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Lisa

A kind of religious OCD

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Hi there

I haven't been on here in a long time due to having therapy and things being a bit better but of course having successfully almost gotten over my last obsession, a new one has come along :wallbash:

I now, despite being previously not religious at all, have developed a fear of going to Hell. I am worried that if i break a promise to God then I will go to Hell but the trouble is I have made promises to God because of trying to get myself to stop doing a compulsion. I would get stuck rereading a page in a book (as rereading is one of my compulsions) and the only way i could think of to stop me from rereading again and again was to promise that I wouldn't on pain of going to Hell but now I'm worried that I will accidentally reread something I prommised I wouldn't or go against some other promise that I have made.

I know the Christian God is supposed to be forgiving but not being a Christian I don't know if I believe in 'Him', it's more that it could be any kind of higher power and they might not be as forgiving. So now I don't know if I should just ignore all the promises I have made or whether I need to adhere to them. Any thoughts?

Oh yeah, I should add, I only have 1 more session with my pscyhologist and that is not til November so I can't really talk to him about it.

Lisa

Edited by Lisa

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If there is a God and if there is a hell, then I am sure that breaking a 'promise' you have made will not result in you going there. Also, if OCD is an illness then what kind of God would send somebody to hell for being ill?

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If there is a God and if there is a hell, then I am sure that breaking a 'promise' you have made will not result in you going there. Also, if OCD is an illness then what kind of God would send somebody to hell for being ill?

Thanks for replying, it is much appreciated. I see what you are saying, I just feel that if I have promised to do something and I don't do it I might go to Hell even if OCd is partly to blame. But on the other hand I feel like I can't carry on keeping my promises as I will end up losing my job and failing my OU course because I have to keep rereading things and stuff :(

Assuming it is OCD would deliberately not doing something I have promised to do be the kind of 'exposure' exercise I should be doing?

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Guest legend

Yes lisa, thats what you need to work on...... going against the ocd....... magical thinking has crept in.

If i dont do abc then xyz will happen....according to the irrational thoughts, this then makes us feel as if we have to

do these things or something bad will happen ....eg lose job go to hell etc.

whether your religous/ whatever ..... this is ocd at play.

discussing whether you go to hell or not is the ocd making you feel this way.... bit like i said about magical thinking the

other day.....whether its ocd or not...an eg is when a parent says if you dont behave father xmas will not come.....the child

does improve there behaviours * short term* but have you ever met a kid where father xmas never visited.? nope.

hope this helps.

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Yes lisa, thats what you need to work on...... going against the ocd....... magical thinking has crept in.

If i dont do abc then xyz will happen....according to the irrational thoughts, this then makes us feel as if we have to

do these things or something bad will happen ....eg lose job go to hell etc.

whether your religous/ whatever ..... this is ocd at play.

discussing whether you go to hell or not is the ocd making you feel this way.... bit like i said about magical thinking the

other day.....whether its ocd or not...an eg is when a parent says if you dont behave father xmas will not come.....the child

does improve there behaviours * short term* but have you ever met a kid where father xmas never visited.? nope.

hope this helps.

thanks for replying. I have suffered very badly with magical thinking OCD in the past so it would make sense that this is also magical thinking but I am still struggling :wallbash: in fact i made it worse by making a promise not to do something and now i feel i have to avoid doing this for the rest of my life even though it is something that I want to do. I am now left ruminating about whether to keep the promise I made or not, when I should be reading for my course! :crybaby:

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Guest legend

It is hard lisa, but the longer we "avoid" and comply to the ocd, the more power it gives to that "irrational thought"

When religion is attached it obviously makes it "more so " difficult in the way ocd interacts, but if you can work at

gently challenging that irrational fear, then you will see that your religion is so more important, than the bullying

lying ocd.

What do you feel you can do to challenge the ocd and take steps against that irrational thought.

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It is hard lisa, but the longer we "avoid" and comply to the ocd, the more power it gives to that "irrational thought"

When religion is attached it obviously makes it "more so " difficult in the way ocd interacts, but if you can work at

gently challenging that irrational fear, then you will see that your religion is so more important, than the bullying

lying ocd.

