Jump to content

Scrupulosity


Recommended Posts

39 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The covenants and penalties alone explain a great deal, if you went to the temple before 1990. I wonder if those who are posting were in fact endowed before this time. I was and I see how it could mess with the mind. And with other religions that carry a great deal of power over the psyche. 

And also why some can't leave it alone. 

 

I was endowed in 1972 and although I remember thinking the penalties were rather harsh I was certain they weren't meant to be take literally as was the case with most of the endowment. The only thing that was expected to be taken literally were the covenants and promises made.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
1 minute ago, JAHS said:

I was endowed in 1972 and although I remember thinking the penalties were rather harsh I was certain they weren't meant to be take literally as was the case with most of the endowment. The only thing that was expected to be taken literally were the covenants and promises made.

I didn't take it literally too much either. 

Link to post
12 hours ago, pogi said:

Ok, so you are now flip flopping your objection and are back to pointing the finger at the church again?
No, these teachings do not naturally cause scrupulosity any more than the rigors of education naturally cause anxiety disorders.  
I think it is self evident in that only a likely tiny fraction of members suffer from the disorder.

 

No, I'm not flip flopping, I am listening and accepting your statement that my statement made you feel a certain thing. And I am trying to move forward to discussing concepts rather than merely feelings.

 

Link to post
6 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

 Hmm...went for a bike ride....gardened...read something inspirational...and had a quiet day with the fam and came back to 3+ pages of rapid fire responses. I read most of them (I’m sure I missed some) and I agree with @Calm in the sense that I’m somewhat wondering at this point if we’re talking more past each other than anything. I get all of you are talking from your own experiences of trauma, depression/anxiety, or at least harmful experiences within church settings. Personally I’m mostly talking about a specific disorder which is a subset of a fairly severe disorder that is not exactly like anxiety or depression, though o  ok it may entail experiences of both at some point. Depression and anxiety and even PTSD all are more prevalent than OCD and scrupulosity. Because of that and their broader definitions, causes for them are far more broad as well. Though most disorders show some family inheritance, OCD (and therefore scrupulosity) shows strong genetic predispositions. Note I’m not blaming the individual for this anymore than I would say someone who’s deaf caused their deafness. Most likely it wasn’t something they had much say for it happening to them. What they obsess about, in this case morals, is likely due to proximity more so than cause. Somewhat like a magnet pulls up nails from the ground when near it. The nail didn’t cause the magnet to pull it up and the magnet isn’t at fault for having certain properties that attracts nails. There’s just elements in the environment that Having OCD is more likely to grab onto and become obsessive about than someone more neurotypical would. So when i hear the church could lead to this it doesn’t compute. It’s like saying the church could fuel or even cause schizophrenia because they believe in visions and people with schizophrenia in the church have had religious delusions. that’s not what’s happening. 
 

that said from what I could find, those in “very strict religious cultures” are more likely to exhibit scrupulous/moral OCD symptoms. This brings up the next set of arguments. Does the church fit the definition of very strict religious culture? That’s more amorphous and subjective to our personal biases and experiences. For some here we do. For others here not so much. Personally as a whole, if I went with super loose to super strict, I’d put us probably in the middle but leaning toward strict. And this would vary from individual church units and groups. Some of these that I’ve heard of come off almost as foreign to me because they are well outside my personal experience and are extremely strict/rigid in religious interpretations. Some periods of time or specific callings may have very strict/added expectations (young adult missions would be an example). But this isn’t the entirety of church experience and not really representative either. They may also be transient, such as being a temple worker (which also have stricter expectations in behavior and dress but largely only in the temple). Personally I liked that the woman described it as “fundamentalist.” This defines her personal religious context in an overarching church body that may not fit others contexts. I would assume that pure numbers would be slightly higher than the gen pop but lower than more strict faiths such as JW’s, Orthodox Jews, fundamentalist evangelicals, etc. 

