Jump to content

Scrupulosity


Recommended Posts

On 4/27/2021 at 11:35 AM, JAHS said:

Scrupulosity
"Scrupulosity is characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues. It is personally distressing, objectively dysfunctional, and often accompanied by significant impairment in social functioning. It is typically conceptualized as a moral or religious form of obsessive–compulsive disorder."

How does this compare to having scruples?  a feeling of doubt or hesitation with regard to the morality or propriety of a course of action.

I can see how it would likely be distressing to having feelings of doubt when wondering what we should do in a situation.  It usually feels much better when we feel we know what we should do, than to be in doubt about what we should do.

Link to post
15 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

That's fine. But then it's not OCD. What you have is simply someone who thrives paying attention to detail at times even to the detriment of those under his stewardship. I think we all already knew there are those personality styles (at times I might be one of them!). At this point though, we may as well change the topic of discussion to - what to do when someone in authority is too exacting. Pretty ubiquitous profile...

It's never OCD?

Link to post
51 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

 

Is the likelihood of trauma increased with higher rates of mental distress and/ or fatigue?

The question is, can expecting 2-3 hours of church in an otherwise healthy person induce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person.   I feel more than confident that any mental health proffesional would agree that if the rest of their life is “healthy”, the answer would be no.  

If the person has mismanaged and over extended their capacity to cope with the demands of life in general and are over distressed and fatigued to the breaking point - where 2 hrs might be the last straw, than theoretically, yes, anything could potentially do them in.  But I wouldnt consider that person “otherwise healthy”.  Their life is a mess outside of church.  Its seems silly to make such an assertion against the church in such a case.  I also believe that most bishops would be more than understanding if they missed a few werks due to mental health issues.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Just now, pogi said:

The question is, can expecting 2-3 hours of church in an otherwise healthy person induce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person.   I feel more than confident that any mental health proffesional would agree that if the rest of their life is “healthy”, the answer would be no.  

If the person has mismanaged and over extended their capacity to cope with the demands of life in general and are over distressed and fatigued to the breaking point - where 2 hrs might be the last straw, than theoretically, yes, anything could potentially do them in.  But I wouldnt consider that person “otherwise healthy”.  Their life is a mess outside of church.  Its seems silly to make such an assertion against the church in such a case.  I also believe that most bishops would be more than understanding if they missed a few werks due to mental health issues.

where do you get this idea of 2-3 hours of church? I have like 5 alone on sunday, besides two meetings this past week. It's my contention that your life could be mismanaged, out of balance because of the church.

Link to post
2 minutes ago, pogi said:

The question is, can expecting 2-3 hours of church in an otherwise healthy person induce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person.   I feel more than confident that any mental health proffesional would agree that if the rest of their life is “healthy”, the answer would be no.  

If the person has mismanaged and over extended their capacity to cope with the demands of life in general and are over distressed and fatigued to the breaking point - where 2 hrs might be the last straw, than theoretically, yes, anything could potentially do them in.  But I wouldnt consider that person “otherwise healthy”.  Their life is a mess outside of church.  Its seems silly to make such an assertion against the church in such a case.  I also believe that most bishops would be more than understanding if they missed a few werks due to mental health issues.

I would wonder what such a person could have experienced within those 2-3 hours of meeting with church members that caused them to feel trauma.  What did they hear?  What did they see?

What could possibly turn a person's life upside down, or cause them to feel that it was, so that what they thought was otherwise healthy was not as it should be? 

O wretched sinner that I now see that I am!  Oh my God!  Please forgive me!

Link to post
18 minutes ago, Duncan said:

where do you get this idea of 2-3 hours of church? I have like 5 alone on sunday, besides two meetings this past week. It's my contention that your life could be mismanaged, out of balance because of the church.

I am talking on average for the general membership.  I would guess average is no more than 3.

People can overextend themselves with church.  My dad did (nothing traumatic though).  But that is not expected.  If your life become unmanigeable due to your calling, your bishop will work with you to find something that works for you.

There is absolutely no expectation to allow church to take you to the breaking point due to meetings. 

Edited by pogi
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
2 minutes ago, pogi said:

I am talking on average for the general membership.  I would guess average is no more than 3.

