In episode 186 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Shmuel Fischler. Shmuel is the owner and lead clinician at CBT Baltimore.
In this episode I chat with Shmuel about his therapy story, what is religious themed OCD, what is scrupulously, common compulsions and obsessions with this theme, distinguishing between religious rituals and OCD rituals (compulsions), working with religious figures to support therapy, example exposures for religious OCD, the effectiveness of ERP, family involvement, words of hope, and much much more. Hope it helps.
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Whenever I was sixteen, I was convinced I was evil. I was tormented by intrusive thoughts that took the form of “evil spirits” who I believed were attracted to me (because I was evil). I avoided certain objects because they had “bad energy” and I tried many cleansing rituals like praying, smudging with sage, carrying crystals, and sleeping with rosary beads to chase away the spirits. However, it never was enough. It never worked. I wore a cross around my neck, and at one point, I thought it was burning my flesh (because I was evil, of course!). I went to churches and visited psychics and priests. At my worst, I was unable to be alone, and I wanted to be placed into a metal institution because I could not find relief. This incredible spike went on for over 3 months straight.
I’m sharing my story because there aren’t many resources written about scrupulosity from a new age, spiritual perspective. There are predominate beliefs in the spiritual community which present an extra challenge to OCD suffers like myself. I actually sought help online in spiritual forums and had my OCD reinforced. I’m not here to make the case for woo-woo, but I can honestly say I have retained my spiritual practice and beliefs without OCD. If you are suffering right now, you do not have to give up your spirituality, you just have to recognize how OCD and your spirituality interact.
Examples of problematic spiritual beliefs for OCD suffers:
In the spiritual community, thoughts are not just thoughts. They are considered to be real and creating your reality. They are also considered meaningful visions or symbols. In addition, real-life objects are considered to have an invisible energy or vibration, which can contaminate your own invisible energy field, requiring cleansing.
The good things in life are hard
In episode 3 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed YouTuber (Shalom Aleichem) and OCD blogger Katlyn Nicole on her journey of recovery from OCD.
Kat is remarkable young women who is passionate about changing the lives of those with OCD. She does this through her YouTube channel and her blog. Kat has struggled with harm OCD, Scrupulosity and Sexual obsessions. She bravely talks about her recovery and shares some wonderful tips you can use to improve your mental health. I enjoyed speaking with Kat, I hope you enjoy it too!