Scrupulosity and Religious OCD

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Please note: Articles on lived experiences can be a trigger for those with tics, OCD and anxiety disorders. Articles are intended to show we aren’t alone, and that help can improve quality of life.

OCD to religion is like fuel to a fire. It makes my anxiety so much more intense.

For me, it’s been some of the most terrifying forms of OCD I have had. It feels like there is so much more at stake.

It hit me when I was 16

I was having all sorts of thoughts. Thoughts about life and death, infinity and eternity… asking questions I couldn’t answer.

I was somewhat religious as a child, but it didn’t really have me thinking too much about life. I was an anxious kid though, and had lots of other compulsions like checking things repeatedly.

But for whatever reason in my teens, my mind began to latch onto certain questions about my existence and what happens after we die.

This new curiosity seemed to come out of nowhere and lasted months. 

In fact, I don’t feel it truly ever went away.

I would picture myself and family members being in Hell

I have looked up this kind of OCD, as it was terrifying to go through alone. 

I now know that others have this, too. Sometimes inappropriate thoughts about God and/or the Devil. Carrying out inappropriate acts with them and other blasphemous scenarios.

I haven’t had this exactly, but I do have thoughts about the afterlife.

I was less religious in my twenties and although I don’t practice a specific religion, I still feel these thoughts are the hardest to ignore.

Especially for my family. If I have a thought about a loved one being in or going to Hell, I just have to reverse it. Every single time.

What if I am wrong about OCD? What if I do need to reverse the thought?

My family are the ones at risk and eternity has no end. I’d be selfish on a whole other level if I didn’t just play it safe and let OCD win this time.

I question my morality constantly

Is God going to judge me? What if all my family go to Heaven and I go to Hell? Will we be separated forever?

Like literal forever?!

It has gotten to the point where I can’t even watch a crime documentary without my brain telling me:

ah, so I see you want to be a serial killer too hey? There’s a special place for people like you…’

On top of this, I question my families morality by constantly having thoughts about them doing inappropriate things. Things I know they would never do.

I have started to do vocal tics as a result of the Religious OCD

I have vocal tics, and due to the constant wave of religious-themed thoughts, I find myself saying the word ‘heaven’ a lot.

It’s a quick-fire way to make sure I am not picturing a loved one in hell or being blasphemous. 

Tourettic OCD may better describe behaviours that are a combination of Tourette and OCD. OCD-style compulsions may occur from a sensory urge, and tic-like symptoms may occur from intrusive thoughts.

In the months that religious OCD tends to take hold, I feel like the only sane character in a zombie world.

Why do we take an interest in sports and things when we are literally on a rock hurtling to God knows where?

Why are people putting on suits and going to jobs that don’t matter?

It didn’t dawn on me that I was the one not thinking clearly.

Understanding this is OCD and ignoring it are two completely different things.

The anxiety still hits with an intrusive thought involving religion. Thoughts about my family cause me a lot of stress.

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DISCLAIMER: Articles contain lived experiences, but cannot be used to diagnose. Medical advice can only come from trained professionals. 

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