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Religious OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

rupinderjit

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Sat Sri Akal everyone.
I am new to this site. though I would keep coming now and then to read some posts as a guest.
my main reason to land up on this site is having religious OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)since I was 18 and I am 34 now. I don't know whether much people here would know about religious OCD, i will explain a bit how i view it and how it is affecting me.
Firstly I am a terrible writer and I am just writing as thoughts come.

if i want to put my OCD in one sentence it would be the constant fear of God and Guru.as i believe in Sikhism, i was born to a family who believed in Sikhism and i do feel blessed as i love my religion. but because of the people around me and the preachers who only gave the message that God and Guru always want you to be perfect otherwise, you will be punished and all those feelings have just made my learning all full with fear instead of love.

i feel like the time my eyes open until i fall asleep i am under this constant thought in my head of Gurus ,thoughts of God, bad thoughts like pictures of disrespecting Guru and bad words for God and Guru, because i had so less knowledge about mind control and sikhism, my fears and anxiety just grew.
i would be a person who would have to go in her bedroom and do matha tek whenever i would get anxiety due to these thoughts. maybe 20 times a day and still feel horrible. do stupids things just to prove my mind that I do love and respect God and Guru.whenever a thought would come to do this or that i would do it. be doing mool mantar while the teacher would be giving a lecture. while studying for exams having thought of God Guru would do matha tek.and the more you want the thoughts to go away the more they come to your head.
outside i would appear comfortable but inside it was like a volcano, and this anxiety and all would make me angry and frustrated.

i would always have conflicts going on in my head related to religion, God and Guru. i have got through my Bsc Nursing along with this OCD. and it was SO HARD to study. Still I have to study to get through some competitive exams but my mind is constantly struggling within these thoughts.
its just hard to put everything in words what i have to go through.
guilts would keep coming to head, mistakes i have made.
even if i have to lie to my 3 year old that i have to go the library to study though i would pretend to shut the main door and sneak in one of the bedrooms to study , this thing would keep bothering me that i lied to my son.

its just like i have forgot what a normal mind and life is. how i used to study when i didnt have OCD.

to relieve the anxiety i would do some rituals and every time there is a new ritual that might not make any sense to others.

i always search for good preachers who can teach me the Sikhism.

I would have to mention Maskeen Ji, Bhai Satpal from the UK and Karminder singh Dhillon (member of this site) teachings definitely have a huge impact on my learning process. I am trying to get this darkness out of my life. i would have to say all i have learned was darkness as it never made me feel happy. there is definitely lots to learn.
so far i feel like i have got out of this OCD a lot but the little remaining still troubles me. I do try to do my Path (Jap and Rehras Sahib).

i just wish i could have a balanced mind so i could live comfortably.
i have not yet seen a Psychiatrist for 2 reasons.
1.The psychiatrist would not understand my thoughts and how to teach me Sikhism.
2. just put me on medications that might just get me dependent on them.
just few words of insight and encouragement would help this troubled mind.

thank you so much for your time to read my post.

WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH.
 
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"if i want to put my OCD in one sentence it would be the constant fear of God and Guru.as i believe in Sikhism"

What type of fear you have?
 

rupinderjit

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"if i want to put my OCD in one sentence it would be the constant fear of God and Guru.as i believe in Sikhism"

What type of fear you have?
Thank you for reading my post.
I have always had thoughts struggling within my head related to fear such as
guilty cutting hair
had to say a lie
had to get some fake paper work done for some work experience etc.
it's like evaluating every step of life and every thought of my mind and struggling why it's wrong.
I try to teach myself that I cannot be perfect,better to let the law of nature consider my good and bad deeds. and that not all my good and bad thoughts that arise in my head are my own thoughts.
I am trying to learn what the authentic sikhi is and how to avoid the messy thoughts of my head.
the teachings of some good Sikhi teachers are definitely helping me.
I have to stop these fears that lead to obsessions and then compulsion (rituals) .
thank you.
 
