5 Months of OCD Questions

Back in November, I noted that 99% of the questions I’m asked are related to HOCD. So I tried to write ONE GIANT REPLY (which you can read here), but it didn’t stop the questions from pouring in.

Frankly, I was exhausted and overwhelmed by HOCD questions, especially when I felt like I’d shared everything I could on the subject. But of course, everyone wants a personalized answer. I understand that, but I’m also not an HOCD expert or any kind of therapist.

So I let the questions sit for a while. Especially when I have a link to the above article right in the form where people can ask their questions.

But today, home sick on the couch, I wanted to tackle some more. A lot more. 🙂

Here we go.

I’m doing self-directed ERP now but I don’t know when should I stop doing exposure works. Do you have any clue?

I do. When you begin, you should rate your anxiety level 0-100. Continue to rate your anxiety level before, during, and after each exposure. Keep doing the exposure until your anxiety level drops to 50% of your original level.

Since my onset of OCD, I’ve become plagued with these fears and dark thoughts…especially the feeling that i am an a ‘bad’ person. Who will hurt others or myself. i feel unworthy and yearn to be the person i was before this illness- light and ‘good’ and kind. I fear greatly that I am an awful and terrible person. Is this normal and what can be done to help?

It is normal for OCD. 🙂 This sounds a lot like a combination of harm OCD plus hyper-responsibility plus depression, if I had to guess! ERP therapy will help. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

I don’t know anymore if it’s compulsive or not.. I used to watch different kinds of porn like gay or cuck*old to figure out what I may like.. I watched it but didn’t think about it a lot afterwards but felt disgusted.. like hijacked..maybe I’m looking for an excuse.. Just tried to sleep when images of a porn came and scared me.. like that must be the final proof that its not HOCD.

Proof that it’s not HOCD? To me, being scared or feeling wrong about it is proof that it is HOCD. ERP will help!

Please read https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom.

I live in a country where there is probably no erp therapy available (I’d be very surprised if there was), and these apps you listed are for iOS, i have an Android :(. Do you have any other tips/resources for self therapy? Thanks ❤ much love. I appreciate what you are doing :))

(My kind of ocd is religious one if that matters, I’m a christian) 

Hello dear one, yes, if you have Facebook, try the Pax the OCD Bot (just search it in your Facebook searchbar). This article might also help: https://jackieleasommers.com/2014/10/05/self-directed-erp-therapy.

You don’t have any intrusive thoughts then? Or you do, and just don’t care?

I don’t have them nearly so often! When I do, I am usually able to pass them off now because ERP has re-wired my mind not to give them more worth than they deserve. On the occasion (usually once or twice a year) that the intrusive thoughts do get to me, I use my ERP tools and exposures and usually can get past it within a matter of hours and a good nap.

What is erp, to be honest? They expose you to your fears until you don’t care/find they annoying? Sorry for my ignorance

ERP is exposure and response prevention therapy. Here are some links where you can learn more:

About CBT/ERP
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
Finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist
Medication vs. Exposure Therapy
Can’t afford CBT/ERP?  Try this app or do self-directed ERP!

 I already am no longer afraid at my thoughts, no longer check, i just find them to be annoying as hell. Will i live with this “annoying friend” forever? Ugh. (i mean i believe one day God will heal me but while He doesn’t, will i just have to tell my brain to shut the hell up everyday? Man is that annoying). Thanks 🙂

Essentially, are you saying that you still have intrusive thoughts but they don’t cause you to perform compulsions? This is just real life, unfortunately! Everyone has ugly thoughts that come and go. The important thing is that when they come, they can also go. If you have a hard time letting them go, then ERP is your answer.

