If I say the act of contrition one more time, I might kill myself!


#1

I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and I obsessively pray, confess my sins and preach! I am also very apologetic - in both senses of the word! I have probably said the act of contrition a hundred times today! I go to confession weekly and sometimes twice a week because I fear sacrilege of holy Communion! I consider every sin as a grave sin and any nudity I see is the sin of pornography. I have anxiety attacks about the smallest things! The intrusive thoughts I have are racist or that I am a homo or other sexual thoughts. I also have dumb urges like driving into oncoming traffic. I preach so much that I drive fundamentalists around the bend and you know when it says in the gospel that if people don’t accept your message that you must dust your sandals off as a warning, well…I have other people dusting their sandals off at me. The most amazing part of my psycho spiritual disorder is that my Archangel Raphael is the Archangel of insanity and mentally ill people which seemed strange to me until I discovered that I had obsessive compulsive disorder. I also see this illness as a gift of mystical suffering, a share in the Passion of Christ, a spiritual crown of thorns.

What should I do? Accept it as my cross to bear or pray for healing?:shrug:


#2

You can do both. Pray for healing, and bear your cross with Christ for now. If you offer your sufferings to God in union with Jesus’ sufferings on the Cross, you can participate in His act of redemption and help save souls.

Be sure you are getting good professional mental health care. Prayer is good, but God also wants us to use ordinary means (proper medicine and therapy) to deal with illness.

You say that you go to confession frequently. Make sure you always go to the SAME priest, one whom you trust and who understands the problem of scrupulosity/OCD (they are closely related). Ask him for advice on how often you should go to confession and what you should/should not confess, and OBEY HIS ADVICE. A good priest-confessor can help you develop a healthy conscience, a reasonable sense of right and wrong, serious vs. less-serious sin, etc. If you go to different priests all the time, it’s like having a serious physical illness and going to a lot of different doctors, none of whom know your case history well enough to really help you.

Try to focus a little less on your (perceived) sin, and a little more on how very much God loves you. God bless you!


#3

You are in agony. Yes you are very much sharing in Christ’s passion. I like to unite it to His agony in the garden. I know the pain all too well. I am also scrupulous. I had help and started doing better, then went without for too long and got much worse. Now I am seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist for my OCD symptoms and am making some improvements once again. You must get help now. Both spiritual (a regular confessor) and emotional (a counselor and possibly a psychiatrist for medication if you need that.) Please seek this much needed assistance, you will not begin to find peace unless you make the first steps towards healing.

  1. Get a regular priest to say your confessions too. You can schedule to meet with a priest you know and trust monthly. If you don’t know, check with your parish priest. Tell him you have scruples and would like very much to talk to him about them. If that appointment works then maybe you could meet regularly. Ask him the same questions you have asked here. Since your scruples come from OCD, you will need at least counseling, and possibly medication. He can help you locate a good therapist in your diocese.

  2. Visit the Scrupulous Anonymous website I cannot say enough how helpful this site has been. There is a current newsletter. You may read it on site, or you may send them your home address and they will send you a copy of each new letter as it comes out. Be sure to read over the archived Scrupulous anonymous newsletters for lots of helpful information from priests who deal with scrupulous persons on a regular basis, plus there’s answered questions from fellow brothers and sisters who also suffer from scrupulosity. They even have compiled a book full of questions and answers just like yours. I highly recommend you get a copy. It’s called: Understanding Scrupulosity: Questions, Helps, and Encouragement (By: Fr. Thomas M. Santa)

I hope and pray you are helped by these suggestions and find peace soon. It’s a long hard journey that often lasts a lifetime. But we don’t have to go it alone. We need to seek companions to walk with us along the way of the cross. Get a priest and a counselor. Please! :slight_smile:


#4

There is a web site I’ve heard about called SCRUPULOUS ANONYMOUS or something similar.

I think you should visit it.


#5

Pimpsta, the one thing that changes everything is when you truely understand that Jesus loves you!


#6

yes,only we trust and understand Jesus love us,everything will change


#7

:hug1: sometimes I struggle with this too.

I agree with everyone else’s advice… also, try to remember it’s only a mortal sin if you consciously, intentionally, choose to do it - with knowledge. If you’re tempted or feel a certain way, that’s not your fault. Especially if you have OCD - that just intensifies everything.

