HOCD: 4 Steps to Freedom

Every month, the majority of questions I am asked are related to HOCD, and many of the questions come from teens. Below, I want to show you the list of HOCD-related questions I received this month; I am hopeful that these question-askers can read through this list and understand that there are so, so many others going through the same experience right now.

Because I have said just about everything I think I can say about HOCD– and had several guest bloggers add their thoughts about HOCD– I am going to answer all of these questions in one response at the very end. I hope it will help.

I wanted to know if you can get aroused by the same sex and not be gay. I do this but the thought of being with the same sex repulses me. also I recently got a crush on someone of the opposite crush and I had a good feeling.   I get anxiety when thinking of being with the same sex for society reasons and just the fact of being gay. Sometime I feel gay, frustrated and not right.
I feel so scared. I don’t know for sure if I have HOCD or not, and I’ve been doing so much research on the topic that I’ve become bored of reading everything. But now I’m scared that this means I’d rather be gay, and that if I looked for treatment I’d just turn out to be gay. I don’t want to be, I’m even starting to doubt that, too and it’s scaring me so much. I don’t know what to do, anymore.
I’m a 14 yr old female and I was recently reading fanfiction smut aka sexual description and it was boy x girl, I was comfortable with it and then got a compulsion to look up girl x girl to see how I reacted, I read it and felt a little aroused but mainly disgusted, I think the arousal was left over from the earlier stuff but I can’t get it out of my head! I’ve had HOCD for a while now, help?
Just an update on my earlier post (I was the 14 year old smut one) I attempted to read another girl x girl story without reading boy x girl before and I had no reaction just a bit of grossed out-ness (I don’t mean to offend anyone). I wanted to also say that I have had anxiety age 7 and talked to a therapist about HOCD, so this isn’t new, and I have never had doubts that I wasn’t hetero before
Hi Jackie. I’m a female with hocd, and I’ve had it for nearly 1.5 years. I know it’s common to be uncomfortable and scared around your friends, but I just can’t stop being so anxious and terrified around my best friend. We talk normal and everything but as soon as I’m alone I start seeing her face in my head or the way she dresses and I dread seeing her. I don’t want to like her is this my OCD?
Hello! I believe I’m suffering HOCD (I’m 14-16), and I’ve definitely had it more than once (I was unaware though). I feel absolutely numb, devastingly though, I can tell my anxiety is lurking in the background. Although I don’t feel it quite yet. I still notice I’m very subtlety panicking and checking, but without the intensity of before. Is this normal? (Well obviously not, but you get my point).
Im a 14 year old girl who has been diagnosed with HOCD, and every time I think it’s gone I see something that brings it back. For instance today I saw an article about someone who thought they was straight and fell in love with a girl and here it comes again. Any suggestions as to how I can stop this cycle?
I have been struggling with unwanted, intrusive thoughts for almost a month now. It just started out of nowhere when this weird sounding voice in my head said, “I’m gay.” It didn’t feel like me at all, but I have suddenly lost all interest in boys (I’m a girl). I had a massive panic attack about this, and my medicine was changed. I am talking to a boy right now, but the thoughts keep coming back!
Sometimes I admire other girls and really wish I was them, but I don’t want to be with them, I just want to be them . . . I have HOCD and it scares me that it might be a crush and I just don’t know it? Sometimes I just get intense feelings of admiration and having HOCD makes me terrified! Any suggestions?
I am 15 years old and really confused. Before this I never worried about it and didn’t question it at all, because I would never be gay. Now these unwanted gay thoughts and urges are driving me crazy. I don’t know if I have HOCD because I was never diagnosed with OCD but I have always been an anxious person. Can puberty make me gay or is this just HOCD? I want my old life back so bad.
Hello! I am an 18 year old girl and believe I am suffering from HOCD. For my whole life, I have had crushes on guys NEVER on a girl (I did watch lesbian porn in the past and it’s really bothering me that I did). I wake up worried that my past was a lie and that i am a lesbian and just repressed it. I just moved in to college and these thoughts of “you’re probably a lesbian” will not leave me alone
I have been struggling with HOCD for over a month now. I hate the intrusive thoughts that I have. I went on a date with a guy I like a few days ago, and I had an amazing time! But now the thoughts are flooding back again, and they feel way more real this time. Please help!
Hi there, I believe I have suffered with hocd for 8 months now and I still doubt whether I am gay or not, growing up I used to be very shy and didn’t really do anything with girls, recently I have been looking at my past to see if there are any gay expierences. Can it take 8 months to realise your gay or is it all just hocd
I’m 15 and my hocd is pretty bad. When I was young I was a part of some “experimental” play and this is the origin of all these thoughts. Anyways I at this point feel way less anxiety but these thoughts are still always here. Whenever I look at a girl and she is pretty I know that I want that but I get worried because I don’t have the same reaction I used to. Is that normal

