The Missing Link in OCD

The missing link lurks in our psyche behind the symptoms.

The missing link lurks in our psyche behind the painful symptoms.

You can’t touch it, see it, or smell it. But it’s there all the time, the hidden instigator of numerous human ailments and miseries including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Experts attribute obsessive-compulsive disorder to various sources such as genetic factors and dysfunctional brain processes, as well as allergies and other sensory problems that produce anxiety and stress. Yet a common cause of OCD—inner passivity in the human psyche—is hardly ever mentioned. The fingerprint of inner passivity can be found on all the common expressions of OCD.

Readers of the posts at this website are familiar with my descriptions of inner passivity. This inner condition was first identified in classical psychoanalysis as an extension of the subordinate or unconscious ego. I have shown how inner passivity is an emotional weakness that is linked to many painful and self-defeating experiences and behaviors such as anxiety, depression, procrastination, shame, guilt, panic attacks, and addictions. In this post, I provide explanations that show how inner passivity is the common link among the primary types and symptoms of OCD.

Inner passivity is a hidden glitch in human nature, and it can plague us even when in daily life we’re capable of being assertive and effective. As one of its most striking features, inner passivity, when experienced acutely, causes us to become emotionally entangled in a sense of helplessness and to feel overwhelmed by the everyday challenges of life. (Read, Lost in the Fog of Inner Passivity.)

One of the most common forms of OCD is called “checking.” People become anxious that they’ve failed to lock a door, switch off lights, or turn off the stove or toaster. Some OCD sufferers have persistent fears of hitting pedestrians while driving. [Read more…]

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A Hidden Reason for Suicidal Thoughts

An inner weakness in our psyche can instigate suicidal thoughts.

An inner weakness in our psyche can instigate suicidal thoughts.

Suicidal thoughts are quite common, and even people living good lives can experience them now and then. For many, suicidal thoughts are fleeting considerations, following which they bounce back to their everyday sense of self.

Others are haunted by these thoughts on a regular basis. The risk of committing suicide is increased for a person who begins to think often on how to do it. 

Experts say the causes of suicide are varied. Suicide is associated with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mood and personality disorders, depression, sleep deprivation, work failure, and drug abuse. Another cause cited across all the suicide-prevention websites is the feeling of helplessness.

This feeling of being helpless (overwhelmed, trapped, and unable to cope) appears to be a universal emotional experience among people with either fleeting or persistent thoughts of suicide. According to, suicidal thoughts tend to arise when people “are no longer able to cope with an overwhelming situation, which could be financial, the death of somebody they love, breaking up, or a devastating, debilitating illness.”

An inner weakness in our psyche, one that goes largely undetected, produces the tendency for some people to collapse into helplessness. This weakness is sometimes felt quite acutely even by people coping with just everyday routine matters. We don’t need to be facing life-or-death situations to experience this debilitating weakness. [Read more…]

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