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Never Heard of Scrupulosity? Neither Have Many Who Suffer From It

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Even if you aren’t afflicted by it, you probably know about obsessive compulsive disorder. But even if you have it, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of scrupulosity.

Scrupulosity is basically religious OCD. Those who suffer it experience incredible anxiety and guilt about how well they uphold their faith’s tenets, rituals and moral values. The psychologist Debra Theobald McClendon says that, although the obsession of scrupulosity is religious or spiritual, it isn’t actually a spiritual or religious problem. In other words, religion doesn’t cause it; anxiety does. But other experts don't agree with her take. We'll talk about scrupulosity, where it comes from, who suffers from it, and who's responsible for addressing it.

RadioWest won first place in the Religion News Association’s Broadcast: Radio category for this show "Never Heard of Scrupulosity? Neither Have Many Who Suffer From It." We hope you enjoy this special rebroadcast of the show on Thursday at 9 a.m.


  • Michael Austin | Mormon blogger at By Common Consent
  • Debra Theobald McClendon | Clinical Psychologist and member of the International OCD Foundation. Her book: “Freedom from Scrupulosity: Reclaiming Your Religious Experience from Anxiety and OCD” will be released this fall.
  • Chris Miller | Assistant professor with the college of science and mathematics at Fresno State University 

Airdate: Friday, July 14, 2023 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Rebroadcast Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m.