Morality OCD

16 June 2017 - 15:28

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I have yet to meet a single person who suffers from the type of OCD that I do, and I am really, really hopeful that one of you on here does, since it's very lonely to struggle with something no one understands! My obsessions focus on morality (particularly lying/over-the-top avoidance of lying, apologizing/being forgiven, confessing, intrusive immoral thoughts, fears about if I'm manipulating people or cheating in some way, and inconveniencing others) as well as my Christian faith (obsessively seeking reassurance that I following my faith appropriately, worrying constantly about hell/condemnation, fear of being possessed/demons, though that was more prominent in my younger years, the need to pray in a certain way, etc.). I used to have what I call "symmetrical" OCD  [or the need for things to be "just right"] actually since I was about two years old, as well as a need for things to be "just right"  but I started developing problems with morality about seven or eight years ago. Just curious if anyone can relate to any of this? 

16 June 2017 - 16:35

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Hi,

Sorry you're lonely. I am too. I can relate to some of the religious things... Sometimes I have a (completely involuntary) negative thought about the Holy Spirit and I say a little ritualised prayer asking God to forgive me and understand that it wasn't intentional (which is clearly contradictory since if it wasn't intentional then I don't actually need forgiveness). It's something I struggle with but it's got better over time, I believe it is the Enemy trying to make me give up hope.

I used to have a constant feeling that I was going to be damned and that every little (or large) sin I did was THE END for me. It was terrifying. I had and sometimes still have vivid nightmares about hell. The fear went away due to two things. Firstly, I stopped doing gravely sinful things (it's not surprising I felt this way when I was crucifying Jesus every day). The second thing was to become  Roman Catholic (whereas before I was just a "Born Again Christian" (whatever that means)). In Catholicism, despair is considered a sin because the person in despair is saying "my sin is greater than God's mercy" which in effect is "idolising" the sin. It doesn't help to know this intellectually though - we have to ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to have a child-like trust in God's mercy. God is good, incomprehensibly good... He doesn't throw away his beloved children over any and every sin they commit. Remember the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son... He didn't just let his son come home - he ran to greet him and put a ring (symbolising an everlasting covenant) on his finger. In Jewish society at the time Jesus told that parable, it would have been shocking and unheard of for an older man to run to meet a younger one. But God loves us that much. It's important to take the message of the New Testament as a whole rather than fixating on a few verses that scare you out of your wits. As a whole it's a message of love and hope.

I've also confessed things because of OCD because at the time I genuinely didn't realise it was OCD. I've confessed completely inappropriate things to completely inappropriate people. Now I realise why the Church has the Sacrament of Confession and the Seal (absolute secrecy) of Confession.

"Morality OCD" is probably a lot more common than you think.

27 November 2017 - 19:34

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I have similar challenges with my own morals and values, as my thoughts tell me that the morals I have been brought up with i.e. everyone is equal, are wrong or fractured in some way and it tortures me endlessly without reprieve. I long for some clarity and an end to my head constantly feeling cloudy and full of doubts. It tries to say horrible things such as racism are acceptable and I can't convince myself that they are just thoughts and not reality.

Many Thanks

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 November 2017 - 20:37

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I have more of the issue of morality and not being entirely truthful over a situation or worry I have done something wrong and not followed the rules as opposed to it affecting my religious beliefs.  This leads me to catastrophic thinking I.e I will somehow loose my job then can't pay the bills and loose the house. I then confess or seek reassurance until I am at peace over an issue. This isn't my main theme but I understand how much anxiety and rumination it can cause so you are definetly not alone. 

27 November 2017 - 20:48

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It's all OCD, focus on stopping the compulsions while allowing the obsessions to flow through you. If it's all OCD does it really matter if anyone else can relate? How does that help you on the road to recovery?...... It doesn't. Stop confessing. If you are confessing your sins to God, only confess once and leave it be. As someone once put it to me, God is all powerful, he only needs to hear your confession once and he keeps on his promise to forget it, so if he forgets it so should you. Start moving things at the grocery store to a different isle, and keep it a secret. Don't tell anyone you did it. Something like, move the potato chips to the produce isle. Or move the milk to where the orange juice is stored. At work, move someone's stapler to a different place on their desk. Make the game "Things I won't confess".I recently started littering. Throwing receipts out of my car window, or gum wrappers out of my pocket while I'm going for a walk. TELL A LIE! Not a big one, but just add one into a true story. So if you went to the store, tell them you went to the store and saw a person with blonde hair. But their hair was really brown.  

28 November 2017 - 3:41

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I've been learning a lot about the Lord lately. And I never actually realized this was ocd, but i used to have some of these ocd things that you mention in my past as well. Like having to make sure you pray in a certain way.. feeling condemned... I'd love to talk more about in a message if you wanted.. but for now I can say that, God does NOT condemn you. Condemnation is not of him, it's an evil thing, and God is not evil. And it actually talks in the bible about praying a certain way ( it talks about having certain rituals), God doesn't care for that either. The only thing he cares about is that you actively seek him and want a relationship with him. Other things that are not of God are things like guilt, shame, anxiety... He doesn't want you to feel any of it, REGARDLESS of what you've done, all he wants is for you to move on and be with him... that being said, start trying to not give into any of your compulsions, and you absolutely do not have to feel guilty for it.

18 September 2020 - 19:32

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I have this too. Mixed with my Pocd and it’s a whole shit storm of doubt. 

1 October 2020 - 18:24

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You are talking about my life. Im the everything or nothing thinking. It costs me quite a lot to understand that there is a grey colour between black and white, and not everything is fully good or bad. This complexity is what I am learning little by little. I am done with the church, simply imposible to cope with intrusive moral thoughts, added the religious component.

Could you please check my post and reply? It would be of some help. 

15 October 2020 - 11:32

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Hi.

Think about it.....Do you really believe that God is bothered by your sins? The only reason anyone should be bothered about sin is because of the suffering and pain it causes to sentient beings. I reckon God is beyond all that. You can't harm God.

God is not full of vindictive anger and wrath.

And most of the ecclesiastical "sins" are not really sins at all.

To wallow in the sin bin is rather egotistical.

Not saying we should not value sanctification, but the thought that, in some way, we have to make the grade purely by our own efforts is a dead end.

15 October 2020 - 11:50

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“What is Sin? The root of Sin is Ignorance, and the nature of Sin is Injustice. The word Sin is best interpreted by the Biblical word Transgression: “Sin is transgression of the Law.” Of what Law? Of the Law which maintains order in the world – the Law of Nature; in other words, of the Will of God. Sin is always the result of Ignorance, because no sane creature does that which is the worst thing he can do for himself, knowing it to be the worst. He sins because he is ignorant and does not yet know the Truth; that is, the Law.

Anna Kingsford.

"I would sooner have the man who sins a thousand mortal sins and knows it, than him who sins but one in ignorance: that man is lost".

Meister Eckhart.

This is the very reverse of what most people imagine, but it is true. We need enlightenment, not legalism.

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