Am I going crazy or is this normal?


Hi Everyone! :slight_smile:

I’m 14 years old and I’ve recently been trying to improve my spiritual life and strengthen my faith.

I’ve always been a believing Catholic, but its only now that I’m taking my faith more seriously. I’ve been going to mass more, praying more, reading the bible more and I’ve recently been to confession. I’ve struggled with a particular sin thats been causing me a bit of bother (masturbation), but I’ve been making progress and haven’t commited this sin since I went to confession last.

Recently though I’ve been troubled by thoughts that come into my head after I pray at night in bed. I usually pray the Rosary every night, then I read a couple of passages from the bible and then I say my prayer to God the Father and give him thanks and ask him to bless various people around the world who need his help. But some nights I have really confusing thoughts about wheather I’m praying right and if I’m a real Christain or not. It gets to the point where I’m afraid to pray to God in case I make a mistake and if I should just give up. I start shaking and thinking angry and sad thoughts which make me cringe and then I start hitting myself and start crying. I begin to think wheather God has forgiven my mortal sins and if the Holy Spirit has somehow abandoned me. I really dont know what these feelings are and if they’re sinful or not. They might be some sort of scrupulosity but I really dont know. These episodes have happened a couple of times and I just hate them and want them to stop. Am I going crazy or is this normal for a teenager of my age? :frowning:

I would be really glad of some advice. :slight_smile:



I sometimes experience disruptive thoughts during prayer too. Usually, I just do my best to ignore them and keep on praying. You are a real Christian, so don’t worry about that. As for praying, there is no “right” way to pray; God appreciates everything you say to Him, whether it’s giving thanks or just talking to Him. Sometimes disruptive thoughts are planted by some not-so-friendly spirits, if you know what I mean. So just ignore them and keep on going. :slight_smile:

God bless.


I’m 16, and you remind me a lot of myself. We’re pretty much in the same boat.

I get that way too sometimes. Sometimes I feel like there isn’t a God, and everything I’m doing is a big joke. But of course, I pray even harder to know there is!

You are most definately mot crazy!



No, you are not crazy, and what you are going through happens a lot to people who are going through a “spiritual growth spurt,” so to speak!:slight_smile: Whenever these weird thoughts appear, just ignore them and go on with whatever you are doing. The more you worry about them, it seems the worse they get. Just shrug them off and go on with praying, or whatever you were doing. And don’t get into the bad habit of feeling your prayers aren’t good enough- the human brain wanders, just redirect your thoughts and go on with it. If you need more advice, ask, 'cause I have been through a lot of this myself, too.:slight_smile:


If it persists, try praying outloud. After talking with my Priest about this once, he told me that Priest’s are required to say the breviery outloud, that it is the prayer for the Church. Tim


While it is a good idea, priests are not required to pray the LOTH outloud.


Hi, I’m sorry I don’t know if this is normal or not, but it does sound a bit like scrupulosity. Try to trust God and His mercy. If you’ve been to confession He HAS forgiven you. His mercy is greater than your sins, or the sins of the whole world.

I don’t think these thoughts are necessarily sinful but they might lead to sin, ie: despair.

If you are reaching out to God and believe in Him the Holy Spirit is definitely still with you. :slight_smile: if He had left you, you WOULD know.

God bless


The thoughts of doubt are relatively normal since that is Satan trying to dissuade you. As long as these thoughts of doubt are the exception rather than the rule, i’d say you’re on the right path. No mere mortal feels fervent all of the time.

As to the masturbation, pray to Mary and Joseph for inner strength to remain pure for they are great models of purity, chastity.


Check out the ten commandments for the scrupulous, which can be found at

Regarding masturbation, be careful to not fall into the sins of despair, or the opposite, presumption.


One word: REASON! It seems that you have the heart and passion and desire for God. Now you must let reason kick in. REALLY try to get to know God. There’s lots of good philosophy, you just have to find it. It may help you understand many of the phenomena you are experiencing.

I’ve just picked up on the field of “apologetics” (defense of the faith). Although my study of it has been light so far, it’s very interesting and worth pursuing. For a starting point, try Peter Kreeft’s Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Best of luck!



You are not crazy. I think you are experiencing scrupulosity. You may also have OCD, which is linked to scrupulosity.

Saint Therese of Lisieux had this - she first developed it around your age I think, and then it went away. Then, the last year or so of her life, it came back with a vengeance. She had all sorts of wild thoughts she fought off.

Also, Saint Ignatius of Loyola had this as well. As do (and have) countless other Catholics. I sure have a go with it quite often!

At any rate, you are not alone. Just do not beat yourself up about it. Reading books by and about Saint Therese has helped me a lot with this, because she was a master of staying calm, regardless of what went on inside of her. One of my favorites is this:

God bless!!!

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