Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer

interviewHey peeps!  Since I’ve been getting so much traffic on my blog in regard to HOCD (homosexual OCD), I thought I’d do another post on it.  This interview is with “Hannah,” who tells me she is ready to bare all (except for her real name, ha!) for the sake of helping others better understand HOCD, that obsessive-compulsive phenomenon where a straight person obsesses over being gay or a gay person obsesses over being straight.  

I think you’ll enjoy this interview.  Hannah said there was no question too personal, so I really went for it!  🙂  If you have additional questions, leave them in the comment section, and maybe we can force more truths out of Hannah.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to make a statement on homosexuality itself.  It’s intended to open up our eyes to HOCD, which is a lie that both straight and homosexual obsessive-compulsive people battle with.  It’s not about the morality of homosexuality– it’s about people who believe lies about their sexuality at the hand of OCD.  My blog readers are ahhh-may-zing, so I doubt I even need to say this, but nevertheless: if comments get mean or stray away from the topic of HOCD, they will be deleted.  You’re a fool if you think I’ll let you bash any of my friends, gay or straight.

Jackie: Tell us a little about your history with HOCD.
Hannah: I was in junior high when I first started questioning if I was gay.  It came on really suddenly, like, in a MOMENT.  One minute I was this boy-crazy girl and the next I wondered if maybe I was gay.  But the thing was, I didn’t want to be gay … at all.  AT ALL.

Jackie: What triggered this sudden change?
Hannah: I found one of my (girl) friends attractive.  OCD doesn’t need something big to work with.  It will take whatever you’ll give it.

Jackie: What was your reaction?
Hannah: Cold dread.  I mean, I was terrified.  I didn’t want to be gay.  I wanted to like men– I DID like men– but suddenly it was all I could think about.  Every girl I would see, I would think, “Do I think she is pretty?” and then, of course, I had to take it a step farther: “Would I want to kiss her?”  Every girl, I’d start imagining myself kissing her.  It made me sick.

Jackie: It made you sick?  Readers will wonder how you didn’t realize then that you weren’t gay, you know!
Hannah:  Yes, I know.  Because it doesn’t FEEL obvious.  I kept focusing on what I was doing: thinking of kissing every girl.  That felt like evidence that I was gay.  The fact that it made me sick barely registered, for some reason.  I guess it’s just how OCD works.  It’s all very confusing.  Well, then of course, there was the fact that I DO think girls are beautiful.  Sometimes more beautiful than men.  Their bodies definitely are.  Most of us can agree to that, haha!

Jackie: So there was a part of you that found women attractive then?
Hannah: Yes.  There still is.  Women are hot!

Jackie: But you’re not gay?  Or maybe bisexual?  I know I already know these answers, but I think this will help my blog readers process things.
Hannah: No, your questions are fine.  I told you anything goes, right?  Haha!  No, I’m not gay, and I’m not bisexual either.  I know that now.  And the key to learning that was learning to be uncertain, as opposite as that sounds.

Jackie: Okay, we’ll dive into that more in a bit here.  But tell us more about what happened when you first started wondering about it.
Hannah: Well, I couldn’t STOP wondering about it.  Like I said, every girl I saw, I thought about kissing her.  I think it was like my way of “testing” myself– to see what my instincts would tell me, to see what I really wanted.  I hated doing this though.  This was the compulsion actually for me.  The “testing” was like what you talk about about seeking reassurance.  If I thought about kissing the girl and it still made me sick, then I was still okay, still not gay.  (Again, no offense to your gay readers!  This was just my experience.)  I thought about this so much that one night I had a DREAM where, in it, I kissed a girl.  When I woke up, I thought for sure I was gay.  I was having gay dreams!

Jackie: It carried over from real life!
Hannah: I know that now.  But it felt like this stamp of homosexuality.  I was so scared.  I didn’t want to tell my family that I was gay.  I still didn’t even WANT to be gay.  Oh, and this one thing.  I still liked boys.

Jackie: So, you didn’t want to like women, you felt sick about liking women, you ACTUALLY liked men, but you still thought you might be gay?
Hannah: It’s OCD.  It feels confusing.  You know what it’s like.

Jackie: I do.  I really do.  So, what changed?  You’re pretty confident now in your sexuality, yes?
Hannah: I am!  And it feels awesome!  I love knowing I’m straight– and get this, this is so good– I can even appreciate the female body now, and I am not joking, I could see a NAKED WOMAN today and I could GET TURNED ON BY HER and I would STILL know I am straight.  Because I am.

Jackie: And that came about how?
Hannah: Exposure and response prevention therapy.  You preach it.  I preach it.  Cue Hallelujah chorus.

Jackie: You could see a naked woman and get turned on by seeing a naked woman, and you still wouldn’t doubt your sexuality?
Hannah: Not for one second.  I’m as straight as they come.  I love men.  I want to be married to a man someday and have sex with a man and build my life with a man, and it doesn’t make me flinch to say that I think boobs are hot.  Like, super hot.

Jackie: You’re hilarious.  You’ve come so far!  I’m sure there are HOCD sufferers out there who can’t imagine admitting something like that.  And people who are probably thinking you must be bisexual if you feel that way.
Hannah: Haha!  People can think that all they want!  I am FREE from my HOCD and totally straight.

Jackie: You’ve come so far through ERP.  It’s amazing, right?
Hannah: Amazing, for sure.  And hard.  But good.  It made me able to think clear finally.  If I like men and want to be romantic with men and DON’T want to be that way with women, then I am not gay.  It’s obvious, like you said.  And the more I realized that I am in control of my own response to it, the more freedom I found.  That’s why I can say women are hot.  Doesn’t bother me anymore.

Jackie: So, your advice?
Hannah: ERP.  For sure.  Best treatment out there.  For the gay obsessive-compulsives too, the ones who obsess that they are straight and that causes them as much anxiety as the opposite thought caused me.  ERP is absolutely the best treatment for OCD.  I know you know that.

Jackie: I absolutely do.  Do you still struggle with OCD?  Not just HOCD, but other obsessions and compulsions?
Hannah: Rarely.  ERP kinda took care of OCD, you know?  Instead of just one issue, it went after OCD itself.  I know you know these things, but your readers need to know.  ERP is the solution.  A one-stop shop.

Jackie: And you think women are more attractive than men?
Hannah: I think the female body is more attractive, but I am attracted TO men.

Jackie: But you know you’re not gay?
Hannah: Yep.  But that certainty only came through embracing UNCERTAINTY, the whole point of ERP.

There you have it, folks.  

My thanks goes out big-time to Hannah for her willingness to be interviewed and her awesome vulnerability.  The bottom line is ERP is the best treatment for OCD.  

