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The Best Treatment for OCD: Exposures with a Curious Mindset


Children are the best at being curious. Do you remember when you were a kid playing outside with your friends and found something that caught your attention? Did you dismiss it, or push it away, or were you curious because you wanted to know what it was or how it worked? Some of us may lose the desire to learn about how things work as we get busy with our everyday life tasks and worries. We can all benefit by practicing and learning to be curious. And when you struggle with OCD, the search for certainty is king! Thus, as your rule-making mind “helps” you find certainty, it starts giving you reminders about what you should or should not do because after all, by following its rules, you may find certainty! Take a look at these e

How Can Identifying Values Help With Scrupulosity OCD?


By Kathleen Ririe What is scrupulosity? Picture this- you’re out walking on a beautiful path through the woods. The air smells of fresh rain, the trees are extra lush and green, and as the morning light shines through the trees you are filled with a sense of aliveness. UNTIL. You notice a tiny, sharp rock has found its way into your shoe. You try to ignore it, but the more vigilantly you ignore it, the more obnoxious it becomes. No matter how carefully you step, you can’t avoid the rock in your shoe. Soon you become completely engrossed in noticing the pebble and can no longer enjoy anything else the forest has to offer you. The word scrupulous comes from the Latin word Scrupulum which means a small sharp stone (1), and like t

Combatting Scrupulosity with Self-Compassion


By Kathleen Ririe “What if I should discover that…I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness– that I am the enemy who must be loved?” –C. G. Jung As Christmas approaches, in Christian religious traditions we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who is celebrated as the Savior of the World. According to the Bible, He was perfect and gave His life for humankind, that if they would come into relationship with Him and abide by His doctrine, they too would receive everlasting life through His gracious Atoning sacrifice. This is good news right?  Well, for those with Scrupulosity (a subtype of OCD involving religious or moral obsessions)  this message can at times feel like a two-edged sword. On

Faith & Values on the OCD Journey -What’s the Scoop on Scrup? Podcast


Annabella Hagen, Clinical Director and founder of Mindset Family Therapy contributed to “What’s the Scoop on Scrup?!” podcast recently. She addressed her background and passion for her work, scrupulosity, OCD in the LDS community, values and self-compassion. Feel free to listen to all or some parts of this podcast. Share it with your loved ones as well as your faith leaders so they can also understand OCD and its effect on someone’s faith and spirituality. In episode #10, she shares the following: Describes her background & passion for this work (3:20) Defines OCD/Scrupulosity (5:02) Talks about OCD in the LDS Community (6:51) Discusses the OCD treatment journey (14:02) Offe

IOCDF Faith and OCD Taskforce’s #OCDtruths


The OCD awareness week came and went. Hopefully today there are more people who are aware of this debilitating mental health challenge. There are many truths about OCD, and there are also many myths and misconceptions. For example, when someone tells you that they have OCD, know that if they are making fun of themselves, or making light of the situation, they most likely do not have this serious condition. OCD can get in the way of someone’s life, and what they care about the most (values). For example, when someone cares about their faith and connection with God, the OCD mind will target that very value and struggle with scrupulosity OCD. When someone who cares deeply about being a loving and caring person, they might have OC

What NOT to Do with Your Doubts During Treatment for OCD


Whether you are considering or have begun treatment for OCD, you might doubt that your unwanted thoughts are related to this mental health challenge. You may believe the unwanted thoughts and doubts are your fault. They are not. It has been said that OCD is the “doubting disease.” So, naturally, you will also doubt whether you have OCD. You may also question the treatment and whether you need to practice psychological flexibility skills to clear your mind. You might not be willing to engage in values-based exposures. You are not alone. Most OCD sufferers experience these doubts and feelings. We can compare treatment for OCD with roadway detours. For example, if you were on your way to work and you encountered a detour, how would

When Treatment for OCD Gets Tough, Follow These Five Steps!


Challenges are certainly part of life, and expecting to be free of it all is not realistic, unless you are a kid. For example, one afternoon, my grandkids were doing art projects at my house. One of them decided to create something that was a little too ambitious for his age. When I realized he was no longer working on it, I asked: “What happened to your project?” He answered, “I quit. It was too hard.” I said, “Oh, that’s too bad.” His older sister quickly chimed in: “When things get tough; what do you do? Here are two steps:  You quit and then forget about it!” She likes to tease and be mischievous sometimes. Her parents often talk about doing hard things and to keep trying instead of quitting. So I said, “Sweetie, you can

Five Ways to Let Go of Religious Scrupulosity


Drew had been raised in a religious environment. He had been taught to love God, but when he was a teenager, he began to have doubts about his faith. When he did, he felt guilty. He truly loved God and wanted to have a close relationship with Him. However, the more he wished to be good and serve others perfectly, the more doubts he seemed to have about God’s existence. He was terrified to experience intrusive thoughts and doubts while participating in religious activities. He believed the thoughts were his fault for not completing his “spiritual to-do list.” There just didn’t seem to be enough time to do what he believed had to be done so “God would be happy with him.”  The more he tried, the mo

Six Signs You Might Have Religious Scrupulosity


“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

Six Signs You Might Have Moral Scrupulosity OCD


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

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A guide to help you find relief and happiness in spite of religious or moral OCD (scrupulosity OCD). Learn more about Annabella Hagen's book.
Imperfectly Good - Book by Annabella Hagen

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