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Rupinder,
Being "Perfect" is an ideal case. Even Guru Sahib ji claimed to be "bhulanhar" ,"apradhi", then who are we? Its the grace of Waheguru which is important,

ਸਲੋਕੁ
सलोकु ॥
Salok.
Shalok:
ਲੇਖੈ ਕਤਹਿ ਛੂਟੀਐ ਖਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਭੂਲਨਹਾਰ
लेखै कतहि न छूटीऐ खिनु खिनु भूलनहार ॥
Lekẖai kaṯėh na cẖẖūtī▫ai kẖin kẖin bẖūlanhār.
Because of the balance due on his account, he can never be released; he makes mistakes each and every moment.
ਬਖਸਨਹਾਰ ਬਖਸਿ ਲੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਾਰ ॥੧॥
बखसनहार बखसि लै नानक पारि उतार ॥१॥
Bakẖsanhār bakẖas lai Nānak pār uṯār. ||1||
O Forgiving Lord, please forgive me, and carry Nanak across. ||1||
 

gjsingh

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i just wish i could have a balanced mind so i could live comfortably.
i have not yet seen a Psychiatrist for 2 reasons.
1.The psychiatrist would not understand my thoughts and how to teach me Sikhism.
2. just put me on medications that might just get me dependent on them.
just few words of insight and encouragement would help this troubled mind.
1. I want to assure you that you are not alone. Religious-themed OCD is a very common sub-type of OCD. A psychiatrist can help you even if they don't know a thing about Sikhi because the symptoms and treatment of the problem are the same no matter what religion you profess.

2. There is no problem if somebody with diabetes depends on insulin, so why worry about depending on a medicine for OCD? Waheguru within you, within the physician, and the medicine you are prescribed as well. He is merry and without enmity to anyone, this is all just a play. Take care of yourself.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Please look at my "signature at the bottom of this comment.
Then read the shabad it comes from, Ang 612


ਸੋਰਠਿ
ਮਹਲਾ
Soraṯẖ mėhlā 5.
Sorat'h, Fifth Mehl:
ਕੋਟਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਕੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਰਬ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਦਾਤਾ ਰੇ
Kot barahmand ko ṯẖākur su▫āmī sarab jī▫ā kā ḏāṯā re.
God is the Lord and Master of millions of universes; He is the Giver of all beings.
ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲੈ ਨਿਤ ਸਾਰਿ ਸਮਾਲੈ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੂਰਖਿ ਜਾਤਾ ਰੇ ॥੧॥
Paraṯipālai niṯ sār samālai ik gun nahī mūrakẖ jāṯā re. ||1||
He ever cherishes and cares for all beings, but the fool does not appreciate any of His virtues. ||1||
ਹਰਿ ਆਰਾਧਿ ਜਾਨਾ ਰੇ
Har ārāḏẖ na jānā re.
I do not know how to worship the Lord in adoration.
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਰੇ
Har har gur gur karṯā re.
I can only repeat, "Lord, Lord, Guru, Guru".
ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਿਓ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ਰਹਾਉ
Har jī▫o nām pari▫o Rāmḏās. Rahā▫o.
O Dear Lord, I go by the name of the Lord's slave. ||Pause||
ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਸਰਬ ਘਟਾ ਭਰਪੂਰੀ ਰੇ
Ḏīn ḏa▫i▫āl kirpāl sukẖ sāgar sarab gẖatā bẖarpūrī re.
The Compassionate Lord is Merciful to the meek, the ocean of peace; He fills all hearts.
ਪੇਖਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਸੰਗੇ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਦੂਰੀ ਰੇ ॥੨॥
Pekẖaṯ sunaṯ saḏā hai sange mai mūrakẖ jāni▫ā ḏūrī re. ||2||
He sees, hears, and is always with me; but I am a fool, and I think that He is far away. ||2||
ਹਰਿ ਬਿਅੰਤੁ ਹਉ ਮਿਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਵਰਨਉ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਕੈਸ
Har bi▫anṯ ha▫o miṯ kar varna▫o ki▫ā jānā ho▫e kaiso re.
The Lord is limitless, but I can only describe Him within my limitations; what do I know, about what He is like?
ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਦੇਹੁ ਉਪਦੇਸੋ ਰੇ ॥੩॥
Kara▫o benṯī saṯgur apune mai mūrakẖ ḏeh upḏeso re. ||3||
I offer my prayer to my True Guru; I am so foolish - please, teach me! ||3||
ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਕੇਤਕ ਬਾਤ ਹੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਰਾਧੀ ਤਰਿਆ ਰੇ
Mai mūrakẖ kī keṯak bāṯ hai kot parāḏẖī ṯari▫ā re.
I am just a fool, but millions of sinners just like me have been saved.
ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਿਨ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਪੇਖਿਆ ਸੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਗਰਭਾਸਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਰੇ ॥੪॥੨॥੧੩॥
Gur Nānak jin suṇi▫ā pekẖi▫ā se fir garbẖās na pari▫ā re. ||4||2||13||
Those who have heard, and seen Guru Nanak, do not descend into the womb of reincarnation again. ||4||2||13||