People can overextend themselves with church.  My dad did (nothing traumatic though).  But that is not expected.  If your life become unmanigeable due to your calling, your bishop will work with you to find something that works for you.

There is absolutely no expectation to allow church to take you to the breaking point due to meetings. 

that's if you talk to your Bishop and sometimes, depending on the calling though if it isn't you then it's no one able to do whatever-I'm thinking on Mission, Stake and Bishoprics. I remember well, a few years ago now a man in our ward used to be in Stake Presidency for a year and he said that year 9 it just got to be too much, constant meetings that again you had to be at  be in charge of and he said he hated that last year and welcomed a relief, things were going bad for him-did he develop OCD,I don't know but I can see how that high demanding of a calling could do so. There is a book written by Brent Top called, "When you can't do alone" about when he was a MP and he broke down, he just couldn't do it all and it's a great read.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
19 minutes ago, Duncan said:

that's if you talk to your Bishop and sometimes, depending on the calling though if it isn't you then it's no one able to do whatever-I'm thinking on Mission, Stake and Bishoprics. I remember well, a few years ago now a man in our ward used to be in Stake Presidency for a year and he said that year 9 it just got to be too much, constant meetings that again you had to be at  be in charge of and he said he hated that last year and welcomed a relief, things were going bad for him-did he develop OCD,I don't know but I can see how that high demanding of a calling could do so. There is a book written by Brent Top called, "When you can't do alone" about when he was a MP and he broke down, he just couldn't do it all and it's a great read.

Late onset OCD is extremely rare.  It almost always develops before 10.  Late onset OCD is almost always related to an infection - “organic etiology”.

https://www.moleculeralabs.com/can-you-develop-ocd/

At this point it just feels like we are just throwing stuff out there and seeing if anything will stick to the church.  I have seen and heard no evidence that would substantiate the assertion, just hypotheticals and assumptions, and unrelated issues.

Edited by pogi
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
5 minutes ago, pogi said:

At this point it just feels like we are just throwing stuff out there and seeing if anything will stick to the church.  

That is our raison d'être.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to post

From BYU, on the link between LDS legalism and mental health issues including scrupulosity:

Quote

 

In these analyses, measures of grace and legalism were linked with multiple measures of mental health for both male and female participants. These results confirm previous research findings that report higher scores on measures of grace being correlated with lower scores on measures of anxiety and depression. The analyses in this study also provide new research, never before reported in the literature, by reporting higher scores on grace being correlated with lower scores on measures of shame, scrupulosity, and perfectionism. Though some of the findings were significant for both male and female participants, others were gender specific.

Legalism was consistently related to measures of mental health (either by direct, indirect, or total effect) in the expected direction with better mental health associated with less legalism. The link between legalism and mental health was most often observed when considering the relationship between subjects’ scores on legalism as they reported experiencing grace. The higher the subjects’ legalistic beliefs were, the less they reported experiencing God’s grace and, in turn, the poorer the mental health outcomes. Thus, while acknowledging the tentative relationship between correlation and causation, a legalistic view of God may lead to poorer mental health partially because it interrupts the ability to experience grace. Legalistic beliefs and practices appear to diminish a sense that God is aware of their concerns, attends to their needs, and provides for them through divine grace.

In addition to being statistically significant, these findings are also clinically and pastorally meaningful. Helping clients and parishioners understand, experience, and embrace grace, and avoid legalistic beliefs and practices, may be helpful in assisting with a variety of mental and emotional problems. Our research confirms the postulate by Kahoe (1987) that “there are surely . . . psychological consequences of whether one rests on God’s grace or one’s own good deeds for relationship with the divine” (p. 4).

...

Within the framework of LDS teachings and culture there is room for diverse individual interpretations of doctrines related to legalism and grace that may impact mental health. Therapists may find great benefit in helping clients explore their personal beliefs about these issues and how they may be related to their mental and spiritual well-being. LDS teachings, and the belief systems of many other Christian and non-Christian religions, include fundamental teachings about the importance of obedience as well as the central role of grace. How individual clients interpret and apply those teachings in their own lives may be an influence on their mental health. Underlying maladaptive legalistic beliefs may be contributing to feelings of depression, anxiety, perfectionism, and shame. For many religious people, their relationship with God is a key factor in their feelings of self-worth. Because beliefs about grace and legalism can play an important role in defining one’s relationship with God, therapists and members of the clergy may find great benefit in exploring those beliefs and their implications with those whom they are attempting to assist. 

