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Thread: OCD and Christianity

  1. #1
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    OCD and Christianity

    Recently I have begun giving God a chance again and have already stopped doing a few things that were indisputably sinful, but now my anxiety and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is acting up again. Before, because of my OCD I couldn't tell what was God's voice, and what was my anxiety leading me to do certain things. I burned stuff, I destroyed things that made no sense, for example my plants, and I eventually became bitter and left my old Christian life. I am giving God another chance, but unlike last time, I have to know where to draw the line. Most people do not have this problem, but I am finding out that OCD and Christianity do not mix well. The problem I describe is known as scrupulosity. Are there any Christians who also deal with OCD, and maybe understand what I am dealing with? Please do not respond unless you know what OCD really is, it isn't just about washing your hands, it can be a very serious, and debilitating mental illness, I know this first-hand.

  2. #2
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    I think its good you have figured out you have scrupulosity...I know we have a couple of members on here that struggle with this. ( For those that don't know what it is:Scrupulosity)

    On how to know what is from God and what is this OCD you need to use the bible as your guide. If you feel something is sinful...or you need to do something..see if its in the bible or not...God will not go against His own Word. For instance...God created plants...there is no reason to get rid of plants unless of course they are of the illegal kind...the bible says to follow the laws of the government..so having pot plants would be against the law and of course you would need to get rid of them. Otherwise no you don't. There is nothing wrong, or sinnful about regular house plants. Anytime you think you are doing something sinful but don't know for sure, come ask us too. If you think you should be doing something..not sure if its God telling you this or not...come ask us. We can look these things up in the bible for you and give you scriptures so you stay on track and don't get off into the extreme .

    Are you taking medication for this or seeing a therapist? Those things can be helpful too.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  3. #3
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    I personally think that it is critical that we look at ourselves less and look at Jesus more. If I analyze myself too much and look at everything I do wrong, then it's just too easy to become overwhelmed and obsessed over every little speck I find that I don't like.

    I long ago learned to surrender to God and let HIM decide what He wants to work on with me, and to trust Him to guide me into truth and righteousness. He knows what He's doing, I often don't. So it's best to just let God take the lead and follow His promptings.

  4. #4
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    Metamorphasis,

    I can't say that I've been diagnosed with Scrupulosity, although it seems I've been diagnosed with everything else.

    But here's what I have experienced. This need to keep repenting for the same sins over and over again.

    Taking perfectly good things from my home and either burning them or removing them because evil is attached to them or they were evil.

    So, I got to the point that I was so overwhelmed with it, I thought I would be better off dead because I couldn't quit with the first one.

    I had to start learning to pray on the Armor of God on a daily basis using "I" statements.

    I had to start confronting my thoughts and feelings (before they became actions), judging if it lined up with the Word and if it didn't, "I bind and rebuke you satan in Jesus' name".

    I began to recognize certain thoughts that were destructive that continued and drove me into either depression or anxiety. Those thoughts, I found out, had a root cause. I could literally go back to a time and place on some of them and figure out when they started and why.

    I had to renounce those as lies of Satan and replace it with something from the Word.

    2 Tim 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm {and} well-balanced mind {and} discipline {and} self-control.

    Other things, came from before I became a Christian, when I was involved in the occult and I had to renounce those things as sins and bind and rebuke any demonic strongholds or footholds in Jesus' name.

    It's taken me quite a few years to get completely free from most of this stuff.

    Today, when stuff like that starts, I have to cry out to the Lord for a passage of scripture to hang onto. He gives me a verse and I leave my Bible open and I go back and read it out loud as often as I need to.

    That might seem compulsive to some, but it's the only thing that keeps me functional sometimes and God never fails me.

    Fighting our demons may seem obsurd to others, but I know mine are real and they attack whenever my guard is down. I have to be constantly vigilent in my thoughtlife.

    1 Pet 5:8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant {and} cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon {and} devour.

    When I find myself thinking the same stinking thoughts over and over again I know the devil is on the prowl or I need to do some praying because something is bothering me.

    Eph 4:26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
    Eph 4:27 Leave no [such] room {or} foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

    And another one which I pray when my thought life is going askew and I recognize it...this one I use "I" statements with too!

    2 Cor 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow {and} destruction of strongholds,
    2 Cor 10:5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments {and} theories {and} reasonings and every proud {and} lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought {and} purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

    I usually pray it this way,

    Lord, Your word says that our weapons are mighty for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds....I take in the name and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, arguments {and} theories {and} reasonings and every proud {and} lofty thing IN MY BELIEF SYSTEM, that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God and I bring it bound into obedience to Jesus Christ the Messiah. In Jesus name Amen.

    That's what helps me to get through the day.

    Steph
    2 Cor 4:4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image {and} Likeness of God. AMP

  5. #5
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    I am on medication and have been diagnosed with OCD. I have learned to be very critical about what is taught in church, and having a more liberal translation of the Bible. A lot has changed in my life, but I don't think I will be the same as I was before. I think it is vital that I am not so rough on myself, and take things in moderation.

  6. #6
    If you can find the book 'Genius and Grace', it might really help you. The book higlights major people of the faith and the personal demons they struggled with. However, it is out of print now, but if you are interested I will dig around and try to find more detailed info on it.

    Also, I would suggest to check out a biography on John Bunyan, the writer of 'A Pilgrims Progress'. Most scholars agree that he suffered from a fairly strong case of OCD. Some scholars also debate whether Martin Luther had it as well. Disorders, though tough to deal with, was glorified in these mens lives through God. Also, as the bible says...

    2 Corinthians 12:10 (New International Version)

    10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)

    9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.



    I think that in our personal demons, our struggles with our own weakness, God does amazing things. Heck, I sometimes think the most brilliant people are the most afflicted (I wonder how many geniuses have disorders like OCD?) because what demon would want them to contribute to the power of God?


