Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) & Scrupulosity in Adults

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common mental disorder that is characterized by the presence of obsessions  (intrusive, distressing, and repetitive thoughts, images, or impulses) and compulsions (behaviors or thoughts that are aimed at reducing the distress of an obsession).  Common obsessions in OCD include: intrusive thoughts of harming someone, contamination fears, and needing things to be “just so.” Common compulsions in OCD include:  repetitively washing, counting, hoarding useless objects, and ritualized prayers.   

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), 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.

Documents for Free Download

An Introduction to the 'Over-active Conscience': Understanding Scrupulosity and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 
This document, developed by ACCFS, describes a subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder called "scrupulosity." This occurs when symptoms of OCD are intertwined in religious and moral matters. 

Learning to Live with OCD  
Learning to Live with OCD gives guidelines on how to live with someone who has OCD and provides special guidelines for educators, employers, children, and adolescents.  Also includes an overview of OCD and the types of treatment.

True Guilt - False Guilt 
This document, developed by ACCFS, highlights the differences between true guilt and false guilt. True guilt leads to restoration with God and others while false guilt leads to an endless cycle of shame, hopelessness, and despair. 

When Reassurance is Harmful  
This document, produced by the OC Foundation, provides insight on someone with OCD and how reassurance is harmful to them.

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