The content and themes of these intrusive thoughts vary but are often of a disturbing nature. Each person with OCD will have a different experience with obsessions, but common thoughts or thought patterns include:.
Research has shown that strange, even disturbing, thoughts pop into most people's minds on a daily basis. To cope with the day-to-day occurrence of these intrusive thoughts, people with OCD develop compulsions to try to relieve the anxiety created by the obsessions.
People with OCD may react to intrusive thoughts by trying to suppress them, though it often makes them come back worse than before. The behavior leads to a cycle of continued thought suppressionwhich causes more distressing thoughts and may even create obsessions. If you have OCD, you should know that there are many psychological and medical treatments that can effectively reduce the intensity and frequency of obsessions.
Along with therapy and medication, there are also self-help strategies that may be beneficial if you are learning to cope with and control obsession thoughts. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Intrusive thoughts in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and non-clinical participants: a comparison using the International Intrusive Thought Interview Schedule. Cogn Behav Ther. American Psychiatric Association. A systematic review and meta-analysis of self-help therapeutic interventions for obsessive-compulsive disorder: Is therapeutic contact key to overall improvement?
J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. More in OCD. Find a distraction. Try going for a walk, listening to music, playing a video game or reading a book for at least 15 minutes to take your focus away from your obsessive thoughts.
Delaying your attention to them will help them feel less urgent. The more you practice shifting your focus, gradually doing so for longer periods of time, you may find your thoughts change or you become less anxious about them. Write your thoughts down. Jot down your worries as soon as they occur. Seeing just how many of them there are, as well as the pattern of repetition regarding your thoughts, may improve your sense of control.
Take good care of yourself. Reducing stress by eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will improve your overall health and, in turn, can help you cope more effectively with your obsessive thoughts. Practice relaxation.Follow ocdla. Part three of a five-part series. We had not anticipated such a significant online response, with so many additional questions and angles on the subject.
Sexual obsessions in general are under-reported because of shameful feelings associated with them. And yet there is probably a somewhat higher prevalence of sexual obsessions in OCD than any other obsession for this same reason — the thoughts are unwanted!
This seems so very evident in Sexual Orientation OCD because the feared consequence appears so tangible. However, there is an understanding that being violent is unacceptable in and of itself. With Sexual Orientation OCD, the sufferer generally does not see anything wrong with being gay per se, as long as it is not themselves being gay.
This causes a lot of confusion and a lot of resistance to seeking treatment. Homosexual and bisexual individuals with OCD can, and do, sometimes obsess about being straight. In All-Or-Nothing HOCD, the primary distorted belief is that straight people never have any gay thoughts, so any gay thoughts must be an indicator of latent homosexuality. In fact straight people do have gay thoughts, but generally prefer not to apply them to gay sexual behaviors.
So for the sufferer who sees gay thoughts as contaminating an otherwise purely straight mind, compulsions are going to be focused on making the gay thoughts go away through various proving rituals. This may take the form of compulsive masturbation to straight fantasies or avoidance of anything that might trigger the presence of a gay thought.
It often involves avoiding people who the sufferer sees as even having the potential to be gay. Just as a handwasher tries to be certain there is not contaminant on their hands, this HOCD sufferer is aiming for total eradication of the unapproved gay thought. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT treatment strategies for All-Or-Nothing HOCD should involve gradual exposure to things that trigger gay thoughts while the sufferer practices resisting the urge to tell themselves they are not gay.
People are complicated. That means relationships are twice as complicated. Those with Relationship HOCD can put off dealing with these issues if they conceptualize themselves as being incapable of having a healthy heterosexual relationship because, in their mind, they might actually be gay! Because this form of HOCD emphasizes partnership, sufferers are likely to over-attend to how they relate to people of the same sex.
A man may notice that he feels better understood, has more in common with, and enjoys his time with another man in ways that women do not satisfy him. Similarly, a woman may become aware that other women share qualities their male partners seem to lack — for example, sensitivity, patience, and emotional availability. They know what the other sex is like! They get my interests and motivations!