In other words, just what I’ve been saying on this blog for the last two years. 🙂

Related posts:
Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
No One Wants to Talk about HOCD
A Closer Look at HOCD
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer

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107 thoughts on “Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer

  1. Thank you Hannah for sharing with us! I am not an OCD sufferer, but have had my bouts of depression/anxiety – doesn’t mental illness bite?

    I realize that the post here is obsessive sexual orientation thoughts with the added element of a mental illness, but it may be of help for some to point out that sexuality isn’t binary. The goal should be to be comfortable with how you identify and how you view yourself, which is how I took what Hannah said ultimately about being comfortable with same sex attraction and knowing that she is behaviorally straight. (I am stealing most of my vocabulary from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19yZk_6_N34. I highly recommend watching it!)

    I do not mean to pull the conversation down that road, so feel free to ignore me. I felt compelled to comment in case someone comes here struggling in that way – I wanted to point out that the person is not alone, and there are people and resources out there for both the OCD side, and the non-binary sexuality side.

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  4. Hi, Hannah and Jackie,

    Your story sounds so familiar to mine except I’m still dealing with my HOCD. I’m wondering if you could elaborate on the length of your treatment. Was it 12 weeks like Jackie’s? Also, what kind of exposures did you find helpful? I have the same thoughts that you mentioned having – picturing kissing a girl or checking out other girls, but knowing I don’t want anything with them. It’s frustrating, but your interview is giving me hope that I can get over this, so thank you for “coming out the closet” with your OCD, jk;)

    BTW, Jackie, I was on the OCD Chat you did last week and wanted to thank you for being such an advocate for those with OCD and also for admitting that you had HOCD fears too. If you would like to elaborate on exposures that helped you too, that would be great! Also, I know you mentioned having 3 or 4 days over the past four years when you had a lapse, but quickly got over it. What exposures do you find helpful when you’re in these situations?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it’s nice to get advice from ERP pros:)

    Be well,

    Katie

    • Hi Katie! So glad you stopped by my blog! When I was going through my ERP, I actually had other areas that caused me even MORE anxiety than the HOCD concerns, so we focused on those instead. I had to listen to an audio recording about going to hell. It was horrible, but it worked.

      I know that for many people with HOCD, the exposures include looking at provocative pictures of the same sex, reading LGBT literature, and focusing on intense and concentrated thoughts that you are gay. I practiced my ERP for about 80 minutes each day for twelve weeks.

      When I am having my miniature relapses, I listen to my ERP recording (again, for me hell was a bigger concern than the HOCD, so that’s what we focused on). I had a mini relapse recently: https://jackieleasommers.com/2013/09/12/in-the-moment-the-flipside. I, thankfully, was better the next day … which is a miracle, since in the OCD hey-day, it might have taken weeks or even months to bounce back!!

  5. Hi, Jackie, Thanks for your response. I am really glad to hear that you were able to pull yourself out of the OCD trenches in only one day! I hope to get there some day.

    I’m wondering if Hannah might be so kind as to answer the questions I posted to her a couple of days ago. If not, that’s ok, but it would be really helpful for me to hear from someone who overcame HOCD.

    Best,

    Katie

    • From Hannah:
      I did ERP for 12 weeks, and I focused on upsetting images for a set amount of time each day. Though my exposures weren’t all HOCD-related, some of the best exposures for HOCD are the following:

      * get a Victoria’s Secret catalog, look through it a few times a day, and tell yourself over and over, “I might be gay, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Let yourself get worked up– if you are turned on, be turned on, and just keep telling yourself that you might be gay.
      * LGBT literature. Read it. Keep telling yourself that you not only might be gay but are PROBABLY gay.
      * write a story about how very gay you are– really amp it up in the story– and then read it over and over, multiple times each day, letting yourself get upset.

      When you do these exposures, you can’t let yourself perform any compulsions. Don’t seek reassurance from yourself or others. Just let the anxiety rise and rise and rise without doing anything to stop it.

      Good luck!! Keep us posted!

  6. Hi Hannah and Jackie (who BTW has an amazing blog omg!), I’m dealing with HOCD myself too, and I almost cry when I saw the onset of your OCD was at the same age as mine. I was this boy-crazy girl, with pictures of my celeb crushes everywhere, then had my first boyfriend who I had just started to like,really, so I got this intense doubt, and ugh, HOCD started. (We broke up a month later, not due to OCD, thankfully) all I can say is that it SUCKS. When I first learned what ERP was obviously my first reaction was to flee. Run as fast as I could. But now that I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks I feel waaaay better. I still struggle from time to time, but I think I’m heading in the right direction and will continue to face my fears until I can only yawn at them. Your interview in fact, spiked me a bit. But then I laughed about it, so I guess it’s some progress. I’m glad there’s hope for everyone out there with OCD, and I wish everyone else struggling the best of lucks.

    Here’s a quick question for Hannah, Could you please tell me about some exposure exercises you used? Right now I’m running out of exposure material (mostly read gay stories and watched LBTQ movies)

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  8. Thank you so much for you blog, i feel really great about hearing your story. Ive been struggeling with HOCD for the past 8 months and it was really hard because i had panic attacs and nearly creid myself to sleep. I couldnt stop checking myself. Could you explain to me how exposure therapy works? Thanks!

    • Hi Jackie, you poor dear. Yes, in exposure therapy, you’d be triggered and then not allowed to perform any anxiety-alleviating compulsions. So, for example, you might have to read LGBT literature or look through a Victoria’s Secret catalog or write a story in which you’re gay and have to read it over and over. And then you can’t do anything to alleviate the accompanying anxiety: no seeking reassurances, no researching stuff online. You have to just tell yourself, “I might be gay.” It is really hard, but it’s an amazing and effective therapy.

  9. Thank you for your reply! Right know Im better, i dont get anxious anymore but i still check myself sometimes and go through some points to prove that i might me gay. Im talking to a therapist right now, but its really only talking. Would you still recommend to search for a therapist to do ERP? And actually Im really afraid of reading LGTB stories because i will for sure find some points that are the same in my story and then think about me being gay again…

    • Yes, talk therapy is not an effective treatment for OCD, and at its worst, it only aids your compulsions.

      ERP is what you’ll want to do when you decide you want to put OCD under your heel for good. And you’re right– it is very hard. But it works. 🙂

    • Generally, I’d say no, but there are exceptions, always! If you’re not experiencing anxiety over it right now, then that’s wonderful! But if it does flare up again, ERP is your best route to freedom. (ERP goes after OCD itself instead of after “solving” individual obsessions.)

  10. But I mean I still have HOCD symptoms like checking or seaking for reassurance but I just dont have to cry about them.. Im used to tehese thoughts and kinda dont freak out anymore. Is this a good sign?