I’m afraid to go thought erp because my ocd is the religious kind. Is the doctor going to “make” me (i know no one can make anyone do anything, it’s just a manner of speech) do bad things (ex denying Jesus, wich i wouldn’t do not now not ever but my brain keeps shouting at me to do so)? I rather live my life like hell then actually going to hell, thank you

Completely understand that. Here’s a fictionalized version of how I had to approach such a tricky concept: https://jackieleasommers.com/2012/09/05/tipping-point-my-entry/

I really don’t want to be gay and I used to be so confident in my sexuality (I’m a girl btw) I just recently got a boyfriend and I didn’t like him that much but I still kinda liked him and I thought being with him would make me know I’m not gay but for some reason I just don’t want to hang out with him does that make me gay 

Doesn’t make you gay at all. Probably just means what you said it does: you don’t actually like him that much. Don’t date a boy as a compulsion to prove your heterosexuality. Date a boy because you truly care about him. ERP can help with both HOCD and ROCD. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

I think I have HOCD but I’m not sure. My therapist is doing CBT but I don’t think it’s ERP and it’s making me anxious. Like what if this therapy goes know where and just becomes me talking about my problems.(what happened with my last therapist). Should I trust that she knows what she is doing? Her Website says she does CBT so by saying she does CBT does that mean she is also an expert on ERP? 

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is the umbrella term, and ERP (exposure and response prevention therapy) falls beneath the CBT umbrella. The best way to know if your therapist knows what he or she is doing is by educating yourself about what ERP looks like. I suggest reading the posts at http://www.jackieleasommers.com and also going through the list of questions to ask a therapist at https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/how-to-find-the-right-therapist.

am I actually recovering from HOCD? I am trying to manage my intrusive thoughts and no checking as well. I’m feeling much better however what’s causing me anxiety is that all my straight attraction is gone for a toss. I have had no history of experimenting with girls or having a crush on them. But I feel  scared. I have always wanted to be with a guy. Will my attraction for guys ever come back?

ERP cannot change your sexual orientation. But I do hear from many sufferers that their attraction to others (the opposite gender if they are straight and have HOCD; same gender if they are gay and have HOCD) vanishes for a time. It’s normal for OCD.

Hi Jackie, I’m not having any kind of anxiety over my thoughts anymore. So I woke up and I got a feeling which said “I want to be lesbian” but there was no anxiety that followed. Which freaked me out. And today I was like okay fine, what if I am? That doesn’t change anything. But i know i want to be with a guy. Does that mean I’m recovering or does it mean I’m gay? I want to be with a guy.

This is meant gently and tongue-in-cheek, hon: “there was no anxiety” is followed immediately by “which freaked me out.” Which means there was actually still anxiety. 🙂 Your thought process here is actually correct! But I suspect it will still be bothersome for you until you do ERP. This will help: https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom.

G~Always thought of myself as straight,loved women and the female body always had 100s of crushes. Lately ive watched some gay porn and it actually has excited me to a certain point and i hate it so much.have felt like i would enjoy doing certain things and cant believe im thinking like this. Even been losing my attraction for the female body which i used to be crazy for. Is all this hocd related?

Very, very consistent with the HOCD experience. ERP can help! https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom/

So I’m a 16 year old and a female, for he past few months I’ve been having a thoughts like “what if I’m bi? Or a lesbian?” I know deep down that I’m not but these thoughts are making me think I am. I’ve always liked guys my whole life and have had crushes on them. I’ve never had a crush on a girl or liked one either. It makes me anxious every time I’m around a girl could it be HOCD?

Sounds exactly like HOCD! Exposure therapy can help: https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom/

I keep on crying idk what to do I feel alone I keep on thinking about having s*x with other girls but when I think about i get discussed I’m only 14 years old I can’t be going through this please give me advice on how to control it or get rid of it please I cant even look at my friends anymore without thinking do I like hereading? It’s really uncomfortable and weird I can’t stop crying please help

Oh you poor dear! OCD is hard at any age, but to be 14 and dealing with it … and with something as personal as HOCD … so uncomfortable and lonely and difficult. Exposure therapy can help. It’s up to you whether you’d like to tell your parents what you’re dealing with in detail, or whether you’d like to just tell them you’re confident it’s OCD but you want to discuss details only with a therapist, or if you’d prefer to do ERP on your own. Here are some links that might help:

Can’t afford CBT/ERP?  Try this app or do self-directed ERP!
https://jackieleasommers.com/2015/07/29/hocd-a-letter-to-loved-ones/
Also please considering trying Pax the OCD Bot on Facebook. Just look it up in the FB searchbar and enable it. It’s a computer program, but feels like you’re chatting with a therapist for real!

