Scrupulosity, also known as religious OCD, is a mental health disorder that piggybacks off your faith experience. Imagine the way parasitic vines suck the life out of a healthy tree — this is how religious OCD interacts with your spirituality. Scrupulosity can leave you feeling exhausted, spiritually drained, guilty, and full of doubt. Some people have attempted to escape the negative feelings of scrupulosity by declaring themselves nonreligious or atheist. This would be akin to chopping down the tree with the vine.
Treatment for scrupulosity involves learning how to tell the difference between true faith and anxiety-driven scruples. Start your journey today by taking the scrupulosity quiz to find out your likelihood of having religious OCD.Get Your Scrupulosity Score
Inability to stop questioning your faith experience; constant doubt over religious questions or unconfessed sins; distressing inability to “get out of your head;” repetitive fear of hell or being lost!
Sense of hyper-responsibility relating to spiritual things; inability to enjoy activities your broader faith community deems harmless; seeing sin where there is none; intense anxiety over possible sin.
Repetition of prayers or devotional activities if you doubt they were completed properly; inability to stop engaging in religious behaviors like charity, evangelism, prayer, confession, or devotional readings.
Unwanted and severely distressing thoughts related to blasphemy, committing the unpardonable sin, inappropriate sexual or sacrilegious thoughts, fear of selling soul to the devil or being possessed, etc.
There are multiple ways to find out if you have scrupulosity. The scale that is typically used in scientific studies of scrupulosity is the PIOS, the Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity. This scrupulosity quiz is somewhat old — first published in 1995 — and only measures two attributes: the fear of God and the fear of sin. This scale was used in a 1995 study that determined that religious fears are the fifth most common obsessive theme for individuals with OCD [https://www.psytoolkit.org/survey-library/scrupulosity-pios.html]. However, the PIOS scrupulosity test has a number of omissions and weaknesses, so for now the scrupulosity world is still waiting for a better clinical test.
Until then, you are not left in the darkness. You can visit a therapist specializing in OCD or a religious clergy member or spiritual coach who has experience with scrupulosity. Either of these two kinds of experts — a mental health expert or a spiritual expert — can help you determine what to do with your symptoms.
Before seeking professional help, you can take our free online scrupulosity quiz to check your likelihood of being scrupulous. This test is not intended to be a diagnostic tool, but can provide insights into your condition that can help you know what to bring up in a counseling session. Take the free scrupulosity quiz below.
Taking the scrupulosity quiz is only a first step. If believe you or a loved one may have scrupulosity, you can take the following steps:
1. Make an appointment with a therapist to get a professional diagnosis.
2. Decide on a treatment route: clinical treatment or spiritual treatment.
Find a therapist who will:
1. Help you get medication.
2. Guide you through CBT.
3. Monitor your condition.
4. Help you get medication.
5. Provide holistic mental health care.
Find a pastor or spiritual coach who will:
1. Help you make realistic spiritual expectations.
2. Create Biblical boundaries for religious rituals and thoughts.
3. Provide spiritual encouragement
The scrupulosity quiz has 50 questions. Most people should be able to complete it in 20 minutes or less.
Do you have scrupulosity? How can you tell the difference between healthy spirituality and religious OCD? Take our free, confidential quiz to find out how scrupulous you are.Start Quiz Now