  11. Hi,

    I think I have been suffering from HOCD for over two years now and it’s hell, I have also developed this awful habit where when gayness is mentioned in general conversation, I panic and my face turns red, making me worry people can tell. I basically spend all of my time worrying that gayness will be brought up and that I won’t be able to handle it, meaning I can’t even enjoy social situations anymore. I also feel so guilty and basically hate myself because of this.

    About 6 years ago I stumbled across lesbian porn and found that I really enjoyed it, I was shocked but didn’t over think it, up until a couple of years ago when the anxiety really set in. I have never watched it since, but find that I get turned on by some female things such as boobs etc. Thing is, the thought of doing any of these things in real life with anybody that I know grosses me out, I don’t find women in real life attractive at all, not even celebrities. I can only imagine doing the romantic/emotional stuff with men e.g. kissing, cuddling etc, and still get very attracted to men. If I saw a hot girl walking down the street, it would do nothing for me (I’d more just feel jealous that she is so hot).

    Anyway, I really could use some help over this, it has been ruining my life now for a while. I do find myself doing the compulsion thing, do I find her attractive, could I imagine doing this with her etc. ERP sounds so scary, but I really need some effective help.

    PS – great interview

      • Thanks, I have booked an appointment at my doctors now and intend to get the help that I need. Time to start living my life

      • okay thanks, i am so terrified about doing it and don’t know how I’m going to hide my doctors appointment from my Mom. I really want to tell her about this but am so scared that she won’t understand.

      • I wish you the best Isabelle. ERP has improved my life considerably. I second Jackie’s advice. Talk therapy isn’t good for OCD. If you are having trouble finding moral support I would recommend finding a support group in your vicinity. The OCD foundation website has a list of support groups throughout the country. I wish you could talk to family, but understand it may difficult. Mental illness is poorly understood generally speaking. Good luck

  12. I’m 16 first and wanna say that I have anxiety and depression 😦 One day, I don’t know how or what triggered it, it came to my mind that I was a lesbian. At first, I brushed it off thinking it was only my thoughts and carried on my life with my boyfriend. Then it came back. It came back a couple of days ago, even worse. I can’t even look at girls without feeling disgusted. I get these thoughts of kissing them and stuff and I start to cry. Before this happened, I was pretty sure I was straight. I thought girls were pretty and I would say to myself ‘Oh I wish I looked like them’, etc.

    It got worse today. I found every single girl attractive and it makes me break down and cry cause I don’t want to. ‘I can’t be a lesbian,’ I tell myself. I really can’t. When I grow up I want to have a husband and kids and great job and say ‘I’ve made it through depression and anxiety’. If I tell myself I am one and I have to deal with it, I just can’t face that fact. I start to cry and tell myself I’m not. Please help. I’m going to a psychotherapist for my anxiety and depression but I’m not sure if I should tell her about this but I don’t want to be and can’t be a lesbian!! Please help me. I’d really rather die than be one and I know that sounds so awful but I really can’t deal with this anymore.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through, dear one! It sounds exactly like HOCD. It’s up to you if you want to tell your therapist or not, but there is a therapy out there called Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (or ERP) that is very helpful. You can even do this therapy on your own at home; getting a book like Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Dr. Jonathan Grayson will help!

      Your therapist will not judge you if you tell her, but if she’s not familiar with HOCD or OCD, she might not understand it exactly. Your account, down to the words that you used, sound JUST LIKE so many others going through HOCD. There is help out there. ERP.

      • It’s getting hard cause it feels like the feelings have settles and I can’t get upset over them? But if I think hard and long and get frustrated i do get upset. I just can’t be a lesbian. And I don’t want to be one

    • P.S. I don’t know if this will help you at all, but here’s this: first of all, I know you’re straight. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’re bisexual. In which case you get to choose. Great, so choose a man. 🙂

      • But why ament i panicking when i say I’m a lesbian? I’m scared and i know i don’t want to be one but why ament i panicking? It’s like the feeling has settled but i don’t know. I keep getting pains in my stomach. I’m so scared i really don’t want to be one. Any advice?? 😦 I’m so sorry

  13. I’m disappointed as I went to the doctors today and told her about my HOCD, she said HOCD isn’t a recognised form of OCD, and that she doesn’t think I have OCD. She said she thinks I need some help with feeling comfortable and that having feelings for women is normal and that most people probably do if they admitted it. She is passing my number on to some therapists and was talking about talk therapy, I told her about ERP and she said they may do a bit of that but she’s not sure that’s the right one for me. She said that they would have a chat with me and decide which therapist is the best for me. I just wanna get better, I don’t feel like she fully understood how much this gets to me :-(.

    • Your doctor has NO CLUE what she is talking about then. HOCD is a very, very common and recognized type of OCD. Stick to your guns: you have HOCD and need ERP.

    • I recommend that you consider finding a psychologist through the OCD Foundation’s website (someone who specializes in OCD, if possible). They also have an annual conference where you can attend talks and meet others with similar OCD symptoms.

  14. Hi!

    I have been experiencing what I believe to be HOCD for about 8 months now. Let me preface this by saying that I have struggled with other facets of OCD in the past, and have never been insecure of my sexuality until last June.

    I have always been aroused by same sex pornography. It never made me want to be with a woman, and my fantasies never even involved me personally–they were usually direct pictures from porn I had watched. Even now, I get those “dreams” that Hannah mentioned, and they turn me on. Is it common to be aroused by these thoughts, but still be anxious about the idea of them due to HOCD? That is my main point of fear right now.

    Also, I am fairly sure I want to be with men, but I am unsure about being married, starting a family, etc. Does this invalidate my fear of being gay in any way? Like, does the possibility of not wanting to be with men or women both ever come up?

      • But would you say this is HOCD? Also, is feeling turned on during dreams caused by HOCD normal? Just based on the experiences mentioned in this blog, I feel like I have gone through some of the same, but I feel as if I should be absolutely disgusted by these thoughts to be considered an HOCD sufferer, and I’m not.

      • Yes, it sounds a lot like HOCD! HOCD is very confusing– sometimes your head says one thing and your body reacts in a different way. It’s hard to nail down. I highly encourage you to seek out a psychiatrist who can diagnose you, and if it is indeed OCD, don’t stop looking until you find an ERP therapist who will create exposures for you!

      • Thank you! It’s funny–I have grown so much from just a few months ago, when the very thought of being with a woman would send me into a meltdown. In a way, I have been doing ERP. My mother has OCD, and has been my personal therapist throughout this whole ordeal. She taught me to accept the uncertainty of the situation, and now that I’m finally starting to do that, it’s only these dreams that trigger a little relapse in me. Thank you for your help in justifying what all of this is–your blog is very informative!

