Before knowing the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, this already existed
in monasteries and convents. He was known by the name of "scruples of conscience. "


Sexual morality of the Roman Catholic Church has been very strict. Any “venereal” pleasure (sexual) consented, constituted a grave sin and was punished with eternal hell. This sin not accepted "paucity of matter", ie, against this provision had not sin mild, all were serious or fatal.
Not only for work but also sinned in thought and desire. A fantasy or sexual desire, although it had not been sought, if it appeared in the imagination should be rejected immediately. If not you did well and allowed, even for a short time, that consent of “venereal” pleasure was sin, which was always serious.
So we had to be careful to reject one after another every opportunity to indulge the pleasure.
This was a tremendous effort and a great waste of energy that sometimes led to mental disorder that in cenobitical environments is termed as "conscientious scruples" and we would now call OCD.


There were times that sensuality, desire, dreams did inevitable to feel pleasure. The question was whether there was consent or not. If it had been you had sinned greatly.
Happened that pious people, monks, religious, who dedicated their lives to God's service, found that over a day could have sinned perhaps several times, because those erotic thoughts and desires had been in his conscience and the person had feel the guilty pleasure. Hey doubted whether had consented that presence at some point. The doubt was installed insistently and, to the fear of eternal hell, is added an unbearable anxiety that not allowed them to live in peace.


They asked again and again confession and declared both their actual sins and potential sins, ie, doubts have sinned. But a confession only temporarily relieved their anxiety. After a confession came another and another and another ... and everything was the same: the anxiety not went away ever. The confession was not the solution.


In the scruples of conscience, as in any other Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
was resorted to rituals.
The most common ritual was carefully review what had happened. This ritual had to be repeated again and again because the anxiety not went away. This ritual was not a solution but a problem because analyzing the erotic scenes could return to feel the guilty pleasure that was the sin: you could enter with a sin and exit with two ... Also, the doubt always remained.
And so, in a “withoutliving” continuous, in a terrible spiritual torture, swatting imaginary sins, in an endless rosary of rituals, passed the sad life of the monks affected by OCD (scruples).
A certain monk had to live without keys because the penetration of the key into the lock and the turning of the key did he feel the guilty pleasure, it carried him in some strange way to sexual intercourse. This gave him so scared that he was unable to use keys. But living without keys did not save him from the hard anxiety of OCD.


The official remedy was to go to the "spiritual father", who would be responsible of the soul of religious and of the eternal salvation of soul. But this did not work ... the friar was immersed in the most ruthless torture (anxiety).


Generally these unfortunate friars usually ended by unfrock and, outside of that environment, gradually were getting to rebuild their tormented lives.


The solution to this vexing problem would have been in my opinion, to take out the patient of that unhealthy environment and let him live in another environment calmer.
It's that simple.

Mikel Martinez, Ph G

Author's Bio: 

Mikel Martinez, diagnosed as an intermediate level schizoid from childhood. Was in a religious seminary, from the age of 12 to 25; then graduated in Psychology by the University Complutense of Madrid. His condition has been permanent source of discomfort. Married, no children.
In April 2002 received the diagnosis: Neurasthenia (ICD-10: F-48) and Personality Disorder Schizoid type (ICD-10: F 60.1) " [degree medium). At 52, with chronic fatigue is removed. He lives in the city where
was born: Bilbao, Spain.