religious and moral scrupulosity in christians

 Scrupulosity is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  People suffering with this disorder worry that they have sinned or done something immoral, even when they have not.  They may have intrusive thoughts (example: “Did I repent right?”), mental images that they find disturbing (example: images of immoral acts with religious figures), blasphemous, sexual, or violent thoughts, and/or fears that they may lose control of their impulses and do something sinful or harmful (example: yelling out a cuss word in church).  They may wonder if they are truly saved or if they are in danger of judgment by God.  As a result, these individuals tend to repeatedly confess their sins and/or seek reassurance from others.

An Introduction to the 'Overactive Conscience': Understanding Scrupulosity and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder  (210 kb)
This document describes a subtype of OCD called "scrupulosity." This occurs when symptoms of OCD are entwined in religious and moral matters. [ACCFS]

Coping Statements for Christians with OCD and Scrupulosity   (84 kb)
This document provides a brief set of coping statements and guidance for OCD and scrupulosity sufferers to use on a daily basis. [ACCFS]

Principles of Effective and Religiously Sensitive Exposures (88 kb)
This document is for individuals with OCD who are in (or are considering) treatment for OCD, especially the subtype of OCD called scrupulosity where obsessions and compulsions become intertwined in religious and moral matters. [ACCFS]

Brief Videos Explaining Immoral or Scrupulous Thoughts This link will take you to brief videos answering common questions about scrupulous obsessions. [Peace of Mind Foundation]

True Guilt/False Guilt  (47 kb)
This document highlights the differences between true guilt and false guilt. [ACCFS]

Characteristics of Obsessional Thinking  (100 kb)
For some OCD sufferers, recognizing and labeling that they are obsessing is one of the biggest hurdles to beating the disorder.  This document highlights some of the main features of obsessions so that individuals with OCD can learn to identify it more quickly. [ACCFS]

Whirlpool Model for Beating Rumination   (124 kb)
This document describes a technique for helping individuals "shift" when their minds are stuck due to obsessing or intense emotions. [ACCFS]

OCD and Christianity  
This site offers helpful information and suggestions for beating OCD from a distinctly Christian framework. The Therapy of Faith section of the site provides a three-step method that will encourage Christians with OCD to use their trust in God to beat OCD. [Ian Osborn, MD]


Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts
Authors: Christine Purdon, Ph.D. & David Clark, Ph.D.
This 160-page book deals with identifying and managing obsessive thoughts and focuses heavily on religious, blasphemous, violent, sexual, and harming obsessions. It is especially good for individuals struggling with scrupulosity (i.e., obsessions with religious and moral concerns). The authors take a very respectful approach toward religious beliefs and practices. 

Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?: A Psychiatrist Explores the Role of Faith in Treatment
Author: Ian Osborn, MD
This 208-page book looks at the treatment of OCD through the lens of faith.  Specifically, Dr. Osborn highlights how several notable Christians from previous centuries not only dealt with symptoms of OCD, but how they relied on their faith to help them move past the crippling effects of the symptoms.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  John 14:27