Hi my dear ones, my dear, dear ones.

I am so sorry for the torment you’re going through. I really am. Can you see above how you are not alone? I’m sure you feel alone because OCD is not something most of us like to talk about, not even with the people we’re closest to.

So, here is my best advice:

1. Please read the following posts:

A Closer Look at HOCD
Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Fourth Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
Q&A with Former HOCD Sufferer
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part One
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part Two

Also, please check out the question and dancer tag since most of those questions are about HOCD.

2. Read about treatment:

Gaining Certainty through Embracing Uncertainty
Resisting treatment?

What life was like before & after CBT
Obsessing vs. Brainstorming: before & after
A Detailed Post about ERP
ERP is the RIGHT Answer
Better than a Band-Aid
Embracing Uncertainty
What CBT was like for me
Will treatment change me?
Why You Need CBT/ERP
Have Reservations about ERP?
Preparing for CBT/ERP
ERP & Imaginal Exposures
Uncertainty is the Key
The Problem with Seeking Reassurance

3. Decide on your next step. Here are your options:

A) Do nothing. This is not recommended. OCD usually continues to switch to harder and harder obsessions and compulsions the longer it is untreated.

B) Continue to educate yourself. This is always recommended because one of the ways we fight OCD is with education and knowledge. You might find that you are only at this step and can do no more at this time. That’s okay. Keep learning about OCD and ERP so that you are ready for the next step when it comes.

C) Pursue ERP on your own. If you choose to do this on your own, you will still want a book or app to guide you. Here are my suggestions:

Self-Directed ERP with a Book
Self-Directed ERP with an App

D) Pursue ERP with the help of a parent/loved one and a therapist. It is always up to you which people you feel safe telling about your OCD and how much detail you want to share. It is fine to say, “I have been doing research on my own and I believe I have OCD. I’d like to see a specialist for a diagnosis.” If you want your parent or friend to know more about what you are dealing with, feel free to send them to the top link. The second link will give you ideas on how to find and interview an ERP therapist.

HOCD: A Letter to Loved Ones
Finding and Interviewing an ERP Therapist

E) Consider meeting with a psychiatrist to add medication to your treatment plan. Don’t neglect ERP therapy in lieu of medication. Medication is best when combined with ERP therapy.

Medication vs. Exposure Therapy

4. Take that next step toward freedom. 

a step


7 thoughts on “HOCD: 4 Steps to Freedom

  1. Pingback: 5 Months of OCD Questions | JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

  2. Hey Jackie. I’m 8 weeks into ERP and things are clicking slowly, like the fact that my curiousity and experimentation was from porn i believe, and the fact that I have always been straight bc of enjoying dates and falling in love with my boyfriend and even the fact that I have ROCD. But I keep getting these thoughts of “what if i just liked men because of society/ media.” I was always surrounded by love songs and romance and always loved picturing myself with a man in that way and enjoyed being with boys since I was 5, but a comment from someone who ended up being lesbian ( she said she had HOCD but her comment makes me think otherwise because it sounds nothing like someone with hocd ) but she just mentioned how it was women in her heart and now mind and how we’re constantly being thrown hetero images everywhere. I just worry that that’s the media influencing me despite enjoying fantasies and genuinely wanting to be romantic with boyfriends i had.