      • So glad to hear that, Alese! And your mom is exactly right: allowing uncertainty to exist is the best way to combat OCD!

        Dreams … meh. A gay dream does NOT mean you’re gay. It might, however, mean that you have HOCD and think about homosexuality a lot!

    • Thank you for saying that your fantasies don’t include you personally ! Just scenes etc. that’s exactly like me . I’ve always wondered about that . I’ve been suffering from OCD for years now . Hocd is the strongest and I deal with it everyday . Even tho I’m married to a man .i am going to speak to a doctor about ERP been doing CBT and that helps most of my OCD themes but the sexual ones.

  15. Hello everyone! I’d like to share my story with everyone here. I haven’t been diagnosed with OCD, but I’m quite certain I’ve had it for a while now to a mild extent. I have a tendency to check things over and over, and in my youth I used to be a germaphobe. That being said, OCD can take on many shapes and forms. What I’d really like to talk about is HOCD, which manifested itself in me about 4 months ago.

    I’m a 27 year old male, and up until that point (when the HOCD began) I never questioned my sexuality. I’ve always been sexually attracted to and interested in girls, and I’ve fantasized about them far too many times to count. But one day, I asked myself, “how do I know for sure I’m not gay?”, and voila. I suspect it was the paranoia in me from OCD that served as the catalyst for this psychological mess to start. Once the HOCD began to take on momentum, I would constantly question myself and have unwanted thoughts/images. For example, I would fantasize about making out or having sex with a woman, and then all of a sudden a man is in her place. I was so disgusted and repulsed by this, making me want to forcefully remove these intrusive thoughts. But then I found out that thought suppression doesn’t work; doing so makes the unwanted thoughts come back stronger and more frequently. I NEVER experienced this problem in my life until HOCD began.

    As HOCD sufferers know, it likes to play nasty mind games on us. Whenever I would go out and see men, I would start to question my attraction to them. I would then say to myself, “What is this? What’s going on here? I’ve never done this before. Something’s wrong. This is not me.” My mind would tell me I’m attracted to them, but I would have this feeling of extreme discomfort in my body. This would become a daily struggle, to the point where I was mentally exhausted and couldn’t think of anything else. Then I did lots of research on the internet, and I finally learned about HOCD. The symptoms are EXACTLY what I’ve experienced, and I was surprised to discover how many people are in the same boat as me.

    To overcome HOCD, one has to really understand how OCD works. In the case of HOCD, the mind fabricates “false attractions” and lies. Essentially, it tries to trick us. When we fear something, we start to see it everywhere/all the time. That puts us in a constant state of worry – a defense mechanism set up by our mind. The thing is, these fears are completely irrational/nonsensical, and deep down we know that. Yet, OCD capitalizes on our paranoia, and thus we can’t let go so easily. But it’s important to realize the unwanted thoughts/images we experience are NOT us.

    After knowing fully well what I was going through, I just decided to live my life the way I used to, be confident, and ignore/brush off/laugh at my HOCD thoughts. Why should I be worried about rubbish being perpetuated by my mind? And I did this without undergoing any psychiatric or therapeutic intervention. Now, the intrusive thoughts have reduced in intensity and frequency considerably, and it’s just a matter of time before they die out completely and my brain “forgets” them. I think that sexuality is something that should be delved into deeper in schools, so that people don’t have to go through this mental BS later on. As silly as it sounds, I thought my HOCD was turning me gay. But I found out that’s not possible, because sexuality is a biological fact determined at birth. I am straight, always have been, and always will be. That will NOT change.

    My HOCD still persists somewhat, but I’m almost back to the way I used to be. Seeing as how ERP eliminates OCD altogether, I’ll consider doing it in the near future. Jackie, thank you for sharing such a great support network. I KNOW HOCD sufferers will make it through this. Everyone here is strong :).

    Ending_OCD

  16. Hello
    I want to tell you about myself and my OCD. I’m a gay man that have OCD about being straight or bisexual. It’s unpleasant, annoying and above all stupid. It’s all irrational. I’m still dealing with it but I know that I’ll get over it as I got over other obsessions throughout my life.
    I don’t have any problem about liking women. It could be even good for me somehow but the truth is I don’t like them. I tried to like them many times in my life when I was in denial and I never got it and when I accept what I am and feel good about it, I’ve got sexual orientation OCD. It’s stupid, I know I’m totally gay and love men.
    I’ve tried to be turned by women when I’m watching porn and never, never I’ve got it. Only men. And when I think about being partnered with a woman, I do not like it at all but when I think about kissing boys, being in love with a man and so on. I LOVE it.
    Also, I want to say you that you’ll never become gay. You’re not gay, it’s OCD. I know I was different from the rest of children when I was very child. I’ve always liked boys. Believe me, if you’re gay, you had realized that “you’re different” from the most children when you’re a child. Probably because you were born that way.
    I think it could be helpful because the readers that have HOCD and read my case, they can realize there are gay people that suffer it too, HOCD is stupid and you’ll never become something you haver never been.
    Sorry if I make some mistakes writing English, it’s not my mother tongue.

    • Andres you are a kind a wonderful man and your story really helped me. I’m 22 and have been suffereing from HOCD for about 2 months now. OCD tell you to discount your whole life and just believe what it tells you so to hear that you knew you were different as a child makes me feel much better. I wish you nothing but happiness in life.

  17. Hi, I’m a 17 year old girl and I’m really struggling, so the point where I’ve contemplated suicide over the thought of being gay. I have been feeling this way for the past week, and after having what a presume was an anxiety attack over my fear, decided to google my symptoms(I know you shouldn’t but I was desperate for answers). I haven’t been to the doctors or told anyone yet because I’m scared I’m overreacting, and I’m hoping it wi pass. I like boys, and have been in love with one before, but feeling this way has me questioning if that even was love. PLEASE REPLY SOON

    • Hi Alice!

      I’m not a therapist, but it sounds like you might have HOCD. It’s treatable! 🙂 Go to http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD and read the posts there about HOCD and about ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy, and if you have questions, email me afterward. My contact info is on my website. 🙂

      Things can be okay again. Trust me. 🙂

      • Hey Jackie. I know its been a while, I just needed time.. And I found this article. Which explains other reasons for what you feel that you felt could be not the result of hocd but something else that has made one to believe it was hocd. Well, it might help others realize could that be it.

        Ie. “I hate that person because that person looks like a loser” behind this reason is you hate that person because you see yourself in them… ” if this makes sense

        Ill find the article again and repost soon. My hocd is slowly subsiding because the REAL problem was that I wanted to be superior than other males. Intimidated by intellect people, tough people, pretty much stereotype. I wanted to feel the only superior. Ill try make more sense later. Just on lunch break.