Is it a normal symptom to feel an urge to kiss the same sex then get extreme anxiety during hocd? I feel so lost.

That is almost the literal definition of HOCD! ERP therapy can help: https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom/

Jackie, I need help. My boyfriend and I are believers and he has been struggling with OCD. Much of it is related to his faith. He just graduated Bible college and he can convince me it’s all spiritual warfare. I’m exhausted, he is too but he doesn’t think he’s OCD. I’ve looked all over for a therapist who does ERP near Rochester NY and I can not find a male. He won’t go to a woman. Plz help!Thanks

My OCD specifically attacked my faith. It goes after the things that are most important to a person, so that makes sense that– for someone like your boyfriend who cares about scripture and God– it would attack that in his life. I hope he will read through the following posts:

OCD & Christianity
(or other religious scrupulosity)
OCD, ERP, and Christianity
I’m a Christian and Take Meds!
Unashamed of my OCD
Is the thought from OCD … or God?
God’s Sovereignty, OCD, the Cross, & His Purposes
Is Mental Illness a Spiritual Issue?
Is ERP Sinful?
OCD & Faith (or Lack Thereof): a Double Interview

The past year I have been struggling with a  fear of selling my soul through intrusive thoughts. I recently had a thought that if I didn’t write everything I write in perfect grammar, then my soul belonged to Satan. I didn’t fight the thought as I usually do, and this was before I learned that I was supposed to ignore the thought. Does that mean that I meant the thought?

I’ve had similar thoughts before. I think most people have, except that for those of us with OCD, it’s far harder to say, “Well, that was ridiculous!” and move on. 🙂 ERP therapy changed my life in this manner; I’m not being dramatic. I hope it will help you too. Lots of details at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

I think I am suffering from hocd I’d like to talk to you about it please

Hi friend! I am not a therapist. Here’s how to find one: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/how-to-find-the-right-therapist/

Also consider trying Facebook’s Pax the OCD Bot. It’s just a robot, but it feels like chatting with a therapist!

Is it normal to feel false attractions and feelings towards the same sex with OCD. I was clinically diagnosed by 2 doctors with OCD yet I still doubt I have it and am scared that some things aren’t OCD even tho I never felt them before this obsession started. Sometimes I notice that the “attractions and feelings” are just normal feelings and such but they feel really real and unwanted and scary.

This is all normal for OCD. In fact, doubting that you have OCD is also normal for OCD– I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone with OCD who hasn’t doubted that they truly have it! Exposure therapy is the key to disarming the doubt. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Continuing from the false feelings and attractions thing. So they don’t feel good and I get them for my sister and mom too!!! And objects like random objects! They confuse me because they feel like attraction or something but I know it can’t be cause it just doesn’t make sense but it can feel pretty real. How do I know for sure they aren’t real??? What if I’m bi/gay??? I fear both I fear all attra

cont’d below

Continuation again these attractions and such Do not feel good no matter how much my mind convinces me they do like I don’t lay back and just think about them and be happy no I fear them and hate them and when they show up it’s like LEAVE ME ALONE YOU RUON MY LIFE. Ok do u think I really have hocd???? How do I know for 100% sure I don’t feel anything for the same sex I don’t want to feel anything 

OCD is a real beast, isn’t it? It goes after things that are most important to us, like our personal sexuality and even the pure feelings we have toward our families. You can take down this beast of an illness with exposure therapy. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Our son, Nick is 17 yrs old, turned 16 yrs old, and developed signs of depression. He appears to have HOCD. Older brother revealed to family that he was gay. Nick was then 13. Nick was a very social and talkative kid until the last 2 yrs. One love – very gifted competitive swimmer. Seeing a therapist and psychiatrist,, taking meds- not seeing great results. No ERP close by? Struggling terribly.

First of all, it’s clear you are an amazing parent. Great work!! ERP is truly the answer here, and the great thing about it is that you don’t need a professional in order to do it.

Read this post about self-directed ERP. Also consider the free app nOCD or the Facebook bot Pax the OCD Bot. They are both amazing tools.

