Scrupulosity is a term given birth to in the 1600s.
Today, it is a well-documented form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Rather, they should know that treatment is solely targeting a disruptive anxiety disorder which produces seemingly devout behavior that is actually unrelated to one’s genuine degree of religious commitment.
In fact, often the ability to distinguish real religious from scrupulosity often helps enhance one’s devotion to Yiddishkeit.
Psychologists have noted five key features that distinguish Frumkeit from scrupulosity: Remember: Strong religious convictions do not cause or imply Scrupulosity.
Rav Yisroel Salanter (Ohr Yisroel, Letter 25) recognized the difference between Zehirus and Scrupulosity.
Scrupulosity takes strong religious ideals and blows them out of proportion, making them distorted and corrupt.
The medication can help reduce the experience of the anxiety but it cannot help someone change his way of thinking.It is typically evident in people who believe that their religious behavior is in some way displeasing or disrespectful to Hashem.This preoccupation is often accompanied by the emotional experience of anxiety, common to all forms of OCD, as well as a presence of guilt which exacerbates the pain.The guilt in displeasing Hashem and the feeling that one can never “do it right” often contribute to an associated depressive quality in this OCD subtype.
One of the great Chassidishe Rebbes, Rabbi Nahum of Stephanesht described the intertwining of these elements in Scrupulosity: “Scrupulosity is a cloak made of pride, lined with guilt and sewn with melancholia.” As a result, many engage in repetitive and excessive prayer or other religious behavior to correct the pain, as part of the disorder.But to the person with this condition Scrupulosity OCD takes Ahavas Hashem out of Mitzva observance, leaving the individual anxious, depressed and often fearful about doing Mitzvos.