One problem I keep running into is the bad advice given by well meaning Christians to OCD sufferers. What typically happens is this. An exceptionally devout individual, the type who takes her Christian faith and practice very seriously, suddenly develops a clear-cut obsessional fear—perhaps an intrusive idea that she is not ‘saved,’ an urge to […]

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I was talking with a graduate student the other day with chronic obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has been making some good progress with therapy, and she made a telling observation. “One thing that I have realized as I’ve learned more about OCD,” she said, “is just how much it permeates my thinking. I used to kind […]

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“The issue affects my faith a lot,” the young man told me, “and my view of God, too. When I try to read the Bible, I get really afraid and anxious, especially with certain verses like Romans 6:23. It’s hard for me to do any sort of spiritual activities. I’m okay when I’m with other […]

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In treating OCD, the key is ERP (exposure and response prevention). In carrying out ERP, often the key is finding an underlying, or “core” obsessional fear. That is not always easy to do. I was talking with a smart, devout Christian student who was suffering the obsessional fear that she was homosexual. She had no […]

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Martin Luther knew OCD. For ten years he suffered it severely. Sometimes in his writings, he seems to be directly speaking to those affected by this disorder. Such is the case here, in this quote from his Commentary on Isaiah: “God sends a variety of trials, heresies, and the cross in order to train His […]

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“I’m in a major OCD crisis,” the young homemaker said. She had experienced contamination fears since adolescence. Now, however, obsessional doubts had struck her religious beliefs, and she was in worse shape than ever. It started when she attended a new church. The pastor had preached a sermon in which he forcefully stated, “Anyone who […]

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Matt, the engineering student with the “street preacher obsession,” had proven himself a really hard-boiled OCDer. Even after asking his minister and several friends whether they thought the Holy Spirit was calling him for a special ministry, and despite hearing them all say ‘No, I don’t think so,’ he still could not gain peace on […]

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Occasionally I would meet with Matt, a nose-to-the-grindstone engineering student and committed Christian with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Occasionally only, because for an extended period of time he had been doing very well. OCD had struck when he was in High School, at its worst characterized by tormenting fears of violence and endless mental rituals. Since those […]

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Nothing is more important than to trust in the Lord. We are saved by faith, and faith’s highest form is trust. It figures that OCD would come in and try to mess it up. A thoughtful, hard-working student suffered from pedophile obsessions, and we worked together on methods of dealing with them. We focused on […]

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A stay-at-home Mom voiced her disappointment with the counseling she had received for her OCD. Her main obsession had centered around contamination fears from a dead mouse her husband removed from the house. “My therapist wanted me to soothe myself when the fear hit,” she explained. “So I tried to employ good reasoning. I would […]

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