Can one feel too guilty?


#1

I have a young family member who is constantly becoming depressed to the point of crying because she feels incredibly guilty for sinning-even a little sin. She fears if she doesn't confess everything little thing she's done, God won't forgive her. We've told her God loves her and forgives her, even with her imperfections, but she still is struggling with it. How do we deal with this? And please, pray for her. She has a good heart and it's worrying to see her cry.


#2

This person may suffer from scrupulosity. It is the family of OCD.

A person who suffers from scrupulosity needs the help of a priest. A regular confessor who can help them with their intrusive thoughts and help them discern.


#3

YES!

Ike was right, but I would add that they need to see a shrink as well.

It's not only feeling too guilty, but iut's also feeling guilty over the wrong stuff. I think the human being has a capacity for guilt. If you feel guilty over things that are mundane and absurd, you won't feel guilty over the big things.


#4

Wow. . I've never heard of something like this before. Poor thing. I will pray for her.

I agree with the other two posters. Your priest and a psychiatrist may be a great help.

If you are reluctant to take the child to a psychiatrist--or perhaps suggest it to her parents/guardian?--I just have to say this:

There are a lot of psychiatrists out there who genuinely want to help their patients, and there is no shame in getting help from a psychiatrist.

God bless you, and God bless your relative.


#5

[quote="TheCuriousMouse, post:1, topic:221167"]
I have a young family member who is constantly becoming depressed to the point of crying because she feels incredibly guilty for sinning-even a little sin. She fears if she doesn't confess everything little thing she's done, God won't forgive her. We've told her God loves her and forgives her, even with her imperfections, but she still is struggling with it. How do we deal with this? And please, pray for her. She has a good heart and it's worrying to see her cry.

[/quote]

Question how young is this person. This can have a big bearing on the appropriate action.

If very young, say under 6 or 7, I would not get too overly excited as there is a good chance they will grow out of it.

On the other hand, it may be that what you have here is another highly sensative and blessed soul like Therese of Liseaux.

If the child has reached the age of reason perhaps it would benefit her to read "The Story of a Soul".

Peace
James


#6

Thank-you all for replying. She is getting better now.


#7

Its not nessesarily a bad thing, we dont want them beating themselves up or crying, depressed that sort of thing.......but there have been many Saints that worried very much about offending God in anyway, its what we all strive for. I know when i am being too scrupulous my priest tells me so!

I would praise her for wanting to please God and remind her of all the ways we are forgiven of venial sins.......when we walk into church and bless ourselves with holy water, say I confess at the beginning of mass, recieve the eucharist. here is another thread on it forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=3764933 I know my daughters zeal for going to confession has helped me and my husband go more regularly which has been the biggest blessing! The littlest lead the way!!


#8

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