Morality & Religion Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): SCRUPULOSITY

A type of obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by having intrusive and obsessive thoughts about religion and morals, it is also often referred to as “religious OCD” or “moral OCD”. People who are scrupulous are concerned that their actions or thoughts will be interpreted as sins or other violations of moral or religious principles. They are always in fear or worry that their thoughts or actions will or are going against their religion and what they believe in.

Imagine that you are in a church or a temple and a sinful idea or thought crosses your mind. Most religious individuals will experience regret but quickly move past it. People who suffer from this type of OCD, though, will find it difficult to let that concept go. They’ll be overcome with guilt for having the notion, and they could be concerned about offending God. They’ll spend hours confessing, praying, and studying religious books in an effort to “make up” for this. These compulsive actions or rituals are meant to reduce their suffering. They will therefore find it difficult to truly appreciate religious services or rituals because religion causes them distress. 

Unlike conventional religious behavior, scrupulous behavior frequently goes beyond or neglects religious law and might even place an inordinate amount of emphasis on one aspect of religious practice while completely ignoring other, more significant aspects. OCD can impersonate religion. Due to the nature of their compulsions, such as having to spend hours researching religious theory, somebody with OCD may appear to others to be very committed to their religious practices. However, this excessive behavior is generally an attempt to reduce the anxiety brought on by the obsessions. OCD is never beneficial and might make it difficult to follow one’s religious practices. Typically, the mentality and actions of scrupulous people differ from those of the remainder of the spiritual community. Additionally, meticulous behavior results in functional degradation and is primarily motivated by distress. Functional impairment might manifest as not attending services, skipping work, withdrawing from near and dear ones, and feeling incredibly uncomfortable in settings when others might feel calm or at ease.

When it comes to scrupulosity, obsessions (or persistent, bothersome thoughts) can involve stressing over: 

  • Visiting a “wrong” place of worship
  • Misinterpreting religious doctrine 
  • Offending God 
  • Not doing their prayers correctly
  • Committing a sin or indulging in an unacceptable act
  • Obsessive thoughts about hell and heaven
  • Death
  • Being pure
  • Being impulsive or losing control which might lead to sinful acts

In addition to worrying excessively about moral and religious matters, people with scrupulosity experience mental or behavioral compulsions.

Behavioral compulsions could look like:

  • Too many trips to the place of worship
  • Touching God’s idol time and again
  • Seeking validation again and again from religious leaders or loved ones
  • Having rituals to do a soul cleansing or to get rid of committed sins
  • Avoiding situations where it is highly likely that a moral or religious error could occur

Mental compulsions could include:

  • Praying excessively
  • Repeatedly saying religious phrases or imagining religious images in mind
  • Making promises to the god
  • Doing mental checks repeatedly on their actions 

One could have moral scrupulosity if they don’t merely have religious scrupulosity. 

A few constant concerns that a person with moral scrupulosity has are:

  • Lying, even if it is unintentional
  • Unintentionally treating people unfairly 
  • Acting morally out of self-interest as opposed to being driven by a desire to assist others 
  • Whether one’s moral decisions are indeed beneficial for the broader good 
  • Whether or not they actually a “good” person

Can Scrupulosity be treated?

The same therapies utilized for other types of OCD work for scrupulosity. The main psychological therapy for all forms of OCD, including scrupulosity, is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which uses a technique known as exposure and response prevention (ERP). Seek online consultation with the best Clinical Psychologist for OCD Counseling. The main medication used to treat OCD is a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The patient’s religious tradition leaders may also be consulted as part of the treatment plan for scrupulosity. The aim of treatment is to detach OCD from the patient’s moral and religious beliefs so that they can live a life that is true to their beliefs and values, free from OCD. Learn more about OCD treatment options. One can have face to face consultation with Best Psychologist and psychiatrist at Psychowellness Center Dwarka Delhi.

How to Help Family Members and Friends of Individuals with Religious Scrupulosity?

By and large, friends, relatives, and partners become very much involved with the rituals of the individual who endures strict Scrupulosity. They might become involved with ceremonies by taking their adored one to chapel consistently to go to admission, for instance. Or on the other hand, they might assist the person in question with staying away from items, individuals, or spots that trigger strict fixations (e.g., drive to the store utilizing a course that sidesteps a specific church or temple). Relatives accept they are helping their cherished one by helping – or obliging – OCD and may not know how else to keep harmony in the family. Tragically, when individuals oblige OCD, they really support OCD conduct – making it more straightforward for OCD to get more grounded and keep its grasp on their adored one.

To more readily serve relatives of people with strict Scrupulosity, you can find out about how they can quit obliging OCD in the home. You can likewise find out about various alternate ways loved ones can help their adored one, and simultaneously, deal with themselves. 

In aggregate, your capacity to recognize a mental disease and evil might have a significant effect on people who experience the ill effects of strict Scrupulosity as well as their families and companions.

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