Religious OCD: Separation of Shame from Spirituality


The dome is made of stained glassReligious obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of OCD that causes an individual to observe spiritual fears. It often involves religious constraints such as excessive prayer. For example, a person may be worried that he will go to hell and he will repeat a mantra to deal with this fear. Religious OCD is also called "rigor."

Religious forms of OCD are quite common. In the United States, a 2002 study suggests that 33% of people with OSH have religious obsessions or coercion. Most religious countries, such as Egypt, appear to have even higher degrees of deterioration, with up to 60% of deaths from religious minorities.

Religious pneumonia can turn religious faith, which is often a source of comfort and community, to an impulse for anxiety. Emotional pain may feel overwhelming, but dexterity is particularly therapeutic. Treatment is an essential component of effective therapy.

What Is Religious OCD?

In religious OCD, a person has persistent negative or restless thoughts on his spiritual life. These obsessions often interfere with day-to-day operations. Individuals may not be able to suppress or ignore these thoughts.

Some examples of religious obsessions include:

  • Fear of not having enough faith.
  • Fear of transition to hell.
  • Fear of being unclean or infected according to the rules of his religion.
  • Fear of committing unethical behavior.

Compulsions are behaviors that people adopt with OCD to cope with their obsessions. They are often repetitive, time-consuming activities that are not enjoyed by the individual. When an individual can not cope with his compulsions, his anxiety can escalate quickly. Compulsions to the religious NGO may or may not have religious issues.

Examples of religious coertions include:

  • Going to religious services much more often than is typical of one's religion.
  • Seeking constant assurance from religious authorities.
  • Performs acts of extreme self-determination or self-immolation.
  • Addictive prayer, repeating mantra or cleaning rituals. (For example, a person can repeat a prayer again and again until they say it correctly.)

Unlike typical religious activity, spiritual coercion is often motivated more by fear than by faith. In many cases, people recognize that pursuing a coercion will not prevent their fears from becoming reality. However, they may think that these compulsions are the only way to alleviate their anxiety.

What is the difference between wit and typical religious behavior?

Like the rest of the population, many people with OCD have religious behaviors. It is commonplace even for people without OOC. to want to thank God or the religious principles. Thus it may be difficult to distinguish typical religious behaviors from religious OCD.

Rigority can affect members of any religious faith. The problem is stress, not religion. In general, religious behavior is considered to be compulsive if it does not fit into the cultural context. For example, a person can do cleansing daily every day when religion orders them only these rituals every week. Different communities of the same faith can have separate expectations for religious behavior. The same actions may be typical in one place but are considered excessive in others.

Another feature of religious OCA is that it undermines a person's quality of life. It often causes extreme anxiety, guilt and shame. A person may be involved in rituals as long as they neglect work, school or family obligations.

Rigority can also affect the religious practices of the individual. A person can concentrate so much on the rules of cleanliness that neglect other rituals. They may avoid attending religious ceremonies for fear of committing blasphemy. They can also believe that other members of faith do not get enough writing seriously and feel isolated from their community as a result.

What Causes Religious Covenant?

Religious OCD is not a separate diagnosis. It is a specific manifestation of OCD. Thus, people with religious teachings may also have non-religious forms of OCD. Some people with a religious disorder of the disease (OCD) find that their compulsions and obsessions change over time

Like other types of OCD, the causes of religious OCDs are not fully understood. Research suggests that brains affected by OCD may have an imbalance of the serotonin neurotransmitter. This may be due to genetic factors, environmental factors or a combination of both. For example, a person with a family history of OCD may be more genetically vulnerable to diagnosis. When something in the environment triggers their anxiety, the OCD may appear.

A person's obsessions may be more likely to have spiritual issues if:

  • They live in a community in which religion is a great part of the identity and social life of the individual.
  • They attach moral importance to the fleeting religious doubts.
  • They believe that God will strictly punish their religious or moral mistakes.

It is important to note that only religion will not cause the appearance of OCD. Rigority can affect members of any religious faith. The problem is stress, not religion. Even if a person becomes an atheist or abandons his religion, he will still have OCD (The subject of obsessions and their compulsions can change though).

Treatment for Religious DOCs

Treatment is often necessary for the treatment of OCD. In therapy, a person can learn to manage their anxiety in ways that do not undermine their quality of life. The healer will not require a person to give up his faith – they only face one's anxiety about that belief. Several types of treatment can help treat the religious CNS:

Exposure and reaction prevention therapy (ERP). In ERP, a person is exposed to his fear and then prevented from doing his compulsion. For example, one may be asked to imagine that God is angry with them. Therapist will then help the patient calm down as they experience the stress.

ERP can help individuals learn to tolerate religious anxiety. Over time, an individual can learn to accept uncertainty and feel less pressure to make his compulsions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of treatment can help with many forms of anxiety, including anxiety associated with OCD. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people to detect, understand, and promote automatic negative thoughts. For example, a Jewish man who feared eating an occasional pork could be asked to assess the possibility that the meat was in the vegetarian salad.

CBT may be more useful when one is concerned about specific actions, such as saying wrong prayer. CBT is generally less effective in dealing with intangible fears, such as hell. Because of the subjective nature of faith, the discussion of the "logic" of religious beliefs can alienate the individual from healing.

Pastoral Counseling. Some people may find it easier to trust a therapist who shares their faith (especially when this belief is marginalized). Pastoral counseling incorporates spiritual elements such as scripture study or prayer. It can be especially useful for people who worry that treatment means they have to give up their religion.

Family Therapy: When religious life undermines family life, family counseling can help. If the infected person is a toddler, the therapist may use techniques appropriate for his or her age. When a religious SDS threatens a marriage, the counseling of couples can also help.

If you need help with a religious CNS, you do not have to face just impatient thoughts and compulsions. Treatment can offer fast, lasting improvements. You can find a therapist here.

Bibliographical references:

  1. Abramowitz, J.S. & Jacoby, R.J. (2014). Severity: A cognitive-behavioral analysis and effects on treatment. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 3(1), 140-149. Retrieved from http://jonabram.web.unc.edu/files/2014/05/Scrupulosity-model-2014.pdf
  2. Clinical definition of OCD. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://beyondocd.org/information-for-individuals/clinical-definition-of-ocd
  3. Ehmke, R. (n.d.). Understanding the religious icon. Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/understanding-religious-ocd
  4. Exposure and response prevention (ERP). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/erp
  5. Council, A., Salama, H., Wagdy, M., & Ketat, A. (2012). Religious behaviors in teens with obsessive-compulsive OCS symptoms and OCD disorders. Global Journal of Health Science, 4(6), 216-221. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777005
  6. Conscientiousness [PDF]. (2010). Retrieved from https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IOCDF-Scrupulosity-Fact-Sheet.pdf
  7. What Causes OCD? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/what-causes-ocd




© Copyright 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.

The previous article was written only by the author defined above. Any views and opinions are not necessarily expressed by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the previous article may be directed to the author or published as a comment below.