Scrupulosity and Atheism

I did not really grow up in a religious environment, but scrupulosity (obsession with sins), was a major player in my OCD.  I believed my sinful thoughts would manifest into something terrible.  I performed OCD rituals to “cancel out” these thoughts.  I feared the supernatural to an extreme.

Each night I would ask my siblings to come into my room to see if they could sense any spirits or ghosts.  I would request a different table at Claim Jumper if we were seated next to an old black and white photo of a most likely deceased person.  I also feared negative energy, wether being around it or causing it.  I believed my thoughts, if negative, could cause something terrible to happen.

When I became an atheist, I drastically got better.  Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals by Ian Osborne discusses possible ways to deal with OCD if you are religious and having problems with scrupulosity, however, religion was really the wrong fit for me.

I did not simply abandon any religious belief due to OCD, but really I had held on to those beliefs because of OCD.  It was the “what if?” factor.  I believed because wouldn’t it be better to believe and be wrong than to not believe and be wrong?  Not really.  Believing because of fear hurts.

I think maybe all this has something to do with the fear of the unknown and uncontrollable.

I feel I am more true to myself now.

7 thoughts on “Scrupulosity and Atheism

  1. I’m glad that your OCD is better, but I can say that the only true answer to life is Jesus Christ. He loves you so much and gave his life for you. He wants to have a relationship with you and direct your life because He made you. He made you for a huge purpose. He knew you before you were even born and loves you so much. In life, even with Christ as your Savior, there still are many problems, but we can always run to Him with them. Life is still extremely hard, but we can rest in God knowing that He has a purpose and plan and just wants to teach us to trust Him. He wants to carry our burdens. We are not just floating through Life for no reason. We are here divinely appointed by God.
    I really want to encourage you to seek after God. If you have any questions please contact me. I would love to help.
    Christ wants to be your Savior. He longs after you. He passionately loves you. He wants to dwell in your life.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I was raised in a very religious family and remember fearing that I would be possessed and that I was damned to hell when I was in second grade…. all because I thought I had committed perjury when I lied about something ridiculous and “swore to god” it was true.

    I eventually had to leave my faith because I could no longer handle the anxiety of just being a normal person and the fear that my sins would damn me to hell.

    Of course, every shade OCD is different. I feel that atheism could help but I am not sure I will ever get to the point where I can feel “safe” from letting go of my belief in God completely. I am very new to OCD treatment, so my fear is pretty loud now as I go through the exposure.

    That OCD is one son of a !

    I have to wonder if MJ has religious OCD and thinks he will go to hell if he doesn’t try to spread the good news to anyone and everyone? hee hee.

    Good luck to you!

    • Nelly99: thanks for your response; I understand how scary and frustrating it is to worry about “sinful” thoughts and I think it’s brave of you to evaluate your beliefs and practices. Atheism was the right choice for me, but whatever spiritual balance you strike for yourself, as long as it is healthy for you, is great.

      Stay strong and keep hope!

  3. Glad to know there are others who were able to deal with it. I too resorted to reason in order to handle scrupulosity. Faith faded away itself over time.

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