 

And the last thing I’m seeing us miscommunicate on is what is even meant by “the Church.” Many have pointed to their own experiences, which have also left many feeling discounted or mowed over by the “true believers.” Which again I don’t think is really what the ones I’ve seen here mean to do. The problem with using individual experiences is they’re individual and varied. For example, I heard an account of two bishops in regard to a case of rape. The one bishop over the woman who was raped was phenomenal. He did everything that I would hope a bishop would do for someone in this situation. The other bishop over the perpetrator did not and epically failed IMHO. Which one in their responses, counsel, and judgment are “the church?” Just the negative one, just the positive one, just the parts that fall fully into actual institutional policy, just the parts that are blindspots in institutional policy, or something else all together? I was personally pulling out most of the local community, cultural, and individual factors for the bare doctrine and basic policy when talking about “the church.” But that may not be the right take either. It may be accurate to pull out branches of thought or experiences and give them name, such as the woman did by describing her experience as a fundamentalist Mormon experience. One that’s just not mine and that at best brush up against from time to time in my religious practice. 
 

lastly @ttribeif you are still reading, I want to apologize if anything I’ve said has irritated or upset you. Sincerely so. I get from the response that this likely strikes close to home in some ways that I likely don’t see. I would state to the one question you had for me that I would note that several comments throughout have felt to me that more blame was being placed on the church for mental illness than I personally think is warranted. I have my own backstory of small peeve (I wouldn’t even call it a pet one) when a simple narrative is given that places blame on “the church” with little to no nuance or depth past common cultural frustrations being shared. If I’m wrong and that is not what most meant then that’s just fine. As I mentioned from the looks of the last few pages it looks like we in general are missing something in what the other is saying which is reinforcing our own frustrations with the “other side.” I respect your choice to bow out and respect your choice to answer if you’d like. 

 

 

***note: I wrote most of this in pieces over the last hour or so. I’m seeing others already made some of the same points. 

With luv, 

BD 

 

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 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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

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.

I've been expected to wear undergarments ever since I graduated from diapers.

If such an expectation "has the potential to produce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person," I'm going to go out on a limb and say that such a person is not, in fact, otherwise healthy.

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
8 minutes ago, Amulek said:

I've been expected to wear undergarments ever since I graduated from diapers.

If such an expectation "has the potential to produce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person," I'm going to go out on a limb and say that such a person is not, in fact, otherwise healthy.

 

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're probably unaware of the chronic health problems that some people can suffer from wearing the temple garments. Wearing them, with their materials, and also day and night can contribute to chronic yeast infections. People with sensitive skin and allergies can also suffer very unpleasant symptoms that are disruptive. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Meeting attendance, for example is a requirement...

Any one of these examples, under common circumstances, has the potential to produce real trauma in an otherwise healthy person. .

Seriously!?  Real trauma in otherwise healthy people?  
The vast majority spend no more than 2 hours in meetings in an entire WEEK, with maybe an occasional extra short meeting for a calling every now and then.  Not even bishops have 10+ hours in meetings on a weekly basis.  It certainly isn’t “required” of them.

Me thinks you are turning “real trauma” into milk toast.  Boredom maybe, fatigue perhaps on the worst week, but “real trauma”?  

How could such an “otherwise healthy person” ever survive the workplace with never ending DAILY meeting requirements?  6 hours/day for grade school children is fine but 2 hours/week in church is traumatizing.  I am having a hard time taking you seriously.
 

 

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

Seriously!?  Real trauma in otherwise healthy people?  
The vast majority spend no more than 2 hours in meetings in an entire WEEK, with maybe an occasional extra short meeting for a calling every now and then.  Not even bishops have 10+ hours in meetings on a weekly basis.  It certainly isn’t “required” of them.

Me thinks you are turning “real trauma” into milk toast.  Boredom maybe, fatigue perhaps on the worst week, but “real trauma”?  

How could such an “otherwise healthy person” ever survive the workplace with never ending DAILY meeting requirements?  6 hours/day for grade school children is fine but 2 hours/week is traumatizing.  I am having a hard time taking you seriously.
 

