A Review of books on Scrupulosity
While most OCD books have a chapter on religious OCD it is interesting to read the different experiences of others who have dealt with religious OCD.
- Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?: A Psychiatrist Explores the Role of Faith in Treatment by Ian Osborn (his other book is great too Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
- Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty by Jonathon Grayson (has a great chapter on Religious OCD
- Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD by David Clark (excellent chapter on ERP)
The Doubting Disease: Help for Scrupulosity and Religious Compulsion by Joseph Ciarrocchi
- Understanding Scrupulosity: Questions, Helps, and Encouragement by Thomas Santa
This is by no means is an exhaustive list (but is in order from most helpful to least helpful in my opinion). Many books will have chapters regarding religious OCD in conjunction with other themed forms of OCD. By far the best books would be the ones by Ian Osborn. He is a psychiatrist who has OCD and has used his faith to help him through it. I’m so incredibly impressed with “Can Christianity Cure OCD,” that this should become standard texts for anyone treating OCD. This book is not a polemic or apologist book. What I mean by this is Dr. Osborn isn’t trying to prove Christianity true or other religions false. He goes right after the OCD. Dr Osborn talks about the history of moral scruples in Europe from the Renaissance as well as the lives of three people (Martin Luther, John Bunyan, and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux) who almost definitely suffered from OCD and how they dealt with it. He goes into the treatments of OCD (evidence-based) and suggests a new strategy that can be helpful to the faithful. This book can help anyone suffering from scrupulosity and recommend it to anyone suffering from this regardless of faith persuasion be it Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain etc… (yes, it is that good!!!).
The least helpful book, ironically, is the book by Thomas Santa. This book really should only be for Roman Catholics. I found it actually a hair negative in the sense that I think this book can make your OCD worse, not better. It’s got questions and answers, but is very light on “Helps and Encouragements.” Also one doesn’t understand OCD any more than not having read the book. In other words, there is no new knowledge just extrapolations of legalism of the Catholic Church which I think will make people worse. I felt my OCD mind try to latch on to the new themes presented in the book which is why I say this can make your OCD worse. Some things in it are downright abhorrent in my humble opinion.
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