    *Note- LOVE your avatar! From Eternal Sonata, yes?

    *Edit- forgot to share some of my struggles, so bad of me! Anyway, I have struggled with OCD tendencies and depression for awhile now. A big thing with me is obsessing, repeating an action until it feels just right, or sudden thoughts that will pop into my head that are downright blasphemes. I have not had it seriously interfere with my life, so I don't have an actual disorder, I just border it. lol. However I can empathize in the extent of having a good imagination, and being able to see what my tendencies would be like if they were much worse(though I know it is nothing like actually living with it). So these versus and people help me to remember that I am in very good company, and that God uses the people viewed as broken to make the biggest impact.
    I once had a bible study teacher tell me that the reason why Peter, John, and James were chosen to go up on the mountain with Jesus to see Elijah and Moses was not because they were the best or most honorable of the disciples. It was because since Jesus was the Teacher, he knew all the tricks. He knew to keep the unruly and bad students in the front of the classroom, because otherwise they wouldn't learn. ^_^ So if being obsessive, and melancholy, and many other things means that I can see things of God that no ordinary person truly gets to see on earth? Then I will bear the cross he has given me. However, I am sure I will not be in such an upbeat mood when I am struggling again, but I know God is always there to catch me before I am destroyed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoseClown View Post

    I think that in our personal demons, our struggles with our own weakness, God does amazing things. Heck, I sometimes think the most brilliant people are the most afflicted (I wonder how many geniuses have disorders like OCD?) because what demon would want them to contribute to the power of God?


    *Note- LOVE your avatar! From Eternal Sonata, yes?
    Is that why? I have been called a genius my whole life. Tested six highest from the top in grades 1-6 in elementary school when I was in second grade (they tried to get my parents to let me go to college a half day). Was told through Vocational Rehab that I was at the genius level and Social Security tried to tell me I was too intelligent to be disabled, LOL! Then told me I was totally and permanently disabled.

    One of my most difficult thorns to deal with. Being a genius that is disfunctional except when I minister to people. That's when the Holy Spirit overcomes all obstacles and I excel at whatever God gives me to do.

    At other times, I'm totally stressed out. I don't deal with people very well. I hibernate. So I bounce from outgoing to hermit. Depending upon what God tells me to do. My life resembles a trainwreck on a regular basis. How in the world can God use a trainwreck? I wonder. But there is one passage...

    1 Cor 1:24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
    1 Cor 1:25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
    1 Cor 1:26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates {and} standards, not many influential {and} powerful, not many of high {and} noble birth.
    1 Cor 1:27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
    1 Cor 1:28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn {and} insignificant and branded {and} treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose {and} bring to nothing the things that are,
    1 Cor 1:29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
    1 Cor 1:30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
    1 Cor 1:31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts {and} proudly rejoices {and} glories, boast {and} proudly rejoice {and} glory in the Lord.


    Well, that's me! My own parents even hated me and my mother tried to kill me. So, I reckon I qualify.

    Steph
    2 Cor 4:4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image {and} Likeness of God. AMP

  8. #8
    I'm sorry if I sounded callous, or ignorant Possumliving. I have edited my post to share some of my own struggles, but I know it's not what many people have to really face. I just tend to try and be upbeat to cheer myself up usually. I was sharing the versus that gave me strength, and I don't want to believe that God has made me the way he has without good reason to. I think the versus we shared have something in common-both highlight the weakness of man in the use of God. The weaknesses we all have are what he uses to strengthen our bond with him. For in our weakness, he has made us strong. That line becomes my mantra on a near daily basis, and I was hoping sharing it would help out. I'm sorry again if my comments were not proper for the subject matter.

  9. #9
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    Yes, glad someone knew where my avatar was from. Such a great game, kind of regret trading it in, but playing it on the hard mode was impossible, since even the normal mode was frustratingly hard. Such a great idea for a game, the dream world Chopin goes to before he dies, and how in the entire story of the game he wonders if that world was the true world or the "real" world was reality. (Spoiler alert) and I loved the end, and how he was the final boss. A lot of the Tales games are like that, I am a fan of Bandai Namco RPGs. Just had to discuss video games for a second

  10. #10
    I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, mostly because I am short on money, but I am dying to. That, and Tales of the Abyss. (the Tales series is truly awesome). It definitely looks worth it. But then again, I am a sucker for the Tales game designs which seems prevalent in Eternal Sonata. And no problem, I am sure the mods won't bust us if we only post once about video games. lol.

    *note- I have gone and posted on the Video Games post after reading and replying to this one. Oops! Let us not speak of this fumble.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoseClown View Post
    I'm sorry if I sounded callous, or ignorant Possumliving. I have edited my post to share some of my own struggles, but I know it's not what many people have to really face. I just tend to try and be upbeat to cheer myself up usually. I was sharing the versus that gave me strength, and I don't want to believe that God has made me the way he has without good reason to. I think the versus we shared have something in common-both highlight the weakness of man in the use of God. The weaknesses we all have are what he uses to strengthen our bond with him. For in our weakness, he has made us strong. That line becomes my mantra on a near daily basis, and I was hoping sharing it would help out. I'm sorry again if my comments were not proper for the subject matter.
    Oh Rose,

    I found your post encouraging! I liked it just the way it was. I never took offense at it. But I do thank you for sharing! It actually does me good to know I'm not the only one!

    Steph
    Last edited by possumliving; Feb 17th 2009 at 05:55 AM. Reason: clarification
    2 Cor 4:4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image {and} Likeness of God. AMP

  12. #12
    Thank you! I am afraid I tend to read way too much into stuff. Silly me.
    Your post was encouraging too! I have marked down those verses in my bible to do some quiet time with later.

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