Hi jackie, I’m suffering from i think religous OCD, i keep on praying until i am satisfied with my praying. Also i am thinking about Jesus Christ is different from God, can you help me please? Thanks jackie

The important thing here is to understand that OCD is an illness, treated like an illness. You don’t treat OCD with learning theology. You treat it with ERP therapy and meds, okay? Once you do that, then you will be able to enjoy your relationship with Christ and dive wholeheartedly into theology in a healthy way. Check out https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/07/25/does-my-erp-therapist-need-to-share-my-faith.

I am being treated by a Psychiatrist for depression/anxiety. I am also rather sure i have OCD, as I have all the symptoms but I am afraid to tell my doctor about my intrusive HOCD related thoughts as they are strange and taboo. I am also worried she will think I am crazy and maybe not know about HOCD. My HOCD is also under control now and that making me procrastinate telling the DR. Any advice?

I can appreciate the fear that goes into telling someone about taboo intrusive thoughts. If your therapist or psychiatrist is an OCD expert, they will not be shocked at all. This is common territory within OCD. Unfortunately, many doctors and therapists are still unfamiliar with OCD/HOCD and end up giving awful advice that only makes things worse. The more you educate yourself on OCD and HOCD, the more you will be able to recognize whether or not your therapist/psychiatrist knows about it!

This article may help: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/how-to-find-the-right-therapist/

Dear Jackie, sorry for another HOCD question (I am a straight male), I know HOCD can make you feel a loss of attraction to the sex you’ve always been attracted to, but can it make you fearful of that sex? This occured after reading an account from a female perspective of HOCD that got me really confused, like I’m now afraid of women despite wanting to be attracted to them like my normal self.

I hear narratives like this all the time. I always say “normal for OCD.” 🙂 ERP can help, friend. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Hi Jackie,

I’ve been suffering with hocd or what I think is hocd for just over 3 years. I have just recently started to see a cbt therapist. I was wondering when you went through this did you have a nagging feeling constantly in your head. Also how did you accept the uncertainty that all of this brings to get rid of the obsessional ruminations. 

First of all, check out https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/treatment/how-to-find-the-right-therapist. It’s important to find a therapist who truly understands OCD and how to treat it with exposure therapy.

Secondly, ERP therapy is how you learn to accept the uncertainty. It takes about 12 weeks, and it’s very hard, but it’s life-changing. It re-wires your brain back into a healthy pasture. 🙂

Hi I’m not sure if Hocd or am I gay or bi I keep checking gay porn hundred times a day but my mind telling me I like it but I have no arousal then when switch to female I get aroused instantly so I can’t figure what going on 

The key word here is “checking”– that is a very, very common compulsion. ERP therapy can help: https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom/

Was diagnosed with other types of ocd, but now not sure if I have HOCD or gay? Always had crushes on boys/had straight relationships.I feel like my personality is straight but once I started worrying I was gay i put pressure on sexual arousal to men/penises and now it feels like I’m no longer sexual attracted to men but am to women..emotionally speaking/crushes never wanted to be with a woman. 

You can have OCD and then experience many different “themes” within it. For me, until I treated OCD with exposure therapy, my themes just got harder and worse as I went along untreated. Once I treated OCD for one theme, it took care of them all. 🙂 Read about it at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Hi Jackie I’ve think I’ve been suffering from pocd but I can’t tell it started once I graduated high school I’m an 18 yo male I had never worried I was attracted to kids but now I’m constantly worried about it all of a sudden I started having thoughts of kids but in sexual situations and they tormented me I’m seeing a therapist and she says it’s ocd but I’m scared it’s not

Ahhh, the doubting disease … where it even causes us to doubt whether we have it! What you wrote is the textbook description of POCD, and it means that you actually value healthy sexuality and would never hurt a child. That’s why you have all the anxiety and torment! (A pedophile would enjoy it.) Exposure therapy can help, even though it is really difficult. It’s 12 hard weeks, but it is wayyyyy better than a lifetime plagued by such thoughts. Check out http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Is this HOCD or am I in denial?  I am 13 and I suffer from depression and anxiety, a month ago I thought to myself ‘what if I’m gay?’ Which stared this torment. I had never had any crushes on girls only guys and I felt it getting worse each day. Now I feel like I have no orientation but still an plagued with thoughts images and sensations. I don’t know if it’s the antidepressant or I’m in denial. 

