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Dr. Jedidiah Siev, PhD
Nova Southeastern University
Do I laugh with the sinners or cry with the saints? Understanding obsessive religious fears and compulsive versus religious rituals?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessions, which give rise to compulsions in an effort to reduce associated anxiety or perceived harmful effects. Scrupulosity is an OCD manifestation in which obsessive fears and compulsive rituals are religious or moral. Consequently, patients with scrupulosity often derive anxiety and distress from religion rather than comfort. Moreover, clinicians struggle with scrupulous patients whose pathology is entangled with their culturally normative values. In fact, scrupulosity is manifest differently as a function of specific cultural values and religious observances. Scrupulosity is also associated with poor insight and magical thinking. Not surprisingly, several studies demonstrate that the presence of religious obsessions predicts poor treatment response. In this talk, I will discuss the nature of scrupulosity with attention to religious and cognitive influences, the relationship between religion and OCD,
obsessional meta-cognitive styles, concepts of God, beliefs about scrupulosity among clergy, and relevant psychiatric comorbidity.
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