OCD and prayer

Hi all

Does anyone else have OCD issues with Prayer? I feel the need to pray regularly and usually 4 to 5 words every 10 mins to feel relaxed. If I don't, I feel something bad will happen, kinda of like the wrath of god!

I've not been diagnosed, but read alot of similar situations on the internet. Im 26, and this has been going on for years. I feel so embarrassed, but this has been going on so long, it feels normal, and the compulsion contiunes its viscious circle.

I also feel paranoid quite often and am constantly replaying situations in my head, then creating false memories or 'what if' this happened situations. I then believe these situations, which causes stress then leading to my compulsion to pray.

I think im quite an intelligent gent, but really feel stupid by the way I act, especially after reading this back!

Anyway, back to the original question, does anyone have any issues with prayer ocd and false memories?

Thanks

7 Replies

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  • Hi.

    Being intelligent and over-thinking is the thing that gets us caught up in this type of OCD. We read too much meaning into our thoughts and become superstitious about our rituals, believing something bad will happen if we don't carry them out. Everything we do is to try to secure certainty and iradicate every possible what if, but this is ultimately impossible. What you are doing is quite a common ruminating (Pure O) OCD. PLease do not feel embarrassed. 10% of the population gets this.

    Religious-centred anxieties are very common. Ruminating anxieties and spiral thinking are not that different to the physical OCDs like hand-washing but it's just that no-one can see them so you feel trapped inside them and tend to suffer in silence. I have had lots of different types of ruminations over the past 30 years, including about prayer. What you really need to do is see your doctor and get on a waiting list for CBT with a specialist in OCD. Read up about Pure O and prayer if it helps. Your doctor might recommend medication. I finally tried it after 30 years refusing to and it is helping, but only alongside CBT.

    Please take heart. There are lots of us working our way through this. You just need support and some strategies. It will be hard and you will have to work hard at it and there will be set backs, but this is part of you. In the end you have to accept uncertainty and that is so hard to do. I have tried delaying my ruminating for 10 mins at a time - like praying in 10 mins and not immediately when the compulsion comes. Also, I accept that when I am tired and low that sometimes I will not be able to resist the compulsion and that is OK too. God is all-forgiving and unconditional in his love, not judgmental like humans. Whether you pray or not, he will still be there for you and will not punish you for not praying enough. Stay strong. Get help. Take care and good luck xx

  • Hi there I used to do this but I managed to stop when I realised that all the awlful things were happening anyway to me so I decided to stop. Unfortunately it's not that easy with all my other rituals.x bless you x Tina

  • Thank you both for your kind words. Thankfully the Internet allows us to discover these things and we find our we are not alone. That in itself brings some comfort. Thanks again.

  • Hiya Ktown,

    Although I am not a medical expert, with my knowledge and understanding of OCD I would answer yes, what you describe very much sounds like it might be OCD, and the symptoms you describe are farily common types of OCD.

    It as been suggested what you have is Pure O, I don't think it actually is Pure O, but it is OCD as you have obsessive thoughts and physical compulsions.

    I would recommend a formal assessment and diagnosis from a trained health professional, your GP should be able to make a referral through the NHS.

    The good news is that if it is OCD then it can be treated, and controlled through to complete recovery. The treatment we recommend is a talking therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is available through the NHS.

    I hope this information helps you.

    Kind regards,

    Ashley

    on behalf of OCD-UK

  • I am also not a health professional but have done extensive research and have had this specific form of OCD with the same ruminations and I am undergoing CBT. I only respond to questions specific to my own experiences and ruminations and only speak on what I have gone through myself as these are the only things that I feel I can speak helpfully and honestly on. I do not work for OCD Uk but do contribute money each month because it is such an important cause. I speak from the heart and when people email questions in the middle of the night and need someone to reach out I, I always respond if I can because I know how lonely it can be. Here is a link from OCD uk itself about Pure O ocduk.org/pure-o

  • I am also not a health professional but have done extensive research and have had this specific form of OCD with the same ruminations and I am undergoing CBT. I only respond to questions specific to my own experiences and ruminations and only speak on what I have gone through myself as these are the only things that I feel I can speak helpfully and honestly on. I do not work for OCD Uk but do contribute money each month because it is such an important cause. I speak from the heart and when people email questions in the middle of the night and need someone to reach out I, I always respond if I can because I know how lonely it can be. Here is a link from OCD uk itself about Pure O ocduk.org/pure-o

  • Thank you all for your comments. Before I started to research the complexities of OCD, I honestly thought I was insane. It is very scary to not be in control of ones mind and not being able to tell friends or family. It has been so comforting to read others in a similar situation, I just hope one day I can overcome this debilitating illness. Thanks again.

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