Grace, legalism, and mental health: Examining direct and mediating relationships

Judd, Daniel K; Dyer, W. Justin; Top, Justin B. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Vol. 12, Iss. 1,  (Feb 2020): 26-35. DOI:10.1037/rel0000211

 

Of course this is just a portion of the study...and it makes a case for a correlative relationship, not necessarily causal, but still important to consider.

Also from BYU:

Quote

This study may be the first to examine perfectionism and religious commitment with members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As more attention is focused on religiosity, specifically LDS people, in the United States, understanding their belief system and psychological well-being is important for those who are curious or may not be knowledgeable about this community. The elevated proportion of adaptive perfectionists may be associated with the standards LDS individuals aspire to maintain as well as a strong LDS moral code they strive to live by; and this group of perfectionists reported lower levels of depression and an elevated satisfaction with life, while viewing themselves as religiously committed.

Although the moderation analyses were not significant, scrupulosity (fear of sinful activity and fear of punishment from God) and discrepancy (maladaptive perfectionism) significantly predicted decreased satisfaction with life as well as, increased anxiety and depression, above and beyond religious commitment. These results could mean that when this LDS sample is faced with perceived failures around their high standards, they may feel overly fearful of making mistakes (committing sin) and worry about not pleasing God. Likewise, they may exhibit some sadness due to not feeling like they measure up to their standard of living. Thus, this tendency to not feel good enough and be fearful about it may ultimately lead to a lack of satisfaction with life. The mediation analyses also suggest that scrupulosity partially mediated the relationship between discrepancy and psychological functioning in this LDS sample. This finding could lead us to think that specific fears and worries around their perceived sinful activities and fear of God may be the direct result of elevated depression and anxiety as well as decreased satisfaction with life. These specific results could suggest that when one demonstrates high levels of maladaptive perfectionism (i.e., discrepancy) and scrupulosity, this could lead to a more fear-driven pattern of living and behaviors rather than faith-based approach to religiosity, and consequently a detrimental impact on one’s well-being. However, whereas maladaptive perfectionism and scrupulosity may present some psychological difficulties, this sample also showed that having adaptive perfectionism (i.e., high standards) can promote positive functioning leading to greater religious commitment. This appears to be evident as the majority of the sample was classified as adaptive perfectionists, reporting elevated intra and interpersonal religious commitment to the LDS faith and decreased levels of anxiety and depression as well as elevated levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with life than the maladaptive and nonperfectionists. 

Examining religious commitment, perfectionism, scrupulosity, and well-being among LDS individuals

Allen, G. E. Kawika; Wang, Kenneth T.Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Vol. 6, Iss. 3,  (Aug 2014): 257-264. DOI:10.1037/a0035197

 

On the relationship between focusing on the importance of unwanted thoughts and scrupulosity.

Quote

 

3.1. Misinterpretation of normal intrusions

As with the cognitive–behavioral approach to obsessional problems in general (Rachman, 1997, Salkovskis et al., 1999), the model of scrupulosity begins with the finding that unwanted and intrusive thoughts (i.e., thoughts, images, and doubts that encroach into consciousness; e.g., “God is dead”, “What if I committed a sin by mistake”) that are contrary to one׳s moral or religious belief system are normal occurrences for most everyone from time to time (e.g., Rachman and de Silva (1978)). Whereas most people (even most strictly religious people) regard such intrusions as insignificant “mental noise”, the cognitive–behavioral model proposes that such intrusions may develop into clinical obsessions if the person believes strongly that such thoughts are highly personally significant or threatening.

