• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Moral Scrupulosity

A

art10

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
3
Aghh from where do I start? Please bear with me, I will try to be as short as possible and direct. I've been previously diagnosed with Depression, OCD, Bipolar disorder and BPD to some extent... After 8 years of struggling (I am 25 now), I came to believe that it is moral scrupulosity (which may sound like a new "disorder" to many people here) that I am mainly dealing with, not the religious version, it is the MORAL one. A small example would be like you're doing an exam and accidentally caught a glimpse at your friend's paper and saw a math formula and then, you immediately remember it (at the same time) in your mind. Question: should I write it down? Oh no, you would be a cheater since you've got it from someone else (even if you convince yourself that you have actually remembered it yourself), you will cheat in your success, and therefore, your certificate would be based on cheating, and therefore, your job would be based on cheating, and therefore, your life is A LIE! Yes, this is what I am dealing with on everyday basis!

Down to my direct issues, 2 issues actually:

1) 8 years ago, during my preparation to enroll in my undergraduate studies and due to the fact that I live in a country where "connections" (intermediaries) are over skills in everything, I didn't study that much for the entrance exam. I asked someone to talk to someone who knows someone in a political party to "prioritize" my name on the list of admitted students, oh God, what have I committed? (I was mentally 100% stable at that time) 8 years after, I am now an MBA student but struggling on a SECOND-basis and feeling extremely guilty about what I have done and about this question: what if I took someone else's spot? (And he/she scored better than me in the entrance exam?) I, however, managed to know that I have actually succeeded in the exam but with an average mark (think like 10.5/20) and the director told me that he had to decrease the success average to accept more students... this, however, will never rule my question: what if I took someone else's spot? Enter OCD and magical thinking ==> my license/master are lies, my work would be a lie, my life is a big fat lie, I've committed a crime! (I am not exaggerating, please believe me, this is what is always going around in my mind). I know that a normal human being would accept the fact that he has done a mistake (that if he even considered it a mistake in the first place) and simply move on. But I cannot, I am guilty.

2) Also during my university years, I was to be graduated very soon and having my final courses, there was a course where the doctor recognized my writing style and asked me to come to his home to solve the issue that I may have not passed the exam. I showed him my exam (recognized by my writing, names are sealed), he re-corrected it and added 1 extra point to get 50/100 (I had 49). In all case, I was going to pass it even if I got 49 due to a special average calculation in our system. What have I done now? Another crime! I violated the rules of the university, my doctor has also done the same. This also contributes to the "chain of lie" of mine ===> license/master based on a lie => work is a lie => whole life is a big fat lie.

Every breath I breathe, every step I take in my life, every road I take, I think of these 2 "crimes" (again, not exaggerating with the term), I know that there is no way to go back and fix the past but what can I do? I am trying so hard to accept the reality and move on but I cannot, I have taken antidepressants and antipsychotics before without any success, I also followed some online courses of CBT, ERP and DBT, worked for a while, never ultimately successful however due to the strong feelings of guilt. I am a good person, I have a good work experience, I am doing my masters now, I am peaceful, I support rights and ethics, I am not religious however (I do believe in God but in my own way) so please, and especially for those who are suffering from religious scrupulosity, no need to talk about the religion side, I care more about morals. Even if I had not done anything wrong, it is just that I did it in the bad way, everything has to be perfect according to ethics... perfectionism in an issue but ethical perfectionism is a BIG issue.

The thing is, in either ways, I've done them in the wrong way and through the wrong path. Suppose that you cheat on your driving license exam and you get the license, I have this magical thinking which implies that - whatever you do based on your driving from now on - would be a lie, means not acceptable, means not right, means you had no right, etc... can't really explain it :/

I am helpless, I went with myself too far, can't really know how to dig my way out again... How much I needed to vent out, thank you for listening.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,531
Location
The West Country
Hi Art10, welcome to the forum.

OCD isn't something i've experienced or know much about, but feelings of guilt and anxiety I do understand.
It's encouraging to see you write this -
I am a good person, I have a good work experience, I am doing my masters now, I am peaceful, I support rights and ethics
I think you really need to keep reminding yourself of your positive qualities.

I would ask with regards to your connections getting you a place at your preferred university.. what if the person who got better marks wasn't a good person? Perhaps if they took that place on your course, it may have lead them on the wrong path? Perhaps they would have felt the pressure is too much and quit?
You just don't know what could have been, so I don't think you should judge yourself as somehow 'wrong'.
Also, I think it makes sense for someone to make a recommendation if they know you and can vouch for you being a good person.

With the exam score, again, i'd say that was a favour this Doctor did because he didn't want you to fail. He probably see you were a good person - why would he take a risk for someone who he disliked?

My tutor used certain techniques to ensure a class I was in passed an exam. We basically got the exam we were going to take given to us, but re-worded.. so technically, it wasn't cheating.
I think she just really wanted us to pass because she knew we'd all worked so hard.

Also, I am just wondering why the CBT/DBT etc. stopped working?
Were there certain techniques that you just stopped practising? I appreciate that sometimes feeling can overwhelm us so much that even if you were really dedicated to a certain therapy, sometimes it just doesn't work out.
 
A

art10

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
3
SomersetScorpio,

Thank you for the kind reply, appreciated is what you have written here. :)

You are saying "what if?"... yes, this is one of my core issues and one of the hallmark of OCD. Reality may be that, since the director lowered the average to accept more students and since I passed the exam anyway, I have not taken any one else's place. But I am not sure about this, reality may be even what you have said, but again, not sure about it... which leads us to uncertainty. How can I tolerate and live with it?

I may accept the past and move on but a trigger would suddenly raise my issues in my mind again and defeat me to depression...

I was doing CBT/DBT by myself, I learned many stuff but the feelings of guilt were more powerful.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,531
Location
The West Country
Hey, i'm really sorry art but as I said, i'm not that knowledgeable about OCD and so I guess i'm not sure what to say in response.

Was the CBT or DBT specific to OCD, or more general techniques?
Also, there are bound to be lots of self-help books on this subject, perhaps do an internet search and see if there is something out there that might appeal to you?

If I were in your position, i'd say that worrying about what might have been is a waste of your energy or resources and that the best thing to do is try to come to a place of acceptance.. but then, i'm not you and my mental health issues are different - so it's too easy for me to say these things and much harder for you to do.
 
ASDF209

ASDF209

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
18
Location
Kansas City
Welcome to the forum..

I just wanted to let you know that many people out there have these same sorts of paradigms. Your definitely not alone. Both in your thoughts, and your life.

For me, I was partying and being a terrible student when I inherited a significant sum of money. I'm currently in my late twenties, and it's been years since I've had a job. I take some art classes to pass the time, but essentially was given an income. I know this is extreme as compared to simply having a few strings pulled, but I do know guilt that can come from advantages one might not feel they deserved. When I was suicidal I would think my money would do far more for society with me gone. I think of all the poor people who could use a small helping hand, much less a windfall. I think of a lot of things. What I've come up with is this. All we can do is make sure the world is a better place for having us in it. Maybe you can refer someone else deserving to school once your all set up? Maybe you can use the money your degrees got you to help people, or even a portion of it. One could easily argue that you getting a break in school could be a major boon for the world. The thing about gifts in life is not to waste them.

Alex
 
Top