What is Psychical Inertia?


Psychical inertia is a term introduced by Carl Jung to describe the psyche’s resistance to development and change.

He considered it one of the main reason for the neurotic opposing, or shrinking from, his or her age-appropriate tasks in life.

Refer to Repetition Compulsion.

Freudian and Other Developments

Freud argued that such psychic inertia played a part in the lives of the normal, as well as of the neurotic, and saw its origins in fixation between early instincts and their first impressions of significant objects. As late as Civilization and its Discontents (his 1930 book), he considered as a major obstacle to cultural development “the inertia of the libido, its disinclination to give up an old position for a new one”.

Later Jungians have seen psychic inertia as a force of nature reflecting both internal and outer determinants; while others have seen it as a product of social pressures, especially in relation to ageing.

One thought on “What is Psychical Inertia?

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.