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Scrupulosity - A Religious OCD


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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) comes in many types and forms. There are the hand washers who are afraid of germs and wash their hands many times a day, the compulsive hoarders who collect unwanted items and fail to dispose items that are no longer useful which results in a house full of junk, the checkers who keep on checking if the door is locked even if its already locked and checked many times, the obsessionals who are obsessed by unwanted thoughts and perform silly little rituals in the hope that those unwanted thoughts would go away. But there is a type of OCD that is not often talked about and is just recently getting more attention.

Scrupulosity or religious OCD is a type of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that is not very well-known or fully understood. This mental disorder is characterized with the fear of sin, blasphemous thoughts, and other ‘unholy’ ideas that may be against God. People with scrupulosity are worried if they angered God whenever they have blasphemous thoughts. They may obsess about anything that are superstitious and are always in constant doubt whether they have done the right things in order not to offend God. Some even fear if they have accidentally exclude loved ones from their prayers.

It is very easy to just assume that people with these obsessions are from very religious backgrounds, but these obsessions and worries can strike the non-religious and even atheists too! Religious OCD is not the same as being religious or being devoted to one’s religion. People with religious OCD do not feel any spiritual fulfillment by performing their OCD rituals that interfere with normal life, these OCD rituals include praying repetitively, constantly seeking reassurances, and/or mental rituals.

Common obsessions include ungodliness and blasphemy, they worry that they might accidentally worship the devil and offended God. They also have excessive concerns with morality, always making sure in doing things that are morally right. And because of these excessive worries and obsessions that drive them to pray excessively and carry out other rituals, they tend to perform a religious task or ritual in the wrong way.

More information on religious ocd and other obsessive compulsions .


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