Scrupulosity: A different kind of OCD

I can remember in one or more of the HowToADHD videos, Jessica said something like “ADHD comes with friends!” She explains how ADHD often comes with comorbid conditions, which include anxiety, depression, OCD, and a variety of other conditions.

  • According to ADHD experts, about 80% of people with ADHD also have at least one comorbidity, and about 50% or more have two or more comorbidities with their ADHD.

I remember growing up with fictional TV shows occasionally having character who was a “pathological liar” (it seemed a regular plot element in the 80’s, whether it was the episode’s bad guy or a comedic antagonist). If you watch the original Jumanji movie, the character of ‘Judy’ starts out acting this way. Another memorable (though unrealistic) depiction was the main character in “Liar, Liar” at the beginning of the movie, but it was clear that he chose to lie all the time rather than it being a compulsion.

I’m the opposite. I feel like I could not tell a lie to save my life. If I say something that I know to be false, I am compelled to correct myself on the spot!

  • In my case it is more often from mis-stating something, but this especially goes for the few attempts I’ve made to tell a lie.
  • If I don’t, then I’ll be filled with guilt about it until I have rectified it.

The same goes for when I do something erroneous (even if accidental), and especially if I do something which is purely self-serving; or if I neglect to do something that I promised to do. I sometimes feel wracked by guilt if there’s something I know I could do to help someone or help resolve a problem, but don’t do.

After pondering this many times in my life, I realized that it is like a compulsion which is the antithesis of being a narcissist or a pathological liar. So, today I did a little research, and I discovered that there is a form of OCD which describes this. It is called “Scrupulosity”, or “Religious OCD”.

  • Scrupulosity is described as being “excessively preoccupied with making sure you do the right thing”. (I got the wording of this from a YouTube video, but I didn’t finish the video, so I’m not going to reference it at this time.)
  • It is often affiliated with people who seem “overly religious” or fastidious followers of a particular faith’s tenets. (I grew up Catholic, and according to one source I read, Wikipedia I think, in the mid-20th Century it was believed that 25% of Catholics were affected by this.) However, people who are non-religious can be equally affected by it, regarding their own moral/ethical beliefs.

Same as I had the “aha!” moment when I realized I had ADHD, this totally seems like another piece to the puzzle which is me. (Whenever I finally get that psychologist appointment I’ve been waiting months for already, I’ll make a note to bring this up…probably after I’ve got the ADHD confirmation that my doctor referred me for.)