CNN featured a nice article on a lesser known subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)–Scrupulosity. This involves religious-themed obsessions, such as fear of blaspheming, fear of going to hell, or a sense that you are inherently bad. Rates of OCD are no higher in more orthodox religious communities, but rates of scrupulosity are, which provides an interesting illustration of how history and environment can influence the particular form that OCD takes.
The article quotes well-known OCD expert Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
From the article:
“Scrupulosity often involves a lot of checking, Abramowitz said. Patients experience distress around the idea that they may have done something wrong or improper, so they may consult the Bible or religious authority figures often to see if they’re doing things right. Consulting people and books isn’t pathological, but in scrupulosity the behavior of checking is excessive compared to other religious people.”
I’m glad to see scrupulosity getting national press, as many people don’t understand it and aren’t aware that it’s an expression of OCD. Click here to read the article.