What is Scrupulosity OCD?
Scrupulosity is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which the person suffers from obsessions linked with religious guilt. Someone suffering from Scrupulosity OCD may obsess over committing what they believe to be wrong actions or thoughts, whether it be blaspheming God, not praying often enough, having impure thoughts, or committing some other sin. These obsessions are usually combined with an excessive amount of guilt and anxiety, which can lead to extreme rituals and behaviors from the person in an attempt to relieve their anxiety and fix what they feel is wrong.
If you are suffering from Scrupulosity OCD, it is important to remember that you are not alone. With the right help and support, you can eventually get your life back on track and live a happy, fulfilling life free from Scrupulosity OCD.
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Symptoms of Scrupulosity OCD
Scrupulosity is one of the more common types of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). It occurs in both religious and non-religious people, although it tends to be more prevalent among those who are religious. This disorder causes sufferers to have excessive fears and doubts about their moral correctness or purity. Symptoms of scrupulosity OCD can include:
- Excessive guilt or remorse over minor moral transgressions, such as swearing, gossiping, missing church services, etc.
- Fear that one is not living up to one’s religion’s standards. For example, a person might worry excessively about whether they have been praying often enough or if they are being immoral or impure.
- Extreme anxiety about making mistakes or getting things wrong, such as worrying that you will blaspheme God in some way. This can lead to excessive checking and reassurance-seeking behavior.
- Frequent mental rituals, such as reciting prayers or scriptures repeatedly in order to alleviate guilt or reassure oneself of one’s moral purity.
- Feeling that one’s religious beliefs are wrong, or that they do not adequately align with one’s religion. For example, a person might feel that their prayers are ineffective because of the way in which they are phrased, or that their actions are immoral and sinful despite following their religion’s teachings to the letter.
Obsessions of Scrupulosity OCD
- Worrying about harming yourself or others. Scrupulosity OCD is characterized by excessive fears of harming yourself or others through your thoughts, words, or actions. These obsessions can be extremely distressing and may lead to significant anxiety and distress in your day-to-day life.
- Overthinking and second-guessing your decisions. Scrupulosity OCD sufferers often worry excessively about the decisions they make in their lives, constantly second-guessing themselves and worrying that they have made the wrong choice. These obsessive thoughts can cause significant distress and may lead to avoidance of certain situations or activities out of fear of making a mistake.
- Excessive religious or moral thoughts. Many people with Scrupulosity OCD experience extreme and unreasonable fears about their morality, especially as it relates to religion. These obsessive thoughts can be extremely distressing and may lead to significant anxiety, avoidance of certain situations or activities, and feeling out of control in your daily life.
- Questioning the existence of God. Scrupulosity OCD sufferers may obsessively worry about the existence of God, questioning their faith and feeling that they are unworthy or sinful in some way. These obsessions can be extremely distressing and may significantly impact their daily lives, causing significant distress and anxiety.
Compulsions of Scrupulosity OCD
- Excessive praying or religious rituals. Individuals with scrupulosity often feel compelled to pray excessively, and may even begin to engage in religious rituals that are not typically part of their faith tradition. This compulsion can be extremely distressing for the individual, as it can interfere with daily life and make them feel guilty for not being more pious and devoted to God.
- Extreme religious or moral perfectionism. Scrupulosity is often characterized by an extreme level of religious or moral perfectionism, which can be very difficult for the individual to cope with. Individuals may constantly berate themselves for perceived shortcomings in their behavior, even when others do not perceive these behaviors as problematic.
- Excessive fear of committing sinful or blasphemous acts. Individuals with scrupulosity often have a tremendous fear of committing sins or blasphemous acts, and may spend a great deal of time worrying about whether or not their thoughts or behaviors are sinful in nature. This excessive worry can be quite debilitating for the individual, as it can interfere with their daily functioning and leave them feeling anxious and hopeless.