Pray for healing and talk to a good priest but meanwhile, definitely offer up your sufferings to Christ :thumbsup: that is what I try to do as well.

God bless


#8

I’ll tell you what a msgr told me in confession: “God wants you to live in PEACE!” I can see how OCD and Catholicism (with its plethora of rules) is a really bad combination. I hope you can find peace. Just remember that God knows your heart. :slight_smile:


#9

Catholicism is exactly the perfect place for one suffering with whatever physical or psychological illness. It alone has the depth of understanding of the Mystery of the Cross and its being joined to the sufferings of all.


#10

Do you have a devotion to Mary our Blessed Mother?

If you don’t, you will benefit immensely by start praying the Rosary and having a devotion to Mary.

If you already do, perhaps you could strengthen your devotion to Mary by praying the Rosary at least daily.

The Blessed Mother has so much power against every sort of spiritual confusion. I think she really will help you more than anything else you do.

Plus, by asking the intercession of the Blessed Mother you will also practice the virtue of humility in that you don’t go to God directly for fear of your unknown sins. God will always honor this virtue.


#11

Please see a doctor. By all means pray for healing and offer up your suffering, but do your part and actively seek help as well. Perhaps start by contacting your parish office and asking about whether there are Catholic counselors or therapists in your area. I’ll send up a prayer for you, too. Don’t give up hope, there is help and you don’t have to live like this.


#12

My dear friend

If you have people depending on you pray and get what help you can. But also see it as a blessing in disguise. You are rght in that you can fight to get well or be a victim soul. It’s up to you which way you go. If you are considerig victimhood I would put family first if there’s any, and pray hard to discern if it’s Gods will for you. Ask yourself if you can cope with this and worse for our Lord? No one can tell you to choose to be a victim, only to pursue good health. It’s up to you as said. Just because your sick does not mean God chose you to suffer. Bear this in mind. Hope this helps.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#13

I, too, am currently sharing in Pimpsta’s pain. Although I do not have OCD, I do have ADHD and anxiety problems.

Recently I just started college. I recently found out also a number of mortal sins that I had always thought were venial (Such as saying God’s name in vain) and I have become incredibly afraid. I tried to get to confession, but they only had confession today from 5:00 to 5:30, and when I got there, everyone ahead of me got in, but I was then told that it is too late as it is time for Mass. I literally went back to my dorm and cried.

I am an 18-year-old male that has just started college. I should be enjoying my life, instead, I’m almost in a state of depression. The football game tomorrow should be tons of fun, but I am worried that my thoughts of Hell and how I feel so condemned to it will prevent me from enjoying myself. I’m not trying to excuse sinning, I’m just sick of being so worried that I’ll slip and say God’s name in vain or lust after a girl or overeat, and then I’ll be condemned again. I feel like I’m already in Hell in many ways.


#14

My dear friend

You have your ideas , but these are not Gods ideas or how He thinks or acts. God is insanely in love with us, warts and all. God knows we are sinners and all He wants to do is help. Pride is the real probem. Just be humble. Beat your chest and say, : Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. " Medical problems are one thing,but if you want to be happy just love God and know that God loves you just as you are. Be content on one hand in the knowlege that God loves you as His only child and do violence; on yourself on the other han to grow in holiness. Certain medical problems make us incapable of sin at times. Perhaps you don’t sin as much as you think. Just throw yourse into the arms of your sweet Heavenly Father and go full bore in your spiritual life. We must go forward or we go backward. We cannot stand still or stay steady.Do you understand that you are a real and genuine child of God. Meditate on this and think about how fathers look at their children. This is how God sees you. Like a father with a 2 y.o. baby. God is Love and He loves you- His child. Hope this helps dear friend.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#15

Several points:

[LIST]
*]Sin is something intended - unless you know beyond any doubt that you have intended to sin, you have not sinned.
*]Sins are not the same thing as imperfections.
*]When the OCD comes up yet again, and you find yourself saying the act of contrition - refuse to say it. You can’t judge that you have sinned - so assume you have not.
*]Above all, see a priest about this: & whatever he tells you to do - do. Obey, obey, obey. Nothing is as safe as obedience. Don’t on any account try to analyse what you have done - this will do nothing but harm.
[/LIST] I hope that may help.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.