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Old 05-13-2016
 

Hey everyone. I deal with a variety of obsessions which come and go in waves. A lot of them have to do with religion and the most common one involves me departing from my religion - which is a huge part of my identity. I think that is why it is targeted by my OCD. In any event, I have recent come "back" after some time away from religion but now feel the obsessions coming on as I try to live the lifestyle which it teaches (I'm Catholic by the way). I want to live out my life as a Catholic but I really don't want to have to put up with the anxiety and obsessions. If anything, I want to show people that religion can be sane and reasonable, rather than governed by feelings. The problem is, I've been searching for ways to get rid of the obsession/anxiety - which usually is in the form of a unbearing weight or bodily unease - and these can lead me down unhealthy paths. Do you guys have any suggestions for ways to diffuse the mental static and move on with my life?
Thanks a bunch.
Mosesman is offline  
Old 05-14-2016
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesman View Post
Hey everyone. I deal with a variety of obsessions which come and go in waves. A lot of them have to do with religion and the most common one involves me departing from my religion - which is a huge part of my identity. I think that is why it is targeted by my OCD. In any event, I have recent come "back" after some time away from religion but now feel the obsessions coming on as I try to live the lifestyle which it teaches (I'm Catholic by the way). I want to live out my life as a Catholic but I really don't want to have to put up with the anxiety and obsessions. If anything, I want to show people that religion can be sane and reasonable, rather than governed by feelings. The problem is, I've been searching for ways to get rid of the obsession/anxiety - which usually is in the form of a unbearing weight or bodily unease - and these can lead me down unhealthy paths. Do you guys have any suggestions for ways to diffuse the mental static and move on with my life?
Thanks a bunch.
Hi, I had pure O very badly when I was 14, and it lasted from then until I was 16. I was being bullied and having the worst time of my life then. The social anxiety also manifested at this time. I'm still dealing with social anxiety but the pure O symptoms (unwelcome horrifying images/fear) is virtually healed. I started seeing the school counsellor halfway through high school which helped a little bit but not a lot, tried a few different shrinks and tried clonazepam (didn't help one bit in my situation). At the end of high school I was introduced through the school counsellor to a psychiatrist who also did therapy. I went to her describing all my symptoms and after a few sessions she convinced me to try an anti-depressant, which improved my symptoms SIGNIFICANTLY. Once that first layer was gone, we started goal focused therapy.
Before taking anti-depressants I vaguely remember being a blushing, shaking, sweating girl, and everything was just so much worse. The main themes of my unwanted pure O visions were satanic/anti-religious images, and doing sexual stuff to people that I would never want to do that to. It was just lovely. Not!
So I am more comfortable going outside, at least comfortable enough to actually do it, and actually have always found it hard to stay inside for a long time. Going outside even to sit in the backyard and absorb a little sunshine makes me feel better. I love nature, and feel closer to it than most people. So I like to be near it whenever possible, preferably away from other people.
In summary things that have helped me get over my pure O are:
-Moving/doing some kind of physical activity like cleaning the house, walking, bicycling, etc.
-Anti-depressants combined with therapy (goal focused therapy was really good for me and might be for you too, ask about it if you can)
-Nature, the company of animals and plants
-Art (I've channeled my emotions into some weird abstract pictures and found it helpful)
-Journalling (I like trying to find the root cause of my fears, writing what good things happened, things I like about myself, goals, venting)
-Watching documentaries or reading biographies about people I can relate to, learning stuff about the mind on TED talks, the vlog brothers, etc.
-Relaxing mellow music, like this cute soothing instrumental by Lullastone.
-And self help books like This Is How by Augusten Burroughs

Hang in there!
Nervousbat is offline  
Old 05-17-2016
 

Thanks for the suggestions. Always nice to know we're not in it alone. Out of curiosity, do you remember what the anti-depressant was you took?
Mosesman is offline  
Old 04-10-2017
ana0989's Avatar
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Hi, I can relate to your feelings quite much because I've suffered from religious OCD myself, also known as scrupulosity. Even though I can say the worst part is over, the tendency to be scrupulous remains and sometimes I still find myself dealing with the anxiety coming from the thought of doing something wrong or inappropiate, or not doing what I should do.

Many times I also have the fear of getting to abandon God or leaving the Church by rebellion for example, like you, being my faith a very important part of my identity.

You said that you have come back to your faith again after a while of being away. I know that this scrupulous condition is something common after a recent conversion for example, that was the case of Saint Ignatius of Loyola for instance.

I'm Catholic too, and in my case it was not a product of a recent conversion, but scrupulosity came after seven years of really trying to live my faith. I haven't received any proper treatment neither I could have the advise of a spiritual director which were an expert in the matter. But I woud recommend you, besides the tips that Nervousbat wonderfully listed, that, if possible, search for proper spiritual guidance, coming from a wise priest who is a spe******t in moral theology. Maybe you'll also need some medication, since we're human beings and we are made up by different levels (physical, psychological and spiritual) and every level must be in harmony with the others.

I don't know if you know about a website called scrupulousanonymous.org this is a great site belonging to the Redemptorists, a Catholic congregation that montly publishes articles and newsletters aiming at helping people suffering from scrupulosity. I strongly recommend you to enter the page, since the advices and reflections are really wise and you can be sure they're reliable.

I hope you get better, I'll pray for you
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Old 04-10-2017
ana0989's Avatar
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It's a long journey, but with a lot of patience and help you'll find the peace and the tools you need to healthily live your faith. God loves you more than you can imagine
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