HOCD More Prevalent Than You Think

Anecdotally, I hear from more OCD sufferers dealing with HOCD than with any other kind.

Statistically, my HOCD posts get the most traffic on my blog (see graphic below).

HOCD sufferers, please know you’re not alone.

I invite you to read my interviews with “Hannah,” a former HOCD sufferer who now lives in freedom from HOCD (part one | part two).

Leave your questions below, and if I get enough, I’ll do a third interview with Hannah!

HOCD stats.jpg


Other related posts:
A Closer Look at HOCD
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
OCD Help

17 thoughts on “HOCD More Prevalent Than You Think

  1. Hi miss Jackie Lea, I’m an 14 year old boy suffering from HOCD, I have had a fear of being gay or viewed as a gay person since August 2014 and I get plenty of panic attacks and spikes from this. My question for you is: ” Why am I getting the anxiety from both sex ? I want sex with a woman but the anxiety keeps building up when I think about it and when I think of the same sex I get anxious but not turned on. I still get erection from girls here and there but it hasn’t been like before. I’m scared of being gay because I’m still very young. I’m scared of what if I’m gay in denial or a gay person who has HOCD of being straight ( because of the anxiety from girls ). Many people say its because you don’t want to lose the attraction so much you think about it alot. Please answer me. Thank you 

  2. Hello Jackie. Thank you for your blog. It is so helpful. I have a few questions regarding HOCD: Do a lot of people with HOCD tend to get unwanted thoughts during sex? For instance, when I am having sex with my husband I will think of having sex with a woman and then I begin neutralizing it. It’s super annoying. Also, I’ve played out scenario is of coming out in my head because this thought of “what if I’m a lesbian?” has been around for a year. I sometimes think about it in a pleasant way to try to accept the thought, but I always go back to how sad I would be to not spend the rest of my life with my husband. I used to want to have children and now HOCD makes me doubt that desire because I worry about being plagued with this obsessive thought the rest of my life. Sometimes I worry that I am just living in denial even though I’ve liked men my entire life. I feel like I spend a decent amount of time each day researching HOCD, but then sometimes I worry that one day I will just realize I am actually gay. One of my biggest fears is having children and then coming out. I hear stories of people doing that and it scares me so much. I always wonder “what if that will be me?” I don’t always get anxious (physically) thinking of being with a woman- I just know that it’s not ultimately what I would want, but sometimes I will look at an attractive woman and think that is what I want. It’s super frustrating. I want to be free of these thoughts!

  3. Hi,
    You’re doing such a great job and I came here often when I was suffering from OCD. Now I’m much better and I need support for my fundraising project OCDletmego.com. Please share the link with all your friends. People have to know about it. I want to put an end to all discrimination that surrounds mental health.

    • Oi Elvis, vi sua página no Facebook e li sobre a sua história. Temos muitas semelhanças e gostaria de saber se podemos trocar experiências. Seu projeto é muito lindo e valioso, uma verdadeira bênção. Sua música também é muito bonita. Podemos conversar?

  4. Hi Jackie,
    I am a sixteen year old female, and I believe I am suffering from HOCD. Is it possible for me to recieve a diagnosis? I told my grandparents that I believe that I am suffering from this, the “Oh my God am I gay, I don’t want to be gay, what if I’m gay?” scenario (and this started in 6th-7th grade, I am now a sophomore in high school) while KNOWING deep down that I am attracted to males, and my grandparents believe I am a hypochondriac just because I googled things to find out what is wrong with me. I came across your blog posts about HOCD, and found that everything that you have said is spot on to the way I have been feeling. It is absolute hell. Even when I tell myself the thoughts are irrational, they do not subside. At all. In fact, sometimes they get worse. I find myself thinking, “what if I’m just in denial? what if…what if…what if.” It causes me to panic. My grandparents refuse to accept that I may have a mental disorder such as this, or any other anxiety or depression, but say I have “so many problems”, and “I need help”. Do you have any advice for me? I do have an appointment with a counselor set up, but it isn’t until later this month.

  5. Hello,

    Earlier this year, I had a taunting thoughts telling me to come out and I would think “no no I’m not gay” to try to suppress them. Then in February, i was just reading then all the sudden I was just thought “I am gay just admit it” and I literally had some kind of panic attack. My heart raced, I became overheated and thought I was going to throw up. I couldn’t get my mind off it. Since then, it’s been my first though every day when I wake up. I’m an 18 year old girl and I’ve always been modest and reserved. I’ve always had crushes on boys, Aladdin as a three year old then in third grade I was convinced I was going to marry a guy in my class and wrote love poems about him and such. Then, I think I developed a strange curiosity about the female form and it turned me on. As a young teen, I would search pictures of naked women and get very turned on by it all and I didn’t quit this for years. I haven’t done it for months, and I’m so ashamed of this sin that goes against all my values. I have never had a crush on a girl in real life though, only been jealous of them and wished I was as pretty as them. I have liked boys all through high school and when watching movies or reading, I often find myself falling for males. Because of my internet problem, I suspected that I might be gay in the past, but always brushed it off because I was happy talking to boys and pretending to snuggle with them at night. Since my panic attack, I have constantly checked my self and imagined myself kissing every girl I see. Thinking “is she pretty” “do I want to have sex with her” etc. has plagued my thoughts, at first making me feel ill. I have had many close girl friends in my life and never had a feeling or attraction to any of them. I told my parents and they were sure I wasn’t gay but I just can’t get over my search history. I have prayed so hard about this. All I’ve ever wanted was a husband and little babies and fantasized about being pregnant and only imagined ever having sex with a man. Now I feel I’ve lost my attraction to men and I’ll never be happy or have a family or I’ll be lying to my husband. I don’t want to be one of those moms who comes out later in life, that terrifies me. I have nothing against gays, but I believe God created man and woman for each other, and i don’t want to break that belief. I would rather be alone my whole life than be with a girl, that thought depresses me to the core.

