Scrupulosity OCD is a facet of obsessive compulsive disorder characterized by obsessing about religion, sinning, and morality. This illness is not restricted to one single religion. Someone with scrupulosity OCD may be in constant fear of angering GOD or of going to hell. This constant fear of sinning brings forth immense anxiety, guilt, and self-loathing.
Though much of their inability to decipher which way they should live their lives and what is considered a sin and what isn’t is partly due to the vagueness of the thousands of different religious doctrines that exist, the majority of their despair comes from their inability to think rationally.
Someone with scrupulosity OCD may take extreme measures in a desperate attempt to help them ease the amount of anxiety they constantly experience. If scrupulosity OCD is left untreated, then self-hatred may develop, as well as suicidal thoughts. This is a very insidious form of obsessive compulsive disorder that can cause other disorders to develop such as major depression for example.
Someone who has developed scrupulosity OCD may walk around in their day to day life in constant fear and worry that GOD is angry with them or that they are worthless. Regardless of there being no scientific evidence that a God exists, their disorder makes it very difficult for them to consider these other possibilities.
With any form of obsessive compulsive disorder, for every obsession, there is an equally painful compulsion that evokes them constantly. Such compulsions may be to not wear clothes with mixed fabrics, to grow their beard no shorter than the length or their fist (both of which are professed rules in the bible), to shut out friends and family who don’t think exactly as they do, to isolate themselves from the world, to harm or punish themselves, etc.
Though these compulsions give them some relief of their anxiety, this relief is only momentary. Giving into their obsessions by following through with their compulsions only justifies their scrupulosity OCD and makes their illness worse.
Causes of Scrupulosity OCD
The exact reason as to why someone would develop scrupulosity OCD is not entirely understood. However, one’s environment and family history may both play significant roles in someone developing this disorder, especially if they already have a genetic predisposition for developing it. Someone who is religious or who actively practices their religion and has obsessive compulsive disorder may naturally develop scrupulosity OCD.
Obsessive compulsive disorder typically intertwines itself into important aspects of one’s life for whatever reason. So, someone who is already religious or who is a theist and develops obsessive compulsive disorder may develop scrupulosity OCD simply due to their religion being something they already think a good deal about throughout the day.
Symptoms of Scrupulosity OCD
Someone who has scrupulosity OCD may experience crippling anxiety that greatly hinders their ability to experience joy and even contentment in life. They may live their day to day life with an underlying feeling or belief that regardless of what they do in this life, they are inevitably doomed to burn in hell forever.
They may spend much of their time thinking about their morality. For instance, if someone with scrupulosity OCD does something wrong or commits a “sin”, regardless of how minuscule it may be, then they will often blow it out of proportion and believe that from that one event, they are now doomed for eternal torment in hell.
If someone with scrupulosity OCD does not carry out the painful, and often embarrassing compulsion, then they will often remain in constant fear that something of catastrophic proportions will happen to them. So, with this irrational logic, they are then able to convince themselves that they must perform the compulsion in order to keep GOD’s wrath at bay. Scrupulosity OCD is not that different from traditional obsessive compulsive disorder in that it is just a more specific type of OCD.
Constant fear of sinning
Fear that GOD is unhappy with them
Obsessing about morals
Constant fear of going to hell
Extremely judgmental and self-critical
Scrupulosity OCD diagnostic criteria
To get diagnosed with scrupulosity OCD, you will need to get evaluated by a psychiatrist or a therapist. You can expect them to ask you questions about your family history, the relationship you have with your religion or belief system, the content of your obsessions, and the types of compulsions you perform. The medical professional will look to see if you fit the criteria or not to get diagnosed with this illness. Also, to get diagnosed with this disorder, you would have to have experienced the common symptoms of this illness for a long enough time for it to significantly hinder your life.
Treatments for scrupulosity OCD
To get treated for this particular type of obsessive compulsive disorder, you would pretty much follow the same protocol as you would with other forms of obsessive compulsive disorder. You will need to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist so that you can get properly diagnosed first. Then, you may go through talk therapy where you can discuss your religious obsessions, as well as maybe being put on a small dose of some sort of antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. If you’re anxious and don’t know where to start, then you can search for therapists in your area or psychiatrists in your area by clicking the forgoing links.