I am not going to go through a tedious line-by-line dissection of this shabad, but I do think a couple points might aid you. Since my Punjabi is terminal, I'll quote in English.
"He ever cherishes and cares for all beings"
That means YOU. You are cherished and cared for by the Creator, the One. It means me, too, of course, but right now we're talking about you.

I do not know how to worship the Lord in adoration. I can only repeat, "Lord, Lord, Guru, Guru".
Evidently, it's not necessary to be a good communicator. Keeping it simple is acceptable.

"... I am so foolish - please, teach me! ||3||
I think this is the key that opens the door. Recognize that you're foolish and then be teachable. Be willing and ready to learn.

I am just a fool, but millions of sinners just like me have been saved.
I chose this as my signature because it says there's hope for fools like me even now.

Please note that the word "fool" or "foolish" is used four times in this shabad. We are not expected to be perfect or anywhere near perfect; in fact, it's perfectly all right to be a fool, but please be a teachable fool.

The Sikh concept of "God" is not like the"God is gonna get you for that!" attitude of the concept of "God" in the Abrahamic religions. The One cherishes us and cares for us. The One is not scary or judgmental. Fear of the One does not mean being afraid. In this context "fear" means "being in awe of." Remember that the first letters of Waheguru, wahe, mean something like "Wow!" in English.

I think that's enough of my foolishness for now. Feel free to disregard everything I've written and pay deep attention to the shabad.
 
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rupinderjit

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1. I want to assure you that you are not alone. Religious-themed OCD is a very common sub-type of OCD. A psychiatrist can help you even if they don't know a thing about Sikhi because the symptoms and treatment of the problem are the same no matter what religion you profess.

2. There is no problem if somebody with diabetes depends on insulin, so why worry about depending on a medicine for OCD? Waheguru within you, within the physician, and the medicine you are prescribed as well. He is merry and without enmity to anyone, this is all just a play. Take care of yourself.
Thank you. I will definitely see a psychiatrist if I feel nothing is working, I just feel the most important thing I need is psychotherapy and I do feel no one can be a better therapist than Guru, just need the right teacher to deliver the right message of love not fear.
though I have changed so much by listening to good videos on Gurbani.
unlearning and relearning process.
thanks again.
 

rupinderjit

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Please look at my "signature at the bottom of this comment.
Then read the shabad it comes from, Ang 612