 

Agreed. The thread has morphed from what I believe should have been the focus. I thought we were talking about a pathological guilt that comes with a diagnosis of OCD - Scrupulosity. Now, we're talking about yeast infections from garments and such. Certainly there's a place for these concerns but it is now a far cry from a conversation about OCD. I also noticed in rereading the opening post that JAHS had queried - "how many have left the church because of this 'disorder'. From my experience, all OCD - 'Scrup' cases involved someone who was devout and wanted to stay in the faith. It also went without saying that a departure from the faith would not resolve their OCD issues but rather potentially subject them to a new theme manifestation (i.e., obsessive cleanliness, 'checking' behaviors, and so on).

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
3 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Leaving underwear and yeast infections behind, how about an awesome slam poem about OCD and love?

 

I have shared this with family. It's absolutely, tragically beautiful. Nice. : )

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
12 hours ago, pogi said:

If that is the case, than we have been talking past each other this whole time.  I understand “scrupulosity” to be a crippling and disabling disorder.   To me, leaving due to general guilt is not the same thing at all and shouldn’t be confused with scrupulosity.  As is usually the case in these forums, semantics rears it’s dysfunctional face.  Sorry for any confusion.  

Don't feel too bad... it has also been demonstrated that we can still treat the term as referring to general guilt and pathologize the Church at the same time! Or treat the terms "extreme punishment" and "ostracization" as referring to more mild, general "loss of privileges" and "walking on eggshells", respectively, and pathologize the hurt feelkings. Or any other combination!

Edited by CV75
Link to post
1 hour ago, pogi said:

Seriously!?  Real trauma in otherwise healthy people?  
The vast majority spend no more than 2 hours in meetings in an entire WEEK, with maybe an occasional extra short meeting for a calling every now and then.  Not even bishops have 10+ hours in meetings on a weekly basis.  It certainly isn’t “required” of them.

Me thinks you are turning “real trauma” into milk toast.  Boredom maybe, fatigue perhaps on the worst week, but “real trauma”?  

How could such an “otherwise healthy person” ever survive the workplace with never ending DAILY meeting requirements?  6 hours/day for grade school children is fine but 2 hours/week in church is traumatizing.  I am having a hard time taking you seriously.
 

 

Seriously. Please don't be dismissive.

1 hour ago, pogi said:

A yeast infection does not induce psychological trauma in otherwise healthy people.  If wearing a thin breathable piece of underwear which is no more tight than traditional female underwear is contributing to a chronic yeast infection, then there are probably more significant factors contributing to the problem, like diet, medications, etc.

If your doctor recommends that you not wear thin, breathable, and not particularly tight underwear at night to treat the infection then there is no “requirement” or expectation to wear it during treatment.

When are people told that there are such caveats to wearing the garment?

1 hour ago, Vanguard said:

Agreed. The thread has morphed from what I believe should have been the focus. I thought we were talking about a pathological guilt that comes with a diagnosis of OCD - Scrupulosity. Now, we're talking about yeast infections from garments and such. Certainly there's a place for these concerns but it is now a far cry from a conversation about OCD. I also noticed in rereading the opening post that JAHS had queried - "how many have left the church because of this 'disorder'. From my experience, all OCD - 'Scrup' cases involved someone who was devout and wanted to stay in the faith. It also went without saying that a departure from the faith would not resolve their OCD issues but rather potentially subject them to a new theme manifestation (i.e., obsessive cleanliness, 'checking' behaviors, and so on).

It's super great for people to pick out one of several issues I referenced and then be completely dismissive.

You asked how to address ways the church might cause or contribute to scrupulosity. As I said, being aware of the issues can help. Being dismissive isn't helpful.

Consider that in the church women's bodies--via fertility pregnancy, childbirth--and clothing--via modesty rules--are very intertwined with their worthiness. That is alot of control around the body.

In that light, imagine being accountable to an adult male who is asking about whether you wear your garments and then being expected to explain that you cannot because of yeast infections or rashes. Or not feeling comfortable doing, so and carrying on either wearing them with the issues they aggravate or not wearing them and managing the guilt (and also shame from garment checks). 