For example, most faithful Christians who experience an unwanted intrusive thought such as, “God is a hateful *******” would treat it as just a meaningless thought that is incongruent with what they believe according to their religion. The thought would not be given too much importance or consideration, and thus sooner or later would unceremoniously disappear from consciousness. However, if the person holds more rigid beliefs about the meaning of thoughts, such as “I must never think of bad things”, “I wouldn׳t be thinking this thought if it was unimportant”, “I can and should control my thoughts”, and “My thoughts are telling about the kind of person I am”, he or she will appraise this unwanted thought as highly significant – perhaps as a sin – even if it goes against his or her typical thoughts, behavioral disposition, and sense of self (e.g., “It׳s a sign that I am falling away from God”). This leads to doubt, distress, additional fear of sin and fear of God, and urges to control or dismiss the thought and “put things right”, as we discuss further below.

3.2. The influence of religion on the misinterpretation of intrusions

Although beliefs about the importance and need to control intrusive thoughts probably result from multiple factors, some authors (e.g., Rachman, 1997, Salkovskis et al., 1999) have suggested that religious doctrine can foster such beliefs because it (a) imposes explicit moral standards for thinking and behaving, (b) is inculcated by influential authority figures (e.g., clergy), and (c) includes the possibility of severe punishment (e.g., eternal damnation). The 10th commandment from the Bible, for example, forbids coveting (i.e., wishing to have) another person׳s “property” (which includes his wife). Similarly, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns his followers, “You׳re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder’. I tell you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder” (Matthew 5:21–22) and “I say to you that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28). These passages exemplify the position that thoughts and actions are morally equivalent and that control over thoughts is important to avoid sin and punishment.

Research indicates positive associations between religiosity and beliefs about the importance of thoughts, particularly thought–action fusion beliefs (TAF; Shafran, Thordarson, & Rachman, 1996). TAF refers to two types of cognitive distortions, (a) the belief that thinking of something immoral is the same as committing an immoral act (Moral TAF), and (b) the belief that thinking of something negative increases the likelihood of the corresponding event (likelihood TAF). Moral TAF in particular, has been associated with strength of religiosity in several studies (Abramowitz et al., 2004, Berman et al., 2010, Cohen and Rozin, 2001, Inozu et al., 2012, Rassin and Koster, 2003, Sica et al., 2002, Siev and Cohen, 2007, Yorulmaz et al., 2009). That is, highly religious people, relative to non-religious or less devout individuals, perceive the presence and meaning of negative unwanted thoughts as more personally significant, influential, and immoral. This relationship appears to be pronounced among Christians relative to other religious groups (e.g., Cohen and Rozin (2001), Inozu et al. (2012), Rassin and Koster (2003), Siev and Cohen (2007), Williams, Lau, and Grisham (2013)). Studies also show that religiosity can be associated with the extreme fear of God and with the fear of committing sin. Although not part of most mainstream religions, the view that God is angry and vengeful, waiting for people to commit sins so that he can punish them, is often observed in individuals with scrupulosity (Abramowitz et al., 2002, Nelson et al., 2006).

Accordingly, as is shown in the top left of Fig. 1, we propose that strong adherence to religious beliefs, ideals, and doctrines makes one vulnerable to developing the sorts of beliefs that lead to the misinterpretation of normal intrusions in ways that maintain scrupulosity. We hypothesize that once such thoughts are misinterpreted as significant and possibly sinful, they become highly salient obsessional preoccupations—that is, the person becomes increasingly sensitive to the thoughts’ occurrence. The thoughts (and the possibility of punishment from God) become the focus of more and more attention, and become increasingly ubiquitous. Thus, the very thoughts that scrupulous individuals believe are sinful and should be banished end up becoming more frequent. This creates intense obsessional distress and doubt.  

Scrupulosity: A cognitive–behavioral analysis and implications for treatment

Author links open overlay panelJonathan S.AbramowitzRyan J.Jacoby

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
18 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

That is our raison d'être.

You have to admit the assertion of real trauma in otherwise healthy individuals beacuase they are expected to go to church is a little flingy.  I am frankly surprised at the attempts to defend the assertion.  No evidence anywhere.  Nothing sticky. Just throwing random stuff out there.

Link to post
1 hour ago, pogi said:

The question is, can expecting 2-3 hours of church in an otherwise healthy person induce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person.   I feel more than confident that any mental health proffesional would agree that if the rest of their life is “healthy”, the answer would be no.  

