When Can Magical Thinking Be Dangerous?

It is a kind of cognitive distortion where our thoughts might be not based on fact or reality.

09 May, 2023

Kashish Sharma

Belief that you can control

If a person believes that their thoughts, words, emotions or rituals can change external circumstances, they might be doing what is called magical thinking.

Source: Thehealthsite

Sometimes the sign of mental disorders

Many of us fall into magical thinking and most of the time it can be fun and harmless but in some circumstances, it could be a symptom of mental disorders.

Source: Thehealthsite

Some forms are harmless

Touching wood while making a wish, blowing birthday candles, and using a particular pen in exams are some common and harmless instances of magical thinking.

Source: Thehealthsite

When it starts to affect the well-being

While many times, magical thinking can provide benefits such as increased optimum, boosting confidence and providing comfort during unpredictable situations, it can have drawbacks too.

Source: Thehealthsite

Can negatively affect disease cure

Studies have shown that magical thinking can have serious consequences if a person is suffering from a life-threatening condition and refuses to take a science-based approach to healing.

Source: Thehealthsite

Falling for repeated behaviour

People affected by OCD might engage in staunch rituals like counting or touching objects a fixed number of times, fearing that if they fail to do it, the dreaded thought might become a reality.

Source: Thehealthsite

Anxiety makes it worse

People having anxiety disorders always expect impending doom. They always think of the worst possible outcome. They often give too much power to their thoughts.

Source: Thehealthsite

Having superpowers?

People affected by conditions like schizophrenia start to believe that they have superpowers and that they might have to take certain actions to protect themselves from evil or enemies.

Source: Thehealthsite

More common in childhood

The tendency to fall for magical thinking is higher in childhood. For instance, a child might believe that his father got injured because he was being disobedient to him.

Source: Thehealthsite

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