Maybe it sounds silly to some, but the consequences of having worthiness connected to wearing the "right" underwear can be harmful.

Edited by Meadowchik
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
6 minutes ago, Calm said:

And if you inform your Bishop they may very well give you permission to wear them as able. Mine did.  I don’t wear them at night because anxiety attacks (I need heavier and looser clothing so they don’t cling),

I do recognize that having to clear what is a completely personal choice for most people with a church leader is not typical in our greater culture and it can be very embarrassing, maybe even traumatic if the leader starts to question faithfulness, gets all weird, etc. Also there might even be leaders who refuse to give permission for some reason....and then one has to decide if one is going to choose to do so anyway.  

Yup. Thank you.

Link to post
9 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Seriously. Please don't be dismissive.

Then you have some explaining to do.  Why would the expectation to attend church on average around 2-3 hours/week cause real trauma in an otherwise healthy individual who has no problem with the meeting expectations of work/school etc.?  Traumatizing how?

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

Seriously. Please don't be dismissive.

When are people told that there are such caveats to wearing the garment?

It's super great for people to pick out one of several issues I referenced and then be completely dismissive.

You asked how to address ways the church might cause or contribute to scrupulosity. As I said, being aware of the issues can help. Being dismissive isn't helpful.

Consider that in the church women's bodies--via fertility pregnancy, childbirth--and clothing--via modesty rules--are very intertwined with their worthiness. That is alot of control around the body.

In that light, imagine being accountable to and adult male who is asking about whether you wear your garments and then being expected to explain that you cannot because of yeast infections. Or not feeling comfortable doing, so and carrying on either wearing them with the issues they aggravate or not wearing them and managing the guilt (and also shame from garment checks). 

Maybe it sounds silly to some, but the consequences of having worthiness connected to wearing the "right" underwear can be harmful.

As I stated, I believe there is a conversation to be had regards to your concerns. One of my points was to declare I didn't think this is the thread considering the fact that I thought we were talking about scrupulosity. And yes, conflating such overwhelming pathologies with an otherwise healthy individual's underwear allergy struggle runs the risk of being dismissed. And yes, I did ask for your ideas but you did not respond to me but to say we need to be aware. Did I miss your follow-up response?

By the way, I did notice you had nothing to say about my re-orienting comments around scrupulosity not being 'cured' by leaving the church. Is that because scrupulosity really isn't what you want to talk about?

Edited by Vanguard
Link to post
17 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

When are people told that there are such caveats to wearing the garment?

In the temple I was told that it was a matter of personal inspiration and that there were caveats such as sports, swimming, exercising, etc. A doctors order would certainly fit the bill for me.  We need not be commanded in all things and have every little detail spelled out for us.  

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

Then you have some explaining to do.  Why would the expectation to attend church on average around 2-3 hours/week cause real trauma in an otherwise healthy individual who has no problem with the meeting expectations of work/school etc.?

that's the key word, expectation. Someone with OCD feels they are expected to be everywhere and do anything. So, let's say pre covid a YSA person HAS to be at FHE on Monday night (whether they like the activity or not) Tuesday night is say a presidency meeting, Wed is EQ/RS Missionary night, go with the missionaries, Thursday is institute , friday or saturday is dance or something, all church related, this could go on for weeks, you feel expected to be all things to all people at every meeting

This is from Elder Gene R. Cook, 

"When we arrived home in Utah, we returned to a very active ward. In fact, in our first three months, we counted thirty-nine activities to which we were invited as a family or as individuals—Young Women's activities, the annual Relief Society anniversary, the high priests' ice-cream social, Scouting affairs, and on and on. If I'm not mistaken, we went to about three of those activities as a family, and some of the children attended a few more.

Soon after that, our good bishop told me he was worried about my family. I said, "If you know something I don't, I'd be very anxious to know. Please tell me."

