Perhaps I’ve been watching too many episodes of Obsessed, but it seems to me that there is a direct line between OCD and organized religion. The tapping rituals, the belief that washing or cleaning or eating certain foods can stave off disaster — all of this becomes superstition and that becomes religion. Whether you’re obsessively counting or praying the rosary, at the root, you are concentrating the mind in an attempt to alleviate anxiety.
I don’t say this to ape Richard Dawkins. I’m not an atheist. I’m not agnostic. I just wonder what happens to sufferers of OCD when “cured” by therapy. Do they substitute other rituals for the tapping, the washing, the counting? Rituals that are more socially adept and acceptable? Is it like Alcoholics Anonymous, where you give up the booze for the meetings? Trading one identity, unhealthy addict, for another, sober addict? Could the OCD sufferer trade that painful, dysfunctional identity for, say, devout Baptist or yogi? Chanting not counting. Om not one.
It’s just a thought.