May I introduce a third option? What if it’s not the antidepressant OR denial, but you just suffer from HOCD, a treatable illness? ERP therapy can help, truly: https://jackieleasommers.com/2017/11/01/hocd-4-steps-to-freedom/

Hi Jackie, I was in therapy but left because the exposures were too scary: he wanted me to ‘agree’ with my thoughts…I was worried I was aroused by horrible sexual intrusive thoughts, so I would say “yes, I was turned on by that!” I saw that this is basically what you did?  I thought saying “maybe I was” would be effective, too…or even “it’s just OCD.”

I completely understand this. Here’s a fictionalized version of how I was able to side-step things in ERP and still beat OCD: https://jackieleasommers.com/2012/09/05/tipping-point-my-entry/

hi

Hello buddy. 🙂

I’m a 16 year old girl who is struggling w HOCD. I am 99% sure I have HOCD. However, when I read about the difference between gay and HOCD or even about gay, my mind makes me feel like I am truly relating to the gay side of things even if I relate more to hocd when it comes down to it. Is that normal?

OCD/HOCD will make you doubt everything. Does the idea give you anxiety or stress? If so, that’s very telling! Try to take deep breaths and continue to read up on HOCD. Knowledge is powerful!

Hi Jackie, this question is also about HOCD, it’s just that I can’t find anyone who at the moment has the same problem. Not only am I scared of people of the same sex but also of people of the opposite sex because I’m so worried I might not be attracted to them. So basically I am avoiding both genders.. What should I do? Should I be doing ERP for both?

As you can see, I was asked this question (or something similar) by two other people even in this thread! So you are not alone. 🙂 Do ERP for HOCD, and it should eventually kick everything else’s butt too. I did ERP specifically around my religious/spiritual obsessions, but it also took care of any other themes I was experiencing too, because ultimately ERP is restoring a healthy brain wiring to you.

Hi Jackie i am 15 year old girl and i feel like am going crazy. I think i am dealing with HOCD i never been diagnosed with ocd before but am not sure i been dealing with this ever since i was 13 but i never told anyone or gotten help. I feel like it’s different this time i feel like am always in denial. I have lost my attraction to the oppsite sex it it depresses me.i always had crushes on guys

You’re not crazy. As you can read above, what you’re going through is a very common experience within HOCD, even down to losing attraction to the gender you’re usually into.

It’s up to you whether you’d like to tell your parents what you’re dealing with in detail, or whether you’d like to just tell them you’re confident it’s OCD but you want to discuss details only with a therapist, or if you’d prefer to do ERP on your own. Here are some links that might help:

Can’t afford CBT/ERP?  Try this app or do self-directed ERP!
https://jackieleasommers.com/2015/07/29/hocd-a-letter-to-loved-ones/
Also please considering trying Pax the OCD Bot on Facebook. Just look it up in the FB searchbar and enable it. It’s a computer program, but feels like you’re chatting with a therapist for real!

12 thoughts on “5 Months of OCD Questions

  1. Hi Jackie I don’t now if your still on this but when I first got HOCD it was like my brain was attacking my heart and itself. It was like I was battling who I was and who I wasn’t. I’ve never been attracted to the same sex in my life and I don’t want to be now. I was suffering for 4 months and now that anxiety is somewhat gone but now I think that I am because I no longer experience that same anxiety as I used to. Now I just feel lost. I know I like females but it’s like I know females don’t want me so I’m just stuck. Its like I know I don’t want to be with the same sex but it’s like that’s all I can think about and I don’t enjoy these thoughts ether. I just need some help

