I see at least two people here that is suffering from OCD or ROCD(Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Scrupulosity)and I thought I will throw my name into that bag and tell people what I’m suffering now. First on occasions I get this dreaded fear that God will torture me for good in the worst possible way. So far I haven’t had those attacks lately but they do come in waves here and there. My biggest suffering is intrusive thoughts or thoughts of sexual nature. You see I was addicted to porn on and off for almost 30 years(finally ditched that stuff in 2014)which has warped my mind to the point where it seems everyday I have an impure thought of a pornographic nature. A thought or thoughts that I don’t want but can’t escape it regardless. I’ve been on meds dealing with OCD before with no avail. What do I do about this? How do I deal with these unwanted sexual desires?
There are programs modeled after the Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-step program. Two that I know of for your issue, are:
The other way is to engage a licensed, counselor or therapist - preferably of a Christian background. And a Christian clergy member, can usually recommend one. Normally within the congregation itself. You are protected by client/therapist privilege, unless a crime has been committed.
As far as Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,s go it would also help talking with clergy members (in addition to therapy). There’s a Wiki article on it at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrupulosity. Let me quote their section on treatment:
It appears you need licensed therapists, who know Exposure and response prevention and Cognitive therapy. If you want to explore this, I can point you to organizational links.
James, are you married?
Paul said to avoid sexual immorality let each man have a wife. I don’t think it’s realistic for most people to will themselves towards not experiencing sexual temptation. As an unmarried man, I struggle with sexual temptation daily. But I am able to will myself to not look at porn or masturbate. That is within our control. Just tell yourself that while temptations may pop into your head, you are in control over what you do with them.
No not married.
And Zombie go ahead and post any links but as of now money is extremely tight so I can’t afford any therapy at this time.
James, I know it is difficult for people to really accept the fact that God IS love (1 John 4:8,16). Nevertheless, it is true! LOVE is His essence!
If we can really accept the truth of John’s statement, we would know that the great God of LOVE would never torture anyone.
Like a good, loving human father, God WILL correct people, because He knows righteousness is the best for everyone.
A loving human father will correct his child, but he would NEVER torture him.
I hope my suggestion doesn’t seem fanciful, but try finding a wife. Part of the reason I’m able to resist masturbation is through faith that I will one day have a wife with whom I can share sexual release.
Just a note here. A psychiatrist is really an MD, that specializes in abnormal behavior. They are covered by medical insurance and are familiar - with various forms of therapy. Perhaps this is an option. Anyway, one link for ERP is iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/erp/. Therapy by a licensed therapist, should also be covered by insurance.
Randy pointed out ERP, and I definitely believe that to be the solution. Except ERP in this case is exposure to the image/temptation in your brain/memory while resisting the compulsion that comes with it. I learn right away that what you “see” is not the problem. Let the image stay, don’t repress it not act on it. Observe it, acknowledge it, don’t fear it. The more you repress, the more it raises anxiety and fear, and fear for many men can be confused with arousal and increase it. There are many documented cases of this. In other words, do not be afraid of the image, have courage and this should dissipate.
Next, I posted a link to a website called “mychainsaregone” which, in my opinion, is better than some of the rubbish rehashed Christian materials. Very similar to the John Paul II’s “theology of the body”, which is also great. Nudity has never been bad. Christian art in the ancient world painted nudity all the time. They often stripped completely naked for baptism too. Children, adults, etc… God is the creator of these master pieces (our bodies)… But porn distorts this. It operates under the premise that showing skin is shameful, which allows it’s dark work to warp our perceptions. You are not alone James. Not at all. Most men, have viewed porn regularly, so you are not unique. You learned this behavior and you can unlearn it. That said, I fear for my children and other children. Porn is discovered at a young age and the mind rape begins to performs it’s work on the viewer. When this happens the viewer of porn is very often similar to that of a sexual abuse victim. It causes imense shame and unwanted arousal, creating a cycle of shame self medication.
I remember the first time I saw a pornographic image. There was disgust mixed with arousal. But the body responds acordingly. If you read the stories of child sexual abuse you will find similar thought like “Maybe I wanted to be abused, I mean I was aroused” and so shame continues and the child does not report it. Same with rape. Just because we are aroused by being subjected to stimuli, does not mean we consent, nor should we feel shame. Easier said than done, I know… God bless.
Thank you guys I appreciate it
I have often wondered why the term “impure thoughts” seems to be applied exclusively to thoughts of a sexual nature. Are there no other kinds of thoughts that are considered to be impure?
On a slightly different take, why would sexual thoughts themselves be impure anyway? Is salivating at the cookies your neighbors are eating, sin? There is no doubt we can blame Victorian thinking for making sex to be a dirty thing. Let’s take something natural, innate and then vilify it! A sure way to create cognitive dissonance in our youth.
But I WANT to be good, but I am just so attracted to girls…
“Well, Johnny, lets pray to God to remove those feelings” (which indirectly implies they are wrong)…
Well, I had to admit…my mom was a big fan, of professional wrestling…which she always watched, when she stayed with me…the last few years of her life…and I would watch the segments, where the professional lady wrestles in Bikinis - would wrestle. But I have to reflect on this. Did I watch this, in order to understand this “professional” sport? Or did I watch this, for other reasons?