What do you feel you can do to challenge the ocd and take steps against that irrational thought.

Thanks for responding.

It's interesting that you say about my religion as I automatically thought 'oh but I'm not religious' lol. it's more that i just have a fear of going to Hell even if I don't know whether it exists or not. Assuming the thought 'I might go to Hell if I break this promise' is the irrational thought then the only way to challenge it (i'm guessing) is by seeing the promise as part of the ocd and not adhering to it?

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Guest legend

Thats around about right lisa..... like someone who says ..." if i dont touch a certain object in a certain way, then

my child will die in a road accident.." and then they are too absorbed into that thought that are too afraid on

the belief that it will actually happen.

Whatever religion you are, it doesnt matter, because you do what is asked of you from what you believe in to your best

of your abiltiy, sadly ocd interacts with this and makes it feel as if you aint good enough and you will be judged accordianlly

by what ocd asks of you.

Depressingly ocd is strong, it makes us feel that this is the final outcomes if we do abc....well i can assure you that

ive never met a magical thinker who has changed there behaviours and have had a bad outcome from it.

have faith in you not the ocd x

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thanks for the advice and support. i am trying to convince myself to ignore the thoughts x

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Hi

I'm really sorry to bother everyone again but i am struggling to find answers. I am still stuck over all these promises I have made to God, most of them I know are caused by OCD and so I am pretty much able to let them go but then there are some promises that I have made that aren't down to OCD and are just down to me, ie I have promised that I will do something purely as an impetus to get myself to do it but now I am struggling to keep track of what I have promised and which promised were motivated by OCD and which ones weren't. I feel like if I promised to do something on pain of going to Hell and it wasn't for OCD reasons and I genuinely meant it at the time then it's like I have no excuse not to fulfil it and if I don't do it then I'll go to Hell. I feel like I'm just using OCD as an excuse.

Lisa

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Guest Annabel

Hi Lisa,

These worries and bargains and fear of being punished (put to hell) are definitely OCD. They are just as common themes as germs are and it's nothing to do with anything spiritual, it's just OCD.

Like other members have said- if there is a God then the fact that you think these thoughts (which are definitely OCD- why would not using a particular pen/writing something down/avoiding doing something put you on the wrong side of a bargain with God?) would not bother him.

I find it helpful to write down a quick reminder of the types of OCD I can experience when I'm lost in a magical thought crisis e.g.:

1. OCD thought that I've made a deal with God the as long as I re-read this section 3 times then I won't go to hell and that if I just read it once he will punish me for failing to do so

2. OCD thoughts about harming people etc.

then it's quite helpful, everytime you have one of these thoughts then find the piece of paper and put a tick next to the thought.

I hope you're okay

xx

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Hi Lisa,

These worries and bargains and fear of being punished (put to hell) are definitely OCD. They are just as common themes as germs are and it's nothing to do with anything spiritual, it's just OCD.

Like other members have said- if there is a God then the fact that you think these thoughts (which are definitely OCD- why would not using a particular pen/writing something down/avoiding doing something put you on the wrong side of a bargain with God?) would not bother him.

I find it helpful to write down a quick reminder of the types of OCD I can experience when I'm lost in a magical thought crisis e.g.:

1. OCD thought that I've made a deal with God the as long as I re-read this section 3 times then I won't go to hell and that if I just read it once he will punish me for failing to do so

2. OCD thoughts about harming people etc.

then it's quite helpful, everytime you have one of these thoughts then find the piece of paper and put a tick next to the thought.

I hope you're okay

xx

thanks for your reply :) Writing things down is a good idea as I always doubt that what I'm doing is OCD, it might become something of a long list though lol. I am going to try and leave the thoughts and promises behind if i can.

Lisa x

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Hi (again)

I have made a significant step in the 'promises' problem in that I decided to try and ignore the promises and carry on as normal. However now I feel like I need to apologise! I have apologised for my decision and for making the promises in the first place and for intending to break said promises but I keep thinking of more things to apologise for and I feel like I can't do anything until I have apologised properly. Part of me thinks that this is just replacing one obsession with another but then people do pray to apologise to God don't they? So isn't it normal to apologise when you've done something this bad?