      • Hi , I’m 16 years old, I’m a guy and I’ve been struggling with these thoughts . I have always been outgoing and was headboy at my primary school and I always liked girls, never looked at guys that way, I then moved to an all boys high school but still I quickly made friends and I was fine, but then our deputy headmaster came out as gay but at the time I was just shocked as everyone was and didn’t relate to him at all. But the first day ever I had that thought I was on the family farm during holiday and the thought just popped up in my mind like, “ how do you know you’re not gay” or it was something similar to that and it really scared me because it was very foreign and new to me, I had never in my life felt same sex attraction so it scared me very much and even during that time I was feeling or looking at guys just the thoughts popped up, they then went away after a day or 2. But when I was watching this show about a few months later, this guy who had a wife and a kid all of a sudden kissed another guy and then became bi and it really scared me how he couldn’t know his whole life up until then, which triggered a thought in my mind about how about if I am gay but I don’t know it. The thoughts if I remember correctly went after a day or 2 after I took one of those online tests and it said I was straight. The third time it happened I was at school and the thoughts popped up before a concert I was performing in but quickly they went away when I ran into a girl I went to school with and I was REALLY attracted to her especially when we hugged and I felt her breasts touch my chest and I basically forgot all the thoughts. The thoughts have now come back about 1.5 years later and are worse than ever, it’s been about 3 months and the thought just popped up as I was trying to organise my life as I am 16years old writing my Cambridge O levels, and so I was trying to become more productive and organised and since I’m a guy, the issue of hygiene wasn’t really a big thing to me and I could go days on end without bathing cos you know, I’m a 16 year old boy soooo… anyway I started wanting to be more hygienic with myself and so I started bathing everyday, twice a day in the morning and in the evening, and after a few days of cleanliness and hygienic practice, I thought to myself that I should also clip my toenails because it had been a long time since I clipped them, and then as I was clipping there was a thought like, “Why are you being so clean and hygienic, how do you know you’re not gay” and it just spiralled, and I took one of those online tests again and it said I was straight but after some time I came back again and it still said I’m straight then the third time I used a different site to test myself and it said I was like 99.9% straight with no tendencies and that freaked me out because I didn’t want to even have a part of myself attracted to guys. I then tested myself with gay porn which I never willingly or enjoying lunch looked at and I wanted to see if I’d get hard but I didn’t but I did feel a little tingling down there which really scared me because I thought to myself, “ why were you feeling that tingling, if you weren’t so anxious you probably would’ve gotten hard, which means you’re gay” which scared the heck out of me and when I got to my normal, straight porn I couldn’t really enjoy without a homosexual thought interrupting me and that’s when I had my first full on panic attack and I thought I was going crazy. I called a friend and I wanted to tell him what I was thinking but I didn’t talk about the gay stuff because I was scared so I just told him about how I was having scrupulous thoughts, which were triggered by the panic attack and the reason I called him is because I had had scrupulous thoughts before and he had too so we got through it together the first time I had scrupulous thoughts but the gay thoughts I was now having were a whole different monster. The thing is, I never was EVER attracted to guys or their physical bodies, I always loved women and loved straight porn or sometimes watched lesbian porn because I’m a guy so it was nice to me, but now I was really scared and it resulted in me having a thought about every guy I walked past regardless of his actual face, as long as I could tell from a distance that he is a guy an intrusive thought would pop up from my head and I was less attracted now to females, especially on my worst days and that made me panic even more.

        Fast forward now, and now I’m absolutely terrified because it feels tooo real to me, I feel as if I’m actually gay and I don’t want to be, even now I really like women, like when I see a pretty girl I like it but I’m constantly checking if I am amused or have taken a liking to guys, I constantly search on the web to see if it’s HOCD or I’m in denial and I keep searching the exact same websites which used to give me a sense of relief and now they don’t.

        I used to think I had ocd and wasn’t gay but it now bothers me if I find these thoughts disgusting or not because they scare me but now I feel nothing, not disgust but definitely not attraction but it scares me that I’m not disgusted enough like I used to be and now it seems like when I try to investigate my past my mind is now turning things I thought into something different and I’m questioning if I was gay all along.

