Religious OCD Subtype?

Religious OCD Subtype?   by Ghazel Tellawi, M.A.   Religious thoughts can become intrusive and distressing in individuals with OCD. These thoughts can involve intrusive religious blasphemous thoughts, compulsive prayer, hypermorality, unwarranted concern about committing a sin, and cleaning/washing rituals (Himle, Chatters, Taylor & Nguyen, 2001). These thoughts sometimes become problematic, and are referred to as “scrupulosity.” Scrupulosity describes the relationship between religiosity and the symptoms of OCD, and individuals with these obsessions often focus on certain details of their religion while ignoring others.   OCD and Religious OCD Overview?   Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is considered a type of anxiety disorder that involves recurring, unwanted obsessions and repetitive compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts that cause severe distress, despite the fact that the individual realizes that the obsessions represent exaggerated fears that are not likely to occur. These obsessions are worries that reach beyond anxiety about everyday problems. So upsetting are the obsessions that the individual attempts to counteract them with a specific behavior or neutralizing thought called a compulsion. The individual feels as though their compulsions must be performed in response to the obsessions. Compulsions are implemented strictly to reduce anxiety or prevent a feared outcome. One large study found that scrupulous obsessions in OCD were ranked as the fifth most common obsession, with 6% of participants endorsing it as their primary obsession. Additionally, it has been estimated that religious obsessions occur in 25% of individuals with OCD (Antony, Dowie, & Swinson, 1998). One study showed that OCD symptoms presentation can be influenced by one’s religion and culture (Sica, Novara, Sanavio, Dorz & Coradeschi, 2002). Abramowitz, Deacon, Woods, & Tolin (2004)...