ਸੋਰਠਿ
ਮਹਲਾ
Soraṯẖ mėhlā 5.
Sorat'h, Fifth Mehl:
ਕੋਟਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਕੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਰਬ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਦਾਤਾ ਰੇ
Kot barahmand ko ṯẖākur su▫āmī sarab jī▫ā kā ḏāṯā re.
God is the Lord and Master of millions of universes; He is the Giver of all beings.
ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲੈ ਨਿਤ ਸਾਰਿ ਸਮਾਲੈ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੂਰਖਿ ਜਾਤਾ ਰੇ ॥੧॥
Paraṯipālai niṯ sār samālai ik gun nahī mūrakẖ jāṯā re. ||1||
He ever cherishes and cares for all beings, but the fool does not appreciate any of His virtues. ||1||
ਹਰਿ ਆਰਾਧਿ ਜਾਨਾ ਰੇ
Har ārāḏẖ na jānā re.
I do not know how to worship the Lord in adoration.
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਰੇ
Har har gur gur karṯā re.
I can only repeat, "Lord, Lord, Guru, Guru".
ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਿਓ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ਰਹਾਉ
Har jī▫o nām pari▫o Rāmḏās. Rahā▫o.
O Dear Lord, I go by the name of the Lord's slave. ||Pause||
ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਸਰਬ ਘਟਾ ਭਰਪੂਰੀ ਰੇ
Ḏīn ḏa▫i▫āl kirpāl sukẖ sāgar sarab gẖatā bẖarpūrī re.
The Compassionate Lord is Merciful to the meek, the ocean of peace; He fills all hearts.
ਪੇਖਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਸੰਗੇ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਦੂਰੀ ਰੇ ॥੨॥
Pekẖaṯ sunaṯ saḏā hai sange mai mūrakẖ jāni▫ā ḏūrī re. ||2||
He sees, hears, and is always with me; but I am a fool, and I think that He is far away. ||2||
ਹਰਿ ਬਿਅੰਤੁ ਹਉ ਮਿਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਵਰਨਉ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਕੈਸ
Har bi▫anṯ ha▫o miṯ kar varna▫o ki▫ā jānā ho▫e kaiso re.
The Lord is limitless, but I can only describe Him within my limitations; what do I know, about what He is like?
ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਦੇਹੁ ਉਪਦੇਸੋ ਰੇ ॥੩॥
Kara▫o benṯī saṯgur apune mai mūrakẖ ḏeh upḏeso re. ||3||
I offer my prayer to my True Guru; I am so foolish - please, teach me! ||3||
ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਕੇਤਕ ਬਾਤ ਹੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਰਾਧੀ ਤਰਿਆ ਰੇ
Mai mūrakẖ kī keṯak bāṯ hai kot parāḏẖī ṯari▫ā re.
I am just a fool, but millions of sinners just like me have been saved.
ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਿਨ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਪੇਖਿਆ ਸੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਗਰਭਾਸਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਰੇ ॥੪॥੨॥੧੩॥
Gur Nānak jin suṇi▫ā pekẖi▫ā se fir garbẖās na pari▫ā re. ||4||2||13||
Those who have heard, and seen Guru Nanak, do not descend into the womb of reincarnation again. ||4||2||13||

I am not going to go through a tedious line-by-line dissection of this shabad, but I do think a couple points might aid you. Since my Punjabi is terminal, I'll quote in English.
"He ever cherishes and cares for all beings"
That means YOU. You are cherished and cared for by the Creator, the One. It means me, too, of course, but right now we're talking about you.

I do not know how to worship the Lord in adoration. I can only repeat, "Lord, Lord, Guru, Guru".
Evidently, it's not necessary to be a good communicator. Keeping it simple is acceptable.

"... I am so foolish - please, teach me! ||3||
I think this is the key that opens the door. Recognize that you're foolish and then be teachable. Be willing and ready to learn.

I am just a fool, but millions of sinners just like me have been saved.
I chose this as my signature because it says there's hope for fools like me even now.

Please note that the word "fool" or "foolish" is used four times in this shabad. We are not expected to be perfect or anywhere near perfect; in fact, it's perfectly all right to be a fool, but please be a teachable fool.