Sure it can, though perhaps more likely in cases higher in the common range. If a person misses two hours of school or work, they may suffer real-life penalties with important consequences. If they miss church they can suffer from feelings of failure and rejection, because attendance is tied to worthiness. If they neglect other needs in order to fulfill their religious obligations, in order to maintain their worthiness, they may suffer material consequences flowing from neglecting other obligations.

In these dynamics specifically, the problem is the direct association of worthiness, of associating God's favor or disfavor, to rigid expectations which may not always be manageable in the course of an otherwise healthy life. 

Link to post
5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Like I have said in other posts regarding which ideologies are most rule-obsessed, it's not a contest. It makes no difference to the individual if there are some other people out there who have it worse. And in terms of organizational structures we can identify measurable characteristics of the rules and rule enforcement within the system, and how much those rules are based upon a person's life choices, including long-term milestones and day-to-day behavior, and whether those rules are subject to interpretation.

Since this is an LDS-focused forum let's look at the measurable characteristics of it's rules and rule enforcement:

The church uses rules to govern a person's membership status but also their advancement, service, or general participation in the group. 

Meeting attendance, for example is a requirement and meetings can commonly range (in non-pandemic times) between 2 to 10+ hours a week. A significant portion of a person's income, ten percent, is required to be in compliance with the rules. There are rules explicitly governing daily behavior, like what we wear including undergarments, and what kind of legal substances we consume.

Any one of these examples, under common circumstances, has the potential to produce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person. Altogether, the chance for trauma being produced from several directions is increased.  

I'm really wracking my brain here to see what you're seeing, particularly in terms of trauma. Specifically that your average joe or jane with no major mental disorders and previous unaddressed trauma would experience trauma from these things you've mentioned. In therapy we discuss big T v. little t trauma. As in big T's would be massively traumatizing events such as unexpected deaths, acts of violence, community harms, abuse etc. Little t's are things that cause usually milder versions or symptoms of trauma that are usually shorter lived. I definitely can't imagine big T's from what you mentioned. None of these "rules" meet up to that level. But I can think maybe little t traumas...maybe....depending how you define "normal." For example I sometimes have some solid PMS symptoms. They're not at the point that I would describe as full on PMDD, but they can be annoying. Sometimes when I'm like that, being near a lot of people feels like sand paper to my soul. This was particularly apparent when I was a YSA for some reason. (too many hormonal changes and weird factors since then to probably get a baseline while married). When I got like that, I did what was best and left church that day when it became apparent it wasn't going to get better. Or didn't go at all if I needed to. It held no consequence to do so. Still held callings, wasn't considered "inactive," and at most had a friend or two from the ward check up to see how I was doing.  But I could see someone who is more adament about always going subjecting themselves to too much. Likewise for those who are not good at saying no to requests like callings. 

Which was my other problem....some of these "rules" are more like guidelines or suggestions or allow exceptions. Some are more stridently expected, at least if you want to got to the temple. But one can participate actively in the community and still have several of these missing (garments would be a biggie). But it's this last statement that I'm really struggling to wrap my head around and visualize. The closest I can think of is going to the temple for the first time. But most of that was more about how one was introduced and prepared for it (little to really vague temple prep) than the experience itself. Maybe previous temple procedures? But many of those usually entailed more personal baggage coming on out in the temple (I'm thinking initiatories for women particularly). All of those are little t traumas though.   Adding several together...maybe though I would picture that maybe as stress when ones life gets out of balance than what I would describe as trauma. 

 

 

Quote

I would like to point out that a high-demand religion can be like other high-demand associations, it can produce traumas but it can also produce benefits. An LDS mission for example can be extremely rule-oriented, the typical mission rules are arguably obsessive, even, but the mission can also be an opportunity for extraordinary personal growth. But a healthy person could experience trauma under the normal conditions of an LDS mission because there is a wide range of different types of healthy people while the LDS mission rules are extremely explicit and personal.

