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In families with religious beliefs, a child expressing faith and strong moral principles is usually a welcome development. But sometimes a child’s faith may become an obsession, and instead of consolation, the child experiences extreme anxiety that he is violating religious norms and desperation to correct his perceived mistakes. This is what happens when children develop obsessive-compulsive disorder and it manifests itself in their religion.

Not all people with OCD will develop religious obsessions or compulsions, but it is a theme that is fairly common. Other common themes include obsessing over cleanliness, symmetry and “bad thoughts” including sexual obsessions.

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Understanding Religious OCD
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