“Why can’t I get rid of these horrific thoughts? I’m supposed to have pure thoughts according to my faith. Will God ever forgive me?” Jon’s incessant thoughts were evoking extreme anxiety, doubt, and guilt in his daily life. He would excessively pray to ask for forgiveness. When the unwanted and unpleasant thoughts would show up, he would try to replace them by singing or repeating verses from his holy books. When he chose to confess his perceived sins, his religious leader told Jon that he had not sinned and to not worry about those thoughts. The faith leader reassured him by telling him that he was a good person. Despite his faith leader’s reassurance, Jon’s thoughts kept coming back. Jon blamed himself. He fe
Amber was an agnostic with high morals. Unfortunately, she often questioned her motivations regarding her behaviors and values. “Did I really mean to give that donation, or is it my savior complex? What if God really exists and I am sinning by not believing? Did I inadvertently offend my co-workers yesterday?” She seemed determined to be perfectly good, and was harsh on herself when she realized she failed at it every time. Does Amber’s story sound familiar? Do you often experience the urge to be perfectly good, though you know it’s impossible? Do you believe you need to do more and more each time? Is life actually overwhelming you because you believe you are not a good enough family member, friend, neighbor, worker, cit
Carson’s self-evaluative thoughts didn’t seem to cease in his life. He was consumed with thoughts such as, “I’m so dumb! Did I eat something that contained alcohol? I’ve sinned” “I’m so despicable for having those impure thoughts!” “I don’t deserve salvation.” “I’m unworthy of God’s love!” Unfortunately, there are many others who also experience these types of thoughts when they struggle with scrupulosity OCD. The human mind’s main function (OCD or not) is to protect us when it perceives we are in danger. However, when you’ve made a “mistake” (believing you’ve sinned, though you haven’t), and start stressing about it, your mind can quickly come to the rescue. It may provide evaluative thoughts so you can do “better next time.” The q
Do you ever feel like you’re traveling through life unable to choose your own path? Have you picked up some annoying and scary passengers along the way? Sometimes it may feel like you’ve been blindfolded, unable to choose where you are going. You are the captain of your life boat, not your anxious mind!
Looking back at historical monuments is interesting. Speculating how things came about can be fun. But is trying to make sense of a past event working out for you? Have you noticed where obsessing and ruminating takes you? An event from the past is history and a memory. It’s no longer a fact no matter how often you go back in time. You can learn to live in the present!
How often do you avoid or opt out of situations because they cause anxiety, uncertainty, or other unpleasant emotions? Consider what may be on the other side of your fear. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some
Break free from the doubt and depression caused by moral and religious anxiety. There’s help, and there’s hope. In Imperfectly Good, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to help you find relief and happiness despite religious or moral OCD. Through real-life accounts of those struggling with scrupulosity OCD and sound, research-based principles and practices, you’ll learn how to progress from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset so you can become who you want to become. The practices found in this book will help you: • Gain confidence in who you are • Navigate life with mental and emotional flexibility • Better connect with the present despite overwhelming anxiety • Focus on living your life with vitality and peace instead of worry and
View original article published in Psych Central– Samantha felt overwhelmed by her school assignments, her relationships, and her job. She often felt like she was walking a tightrope while holding a pole that contained all of her “should” and “must” type of thoughts. “It’s not a matter of if, but when I’ll fall and crash!” she’d repeat. She would imagine placing her thoughts and feelings in a bottle and shutting the lid tightly. “I place them there so I can cope,” she would declare. She recognized her panic attack cycle: stress, anxiety, tension build up, and suppress until it shatters. Then starting all over again. She hated her panic attacks, but said she always felt better after experiencing one. Do Samantha’s struggles sound familiar?
View original article published in Psych Central– Many of us may have grown up with the idea that making mistakes is a bad thing. When we received a bad grade or things didn’t go as expected, we may have felt distressed as we told our parents about it. We worried about their negative reaction. The urge to avoid errors goes back to an earlier time when our ancestors could not afford to make a mistake when they hunted for food or came across danger. Miscalculations cost people their lives in the olden days. Their minds were adept at helping them ensure they didn’t make deadly blunders. In our modern world, we rarely need to be anxious about oversights that could cost us our lives, unless we have a high-risk job such as being a pilot or a