        Ttyl 🙂

        Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  18. Pingback: HOCD Questions | Jackie Lea Sommers

  19. It’s so eerie how similar this story is to my own. I don’t want to self-diagnose myself, but I really do feel that I have HOCD. It’s been going on for months, and I find myself worrying because I find a lot of women very attractive, but I’ve always been straight. My taste in men is very specific, but like I said, most women I find appealing to look at. I’m constantly worryin about how my family would react if I ended up being gay, or even how I would react. It scares me and I’d like to figure this out so it doesn’t eat away at me any longer.

    • The best treatment is ERP therapy … which will actually teach you that you don’t need to figure it out! And being okay with the uncertainty actually welcomes certainty back into your life. I know it sounds crazy backward, right? But it’s true!

  20. Hello Jackie,
    First off, thank you for making this website it gives me hope that I can conquer this!

    To introduce myself, I am a 15 year old girl who has been suffering for what I hope has been HOCD for about a year now. I can’t really remember how it started. I just remember one day being boy crazy and the next questioning if I was actually a lesbian.

    I consulted my mom about it that day. Guilt and dread overwhelming me as I sobbed into her arms. She doesn’t/didn’t know what to think, and unfortunately I cannot get therapy where I live.

    The first few months living with it were Hell. I was depressed all the time, didn’t want to hang out with my friends or any other girls ( including my own mother whom I share a very close bond with). It got worse when my dad went away for two weeks for work reasons.The thoughts plagued me wherever I went and I found them disgusting and they caused me extreme anxiety. What if I kiss I girl my brain asked me and a wave of nausea would sweep over me. What if I have sex with her? Extreme disgust followed and I would feel temporary relieved that I felt disgusted, but with a hunger to seek more reassurance. Yet every time I seeked more reassurance, more what if’s followed. Then I started having the responses down their, and I thought that I would die!! It felt like I was getting turned on by girls. Yuck!! After months of going through this I tried accepting the uncertainty and for a month it went away. I didn’t even know it was gone because I never remembered the thoughts!!! 🙂 Now it’s even more Hell, that they are back.

    The what ifs now focus on my friends. Comparing my sexual thoughts to the thought “you love your friends how do you really know you don’t want these thoughts of being sexual with them?” I have mainly a lot of friends who are girls and while having these thoughts they whisper to me “wouldn’t it be fun to live with them?” “wouldn’t it be fun to adopt a child together?” To be honest it does sound kind of fun to me and that causes me a lot of anxiety/panic. To make matters worse I have lost disgust towards these thoughts, which causes me even more anxiety. I often get lost in thought : “what makes up sexual orientation?” “why are we attracted to certain genders?” “Isn’t being gay/lesbian a state of mind?” “why are we not attracted to genders?” and it drives me up the wall. In general I find women more attractive than men, but I have never felt any sexual desire towards them. At least I hope not. What worries me is the possibility that one day I will fall in love with a girl. What also worries me is the fact that I love my friends, all of them like family. What if I decide I want to be with them sexually ? my brain says and although it cause me panic I no longer feel disgusted and that worries me. Being lesbian is something that I don’t want.
    Sometimes the thoughts convince me its what I want and that causes me anxiety as well. The thoughts try to roll a feeling of pleasure over me but in the end I feel like I am just going to be sick. I enjoy the thought of having sex and kissing period. But I don’t want to do that with girls and I am worried that my want is not enough that it doesn’t matter.

    Another thing that bothers me was when I went over to my friends house the other day and we were watching a movie and the main character was a guy. As I watched the movie I realized I was watching it as if I were in his shoes and that brought on the thought “what if I want to be a guy?” I have never been self confident in my looks and overall self. The batteries are always on low when it comes to my self esteem. The thoughts till haunts me now what if I want to switch my gender? I have always loved being a girl and liking guys why did this suddenly come on unless I am lesbian?

    It feels so real, like I am actually in denial. My sex drive for guys has gone way down to numb and my brain keeps telling me you like these thoughts, why do you want them to go? You like these thoughts my brain says. guys? girls? Love is hard to find why does gender matter? These thoughts are what makes me feel like I am in such denial right now. They make me feel like announcing to everyone “I am a lesbian damn it!” But I don’t want to be and I am worried that my want not to be isn’t enough anymore.

    It also feel weird like I am bored of having this, so I don’t feel as depressed. I still enjoy doing the same things I do without these thoughts but it feels more real. Before I was dizzy constantly with these thoughts. Now my head feels clear and I don’t like how my brain keeps saying “you are repressing the feelings you are just in denial” Let yourself feel excited by the thoughts. Why not. (panicky feeling)

    In my short teenage lifespan I have only had a crush on two real guys in my life (one which lasted from grade 3-now) and a slightly smaller one. Other than that I mainly crush on celebrities like Channing Tatum and Josh Hutcherson. I am worried that I am lesbian and that is why I have mainly a lot of friends who are girls. What if I do like girls? I love my friends, what if I want it to be something more. ( feelings followed are queasy feeling in stomach , anxiety, feeling of unwanted excitement which never occurred before this week)

    I feel like I am in denial yet I have only ever liked guys like that, can anyone please give me the guidance I need to get through this?

    • Hello my confused friend! It sounds a lot like you have HOCD. I invite you to read my other posts about HOCD at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD. The best treatment for OCD/HOCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. I know you mentioned that you’re not able to get therapy right now, but ERP is something that you can do on your own without a therapist, if you’re committed to getting well. Check out the posts I’ve written about ERP, and let me know what questions you have. If you’d rather email me, my email address is on my website too. Blessings! There is hope!

  21. Jackie,
    Thanks for replying!! I have tons of questions.
    1. Is it normal to feel like you are not as interested in guys (with the HOCD thoughts) ?? My bookshelf is filled to the brim with romance novels and I used to constantly think about boys but now thinking about them won’t turn me on!! Which scares me and makes me anxious to think about them.

    2. I am kind of really scared to ask this one but here it goes. So one day I thought how do I really know if I want to be a lesbian / enjoy the thoughts? How do I know that I don’t want that? I think it would be kind of fun to come out and everything but I have never wanted that. I have always wanted again. But my brain says you didn’t find out about gayness until grade 7. I felt anxious thinking that and my brain said : “you enjoy spending time with your friends. Wouldn’t you want to live with them and adopt a child together?” I guess it does sound kind of fun I thought and a feeling of excitement and pleasure filled me. There you go my brain said you want the thoughts. No, I thought how can this be??? I used to fall asleep feeling turned on by a romance novel or a romantic song thinking about my prince, now I am turning lesbian? Today at work every time a women went by/was a customer I kept thinking is she a lesbian? Do I get turned on by her? Then every time I would get a gronial reaction and this weird feeling like I liked it filled me. Then I would get anxious. I think that I am so paranoid about liking the thoughts that I am making myself like them if that makes sense. Is this normal for HOCD?? I just want to go back to the things used to be when I could actually get turned on by a guy. The thoughts are making me believe I want them and it is making me scared I am actually a lesbian. I don’t get disgusted by the thoughts anymore which also terrifies me!! Is this still hocd?

