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Religious OCD

By Andrea ~

I was only eleven years old at the time but, for someone so young, the OCD disorder had built up fast and become a monster. I remember it first creeping up when I was cleaning my room one night.It started off normal, and then I had the sudden thought that I should rearrange all the puzzles in the closet.So I stacked the boxes..and then I felt like it wasn't good enough so I stacked them again. Then came the thought ''Maybe it's wrong to leave any kind of mess in the room.'' So it took about ten times of straightening them before I was satisfied.At that point I should have thought ''Wow that was a waste of time!'' But because OCD had crept up on me I just thought...''Guess that was annoying but important.'' I was preoccupied with silly tasks, but I could still function.What I didn't know was that it was going to get much worse.

Since I was only in fifth grade, I had been to church but hadn't really been drilled with condemnation threats yet. In such a thoughtful way *eye roll* ..they saved all that for when I entered sixth grade.They had vaguely talked about hell when I was in children's Sunday school but when you became a preteen,and so obviously becoming a dirty little whore,they figured it was REALLY time for you to start repenting of your sins. Me and all the other middle school kids were put in there with all these older teenagers, who knew ''so much'' about sin and we were supposed to learn from them. That was about as comfortable as wearing the wrong size shoe.Being the baby of the group was weird enough..but then they started preaching. I already had OCD before I came in there,so her harsh preaching was like throwing cooking oil on a kitchen fire.

That was in 2001, so the whole World Trade Center mess had just happened.She showed us Bible verses about living in sin.She talked about how she had a vision that some people who died in that tragedy did not make it to heaven.She said, ''We don't want to die unforgiven and end up like them..Jesus says to repent now while you still have time.'' (what's scarier then thinking all powerful Jesus is going to burn people who are already burn victims ?!) Any child raised in church would be terrified of that, because you believe the adults by instinct,but that fear is multiplied by a hundred when you say that to an OCD victim. Most kids there probably lived in terror deep down, but hid it,and tried to act like everything was fine.Because of the OCD I couldn't do that..and I lost my ability to function in the real world.

Whatever hell was supposed to be..I was pretty sure the next few months of my life were even worse.I was home schooled(yea that didn't help either) but I stopped working for three months because I couldn't concentrate. I became a compulsive bible reader. My mom finally stopped pushing me to do school work, because it was too hard to make me stop reading the bible.School was a disaster.I would believe that God wanted me to put down my school books and walk around the neighborhood twenty times,in a serious prayer hour,and no one could convince me otherwise.Numbers were always very important. Isn't that supposed to be a classic symptom of OCD?I believed God wanted things in perfect numbers, like exactly one hour of prayer or for me to wash my hands ten times.I couldn't function socially either. Normally I talk a lot, but at that time I became very quiet. Part of it was the belief that I should be very selective about what I said. If you said the wrong thing, too many times,that might have been a sin. Trivial things were no exception either...I once spent fifteen minutes trying to figure out how many glasses I should get out of the cabinet, and whether I should pour milk or water.No joke. The only place I was fit to be in was a mental hospital.

I had to endure the long days of OCD,until the whole thing went into a kind of remission six months later and I began to function again.Anyone who has ever had that problem will understand...six months of that feels like a century. Religious OCD is like regular OCD on crack.You do all the usual OCD things, like wash your hands ten times,but on top of that you fear getting it ''wrong'' is a sin against God.I think it would be better for you if a semi truck landed on top of you then to have religious OCD. So do I blame the church for my OCD?In a way I do. It's a medical condition so no one is really responsible for my brain going into that mode..but they are responsible for making it worse.They added the killer religious layer to an already existing condition. They were preaching verses right out of the bible, so that it why I lost respect for that ''holy book.'' People say religion was not to blame but I know what happened to me, and I know that it is partly to blame.Needless to say..I will never be christian again. I came in with a fractured bone, and then that religion threw me down the stairs and gave me a shattered bone.If a religion hurts the already weak then what is it good for?Has anyone else on here ever experienced religious OCD?