“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 depressed. Even though you love God, your religion and anything related to it may induce panic.
For many OCD sufferers, it feels like OCD is a cruel illness because it ends up targeting what they care about the most. It makes sense because OCD is a neurological and biological illness in the brain. So, in the case of Scrupulosity OCD, you may have been raised in a religious environment. You learned to love God and know a great deal about your religion. Words such as repentance, faithfulness, love, honesty, service, charity, blessings, and many related words are deeply rooted in your being.
Why wouldn’t they? You think about these concepts and principles each and every day. When OCD shows up in your life, those will be the concepts it will target, because that’s what resonates within you. Why would OCD target something foreign to you and that you don’t care about? We could say OCD is customer-friendly. The good news is you can learn to live a meaningful life, even when your OCD mind continues to nag you about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do. There is more to you than OCD. Though OCD has been claiming all the parts within you, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Remember that you have a mind that produces all kinds of possible solutions to “get rid” of unpleasant thoughts. Though our amazing mortal mind means well, its advice is not helpful when it comes to internal experiences such as thoughts and feelings.
It has been said among Christians that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. You can access your “spiritual self” and see your mortal thoughts for what they are — thoughts and nothing else!
Mindfulness practice can be a first step towards increasing thought awareness so you won’t get trapped in the OCD cycle. When you become disentangled from thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges, you can see more clearly and recognize that you don’t have to hearken to every thought your OCD mortal mind produces.
Scrupulosity OCD does not have to get in the way of your faith because you are not your mortal mind. You are a spiritual being who can act on thoughts that help you draw closer to the life you wish to have. As you access your spiritual self, you will be able to acknowledge and observe the unhelpful thoughts come and go without having to push them away or figure them out any longer.
It takes time, effort, and patience to increase awareness, but it can be achieved!