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Moral Scrupulosity in OCD: What You Need to Know

January 2, 2024

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, often known as OCD, is a multifaceted condition. Among its various presentations, one particularly challenging aspect is moral scrupulosityIf you’ve ever found yourself excessively worried about being morally upright or feared that your thoughts or actions might be immoral [ link to this podcast episode], you’ve encountered this facet of OCD.

What is Moral Scrupulosity?

At its core, moral scrupulosity is the obsessive fear of doing something wrong, often in a moral or ethical sense. Those grappling with it may experience distressing intrusive thoughts about committing immoral acts, even if they haven’t done anything wrong. Additionally, these thoughts can lead to compulsive behaviors, such as seeking reassurance or avoiding situations where they fear they might act immorally.

How Can Evidence-Based Strategies Help?

  1. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP): One of the gold standards in treating OCD, ERP involves gradually confronting your fears without resorting to compulsions. For instance, if someone is terrified of lying, they might be exposed to situations where they could lie, without acting on the urge to seek reassurance. Over time, this can reduce the intensity of the fear.
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on accepting your intrusive thoughts without judgment. Instead of trying to push these thoughts away, you learn to coexist with them. It helps in detaching significance from these thoughts and focusing on actions aligned with your values.  This podcast episode in particular may help you start to understand how we misinterpret our thoughts as being significant, rather than learning to accept them. [ link to this podcast episode]

The Journey Ahead

While moral scrupulosity can be daunting, remember that there is hope [ link to this podcast episode]. Many individuals have found relief using strategies like ERP and ACT. It’s essential to understand the nature of your OCD and work with tailored approaches that can guide you toward recovery.

Explore Further with the OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint

If you’re keen on diving deeper into these evidence-based strategies and charting a path to recovery, consider checking out my digital course, “The OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint”. It offers a comprehensive guide, packed with actionable insights tailored for those experiencing OCD and anxiety. Don’t let moral scrupulosity hold you back. Take the step today and unlock the tools to navigate your journey effectively.

Resources for Your OCD and Anxiety Recovery

To learn more about OCD and anxiety recovery strategies and resources, visit my website at Here you can find additional support and guidance.

Want more content like this? Check out some of my related podcasts and The OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint below.

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that Jenna is not your therapist. She does not provide you with individualized recommendations or advice. The information provided is intended as educational information only. Jenna cannot tell you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, or give recommendations based on your unique situations or circumstances. Nothing on this page or Site should be construed as therapeutic recommendation or personalized advice. 

If you are in need of such services, please consult with a physician or other medical provider right away to determine the best course of action for you. We are not responsible for your use of this page, this website, or the contents within. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU READ OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEBSITE AND CONTENT. For more information, please read the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. Your continued use of this platform, this page, and the contents within constitutes as your agreement with this agreement.

© 2023 Jenna Overbaugh, LLC, All Rights Reserved


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