Obsessions occur in two forms: questions and assertions. For instance, a contamination obsession might take the form, “what if my hands are still dirty?” Or it might pop up as, “your hands are dirty!” Uncertainty in present in both. In assertions, it becomes prominent as the OCD sufferer begins begin to question why the thought […]

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A graduate student consulted me not long ago for a problem with “opposite thoughts.” Whenever he thought of something good, a bad thought about the same thing would take its place. “I’ll be thinking how nice the day is, and then I see an atomic bomb exploding it up,” he told me. “Or I’ll be […]

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…” There is a reason the 23rd is the most popular of all the psalms: It illustrates perfect faith. The sheep walks through the valley of the shadow of death without fear, trusting that the shepherd will take care of it. The sheep, therefore, is a model for […]

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When struck by a powerful fear, we ought to put our trust in God and take comfort in his promises: He will not test us beyond what we can bear, he is all-powerful and merciful towards us, and all things work together for good. Normally, we can strengthen our trust through activities such as prayer […]

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The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:11) Sometimes OCDers have only hope to lean on in order to endure their fears. This happens when faith cannot be found. One powerful reason to keep hoping is, of course, our anticipation that we will receive […]

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HOPE: To entertain expectation of something desired Sometimes doubts become so strong that faith is impossible. A person wants to trust God with her fears, but can’t because she simply can’t find God. As Luther says, faith sometimes “crawls away and hides.” Most Christians don’t seem to have this problem. If they want to believe, […]

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The term “relationship obsession” is used to describe fears that center on the possible loss of a valued relationship. In my experience, the obsessions most often involve the physical appearance of one’s self or one’s partner. For instance, Linnie, a 33-year-old woman in a good marriage, was struck almost every hour of by the obsessional […]

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Joe had a certain charisma. He talked on and on about various subjects in an entertaining and humorous way, projecting a devil-may-care attitude. He reminded me of the actor John Belushi. I was definitely drawn into his aura. Since he was visiting me in a psychiatrist’s office, however, it all seemed strangely incongruous. The truth […]

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SUFFER US NOT TO MOCK OURSELVES WITH FALSEHOOD TEACH US TO CARE AND NOT TO CARE TEACH US TO SIT STILL EVEN AMONG THESE ROCKS OUR PEACE IN HIS WILL “Ash Wednesday” by T.S. Eliot is a deep and beautiful poem which I am not equipped to interpret except to say that some of its […]

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OCD can cause extraordinary stress when it is focused on a decision that must be made. An example is a woman who is presently living with her three children and her husband in the house of her in-laws. Everybody is sick of them living there: her family, her in-laws, and herself. Money isn’t the problem. […]

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