    3. I have no clue where to start with the therapy or what to do with the therapy!!! I am so scared that the therapy will just make me enjoy the thought because I enjoy the thought of sex in general. I want to be with guys but I feel like this is blocking me from that path. The thoughts keep telling me that I want women but before the thoughts all I thoughts about was men. I am so scared I am just in denial and that |I am actually enjoying the thoughts and have just been repressing them. I have never liked a girl but I am scared that one day i will. Can you please help me?

    • A lot of people are scared of the therapy for that exact reason– you’ll know when you’re ready for it though! When the thoughts and questions and checking gets so overwhelming and exhausting that you can’t take it anymore, you’ll be ready for ERP! ERP is hard, but it’s not as hard as daily life with OCD/HOCD!

      P.S. Checking/asking the questions is usually the compulsion that goes with the HOCD obsessions. I recommend that you track down a book about ERP like “Stop Obsessing” by Edna Foa or “Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” by Jonathan Grayson. It will walk you through how to do ERP!

  22. Also HOCD is making me question why I ever liked guys. Why it says you have so many more friends who are girls. I can’t get turned on by a guy which terrifies me. My anxiety is also going down more which makes me question everything.

    Does the idea of having sex with a girl turn you on do you like it?? My brain says. I don’t even know anymore!!! I am so confused. I just want to like guys again.

  23. Hey Jackie!

    How have you been? I hope all is well for you. I thought I’d stop by here and let you know that I’ve beaten HOCD (and OCD in general, for that matter). Yes, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the form of Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) is the key. The great thing about this whole ordeal I went through is that I’ve become much stronger. I now have more confidence, clarity, and certainty, in what I am than ever before. Best of all, I’ve literally re-wired my brain in this process, so I’ve cured myself of this disorder. It feels so good to enjoy life without any hindrances/inhibitions. By all means, if you’d like to interview a former male HOCD sufferer, I’d be more than happy to give you a hand with that :).

    @Confused – Hi there! How are you doing? I’m telling you right now that you have nothing to be worried about. What you’re experiencing IS classic HOCD exactly. I KNOW exactly what you’re going through and what it feels like. But you CAN beat this, just like I DID. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me anything. Take care!

  24. Hi Hannah,

    I have hocd; I’ve been suffering almost a year and a half now. I’m wondering how a woman can get turned on by another woman and not be gay? I can’t wrap my mind around that. Also, I understand that there is a possibility that I can still be gay and go through this ocd hell….. how do I know I’m not one of these people? finally, I’ve been with my boyfriend now for 10 years…. I have never been a sexual person but this ocd thing is making it worse. I’m afraid of being turned on by the wrong thing, of my thoughts, and the fact that if I’m gay how can I have sex with him….. in all honesty, I don’t want sex period. I don’t want to be turned by anything or anyone… I wouldn’t care if I were asexual however I don’t want to lose my boyfriend.

    • Hi Bri!

      This is Jackie, the blog owner. Hannah was just the person I interviewed in this post (and in another post coming out later this month … it’s in the queue). In fact, in it, she discusses being turned on by women’s bodies without being gay. So stay tuned.

      In the meantime, I would suggest ERP therapy (you can read more about it at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD). Also, your situation is a little different than many people with HOCD since you’d prefer to be asexual. I’d just encourage you to keep an open line of communication with your boyfriend!

      Please do read up on ERP and let me know what questions you have. Thanks!

  25. Pingback: Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer | Jackie Lea Sommers

  26. Hi Jackie and Hannah,
    Thank you for this post. I could barely get through it without crying, but I had to fight it because I have people all around me!
    I too have HOCD and it wasn’t until about a year ago that I found a name for what I have been dealing with for 21 years! It has robbed me of my l life! I am happily married and have 4 kids and it is getting to the point that I don’t know if what I feel is real or not. Do I really love my husband? Do I really love my kids? Am I attracted to my husband? If my sex drive is low, then that must mean I am gay, right? It is exhausting dealing with this. My husband knows, but I don’t think he knows the extent that I struggle. I feel so alone because I don’t want to talk about it. If I talk about it then that makes it true, right? I don’t want to talk about it, I just want to feel normal. I hope that I die first so that I can stop worrying about this. If my husband dies, then my life will be over because I will become “that way”. ERP scares me. I am currently getting counseling, but I am becoming more and more convinced that it is not the right kind. She wants to treat me for PTSD from my childhood, but that is NOT where my anxiety comes from. I just feel lost, but I am so glad that it is not just me and that others have gone through this.

    Thank you again for your post,
    Amy

    • Hi Amy! Welcome to my blog. Make yourself comfortable here. 🙂 I have lots of posts about OCD, ERP, and HOCD at jackieleasommers.com/OCD and I’d encourage you to start there, reading them and collecting questions. Traditional talk therapy is generally not effective in treating OCD. Glad you’re doing some research!

      • Thank you. I have read most of the information in your blog. I am amazed that others are suffering from this….. I really thought I was alone. I commend you on being brave to share your story. Sometimes I want to tell my good friend of even my sister, but the fear of them saying either to me or to someone else, I think Amy is gay is terrifying bc that would mean I would have to try to convince them otherwise…… Does that make sense? I worry about being judged due to their lack of understanding. I will say that I have brought these fears to my counselor and had a full blown panic attack in front of her. One thing she did say that was very helpful was that if I was gay I would not have the reaction I was having(shallow breathing, shaking uncontrollably, diarrhea and feeling like I could vomit. I do not fantacize about women and do not get turned on by thoughts, but I find that I avoid looking at stuff, music, movies, etc. I am so scared of erp because what if I go through it and all oof it is true? Is this normal to feel that way? I fear the severe anxiety that I feel at any thoughts that deal with this issue! Ugh….. This is so hard😢

      • Yes, many people with HOCD fear that ERP will reveal that they are gay. I personally can’t think of one case where that has happened. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but it’s highly unlikely. From your comments, it’s clear to me that you’re not gay. ERP has nothing to uncover for you but freedom.

