What is Magical Thinking in People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

What is Magical Thinking in People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Magical thinking happens from time-to-time. Superstitions fall into the category of magical thinking, like avoiding the 13th floor of a building or needing a specific object to have luck. Even simple acts involve magical thinking.

Magical Thinking

One of the early writers on the topic was Freud. He discussed magical thinking like a defense mechanism to protect people from feeling helpless. This type of thinking may be greater when you feel a loss of control or face external events that provoke anxiety. Most people use magical thinking to try and control what cannot be controlled.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Magical thinking and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is mental illness. Magical thinking takes on another dimension. While it is thought of in cases of psychosis or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the person believes the thoughts or actions have abilities to control outside events. With GAD, magical thinking may be where a person believes one event happens as a result of another without a link to definitely say this is true. Believing anxiety somehow controls the world around you is one other way of putting it.

Challenging Thinking

The key to managing magical thinking is to plan ahead. Think about when you find yourself in a situation that provokes anxiety. It is easier to manage magical thinking prior to the start of it than to disrupt your pattern once it began. Figure out a plan based on what a reasonable person might do. Think about this ahead of time as it gives you a chance to see it realistically while you are not anxious.

  • If you get anxious about work, set up steps ahead of time to keep you from getting overwhelmed like setting up manageable parts
  • Don’t worry about health and safety of family as much when you use safety equipment at home, proper car seats, and regular check-ups for family members
  • Set aside a budget, savings, and meet with a financial planner to get on track

When you plan ahead in times of low anxiety you will think more rationally when anxiety is highest. Don’t short yourself down the road when anxiety comes calling. It is easier to manage if you set yourself up for success all along. Find help from people who can help you set yourself up to achieve the success you deserve.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.