Moral scrupulosity OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a type of OCD that is characterised by excessive worry about moral or ethical issues. People with moral scrupulosity OCD may have intrusive thoughts about their own morality, or they may worry excessively about the morality of others. They may also have compulsions, such as excessive reassurance-seeking or rituals, in an attempt to reduce their anxiety.
Moral scrupulosity OCD can be a very distressing condition, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can lead to problems at work, in relationships, and in religious or spiritual life.
Signs and symptoms of moral scrupulosity OCD
Some of the common signs and symptoms of moral scrupulosity OCD include:
- Excessive worry about making the right moral decisions
- Fear of offending God or others
- Need for constant reassurance that one is doing the right thing
- Difficulty making decisions, even small ones
- Avoidance of situations that might lead to moral conflict
- Excessive guilt or shame over minor moral transgressions
- Ruminating on past moral mistakes
- Compulsive rituals or behaviours to avoid making moral mistakes
- Significant distress or impairment in functioning due to moral concerns
Treatment for moral scrupulosity OCD
Moral scrupulosity OCD can be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), can help people to identify and challenge their negative thoughts and beliefs about morality. Medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help to reduce anxiety and other symptoms of OCD.
If you think you or someone you know may have moral scrupulosity OCD, it is important to seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Here are some additional tips for coping with moral scrupulosity OCD:
- Educate yourself about OCD. The more you know about OCD, the better equipped you will be to cope with it. There are many resources available online and in libraries.
- Challenge your obsessive thoughts. When you have an obsessive thought, ask yourself if there is any evidence to support it. Is it realistic or probable? Is it helpful or unhelpful?
- Resist compulsions. Compulsions may make you feel better in the short term, but they only reinforce your OCD in the long term. Try to resist the urge to engage in compulsions, even if it is difficult.
- Seek professional help. If you are struggling to cope with moral scrupulosity OCD on your own, please seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional can help you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.