  27. Hi guys I suffer from hocd to but alot harder fore as i am engaged with 2 children I know im not gay I feel the same as hannah but yet hocd plays with you big time I live in england so erp isnt much of an option and id be pretty scared doing erp repeating to myself that I might be gay when im not any help would be amazing I suffer with anxiety and have had diffrent intrusive thoughts before this happened thankyou !! X

    • The only appropriate treatment is ERP! If you want to get well, either find an ERP therapist or else do ERP on your own with a book: jackieleasommers.com/2014/10/05/self-directed-erp-therapy/

      I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the CORRECT answer.

      • I know I suppose If I want rid ill have to do it and get it over and done with just want it to get better as my partner doesn’t know only my mom i love him to death and never had any thoughts like this before 5 years together and now I have this with two children the one im pregnant with just want it to get better as its killing me hun xx

      • Im on the waiting list for the therapist iv just bookmarked the ocd books in your post and Im going to order one which one would you recommend personally? Nice to know im not on my own and its been very upsetting to go through this!! And I hope everyone’s ok x

      • I will order that one and also ask my theoripist (bad spelling) about erp ! But when we spoke on the phone she never heard of hocd but she did say ocd made people question there sexuality but they never did act on it! Which I was thankful about I have alot to do but I will take your advice and its a privileged to talk to you jackie x

  28. Hello, I started suffering from ‘Transgender OCD’ 8 months ago. It’s basically the same thing as HOCD but with gender identity the main obsession. Once I get my reassurance I realize how stupid my thoughts are and they have no control over me. Then maybe a few hours or sometimes days they’ll come back. I’m gay though, so I never suffered from HOCD (as gay people never do). I don’t get offended though from people who do suffer. I know how tough OCD can be, good luck to anyone suffering. I’m going to start ERP therapy, it seems like the only escape from this war in my mind. Thanks for the blog it helps a lot.

    • Hey Stefan, thanks for your comment! Interestingly, gay people DO get HOCD … they just obsess about being straight! I’m so sorry to hear about the hell you’re going through right now, and I’m SO PROUD of you for your plans to start ERP therapy! I wish you all the best. Come back to my blog any time for encouragement!!!

  29. Hi Jackie!

    It seems like I’ve been suffering from HOCD quite a while now. I’m 18 years old. It all started in the summer when I had a dream about a female friend, and it started to pop up images of me kissing her. Nothing sexual though. This terrified me and I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. But it didn’t bother me later on, even though I was starting to question whether I was straight or bisexual.

    But now I’m in a horrible state. These thoughts keep popping up and I have read everything on the internet that I possibly can about HOCD. The thing is, I felt little attracted to a girl in my class when I was 14. I thought she was super good looking and I wanted to look like her. But strangely I’ve always liked men. I’ve only had 1 crush in my life and it was on a boy when I was like 10 years old. I’ve been super attracted to a boy in my class when I was 15. I always wanted to hug him and felt my stomach bubbling. The same thing happened to me in school to another boy. He was in another class and I often wanted to talk to him and sit next to him when we had breaks.

    I’ve had little sexual experience. I’m 18 and still virgin. But I still can’t believe I’m bisexual because these thoughts starts popping up right now. Also I get terrified when they do and I feel huge anxiety. It makes me go on internet to read everyones stories about their HOCD symptoms etc. I’m sure I wouldn’t feel this way if I really were bisexual, because I’ve read from people that they already know when they were like 10 that they were homosexual/bisexual and that they never denied it-

    Please help me Jackie. I don’t know what to do. This is seriously starting to effect my social relations and schoolwork. Am I suffering of HOCD and what can I do to get help?

  30. Great article!!
    I struggled against H Ocd for 2 years and it was toughest battle in my life.
    But now i’m finally free and this is happened also for beatiful article like this.

  31. Very important article.

    I have had HOCD for more than 2 years and it was the worst period of my life. It is very important to have some source of true information in articles like this. It’s a big help for Hocd sufferers.

    Thanks

    • Lucio

      Question, I just started ERP and was wondering if the confusion and anxiety got way worse for you before it got better. I’m trying to give up the rumination complusion right now but its hard because it feels like the only link to the life of certainty I used to have. Any advice?

      • Yes it was. When you stop fighting the obsessive thoughts things seemes ti get worse cause anxiety raise andò push you up to the fight. Bit if you keep letting thoughts flow without stopping them, that’s the key to free yourself from ocd 🙂

  32. Pingback: HOCD More Prevalent Than You Think | Jackie Lea Sommers

  33. Dear Jackie,

    First of all I would like to thank you for your articles on (H)OCD. It’s good to know that there are more people out there who understand what you are going through.
    I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 16. I have had several kinds of OCD, but the most terrible one I needed to deal with was HOCD. Why? Because no other kind of OCD is so focussed on your identity. It’s a couple of years later now and I have spent every minute of every day on trying to heal from my OCD. I am glad to tell you that I am much better now than I was before, but I still haven’t recovered yet. I have recovered from all kinds of OCD, but HOCD not yet. It’s no longer bothering me as much as a year ago, but it can still make me feel unhappy.

    Somehow, I cannot stop “checking” people’s faces. My OCD tells me I cannot find a woman attractive or beautiful, ’cause that would mean I fall for her. There have been times it was difficult for me to go to school, see friends etc, because I just couldn’t stop staring at their faces and trying not to find them beautiful. I know you can find someone beautiful or attractive without falling for her, but somehow my HOCD doesn’t believe this. It always happens when I meet a girl who is very sweet and I like to be friends with. I tell myself it’s just because she’s so sweet, but again, I always think that I must be falling for her. Otherwise I could stop thinking how beautiful she is.

    I know I fall for men, so I can’t be gay. But then… I must be a bisexual. But when I tell myself I am, that doesn’t sound like it’s true either. Nothing seems true anymore.
    I have had cognitive behavoural therapy for 2 years and recently, I finished it. But this “checking” of faces is still there. When you google HOCD, you never read articles on people who also had troubles with “checking” faces.

    I wonder what this sounds like to you, and whether you have any hints to stop myself from doing this.

    Jolie.

    • Hi Jolie, are you working with a CBT/ERP therapist? They’re going to be the best ones to help you with specific exposures! I would probably force myself to look at faces and force myself to think, “They’re attractive. That might mean I’m gay, or it might not. Either way, I can’t worry about it now.” But I’m not a therapist! Please work with an ERP therapist on specific exposures, dear one!

      • Hi Jackie,

        Thank you for your quick response. I have been working with a CBT therapist for almost 2 years and when the HOCD began, we did some ERP therapy. I don’t know if you would call this “enough”. My therapist told me I had to say my thoughts out loud “I fall for women” and repeat it for 2 minutes. After a couple of times, it would become less frightening.
        I don’t have therapy anymore and now I am wondering whether I had enough ERP therapy. But I am so scared that if I will do it again, I turn out I fall for women. ‘Cause now I can still blaim my OCD. I am also scared that it won’t help, and I will have to lead a life with HOCD forever.
        Sometimes I even doubt whether it IS HOCD but I also know HOCD makes you doubt and I had other OCD types before this one.