        It feels extremely real and it’s like now it feels like deep down I’m gay but I definitely don’t want to be and I don’t ever want to accept being gay because all my life I dreamt about having a beautiful wife and kids and living a great life where I was their provider and I constantly fantasised about a girl I know and how I wanted her to be my wife, in fact I was absolutely convinced she was going to be because I fantasised so much about her but now it even scares me sometimes, when I think of a girl because my mind says it might be false feelings and when it says that I get even more scared that I wasn’t attracted to her enough

        I still was straight porn even now though I feel extremely confused and I always focus on the girl, I’m scared to go to someone as I’m scared they might think something of me and I’m scared to go to my parents because I’m scared that they’ll think I’m gay and things like having a coming out story and telling people that I’m gay really scares me as well, and it didn’t help when I searched on the internet symptoms of being gay as they said if you’re gay you’ll be scared of coming out and I’m really scared, I’m a Christian and don’t believe that this was for me, I always wanted to be straight bt now I’m even questioning past encounters with people and past memories and it gives me great anxiety and my school grades have dropped massively as this is all I think about in school, I used to be a straight A student now I’m scared I might fail and this is scaring me because it seems like I have to make a decision NOW and I just wish I was back to my normal, heterosexual, crazy happy self

        I tried the exposure response thigg Ng when you think about the thoughts by yourself and they said it is supposed to be hard but when I thought about them my anxiety didn’t really go up too much and this scared me because I thought to myself, “ since you’re not scared much you’re probably wanting the thoughts” which scared me the most

        So I want to know if you think this is truly HOCD or am I just trying to hide it, because I am really scared and don’t know what to do

      • Every part of your story sounds like OCD to me! That’s not a diagnosis (I’m not a mental health professional), but every part echoes the nature of HOCD. Keep learning about OCD and ERP. Check out a book from the library. The more you learn, the more prepared you will be for what to expect from exposure therapy!