Lisa

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Hi (again)

I have made a significant step in the 'promises' problem in that I decided to try and ignore the promises and carry on as normal. However now I feel like I need to apologise! I have apologised for my decision and for making the promises in the first place and for intending to break said promises but I keep thinking of more things to apologise for and I feel like I can't do anything until I have apologised properly. Part of me thinks that this is just replacing one obsession with another but then people do pray to apologise to God don't they? So isn't it normal to apologise when you've done something this bad?

Lisa

hi Lisa

i think u took a very great step by ignoring the 'promises'.

but i think u should stop apologising. you are apologising for what? i think its ocd making u do that. u don't have to be sorry for not carrying out promises coz they are result of ocd.

may be the guilt(caused by not varrying out compulsions)is taking a form of apologising.

i would also like to say that i can understand how u feel, i too have this form of magical thinking or whatever it is but in a differnt way.

we have to resist the compulsions we are forced to perform, like yours is rereading. as it makes the ocd thoughts more stronger :hug:

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Guest legend

Apologise is or could be a compulsion in itself lisa, where youre looking for forgiveness for having ocd.

(if that makes sense!!)

and well done for challenging it, its not easy, but it does work in the long term

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thanks for your replies :)

apologising has been one of my compulsions before so this is why I am wary of it. However a friend of mine who is Christian and has OCD said I should apologise to God but only once. I don't know that I will be able to keep it to once as there are so many variations on the wording of what I want to apologise for but I will try and not let it become a compulsion

Lisa

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hi Lisa

i dont see any need to apologise.

Hi

the trouble is, some of the promises i made were not down to OCD so I feel I need to apologise for not being able to keep them

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hi Lisa.

you know i find this strange with ocd. sometimes i get confussed between what 'thoughts'are coz of ocd and what are not.

like, i have this ocd of having bad thoughts'like x will go to hell'.

now sometimes i realize its ocd playing and sometimes i get confused that is it really ocd thought.

now that may be the case with you. those promises u think are real, may actually coz of ocd.

i cant know what you are feeling but i thought i would share my experience

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hi Lisa.

you know i find this strange with ocd. sometimes i get confussed between what 'thoughts'are coz of ocd and what are not.

like, i have this ocd of having bad thoughts'like x will go to hell'.

now sometimes i realize its ocd playing and sometimes i get confused that is it really ocd thought.

now that may be the case with you. those promises u think are real, may actually coz of ocd.

i cant know what you are feeling but i thought i would share my experience

Hi

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I know what you mean, it is very confusing as to what is OCD and what isn't. At first I didn't think any of the thoughts were OCD but now I realise that the majority of them were. However some of them were just me using the knowledge that if I promised something to God then I would have to do it as a way of motivating myself to do something. Of course I didn't think it through and ended up promising things that were difficult to deliver but I still shouldn't have done it and this is what I feel I need to apologise for.

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Guest Annabel

Hi Lisa,

If you're apologised once then that's okay although I don't really see the need, it may be a personal thing, but after that you know it's just OCD, even if you promised God to do things which you couldn't manage then it wouldn't anger God, it's just that you're experiencing punitive/punishment thoughts as part of your scrutiny OCD, I get the same thing and you can tell it's OCD because it feels so awful not to do it and you're compelled/compulsed to! this shows it's just OCD because it's underlined with anxiety! I hope you're okay, remember it is OCD :)

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Hi

I tried apologising and ended up doing it for 2 and a half hours. I kept having to start my apology again and in the end the only way i could stop was by making another promise to stop and so now I am back to the start with needing to apologise! I don't know what to do any more :crybaby:

Lisa

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Guest Annabel

Hi Lisa,

It's just OCD, you don't need to apologise. Try to maybe distract yourself, I know it's so hard but using distraction and recognition/exposure techniques is the way to get through it xx

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thanks everyone for your replies. I spent the morning apologising but have finally stopped. Now just feeling guilty about enjoying myself...

Lisa

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