Scrupulosity dates back millennia and is widely reported in Catholic and Protestant traditions over the last half-century. This chapter looks more generally at obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent, intrusive and unwanted, unjustified, and anxiety-evoking. Also, OCD needs to be distinguished from a different condition with a similar name: obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Whereas OCD is an anxiety disorder, OCPD is a personality disorder, that is, a disorder in those stable traits that make up one’s personality. The chapter addresses difficulties in determining whether obsessions are beliefs: normal tests of beliefs fail in the case of OCD and Scrupulosity. It next considers compulsions, repetitive behaviors performed in response to obsessions that aim to prevent or reduce anxiety or distress.
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