    • Hello B! You poor dear! I know exactly how you’re feeling, believe me. It sounds just like HOCD, and the good news is that it’s treatable! Here’s a little homework assignment for you, okay? Go to http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD-help and read the whole thing. Then be sure to go to http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD and read ALL the posts about HOCD and ALL the posts about ERP/CBT. After you’ve read them all, check back in with me, okay?

      • Ok I’m back! I have read your posts, but I’m currently in the middle of a very anxious episode and my heart won’t stop pounding bc I watched a coming out video of a you tuber that I have watched for a while. I had a few good days, but that just send me over the edge. I still rack my brain for evidence, (a very convincing piece being the masturbation to the naked women.) however, I have never imagined kissing any women or anything more. I can’t even think of one girl I have ever had feelings for, not even my best friends. This is scaring me to death and it makes me feel like I’m lying to myself and to others, but I’d honestly rather never ever marry anyone than be with a girl. All of this makes it seem like any day now I’m going to announce that I’m gay but I don’t want to be. I want to be with a man or alone. I feel so sick right now. Thank you for listening to me.

      • Is it also a hocd tendency to relate coming out to every song I hear or show I watch? I can’t even listen to my old music anymore without relating it back to this. i still have nights where I worry sick about it and don’t sleep or scour the Internet for reassurance or studying what lesbians say to see if I relate to them. in seventh grade there was a girl I thought was pretty and I wanted to be friends with her bc she was so popular and I tried to copy her, is that normal insecure girl behavior?

      • Totally normal behavior for a young girl.

        And seeking reassurance is typical HOCD behavior. But you will drive yourself crazy that way, and you will go around and around in circles. You have to quit going after the obsessions and start going after OCD itself.

    • Joey Graceffa?

      Interesting! Everything you say makes ME think, “Oh, clearly she’s not gay!” while it makes you think you are! That’s HOCD hard at work.

      So, your next step is to do ERP, either on your own or with a therapist (could you talk to your parents about ERP and going to see a specialist?). If your parents have questions, they could contact me too. Are you on Twitter? I could DM you my email address?

      • Ingrid Nielsen. She’s a “beauty guru” on YouTube. I fell for guys often, but last summer I went on 3 dates with a guy who was nice, but he was really vanilla and not funny at all, so I just got frustrated when I was with him. I then decided that wasn’t going to start anything with any guys because I was beginning my senior year of HS and I was going to be going to college soon and that seemed like a bad idea to have feelings for someone that id have to leave anyways. I missed talking to guys all year until this happened, and now every time I look at a guy twice it feels forced. I don’t have a Twitter but I have a fb and insta

  6. Hi jackie! My name is Brooke and have been struggling with HOCD and pure O in general. I know I’ve commented before I believe. But my parents are convinced my family friend is gay and we were just talking about it. But my mom brought up latent sexuality and denial and all and how you can be with someone and then have a certain experience that can confirm you’re gay and all and i got freaked the fuck out. I remember always crushing on guys. My partner of many years to be exact was one. As a kid I remember when I saw naked women I’d just look at them because I’d just scroll through pics of celebrities when being bored and I just noticed all of these things and I got aroused by erotic lesbian stories on the app episode and I watched videos of girls kissing mainly from curiousity at first as it was in my search history, even though I never looked it up before. And I had an experience with a girl and she was sleeping next to me and I got this thought of kissing her and I just went for it idk if that’s experimentation or not idk I’m scared it all means I’m gay. But I love kissing my boyfriend and I barely kissed this girl because it was awkward and things but whenever she was near me sleeping next to me I just got curious of if I should kiss her but idk if it’s my ocd bc I don’t know if I had HOCD back then considering I was only like 12 or 13. And I can’t remember a lot of it. I just remember being curious and if I played with my dolls I would make the two girls kiss sometimes but whenever I’d play pretend or romantically fantasize it was always with a boy involved and I wanted a boy to hold my hand and to be romantic with me and kiss me from such a young age and all of this. But it’s this experience I’m scared of bc I’m afraid it means I’m gay but I have ROCD with my partner too. And I had always caught feelings for only guys as far as I know but sometimes people would call me lesbian as a kid bc I hung out with my best friend a lot and I’m scared that I was in denial bc I’m scared that I had romantic feelings for her. I’m not sure if I was just confused back then or anything considering how young I was or not bc my HOCD began when I just remembered me making my two girl dolls kiss out of nowhere and then I began to obsess and check and everything. I love my boyfriend and I would always get butterflies when we began dating and bc of my ROCD I would fear that I just loved him in a best friend or brotherly sort of way and our experiences together when I’m not anxious leave me feeling good when I think about them and I get all happy and jittery and I would like to marry him one day like we promised each other. I’m just scared that I can’t have my future like I always imagined it or that I do enjoy girls or that the experiences I mentioned mean I’m gay.

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