Julia loved her children more than anything else, but the intrusive thoughts about possibly harming them were relentless. She felt a great deal of shame. She didn’t dare share her thoughts with anyone for fear of being judged, or worst yet, losing her children. She had heard horrifying stories about mothers who lost their children because of abuse. “Will I be one of those moms? Am I going to harm my children?” The more she tried to get rid of those tormenting images and thoughts, the longer they seemed to stay. If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, your OCD may be targeting what and who matters most to you in your life. That’s what the OCD mind does, and it is very painful. When those thoughts show up, you probab
Do we need a holiday about love to be reminded to love others? Probably not. How about a reminder to be kind and loving to ourselves? When things go wrong and we make mistakes, our natural reaction may be to beat ourselves up, but this response doesn’t provide the joy we all yearn for in our lives. Some people have a list of reasons for not loving themselves. The belief that “even a crumb of love” will lead them to become selfish and uncaring human beings might be included on that list. This assumption may be based on their mind’s unhelpful advice and negative experiences. Though this approach is ineffective, they become stuck with these views. According to research, in order to experience better mental, physical and emotional we
Last October, Madeline Johnson, a video producer for BBC Reel, reached out and asked if she could interview me about Scrupulosity OCD. There isn’t enough awareness about this type of OCD, so I was glad to be a small part of this excellent BBC Reel presentation: Scrupulosity: The obsessive fear of not being good enough. Many individuals throughout the world often ask themselves in confusion, “Why are my faith and moral values causing me so much pain and suffering?” Eventually, through friends, relatives, or internet searches, they find out that their anxiety related to their faith and moral values actually has a name: scrupulosity obsessive-compulsive disorder. They feel great relief that there is actually a name for their anx
Faith may be a value that matters most to you. Yet, you may feel that you are not living up to it. You may believe that you are not deserving of God’s love. You may also think that your religion is too rigid, and may want to abandon it to find respite from uncertainty, anxiety, guilt, shame and other unpleasant emotions. No matter how much you try to change how you feel and think, you may have noticed that you keep getting stuck with those emotions and thoughts. Is your faith causing you to suffer? On one side, you value faith; on the other side, it may be causing you emotional and mental pain. Don’t despair. It is how you view your struggles that can make all the difference!
“Additional tutoring and suffering appears to be the pattern for the Lord’s most apt pupils. Our existence, therefore, is a continuum matched by God’s stretching curriculum.” Neal A. Maxwell1 Society’s Influence Our society has come up with some amazing antidotes to unhappiness, and we can sometimes conclude that we are not supposed to suffer. We can then easily forget our spiritual “why.” Even though we read and hear talks from our prophets and leaders, our minds get stuck with the idea that “I’m supposed to be happy all the time.” “There must be something wrong with me if I’m not happy.” Finding the emotional cure seems to elude us all when we seek it even more. Sometimes we begin to focus on anything that will provi
At one time or another, all of us will experience pain that may linger –physical, financial, emotional, or mental. Is it fair? We know the answer. The problem is that when we are in the middle of turbulent waters we usually forget “the why.” The Why Before coming to earth, we were most likely excited about the journey. We were ready for the adventure. We were given the opportunity to choose. One third of our fellow spirits chose otherwise (Job 38:7, Isaiah 14:13, Luke 10:18, D&C 29:36). Satan presented his plan and Heavenly Father did not agree as it would be pointless to follow it. (Moses 4:1) Jesus Christ knew what was needed, and so the rest of us agreed to experience whatever mortal life would offer, in order to learn
Annabella Hagen, LCSW was interviewed and quoted as part of the article. “Imagine being obsessed with your personal worthiness before God — a captive to compulsive thoughts that require engaging in excessive religious behavior to cope. Imagine being weighed down with the constant need to confess sinful behavior to an ecclesiastical leader and unable to accept anything less than perfection…” Read full article here.
December can be a time of stress as you hurry to attend Christmas shows, plan parties, finish shopping, send greetings, and help your family and friends complete last minute preparations. Whether you have been practicing the skills you’ve learned in therapy, have just begun treatment, or haven’t yet begun, your scrupulosity OCD may flareup. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 1 Indeed, Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on your religious beliefs and your relationship with the Lord. However, the season itself may trigger your scrupulosity. Questions may arise regarding your worthiness and God’s love for you. The uncertainty that
“I want to go the extra mile, and when I don’t, I feel like I’ve failed.” “I can’t ever be good enough.” Those who struggle with Scrupulosity OCD can continually feel guilty because they want to serve God perfectly. They constantly feel the burden of possibly having sinned and offended God. Many individuals with Scrupulosity OCD may not realize they have the illness and may suffer in silence. Their repeated confessions and repentance is a short-lived reprieve from perpetual feelings of guilt. Do you struggle with Scrupulosity OCD? Is OCD targeting one of the values you care about the most? Yet the constant nagging inside your head with thoughts such as, “I’m not pure and deserving of God’s blessings” probably lead you to feel miserable and
View original article published in Psych Central– When religious and faithful individuals are told that the unremitting thoughts that they are trying to get rid of are due to their OCD, they have difficulty accepting it. They may remember how and where their symptoms began, and may attribute their sinful thoughts to Satan or being cursed somehow somewhere. They may eventually acknowledge the symptoms as OCD but continue to doubt their worthiness. As they question their thoughts and actions, uncertainty persists. They believe they may find surety if they make a more exerted effort. For example, they may say, “If I pray longer, the intrusive thoughts will stop. Perhaps I didn’t confess all my sins. I must go back and do better. My service to