Mindset | Blog

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 felt unworthy to keep participating in his faith. Eventually he chose to take a break from it. He missed participating and became depressed.

Jon did not know religious scrupulosity OCD was the cause for his anxiety and guilt until he began treatment. Please read these six signs below and notice if these statements sound familiar.

Constant and excessive:

1.  Fear of offending the Almighty.

2.  Doubting your worthiness.

3.  Doubting God’s existence despite yearning for faith.

4.  Rigidity in your religious observances.

5.  Focusing on unimportant religious rituals.

6.  Fear of committing sin even though there is no sin.

Feel free to share these signs with others so they can stop suffering in silence. Invite those who might be struggling with this clinical condition to go to the iocdf.org website so they can educate themselves and find a clinician who can help treat their OCD. 

You can also check out my new book on moral and religious scrupulosity OCD: “Imperfectly Good” while waiting to start treatment. It can help you.

AND please, remember that being imperfectly good is enough!