        Would it be better to start with another ERP therapy?
        Thanks a lot,
        Jolie

  34. Hey jackie! So your posts on Hocd have been really helpful! Ive been dealing with this for 3 months now and the thing is i was starting to feel better (quite better i mean), I had been anxiett free for like 2 months. And I just started thinking about the whole lesbian porn thing. Last year I watched lesbian porn and I was really turned on by it but it didnt change anything like I knew It didnt mean anything. Even when my HOCD started it wasnt was scared me the most. But a few night ago I watched a lesbian porn video again just to see what was that I liked about it and I was again really turned on by it. Though the anxiety I felt was tremendous and I still cant let it go and I regret it so much cause I was feeling so muh better and I feel this took me to square one back again. How can I let it go so I can move on and continue my treatment for HOCD

  35. Hey jackie! So your posts have been extremely helpful! Ive been dealing with this for 3months now. I was doing great but a few nights ago I decided to check lesbian porn(something I liked before HOCD) to see if what turned me on was the naked women or the actions and I cant let it go now. I feel tremendous anxiety and I cant stop thinking about it. The thing is it did turned me on but it gave me a lot of anxiety and the fact that I decided to watch lesbian porn to check even when i knew it was going to be bad its making me sick. I regret it a 100% and although it was good to know that the naked women body doesnt appeal to me, I just cant believe I did it. I feel so stupid. How can I let it go?

  36. Hey, this is a great blog that you have. I have similar stories to most of these people. When I was 15 an embarassing thing happened to me, this led me to think people think that I was gay and then it got my mind going over whether or not I was gay. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I knew I wasn’t as I always wanted a wife and kids and fantasized about girls and had crushes on a lot of girls starting as far back as grade three. It threw me into a depression and anxiety issues for years. Finally is seemed to go away and I got married. Now in my early 30’s my dad had a heart attack. He went a long time without a heart beat but by God’s grace he was fine. After that for about 2 months all I could think was I was going to die. I felt every tingle in my body and thought I was having pains in my left arm which meant I was going to have a heart attack. I went to sleep many times thinking I wouldn’t make it through the night. After two months of thinking that from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep it faded away. A few months later I was working at my desk and saw a picture of a guy and suddenly it was just a thought of did I find him attractive? Am I gay? Again I had extreme anxiety issues, images flashed through my head which gave me panick attacks and grossed me out. I couldn’t watch tv because seeing guys I couldn’t tell if I was attracted to them or not and was constantly checking. Finally I went to my doctor, he made me take some test and diagnosed me with OCD, Depression and anxiety and prescribed an SSRI as it was unbearable. My wife told me to be careful because she had a friend commit suicide and die on them. The next day I woke up throwing up because I was paranoid I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t even google my issue because I was scared every website would say I was gay. Thankfully I found yours and others and saw I wasn’t the only one going through this. With the drugs most of the images in my head went away but the battle wages on in my head every day constantly. Some days I think I just must be gay as suddenly something that gave me anxiety before doesn’t now. Then the next time it will. I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with a guy, it literally makes me want to throw up. I love my wife and want to get over these horrible tricks OCD is playing on my head. I don’t think my therapist understands the turmoil inside me right now and hasn’t been to helpful. He wants to me argue with it in my head but that just makes it worse and is the opposite of what most people online say to do. What ERP things did you do? Do you just pick things that set your anxiety off and do them for a week and then pick something else? How much time did you spend each day doing it? Sometimes it makes me try to think that it isn’t OCD and that I want what these horrible things in my head say. I just need to releif.

    Thanks

    • Brent, I have good news for you: though I’m not a professional, I strongly believe you have HOCD, and the GREAT news is that it’s treatable! Please read the letter I have at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD-help. It will walk you through what your next steps are!

      I hope you will find some relief, friend. ERP is hard at the beginning, but in the long run, it offers consistent peace, relief, and freedom.

  37. Hi, I have been dealing with HOCD for 8 months now and I have good days and I have some bad ones. I want to get ERP therapy but my family or I can’t afford to do it. What can I do to ‘self-help’ myself and get control over this? This is making my life a living hell, and I’m starting to isolate myself from my friends and my best friends I don’t want them to hug me at all, every girl I see I question myself, and I tend to test myself to see if I react, and I get these thoughts that seem to push their way in my head and I try to counter react with male thoughts but sometimes it doesn’t seem to work and now I fear I will never feel attraction for a guy and I’m destined now to be with a woman? What should I do?

  38. Pingback: A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer | Jackie Lea Sommers

  39. This blog is AMAZING! I have been suffering from HOCD for a while and have drove myself and my family crazy! I have really bad OCD and just started taking SSRI. I am married and love my husband so much but I live every day with, “what if I am gay?” or, “what if I become like so and so who left there husband?” This is possibly the worst thing I have ever endured because I know these are not my thoughts and never have been! I really found it helpful that in your interview she says it, “happened in a moment.” I find that reassuring to know that it is not something I have been dealing with my whole life and like most of these comments it seems as if there HOCD spiked in a moment as well. I have been trying to find a therapist for ERP but I have not had any returned calls it makes me wonder if any of the people I have talked to in my area even specialize in things such as HOCD? I am also SO thankful I came across your blog that has REAL information! Everything I search for is for reassurance and to calm my anxiety. Your blog has given me a solid ground as to what I am dealing with and what to look out for. I am so glad I am not alone either! Thank you for your truth and boldness for posting topics such as these, also sharing your faith!

  40. Hey there Jackie!
    So I am a 15 year old girl and I have been going through this cycle for almost one year. I have not been officially diagnosed with HOCD or gone to therapy, but my parents both know what I’ve been going through. I suppose I should start by saying that I have always had crushes on boys and have never once had a crush on a girl, i have found them attractive before, but i’ve never thought, “Oh, I want to be with them.” My mind is just to the point where it bombards me with all these impulsive thoughts making me feel so anxious to the point of sickness. It makes me think back to all my past encounters and makes me think I was sexually attracted to a girl even though I know I wasn’t. It also makes me believe that all my crushes on boys was just me trying to be like other girls. I know it’s not true, but that’s just what my brain does.
    This cycle has been going on for so long that I feel almost numb. My mind keeps telling me that I want to be bi, but I don’t. Sometimes I even start to believe it. When I am feeling normal (which is rare) I feel straight and I am happy, but my mind begins to worry about getting worried again (if that makes sense) and the process begins again. It just keeps telling me I am denying who I really am, but i’m not! I am so worried and anxious all the time and I just don’t know what to do anymore. Please help!

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