The Sikh concept of "God" is not like the"God is gonna get you for that!" attitude of the concept of "God" in the Abrahamic religions. The One cherishes us and cares for us. The One is not scary or judgmental. Fear of the One does not mean being afraid. In this context "fear" means "being in awe of." Remember that the first letters of Waheguru, wahe, mean something like "Wow!" in English.

I think that's enough of my foolishness for now. Feel free to disregard everything I've written and pay deep attention to the shabad.
thank you so much for these beautiful verses and translations. definitely helps!!
the problem is I am now putting the efforts to learn what the true Sikhi is and unlearning whatever the society had pushed in my head things like if you do bad God gives you bad punishes you and soooooo much more that has just developed a sense of fear instead of Love. but again lots of unlearning and relearning I am going through.
Thank you or your reply.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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thank you so much for these beautiful verses and translations. definitely helps!!
the problem is I am now putting the efforts to learn what the true Sikhi is and unlearning whatever the society had pushed in my head things like if you do bad God gives you bad punishes you and soooooo much more that has just developed a sense of fear instead of Love. but again lots of unlearning and relearning I am going through.
Thank you or your reply.
The best way to learn real Sikhi is to study Gurbani. It's really all in the Japji Sahib. I think that's the place to start. There are some very good videos on YouTube.

That view of God as angry and punishing is from the Abrahamic religions. I prefer not even to use the word God because of that. I prefer "The1" because it doesn't have garbage attached to it.
 

rupinderjit

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The best way to learn real Sikhi is to study Gurbani. It's really all in the Japji Sahib. I think that's the place to start. There are some very good videos on YouTube.

That view of God as angry and punishing is from the Abrahamic religions. I prefer not even to use the word God because of that. I prefer "The1" because it doesn't have garbage attached to it.
I totally agree with you, I have started understanding Jap Bani through youtube, and it is having a tremendous effect on me as I have stopped caring about the images of Gurus and voices of the mind which does sometimes talk garbage, I will also go through what Guru ji teaches about this "mind". I feel positive!!
I guess this is the best platform to clear lots of misunderstandings by dropping the garbage that has been collected from Abrahamic thinking.
Thank you.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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I guess this is the best platform to clear lots of misunderstandings by dropping the garbage that has been collected from Abrahamic thinking.
Thank you.
One big advantage is that none of us styles ourself as an expert. We are all just Sikhs sharing what we have learned along the way.

Christians often ask me why I'm not a Christian. I say, "I can't tell you because my answer would be blasphemous and hurt you. My religion doesn't allow me to do that." They rarely push me after I say that. My same answer would also apply to Islam and Judaism. But I can tell you. It's in large part that their concept of "God" is as an angry, jealous terroristic being that hates its own creation, closer to being a demon or at best an abusive father rather than a loving parent. I could certainly fear him, but I could never love him or worship him. There are other reasons, but that is number one.

I don't, however, want to totally trash another religion, so let me add that many of the Psalms - not all of them, though - are very beautiful and Jesus himself was an incredible man and I have no problems with most of his teachings. In fact, I think that if our Gurus had been exposed to the Sermon On the Mount, it might have been included in some form in whole or in part in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. I beg pardon of other Sikhs if it's wrong for me to say this. If I need correcting, please do so.
 

Harry Haller

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It does not really matter what I have done in my life, and much of it has been bad, really bad, to all extent, I have lived quite a wicked, wasteful life, however, I do have a firm belief that God was next to me at all times, not judging, or moralising, just there, sometimes he would look at me and say 'oh {censored} here we go again', and I would look back at him and say, 'yep, here we go again',

Sorry, but to me God is not some precious sweet smelling being with perfect feet that I have to adore and ritualise over, God does not just live in the air conditioned rooms being worshiped and bowed to, to me, God is everything, and everything encompasses a lot more than this.....
20506


because everything also includes this

20507


and this...
20508


in my humble opinion, if you find the last two images offensive, then perhaps you need to redefine your own view of what everything is, because if everything is just the imagery, superstitions, rituals and ceremonies, then Sikhism has come full circle back to when Guru Nanak Ji was born
 
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