So, by way of answering the OP's question, the church might be a good fit for some people with obsessive-compulsive disorders under some cases like for instance if their habits align with the church rules. Likewise it might also be a poor fit for a person with an obsessive-compulsive disorder if their habits do not align with the rules. And its rule system could agitate or mediate a disorder. But that's not all, it's rule system could also produce problems in otherwise healthy people, and in some cases, traumatic experiences.  And then that person could experience an unfortunate feedback loop if the church system agitates the harms from the trauma.

I can more believe that someone will experience at least emotional distress or trauma on a mission than in the every day life of an average member. It's extremely restrictive in what you can and can't do, higher degrees of stress and work loads than many are used to, and often entail dropping people into cultures and circumstances they're unfamiliar with. It's why they've been screening out missionaries with certain disorders or concerning behaviors for a while now and instead giving them opportunities like local service missions. But that's still the exception to most LDS folks lives. 

I could see how the expectations or "rules" in the church can fuel distress or concerns even when stripped from community and/or personal disorder. But its the use of trauma that has me hesitating. What is your definition of trauma that you are using or picturing?

 

Also I'm not sure if fitting a person's OCD tendencies is a good thing. It just means those compulsions and unhealthy cognitions remain unaddressed. That's not a good thing and usually still brings up problems in their lives even if less pronounced. As an aside, that's generally what I've seen with people who both leave or convert to the church with an addressed concern or mental disorder. Changing the religion may relieve some problems but usually a few will remain. 

 

With luv,

BD

Link to post

 

8 minutes ago, pogi said:

You have to admit the assertion of real trauma in otherwise healthy individuals beacuase they are expected to go to church is a little flingy.  I am frankly surprised at the attempts to defend the assertion.  No evidence anywhere.  Nothing sticky. Just throwing random stuff out there.

You have to admit that it might be impossible to get anywhere at all in a discussion when people immediately blame individuals instead of genuinely examining the possibility of systemic problems. I have found your responses super defensive, dismissive, and a bit deflective when you continually repeat the low-end of the range of church attendance and treat it mockingly.

 

Link to post
7 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I'm really wracking my brain here to see what you're seeing, particularly in terms of trauma. Specifically that your average joe or jane with no major mental disorders and previous unaddressed trauma would experience trauma from these things you've mentioned. In therapy we discuss big T v. little t trauma. As in big T's would be massively traumatizing events such as unexpected deaths, acts of violence, community harms, abuse etc. Little t's are things that cause usually milder versions or symptoms of trauma that are usually shorter lived. I definitely can't imagine big T's from what you mentioned. None of these "rules" meet up to that level. But I can think maybe little t traumas...maybe....depending how you define "normal." For example I sometimes have some solid PMS symptoms. They're not at the point that I would describe as full on PMDD, but they can be annoying. Sometimes when I'm like that, being near a lot of people feels like sand paper to my soul. This was particularly apparent when I was a YSA for some reason. (too many hormonal changes and weird factors since then to probably get a baseline while married). When I got like that, I did what was best and left church that day when it became apparent it wasn't going to get better. Or didn't go at all if I needed to. It held no consequence to do so. Still held callings, wasn't considered "inactive," and at most had a friend or two from the ward check up to see how I was doing.  But I could see someone who is more adament about always going subjecting themselves to too much. Likewise for those who are not good at saying no to requests like callings. 

Which was my other problem....some of these "rules" are more like guidelines or suggestions or allow exceptions. Some are more stridently expected, at least if you want to got to the temple. But one can participate actively in the community and still have several of these missing (garments would be a biggie). But it's this last statement that I'm really struggling to wrap my head around and visualize. The closest I can think of is going to the temple for the first time. But most of that was more about how one was introduced and prepared for it (little to really vague temple prep) than the experience itself. Maybe previous temple procedures? But many of those usually entailed more personal baggage coming on out in the temple (I'm thinking initiatories for women particularly). All of those are little t traumas though.   Adding several together...maybe though I would picture that maybe as stress when ones life gets out of balance than what I would describe as trauma. 

 

 

I can more believe that someone will experience at least emotional distress or trauma on a mission than in the every day life of an average member. It's extremely restrictive in what you can and can't do, higher degrees of stress and work loads than many are used to, and often entail dropping people into cultures and circumstances they're unfamiliar with. It's why they've been screening out missionaries with certain disorders or concerning behaviors for a while now and instead giving them opportunities like local service missions. But that's still the exception to most LDS folks lives. 

