Help Overcome OCD

Hello brothers and sisters.

I’m looking for some help and advice regarding my struggle with OCD. I’m a relatively new Catholic (Baptised August 2019). I’ve been struggling with OCD for around 20 years, and I’m now 28.

Since turning to God and the Catholic faith, I have found great strength. However, my OCD has latched onto this, and I’m having terrible intrusive thoughts when trying to pray, read the bible or pray the Holy Rosary etc. Actually, sometimes I’m constantly getting intrusive thoughts, usually about something I really care about and love. And for the last year or so it’s been mostly about my faith.

I know Jesus knows what is in my heart and my true intentions, but I really can’t shake off the anxiety of thinking I have sinned greatly by thinking these thoughts. If I get an intrusive thought whilst carrying out a task, for example shutting a door, I have to repeat the task, sometimes multiple times until I’ve put it right by saying I didn’t want to think the bad thought. It’s really taking over my life, and I feel bad because I’m not trusting my faith, I’m giving in to the OCD.

I hope this explains my situation. I would appreciate any help or advice.

Thank you.

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Hey Daniel, nice post. Many people have struggled with OCD., including faith based OCD. This often takes the form of “scrupulosity”, as it’s termed. It’s somewhat understood imho (room to grow here I think). But generally speaking the advice is to find a single, faithful, and informed confessor (priest). They should be able to help you decipher what is a sin and what isn’t.

There is also a group which deals with this as well, called “Scrupulous Anonymous”. They don’t have meetings or anything, but they put out a newsletter.

If you haven’t already seen it I reccommend the “Ten commandments for the scrupulous”.

In reference to the scrupulous thoughts, this is pretty common amongst scrupulous persons. I believe the general advice is to ignore them, as they aren’t intended by you, therefore are not sinful.

Again a good confessor can help you most though to decipher these out. Finally a big trap can be to continually seek “reassurance” on the internet or elsewhere that your in a state of grace. I would try to resist this temptation. It’s often part of the problem. (Sadly some view any question regarding sin as scrupulous, which I don’t believe is the case).

Finally it might be a good idea to seek out a mental health professional who can both treat this, but also respect your faith. Again I would seek out a good priest confessor as a first point of contact.

Anything else I can help with please let me know. Best regards, :+1:

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Youcan also seek medicalhelp…two helpful approaches
:slightly_smiling_face:

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@DanielJ, welcome to CAF, but I need to point out that disucssions of this kind are not allowed on these forums. From the terms of service:

  1. Do not offer or solicit medical, psychiatric, psychological, or legal advice. Do not give advice that is contrary to civil law. Do not give advice to a minor that opposes the instruction of a parent or legal guardian. All such discussions should be directed to the proper authorities: parents, guardians, therapists, parish priests, or primary care providers.

https://forums.catholic.com/faq

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Thank you so much for your helpful response. It is very much appreciated.

Yes, it certainly seems I am suffering from scrupulosity. Thanks for the commandments for the scrupulous, that should help me out, and I will try and check out the group. In regards to speaking to a confessor, I think that would really help. I haven’t been to confession many times, but when I have I always come out feeling amazing and free. But even then my OCD starts to torment me, worrying I haven’t confessed everything I needed to. But that’s where i need to recognise my scrupulosity.

I have sought the help of many professionals but sadly to no real avail. I think like you say I could do with seeing a mental health professions who is also Catholic, or at least able to help on a spiritual level.

Thanks again for your help, and I’ll sure ask if anything else comes to mind.

Get medical help. Both medicines and talking therapy work for many with OCD. It is not a manifestation of your current beliefs. Rather, your current beliefs manifest themselves in your underlying thought process in which the biochemical reactions in your brain pre-dispose you to obsessions and/or compulsions. If you became a Jew you would be obsessed about keeping kosher (or something else Jewish). If you became a scout leader you would be obsessed with safety on camps. If you were an auctioneer you would worry about missing bids. Good luck!

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My apologies, and thanks for the welcome. But I’m not asking for professional medical help. Just guidance from fellow followers of Christ. Isn’t that what this forum is for?

Regards.

Works for me. I have OCD and do these things.

True. I can relate to what you are saying. The intrusive thoughts latch on to anything you care about or hold most sacred. The strange thing is I know this and know it’s irrational, however the anxiety becomes unbearable if I don’t carry out rituals to put these thoughts ‘right’.

I have tried medication multiple times but it doesn’t seem to work for me. Also the side effects affect me pretty bad. Plus I do believe there is a way to beat this without meds. I just need to strengthen in my faith.

Yes. If you took medicine you know what to do. I will say a prayer for you.

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Thank you. I really do appreciate your prayers.

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Thankyou DanielJ.

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There are different forms of OCD. I have it, but mine is different from yours. Definitely keep praying, but it’s imperative that you seek out professional help as well. OCD can be difficult to overcome, but the work you put into it will be worth it. I will say a prayer for you.

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Yes it can manifest in many different forms.
Thank you for your prayers. We will get there eventually.

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In general, you’d need psychological counseling and a confessor who understands how OCD works.

Mind body and soul are all connected :slightly_smiling_face:

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I agree.

Hopefully I can find one.

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