  3. Hello I hope I have Hocd. I never had a crush on a girl just boys. I watched Siamesen porn in the past it triggers me a lot. I had intrusive thoughts false attractions I avoided all this Hocd stuff . Lately I had to think a lot about my past and it must be proof that I’m bi or lesbian. Everyone said to accept it so I accepted being bi. I wasn’t comfortable because i started doubting again but it started becoming a compulsion. I have the compulsion to say that i must be bi. I don’t fear anymore (a little bit) but I think it’s because it’s a habit. I look at every girl to see if I’m attracted to them. It feels like i like it idk why I got anxiety in the first 4 months of Hocd. Now I just say I have to be Bi. I do compulsions every day and question and imagine being in a lesbian relationship I don’t like it but it feels like I like it. After 5 months of this I must be bi because I don’t know myself anymore. Deep down I don’t wanna fuck ,kiss or marry a girl but I question it so often, that i feel confused I really fear of having a crush on a girl and marrying one. Idk but I don’t want it but there is to much proof wich makes me feel awful again. Because of this i believe i don’t have Hocd anymore, and that i have to Be bi. Does this sound like Hocd????????

  4. I’m 17 years old (female) and love and always have loved liking boys. I have always loved being straight. When I was little, however, I remember watching gay people kiss or looking up lesbian movies to see kissing and feeling aroused (I did this with gay men too). This all started when I was in 8th grade and read somewhere that watching that stuff means you’re probably a lesbian or bi. I know being either if those things isn’t bad. I just really don’t want to be bi or like girls. I’ve always wanted a husband and always thought about having a husband. This has taken all of my happiness away from me. I will watch gay porn to see if I like it but end up wanting to sob after, look up pictures of naked girls to see how I feel, ask for endless reassurance. This is the worst thing ever. I just wanna feel confident again. My therapist said she thinks I need to have a lesbian experience and that’s the last thing I want. Please help me. I want to be straight so bad I love being straight.

  5. Hello Mrs. Jackie! I am a 16 year old girl and I hope I have HOCD. One of my main triggers is false attraction or desire. Whenever I see literally any girl, I think she is pretty. It sort of feels like a physical attraction which freaks me out. I used to get a lot of anxiety from this but now after checking for attraction so much the anxiety is gone but the attraction is still there. I was never like this before I started having these thoughts but why am I still getting weird attractions and thinking every girl is pretty when I have no more anxiety? Is this still HOCD? Another thing that severely triggers me is whenever I see a lesbian couple my mind automatically goes “oh I would like to have that” or “oh that would be nice to have”. And then i’m like why did I think that? This must mean something about me. I wouldn’t be having these thoughts if I was straight. This thoughts are very distressing and give me a lot of anxiety. Why do I feel like I want to kiss the girl in a kissing scene when I know I don’t. I always wanted to kiss the boy. idk what’s happening to me. am I in denial?

  6. Hello Mrs. Sommers! I am a 17-year old boy who doesn’t know if he has HOCD or not. I have stumbled months ago on a article of yours regarding this topic where a woman named Hannah told her experience with this condition. Almost three months ago, I was on a train with my friends and we where talking about summer jobs. One of my friends told me that he needed a marriage certificate for a reason unknown to me. I wanted to tell how absurd it was but my mind created the sudden thought that I want to marry him although I was never attracted to any boys. I only had crushes on girls. Suddenly, I wanted to combat this thought with another thought regarding me being with a girl. Then it got worse. I told him that I needed to go out and communicate with more people. My brain sent me a picture of a lesbian couple from a show that have started to date. I got out of the train and was very stressed. I told to myself “No, I can’t love him. I don’t love him. What is happening to me?” Since then, I have not been able to sleep well. I fell asleep with such thoughts and wake with them. I ruminated about the past and things were better. I repeated the phrases “I am heterosexual” so often that they started to feel like plain words. My appetite for food decreased and I started to lose weight. The only think I know right now is that I had similar episodes in the past. I also had the fear that I might have diabetes or cancer and I still get nervous around knives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s