I could see how the expectations or "rules" in the church can fuel distress or concerns even when stripped from community and/or personal disorder. But its the use of trauma that has me hesitating. What is your definition of trauma that you are using or picturing?

 

Also I'm not sure if fitting a person's OCD tendencies is a good thing. It just means those compulsions and unhealthy cognitions remain unaddressed. That's not a good thing and usually still brings up problems in their lives even if less pronounced. As an aside, that's generally what I've seen with people who both leave or convert to the church with an addressed concern or mental disorder. Changing the religion may relieve some problems but usually a few will remain. 

 

With luv,

BD

That's fine. I'm not a medical professional, I am just a layperson who has experienced religious trauma and also continues to observe others who suffer from it and also cares for LDS people steeped in what appears to be scrupulosity. 

I don't know exactly what the relationship is between religious beliefs and scrupulosity. However, I do think that rigid religious expectations have a positive correlation, and as I said in my first reply to this topic, I think there is a relationship with the over-amplification of the importance of thoughts. One of the articles I posted above links that to scrupulosity. Another of those articles speaks about how some LDS do well as adaptive perfectionists while others suffer as maladaptive perfectionists. And the article by BYU Professor Judd does recognize the importance of grace in mediating other LDS beliefs about God's judgment and worthiness.

I apologize for not looking up articles previously, which would have perhaps helped generate a better discussion. 

Link to post
18 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I could see how the expectations or "rules" in the church can fuel distress or concerns even when stripped from community and/or personal disorder. But its the use of trauma that has me hesitating. What is your definition of trauma that you are using or picturing?

One manifestation of trauma, imo, is the experience of failure that is tied to worthiness when a person cannot for whatever reason adhere to very involved expectations and instructions. Worthiness is a big deal, it is a matter of being cut off from what represents everything good in existence. 

Anyways, I think I started talking about trauma in response to your mention of it. 

Link to post
18 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

 

You have to admit that it might be impossible to get anywhere at all in a discussion when people immediately blame individuals instead of genuinely examining the possibility of systemic problems. I have found your responses super defensive, dismissive, and a bit deflective when you continually repeat the low-end of the range of church attendance and treat it mockingly.

 

Where have I blamed anyone for trauma or anything else?  Of course I am being defensive to a serious and seemingly baseless assertion against my church.  “Systemic problems”?  That is not even being discussed.  Of course there are problems in the church.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not afraid to voice concern over those problems.  I am not afraid to call it as I see it, regardless of who may be offended by my position.  I thought we were talking about the expectation to attend church being traumatic?  That is very specific and simple to discuss.  Why are we all over the place?  No one can seem to stay focused on that assertion, but keep changing the goal post.  

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
47 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Sure it can, though perhaps more likely in cases higher in the common range. If a person misses two hours of school or work, they may suffer real-life penalties with important consequences. If they miss church they can suffer from feelings of failure and rejection, because attendance is tied to worthiness. If they neglect other needs in order to fulfill their religious obligations, in order to maintain their worthiness, they may suffer material consequences flowing from neglecting other obligations.

In these dynamics specifically, the problem is the direct association of worthiness, of associating God's favor or disfavor, to rigid expectations which may not always be manageable in the course of an otherwise healthy life. 

feelings of failure is not psychological trauma.   What you describe of intense fear and anxiety over displeasing God/sin is not what I would consider an otherwise healthy individual. 

Link to post
51 minutes ago, pogi said:

You have to admit the assertion of real trauma in otherwise healthy individuals beacuase they are expected to go to church is a little flingy.  I am frankly surprised at the attempts to defend the assertion.  No evidence anywhere.  Nothing sticky. Just throwing random stuff out there.

