1. Fear of not being deserving of happiness, health and success
People with morality OCD may wonder if even they deserve to be happy, which can cause anxiety and distress. They may feel guilty for enjoying life and may avoid pursuing goals or activities that they find enjoyable.
They may also believe that they deserve to be punished for past mistakes or perceived unethical actions by getting physically or mentally ill. They may associate physical or mental illness symptoms with punishment for past errors and may believe that they have brought it upon themselves.
2. Fear of deserving to be written off, rejected and negatively judged by other people
People with moral scrupulosity OCD may be overly concerned with what others think of them or what others should think of them. They may worry that others would see them as bad or unworthy people if they knew about all of the mistakes they have made. They may fear that they deserve to be permanently written off forever.
3. Fear of being morally inferior
People with this type of OCD may be worried that they are permanently morally contaminated by past moral or ethical mistakes and they are past the point of atonement. This fear is fuelled by the belief that one’s self-worth is based on their past actions.
4. Fear of chronic suffering
People with OCD generally find it hard to move past mistakes and may feel stuck in a constant cycle of guilt and shame. They may worry that they will not be able to forgive themselves in the future and will never achieve inner peace. They may fear being in a permanent state of chronic guilt. Making peace with this worst-case scenario of chronic guilt is key to reducing this fear.
6. Fear of deserving to lose friends
Moral scrupulosity OCD sufferers may be overly concerned with what others think of them and may fear that they deserve to be rejected or punished for perceived moral or ethical failures. They may feel guilty for not being lonely. Making peace with the possibility of being lonely is important to reduce this fear.
7. Fear of accidentally hurting others
People that have scrupulosity and harm OCD may be afraid of accidentally hurting people. For example, they may ask their loved one “did I accidentally hurt you?” or “did I accidentally bump into you?” They may avoid situations where they fear they might accidentally hurt people.
How to dampen the core fears of scrupulosity OCD
All of the core fears mentioned above can be reduced by applying, unconditional life and other acceptance. This means becoming less afraid of any worst-case scenario that your brain can think of, being more accepting and compassionate towards others and getting rid of the deserving mindset. If you’re interested in lowering your fear and guilt levels in relation to false memory, real event and harm OCD please read our guide on how to gradually recover from moral scrupulosity OCD in 5 simple steps.
Do these core fears link with other OCD themes?
Yes. These morality-related core fears can exacerbate other OCD themes such as magical thinking OCD and religious OCD.