank you! Best of luck to you as well. I’ll give virtual therapy a try given that an appt to see an actual person is months away.

I can relate similarly since in the past or at times, I've had times when I thought I could make something bad happen to someone just by a thought that I had. It can go so far as to think I could cause them to go to hell because of a thought. Or because I said something, it might cause them harm and it would be MY FAULT. Is this what you are going through?

Doing research is a good thing. There are so many different types of OCD you will find that they kind of 'inter-twine' quite a bit. My past big OCD issue was scrupulosity (moral) where I have to be perfect, my thoughts must be perfect.

Jazzmine in reply to 3BirdLover

I see similar traits. I believe in the weight of my intrusive thoughts. My concern is that I put someone I care about or myself in harm’s way. I’m always concerned about making the right decisions to protect myself and those I love. Everything is an overthought and I analyze every single little thing. I find associations, signs, etc...kind of “this must mean something approach”. I’ll do things I’m afraid of, but there are times when the anxiety and fear win and it’s one of the most defeating feelings.

3BirdLover in reply to Jazzmine

This is where my faith has to take over. I don't know what your spiritual life it, but my faith in God is critical in getting me through. Sometimes I just have to pray, place it in God's hands and it helps me move forward. For me, a heavy burden is lifted.

I've mentioned many times on this forum that my mom once told me "You are not that powerful [my name], meaning I cannot in my mind control the outcome or harm a person by thinking something. This has also been very helpful in dealing with these types of harm OCD intrusive thoughts.

I’ve had those feelings! I spent all of high school and a lot of college seriously believing my dad got Alzheimer’s and passed away because of a dumb thought I had as a kid.

I’ve tried to ignore these thoughts but it’s hard sometimes, they pop up out of nowhere

Jazzmine in reply to laurenlynn

What do you do when they pop up and you can’t shake them away? I’ve started saying “it’s my OCD”, when I feel overwhelmed by my thoughts. It’s not a definite solution but does help put some things into perspective, specially when I’m just tired.

laurenlynn in reply to Jazzmine

I wish I had a good answer but I tell myself it’s my OCD too. And like you said, it puts it into perspective

I fear if I do something that remains 'forever' like taking a photo, editing a photo, write something down, sign something, save a file in the computer, name a file in the computer, write a letter, buy a car, put something in a shelf etc. and I dont do it perfectly or i dont have a good thought or a good feeling while im doing it than my parents cant go to heaven and its my fault.

its like the issue that 3birdslover wrote combinded with perfection, ordering, repeating.

if i do it 'wrong' i repeat the action and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat etc. until it feels right..

sound like it is your problem too..

tk84 in reply to tk84

its always something bad is going to happen to somebody that is important to me if I do or If i dont do...

Jazzmine in reply to tk84

I do associate good (or non negative) thoughts with a positive outcome. I’ve had OCD for so long now that at this point as long as it’s not a negative thought I’m fine with it. Ultimately the thought doesn’t even have to make sense at all, as long as it’s not negative I’m fine completing the cycle. And yes arriving to that point may involve repetition and a goal to be perfect.

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