Coping Statements For Christians With OCD and Scrupulosity

Dealing with Doubt and Uncertainty

  1. Faith is not the absence of feeling uncertain. Faith is going forward through the uncertainty.
  2. OCD wants me to believe that uncertainty and doubt are dangerous. While uncertainty is uncomfortable, it is not dangerous, and I can tolerate it.
  3. My faith is what I believe, not what I feel.
  4. Feelings are not facts.
  5. OCD will always bring up another What if . . . ? Trying to nail down all of the What if . . . ? questions will lead me down a path of never feeling good enough or certain enough.
  6. I can have faith and still feel uncertain. Mark 9:24, “…Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
  7. God loves me completely, even when my feelings are uncertain and clouded by doubt.
  8. My peace with God is not based on my feelings. Rather, as Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Therefore, I am at peace with God because of Jesus whether my feelings agree or not.

Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts

  1. Even though they feel real, intrusive thoughts (i.e., distressing thoughts or images with violent, sexual, or blasphemous content) say nothing about my true character.
  2. The goal of the intrusive thoughts is to shock and scare me, so I try to suppress or “fix” them. My goal is to identify them as “intrusive thoughts” and move on instead of fighting with them.
  3. Having an intrusive thought does not make it more likely for me to act on it.
  4. God understands that intrusive thoughts are distressing to me. He understands OCD better than anyone!
  5. OCD wants me to believe that worry, anxiety, and compulsions will protect me spiritually. That is all part of the trick OCD wants me to believe.
  6. OCD wants me to fight with my thoughts and try to control and suppress them. OCD knows that by getting distressed and fighting with the thoughts I will refill the “gas tank” in the obsessional engine and keep it running.
  7. Trying to prevent myself from ever having certain thoughts, images, and feelings only makes them worse.

Tips on Moving Forward

  1. One of OCD’s biggest tricks is asking me the question, “What if this fear isn’t from OCD and it really is a serious issue?” Whenever this thought (or one similar) comes, I will treat it as OCD and not try to figure it out.
  2. I will pray to God for grace and strength to accept/move on from intrusive thoughts without figuring them out and fight doing compulsions, neutralizing, or avoiding.
  3. My goal is to “starve” OCD by not giving meaning to intrusive thoughts or doing compulsions.
  4. I have two choices: (1) to chase after a feeling of certainty that never comes or (2) to choose to move forward through the uncertainty.
  5. My goal is to focus on doing the tasks that I need to be doing in the present moment (studying, cooking, talking to a friend, working) instead of focusing on trying to figure out the uncertainty or fear.
  6. I need to focus on the present moment and allow my thoughts to come and go.
  7. Trying to figure it all out only makes it worse.
  8. God understands that I don’t understand.

Click for printable document.