I don't believe that whatsoever and I am surprised people do. The Church is hardly the Teflon Don. It's galling to me to assume that people's problem they decided to create for themselves, especially as children

Link to post
7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Where have I blamed anyone for trauma or anything else?  Of course I am being defensive to a serious and seemingly baseless assertion against my church.  “Systemic problems”?  That is not even being discussed.  Of course there are problems in the church.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not afraid to voice concern over those problems.  I am not afraid to call it as I see it, regardless of who may be offended by my position.  I thought we were talking about the expectation to attend church being traumatic?  That is very specific and simple to discuss.  Why are we all over the place?  No one can seem to stay focused on that assertion, but keep changing the goal post.  

Not at all. I have brought up several different expectations. You tried to dismiss one and then perseverated on the low-end of another. I've also gone over other concerns. 

You can always choose to initiate a more productive direction yourself, too, including potential concerns with scrupulosity in the church, instead of focusing on what you perceive as others' flawed reasoning.

Link to post
5 minutes ago, pogi said:

feelings of failure is not psychological trauma.   What you describe of intense fear and anxiety over displeasing God/sin is not what I would consider an otherwise healthy individual. 

That sounds circular to me.

Might I suggest you take a look at the remarks from Judd's study, one of the three I excerpted above. It talks about the need for grace in the mediation of LDS beliefs about judgement and sin.

 

Link to post
1 minute ago, pogi said:

feelings of failure is not psychological trauma.   What you describe of intense fear and anxiety over displeasing God/sin is not what I would consider an otherwise healthy individual. 

are you serious? Have you ever served a  mission? Trauma causes feelings of failure and so you want to avoid more trauma. I met a guy in the mission field who said in his mission they had that photo of Jesus at his Second Coming, missionaries photos' who baptized that month were on the right and missionaries who didn't were on the left, he would cry because he couldn't baptize and surprise surprise guess where we found him, inactive. You have that traumatic experience, you get feelings of failure when you can't live up to this standard, then you blow it and you are back on the cutout again and the cycle repeats until you go home and go inactive because God is seen as this super justice and no mercy being.

Link to post
7 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Not at all. I have brought up several different expectations. You tried to dismiss one and then perseverated on the low-end of another. I've also gone over other concerns. .

I am challenging one specific assertion.  Maybe I should just ask for a CFR then have you retract it and be done with it.  It is baseless.

Link to post
44 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

One manifestation of trauma, imo, is the experience of failure that is tied to worthiness when a person cannot for whatever reason adhere to very involved expectations and instructions. Worthiness is a big deal, it is a matter of being cut off from what represents everything good in existence. 

Anyways, I think I started talking about trauma in response to your mention of it. 

I'll write more later. I have a client in a couple of minutes (Ironically, focusing on complex trauma). But I had a personal example that reminded me of this discussion right after I pressed send.

I thought of my masters degree which was probably one of the most stressful periods of my adult life. It would definitely fit into the high intensity high demand scenarios. At it's peak it included 12-16 hour days working, study, and dealing with other people's emotional concerns. My migraines went through the roof (I'm very migraine susceptible and they get worse with stress). And I still jokingly say it was my black hole. Everything got warped. I had 2 experiences that were especially frustrating. One was around 3-6 months where I consistently got dinged for not being "vulnerable" enough for my professors on papers or projects. The formatting was extremely difficult to explain my complex family structure and there was often an expectation as to how I should feel about my own experiences that I didn't meet up to. Which when I realized, really annoyed me becuase I realized I was actually generally vulnerable (definitely a high value owned by most therapists). The other, happening right on top of that, was my thesis....which entailed shaping my very artsy creative oriented brain to one that's very exacting and a-type and "western." I was getting pretty dang nihilistic about the value of research near the end of my masters program. I was dying on the inside and the two overlapped in a way that I at some point showed it in a very emotionally charged semester end project. But I don't know if I think about it as trauma. Stress and burn out definitely. A solid lesson that I may not fit certain learning models, absolutely. But not trauma. 

 

Out of time. 

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
3 minutes ago, Duncan said:

are you serious? Have you ever served a  mission? Trauma causes feelings of failure...

That is very different from sayin feelings of failure =trauma.  Else we would all be extremely traumatized.  Feeling of failure is a normal and healthy life experience.  It is the inability to cope with that emotion that can turn things sour.  You cant blame that on an expectation to attend church. 

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...