Medications for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
This form of HOCD generally has more to do with depression than sex or sexual orientation. Typically though not exclusively this seems to occur in people who were severely mistreated, abused, or bullied.
The constant inner-abuse seen in this type of HOCD often leads to a deeper depression, which further distorts the intrusive thoughts, which in turn leads to even more depression.
In some cases this may lead to a pseudo-gay fantasy state in which the sufferer imagines themselves living out what they see as the greatest disappointment to their parents. The line of thinking is that they are so unlovable as to be invisible to their desired orientation.
Because ERP requires significant motivation and commitment, it may also be clinically appropriate to focus on the depression first before engaging in exposures.
Despite the fact that same-sex exploration is common in children who are learning about the human body i. So despite a post-pubescent life of heterosexual behavior, the presence of unwanted homosexual thoughts triggers frightening doubts.
The sufferer is likely to compulsively review childhood memories and the unknowable memories of thoughts and feelings that might have been had during any same-sex exploration. It is also common for teenagers throughout the course of puberty to experience confusion related to gender, orientation, and other sexual issues.Unfortunately, the numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding HOCD lead to this condition being poorly understood, under-reported, and ineffectively treated.
Here are 30 things you should know about HOCD and its treatment:. The term HOCD is not a formal diagnostic term. The term HOCD is a bit misleading. While most people with HOCD obsess about secretly being gay, a significant number of gay people who struggle with OCD obsess that they are secretly straight. Basically, people can and do obsess about almost anything, especially when it comes to their sexuality. While HOCD is extremely common, it is not well known by the public. Many people mistakenly think that OCD consists entirely of compulsive hand washing, door checking and stove knob checking.
HOCD is under-reported, mostly because people who experience it have so much shame about having thoughts about being gay. This under-reporting is also a function of people simply not knowing HOCD exists.
This is further complicated by the fact that so many mental health professionals are utterly clueless about HOCD. Most people with HOCD are not particularly homophobic. In fact, many are quite open-minded when it comes to issues of gender and sexual orientation. They just feel a tremendous amount of concern that they may secretly want to be gay, mostly because they see themselves as straight.
Thoughts are just thoughts, and having gay thoughts does not automatically mean you are gay. Most people at some time in their life have at least some passing curiosity about sex with the same gender. Curiosity about all sorts of things is a normal part of the human experience, and curiosity about sexual matters is healthy and predictable. Additionally, having sexual fantasies about the same gender does not automatically mean you are gay.
Everybody has sexual fantasies, and everybody has sexual fantasies about things they are unlikely to actually do. Humans really, really like to fantasize about things that are taboo. Again, curiosity about sexuality is normal and healthy. A history of experimenting with same-sex behavior when you were young does not automatically mean you are gay.
Sexual experimentation is an extremely common part of growing up, and many children, adolescents, and young adults do all sorts of things that their parents would be appalled by. Likewise, a history of being sexually abused as a child does not mean you will automatically become gay.
The great majority of people who were sexually abused as children are not gay including most of those who were abused by a person of the same gender. Gay people come on to people for the exact same reason that straight come on to people — because they are hoping that the other person will respond favorably. Their interest in you is based on what they want, not on what you want, and what they want is based on your gender, not your sexual orientation.
There is no reason to assume that their interest means anything more than that they find you attractive, and the most appropriate response is to be flattered, not to assume that you are gay. But absolute certainty is not possible. Certainty is not required, and searching for it is a compulsive waste of your time and energy. This groinal response is almost always a function of the HOCD sufferer paying way too much attention to their groin.
The simple fact is that people without HOCD spend virtually no time whatsoever analyzing their groin for signs of arousal. Many people with HOCD are extremely concerned with the fact that they notice people of the same gender who are attractive.
And just as with the groinal responsethis problem is almost always a function of over-attending. That said, it is completely normal to notice that some people of the same gender are attractive. Recognizing that a person of your gender is attractive does not mean you are gay — it means you have functioning eyeballs.