    • Hello! I am a 16 year old female who has been struggling with what I think is HOCD for about a year and a half now. I wanted to tell you my HOCD story so that I can properly identify if I actually have HOCD or I’m just in some serious denial. First off, I want to say that I have been professionally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but not OCD. Also, before my onset of HOCD, I never once questioned my sexuality and I never thought of women in a sexual or romantic way. That’s actually what started my hocd. Around last summer, I remember talking to my mom about LGBT people for some reason. I told her that I knew I was straight and that I actually found women kind of ugly (no offense :D). Then I had this random thought, “What if I am attracted to girls?” The thought freaked me out so I decided to imagine myself in a sexual scenario, just to be sure. Once I did it, it felt like a bunch of knives were crawling up my body. I had never felt this kind of feeling before and so I immediately thought it meant attraction/desire. After constant ruminations and a few mini panic attacks, I started to do my first compulsion-checking my reaction men v. women. After about 8 months of constant checking and questioning, I started to get these weird feelings whenever I would look at any type of girl. It’s not groinal responses (although I do get those), it’s more of a physical sensation that I can’t describe. This freaks me out because It feels exactly like attraction. All of a sudden, I get an urge to imagine myself kissing a girl or doing something that deeply disturbed me. Every time I would have this thought, I would tell myself “ew no, that’s not me!” and immediately shut it down. But the thoughts kept coming. About 6 months in, I found out what HOCD was and every symptom exactly matched up with what I was experiencing-intrusive thoughts about my sexuality. After reading almost every HOCD article, I knew that I wasn’t gay, but maybe I was bi? After learning about ERP treatment, I decided to try and do it at home. I started off slow by saying that these thoughts and urges were just my OCD and they were not real. But no matter how much I tried, the thoughts kept coming back, and I kept on doing compulsions (reading OCD articles, sexuality tests, coming out stories). After about a year, I was fried. I avoided anything to do with the same sex and I would question my sexuality constantly. I didn’t have any more energy to be anxious about the thoughts because I had them too much. I was so used to checking my level of attraction towards women that I completely lost my attraction towards men. I have only ever had crushes on the opposite sex. The first crush was in 3-5th grade. I was emotionally and physically attracted to him, and I dreamt about being with him or kissing him almost every night, but I never imagined myself in a sexual scenario with him, same with my other crushes. I used to think this was because I am a very catholic child and I never really leared what sex was until later in life (like 13). But it freaks me out that I was never sexually attracted to these boys. Also, I haven’t had a real life crush or really even talked to a boy since 7th grade (I am in 10th grade now), which makes me think I was never straight in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I still know I am attracted to men somehow but I still have no idea if I am bisexual or not. You see, now that I was having these thoughts with no anxiety attached to it, it started to feel real-more real than ever! Even during the peak of my anxiety, there was still a part of me that knew that I was straight. Now, it’s hard for me to see myself with a man, and I still don’t know if these physical sensations and thoughts towards women are real! I used to have so much fun talking to my friends about cute boys or crushes that they had, but now I feel guilt because I think I have been lying to myself about my orientation, which makes me want to cry! Just last week, I had a dream about my elementary school crush. I had a crush on him for at least 3 years and in the dream we got married and had a kid. I woke up feeling very happy because I knew that I enjoyed the dream and desired to have something like that. That happiness only lasted about a day because the next day I saw a picture of a girl and her boyfriend. I saw that Demi Lovato (A BISEXUAL WOMEN) commented on the post saying that the boyfriend was hot. This freaked me out because I actually thought the girl was pretty! Then I realized that ever since my HOCD started, I always look at the girl first-not the boy. I always have to go back and see if I was aroused by the girl-not the boy. Before, If I would see a beautiful couple, I would always notice the boy first. It’s like I am hyper aware of girls’ looks. Keep in mind I don’t think I have any desire to be sexually intimate with these women, I just have no idea if these feelings are repressed sexuality or a side affect of HOCD. Another thing that freaks me out is back in my first year of high school, my best friend was having a sleepover for her birthday, and some of us had to double up and sleep in the same bed. I was paired with a girl that I didn’t know very well and I remember feeling extreme anxiety and discomfort when sleeping in the same bed with her. I have always been an anxious and self-conscious person, and so I thought these feelings were a result of that. Fast forward a year, and I read in a “How did you know you were gay” article that lesbian women can feel uncomfortable at first when in close contact with another women. This obviously freaked me out and I thought it might have been an early sign of the coming out process. I used to be this boy-crazy girl with a new celeb crush every week, now all I can think about is if I am attracted to women. It’s like the more I thought about being with a girl, the more normal it became, which has led me to believe that I actually like the thoughts. Do these “urges” mean that I want to have these thoughts, but I just can’t accept them? The thoughts feel like I want them, but I don’t at the same time, which makes no sense. At first, the thoughts seemed very intrusive and unwanted, but now they seem like a normal part of me and I no longer have a reaction to them. Does that make me bi? Another one of my main compulsions is doing sexuality tests. I try to answer as honestly as I can but I keep mixing up my real desires and fear of real desires. An example of a question would be “You see a cute girl at the bar and she comes over to ask you out, would you go out with her?” I want to say no because I would have said no before my onset of HOCD, but I keep having this nagging thought in my head saying “yes, you want to go out with her”, so I just end up saying IDK for most of the questions. Even then, a lot of my results say that I am heterosexual, even the Kinsey test. Then, I stupidly decided to take a “Am I in denial test”. After taking it, the results said that I was either gay or bi, and I was scared at first but I didn’t really have a reaction to it. Does this mean that I am ok with it? Being in denial and repressed sexuality are so similar to HOCD, and I don’t even know if I have OCD. All I can say is that these thoughts are beginning to feel more real than ever, and my mind keeps telling me to accept it but something is telling me that it’s not who I am. These thoughts are making me feel like I would be fine with being gay or bi, and that I have been in denial this whole time. I have nothing against the LGBT community and none of my anxiety has come from worrying about what other people think, I just worry about if I am attracted to the same sex or not. Like, writing this email about my gay thoughts doesn’t give me anxiety, which it would have a few months ago. These thoughts have me convinced that I desire the same sex, and I just want it to be over! I want my old, straight life back and want to get treatment but I’m not sure if this is OCD or not. Sorry for the long email but I could really use some advice.

  2. I think have been experiencing HOCD for the past 10 years. I have all the symptoms of someone who is dealing with HOCD the only problem is, is that in my childhood I did experiment with the same sex. Looking back on my childhood I feel guilt and shame and I ruminate on my past so much and try to remember every detail of every memory, desperately trying to remeber how I felt in those situations. This is absolute torture. I constantly search the internet to see If this childhood experimentation is normal and if that means I have to be gay or bi, I dont want to be. Just typing this out makes my stomach feel sick and I feel so much anxiety. I’ve never had crushes on girls and never imagined or fantasized about being with a woman. I’ve always wanted to be with a man and have always had crushes on men

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