"Well," he said, "I have a feeling that your family isn't as supportive of the Church as they ought to be. For example, last Sunday night we had a Scouting meeting for all the Scouts and their families in the stake. At the meeting, they counted the number of people in each ward. The ward having the most people present won a prize. Because your large family was not there, we didn't feel you were supporting the Church as much as you should." (He said all of that very carefully, lovingly, and with good spirit.)

I said to him, "Well, I might be mistaken, Bishop, but my understanding is that the Church is supposed to support the family. If we had been to that social meeting that night, we would have missed the tremendous family devotional we had in our home." I asked him if he'd ever seen our children miss priesthood meeting, sacrament meeting, Sunday School, or Mutual. He said he had not. I continued, "I understood that all those other things were electives, that they were optional, and that we could choose which ones we wanted to attend. Is that not true?" He wasn't too sure.

Then I said to this good bishop, "Do you know what my biggest problem has been since I returned home from Latin America?"

He said, "No, what is it, Brother Cook?"

I said, "It's been the Church itself, and perhaps the school here to some extent."

He said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "Because I travel a lot on the weekends, the week nights are very important to me, as are Saturday and Sunday if I'm home. I must have that time with my own family. In Latin America we had family home evening almost every night. I don't mean a lesson; I mean just a fun time.

"Sometimes we carved things. Sometimes we built things. Sometimes we took walks around the block. Sometimes we helped the widows or ministered to others in need. Sometimes we had lots of fun with other families. But since I've come home it's been difficult because some group has my children on Tuesday night, another group on Wednesday, and somebody else on Thursday, and they are with their friends on Friday night. My biggest challenge has been all of these activities going on outside the home."

This faithful bishop was quite shocked at my response but I'm sure he understood. I suggested there might be wisdom in having the family heads in the ward determine how many activities there ought to be, and then in helping parents understand that they—not the Church or the school—were primarily in charge of the activities in their family.

In the following months, with the planning and involvement of parents, this good bishop greatly reduced the number of activities in our ward. He also retaught the principle that parents were to hold activities with their own children, and that in its support role the Church would sponsor some group activities as well. (It should also be mentioned that he knew, as did we, that he had to provide more activities than "the ideal" to help families who had greater needs than we did.)"

  • Upvote 4
Link to post
4 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 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.

Two hours a week, not consuming a few specific items, and some clothing standards.

Have you tried eating kosher? Or even halal?

If you are looking for an OCD trigger......

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to post
45 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Two hours a week, not consuming a few specific items, and some clothing standards.

Have you tried eating kosher? Or even halal?

If you are looking for an OCD trigger......

I have cooked in compliance with halal, vegans, vegetarians, picky eaters, people who do not eat anything with products bought on Sunday, and people with deadly severe allergies. 

(Sometimes, all at the same time.)

Edited by Meadowchik
Link to post
27 minutes ago, pogi said:

Then you have some explaining to do.  Why would the expectation to attend church on average around 2-3 hours/week cause real trauma in an otherwise healthy individual who has no problem with the meeting expectations of work/school etc.?  Traumatizing how?

Sometimes people have to quit school or work, or cut back, in order to meet other obligations. It's one thing to make that choice based on need, and another thing having to weigh in the question of worthiness and all that entails, internally and externally.

Link to post
20 minutes ago, pogi said:

In the temple I was told that it was a matter of personal inspiration and that there were caveats such as sports, swimming, exercising, etc. A doctors order would certainly fit the bill for me.  We need not be commanded in all things and have every little detail spelled out for us.  

Yes, I was told similar, and the caveat was for appropriate activities, nothing about health concerns. 

Do you realize that there is a paradox there, when one is asked by someone in authority if they wear their garments day and night and the instruction to not have to be commanded in all things?

Link to post
17 minutes ago, Duncan said:

that's the key word, expectation. Someone with OCD feels...

She said it could cause real trauma in “otherwise healthy people”.  In other words no other mental illness.    How milk toast can we get?  Expectations are a part of life.  Responsibility makes the world go round.  Again, if being expected to attend 2-3 hours/week on average (with more rare exceptions), is too traumatizing, how is any otherwise healthy individual going to survive the real world.

I fear for our children

  • Upvote 4
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...