If the idea of sex with a person of the same gender sounds awful to you, then you probably are not gay.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can affect people from all walks of life, creating obsessive, intrusive thoughts that lead to the development of compulsive behaviors to neutralize anxiety.
Our culture often portrays OCD only as a mental health condition that causes people to compulsively wash their hands or check the locks; however, OCD can actually present in unexpected ways, including the presence of obsessions about homosexuality, also known as Homosexual OCD hOCD. Homosexual OCD is type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes someone to doubt their sexual orientation and leaves them questioning whether or not they are attracted to the same sex.
Homosexual OCD can also cause heterosexuals to doubt their sexuality and create the obsessive fear of never forming a loving relationship with a partner or spouse due to their fear that they may be, in fact, gay. For those that suffer from hOCD and also have a religious background, they can also feel they are deeply sinful for having these intrusive thoughts and fears, which can lead to obsessions regarding scrupulosity. People suffering from Homosexual OCD are encouraged to seek treatment from a mental health treatment provider that specializes in the treatment of OCD.
Mindful-Based CBT teaches patients that everyone experiences intrusive thoughts. Individuals will also learn that intrusive thoughts have no power over them and that by responding to their thoughts through compulsive behaviors, their thoughts are given more strength and credibility and their fears and obsessions are strengthened and reinforced.
ERP exposes patients to situations related to their intrusive thoughts that cause them anxiety. The goal of this treatment is for the patient to prevent himself or herself from completing their compulsive behaviors when triggered by intrusive thoughts.
The situations that are confronted will intensify over time, until the patient can face and overcome their most feared scenario. Once they are able to stop themselves from responding to their intrusive thoughts with compulsive behaviors, they can experience tremendous relief from the symptoms of OCD.
The Gateway Institute offers Intensive Outpatient treatment options as well as regular outpatient psychotherapy sessions, and a free, 30 minute face-to-face consultation with one of our experienced and caring clinicians at all three of our beautiful locations in Orange CountyScottsdale, Arizonaand the San Francisco Bay Area.
It is not uncommon for an individual suffering from one OCD sub-type to also suffer from other sub-types.
HOCD is where you are heterosexual but are having obsessive thoughts that you are not, or are gay or lesbian and suddenly have thoughts that you are not. Note: This page is suitable for men and women. If you would like my help, find out more. HOCD stands for Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it is characterised by having unwanted thoughts about your sexual orientation.
It can take the form of purely an obsessive thought intrusive thoughtwhich can include thoughts and urges relating to your sexual preference, but there are usually hidden compulsions. Compulsions are things you do to make yourself feel better, to reassure yourself you are not gay. These compulsions could be watching porn to make sure you are straight or looking at guys to see if you are attracted to them. People with HOCD always question their sexual preference and are troubled by thoughts that they might be gay.
Before developing HOCD, you would not have given any thought to your sexual preference as it would have been a given. These are all characteristics of OCD. You worry that the thoughts you have in your head, or the feelings and sensations that you may get in your body, may mean that your sexual preferences have changed. In other words, if you are heterosexual straightyou may now be concerned that you are gay. You worry about things that may have occurred in the past, are some sort of proof that you are now gay.
Noticing something beautiful about members of the same sex may make you see this as evidence that you are gay. Worried if you cannot get an erection, or sexually aroused if you are female, that this could mean that you are gay. When you get these obsessions, i. Being aware of obsessions and compulsions is how to start thinking about your HOCD.
Going over in your mind, previous sexual encounters with members of the opposite sex, to reassure yourself that you are not gay. On the other hand, you might try to imagine being with a member of the same sex, to check out your theory that you might be gay.
You might have remembered an event from your childhood that you now see as evidence that you are gay. Seeking reassurance. Asking current or previous partners questions to help you to decide about your sexuality. This could be certain songs or artists that you associate with being gay, types of TV programs, magazines or books, that you might associate more with same sex couples.
