Scrupulosity is quite frightening, especially if left untreated. It is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that is intertwined with religious obsessions. Now that may not sound all too bad at first glance but for those who have it, it’s very dangerous and possibly life-threatening.
People with scrupulosity interact with religion on an entirely different level. According to the International OCD Foundation, they are obsessively concerned with having committed a sin, behaving morally, being pure, the fear of going to hell and death.
I was shocked by the disorder and the amount of control it can have over someone’s life. The primary difference between your average religious follower let’s say with Catholicism and a scrupulous believer is that they will have mental and behavioral compulsions. Scrupulous believers will attend confession excessively, sometimes a couple of times a week, excessively practice purifying or cleansing rituals and self-sacrifice.
It doesn’t stop there. What’s even worse for scrupulous believers is the mental anguish. They will obsessively pray, sometimes hours on end, making sure that the prayer is to absolute perfection, they will make pacts with God and practically memorize an entire sacred text.
Scrupulous people have been known to seek constant approval and guidance from religious figures to the point that they feel immoral to touch their own hands or hug their family member and need constant reassurance by a religious figure to do so.
This form of OCD is truly terrifying, as most scrupulous people live in constant fear of going to hell and constantly try to purify and cleanse themselves. Can you imagine living like that?
Scrupulous people also tend to adopt extreme forms of self-sacrifice sometimes starving themselves, feeling immoral for consuming food or drink. This form of OCD is very dangerous because it’s spiritual, going deep inside the mentality of an innocent person.
Scruples live in constant fear and the need for salvation from sin. If left untreated, these individuals will have a very tough time simply living. Fortunately, there are ways around this disorder and the primary solution is through extended therapy.
So if you know anyone who seems to fit the bill, or you feel you do, don’t be afraid to ask for help, as there are many available treatments available.