You might avoid going out or mixing with same sex couple, or showing support in any way for same sex couples. If you are like most people, you will not question the thoughts in your head you will question all the HOCD thoughtsbut will not question the validity of your own beliefs. You can think of a belief system as being a set of rules you have to make sense of our world and your experiences, but many of them will not be correct or not helpful to you as a person.Moderator: Snaga.
Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 24 guests. Psychology and Mental Health Forum. Our partner. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group. Forum rules. Figuring out that you have hocd is the first, those who are new to hocd. Here is a post that helped me a lot from the beginning www. AlrightSince now you have done that. Well if ask any homo or bisexual that if once in their w life time if they feared of being attracted to same sex.
Let me guess asking yourself Is there a common ground here? Am I in closet?
Again not even close. And what do you do when you see someone from same sex? Which one is it my friend. What separates hocd from the rest is that. Now let me go into all the steps that worked for me. It took me about good months until all of it dissolved slowly.
First few weeks I did was the daring things. There were battle going on in me for sure. I stayed away from opposite sex. Fear is the fuel for Hocd or any other ocd…and by only being with opposite sex and always checking to see if you are still attracted to opposite sex.
Stay away from porn, smoking pot even cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and food anything that can be related. Do exercise daily, keep a healthy diet. And at home listen to music or watch TV keep your mind busy.
Anyhow other than my faith in God.If you are questioning your sexuality, how do you know the difference between having HOCD and actually being gay? People with HOCD suffer through uncontrollable and unwanted intrusive thoughts and images that leave them in a state of fear and anxiety about whether they are truly straight.
People with HOCD can be affected enough by their intrusive thoughts that they quit jobs, make dramatic life changes, or end relationships in order to avoid triggering their symptoms. Sometimes, HOCD sufferers are so sure they are gay that they actually out themselves and begin homosexual relationships. Where a truly gay person obtains happiness and relief in the act of revealing their homosexual orientation, HOCD people who come out continue to doubt their sexuality. As with traditional OCDpeople who are affected by this internalized homophobia engage in rituals to help them alleviate their anxiety and prove to themselves that they are truly straight.
When around lesbians or gay men, they might check their bodies for arousal or question if they are attracted to the person. People with Homosexual OCD may also keep up a running mental dialogue or obsess over past sexual encounters in an effort to convince themselves that they are straight.
They might also perform washing rituals if they are around a gay person, may act overtly to assure themselves of their sexual orientation, or may even blatantly act out against gay people in order to prove they are straight.
Additionally, HOCD sufferers might avoid physical contact or being alone with gay people and may even carry this behavior into shunning same-sex public restrooms or not eating in public in case the food was prepared by a gay person. During therapy sessions the patient faces the situations that trigger their obsessions in order to learn how to deal with their internalized homophobia and reduce their fixation.
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HOCD / Gay OCD: Common Subtypes
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For individuals around the country or those wanting help from the comfort of your own home, we offer therapy via Facetime, Skype or phone. We have professionals available 7 days a week. For those who prefer a more short-term approach we offer weekend sessions for individuals or groups. Perfect for those with a less flexible work schedule. Repeating the action relieves the anxiety, but you need to continue repeating the action to continue anxiety relief.
Additionally, researchers have found they preferred to engage in activities associated with the opposite sex from early childhood onward. Types of Therapy The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. Mindfulness Training Learn More. Cognitive Behavior Therapy Learn More. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Learn More. Medications Learn More. Group Therapy Learn More. Intensive Weekend Programming Learn More.
More Ways to Get Help Now. Online or Phone Therapy For individuals around the country or those wanting help from the comfort of your own home, we offer therapy via Facetime, Skype or phone. Click for online therapy info. In Person Treatment We have professionals available 7 days a week. Call for more info. Intensive Weekend Programs For those who prefer a more short-term approach we offer weekend sessions for individuals or groups. Contact Us Today for a Confidential Assessment.
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