Could OCD style symptoms have any affect on overthinking my sexuality?

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I am a 24 year old male who

I am a 24 year old male who has been straight since before he can remember. Being with girls was effortless and I enjoyed being with them/ fantasising about them e.t.c. Rarely I would also have same sex fantasies. Sometimes they would turn me on more, and sometimes they wouldn't, but in either case I was not attracted to men at all and didn't even consider them as anything remotely sexual in my every day life.

About 6 months ago I just lost my sexual drive for women. I could still have sex with women and enjoy it, but it wasn't as intense and it was hard to fantasise about them. I was going through a bad time and was obsessing about my relationship and the fact that I wasn't as aroused by women which probably didn't help.

One day I remember going shopping and seeing a handsome looking man and thought he was good to look at but nothing more. Then I panicked and thought "could I be gay?" I'd remembered I had had same sex fantasies in the past and this scared me further. Luckily the rational part of me kicked in and said that it doesn't prove anything and I went about my life. Not too long after that though, whenever I couldn't get aroused by a pretty girl I would panic alot!! Particularly because I found I could be aroused by men. I started to obsess that "I must be gay and I have to come out." I started to think I would feel better if I did because I was growing tired with the stress of fighting it and reminding myself I'm straight.

It seems I am split in two. My conscious self wants to stay straight at whatever cost. The other part of me gets extremely anxious now when I look at a women in a sexual way and therefore I obsess that I cannot be straight and that I'm just in denial!

So my question is, could my obsessive style behaviour have led to my current troubles? I never thought it was possible to change your sexual orientation and I never wanted to! I have no problem with gay people at all, one of my best mates is gay and I went to him with this and he said that you would know from day one and that I am not gay or latent gay (which he thinks is stupid) because I don't want any part of it and I am consciously fighting it.

I should also mention that I am in a relationship with a woman. It has been bumpy at times and I have panicked that sometimes I don't love her (which is ridiculous because I would do anything for her and am commited to making things work) but we get along great and we are really supportive of each other. We have a healthy sex life when I am not panicking and I enjoy it.

Can anyone offer an insight

Can anyone offer an insight into this or has anyone else had similar issues? I get incredibly stressed out and I am really upset about it.

How do you know you are not in denial? I want to be straight and I always have been. Now my mind tells me I am gay and I should lead that life, but I just can't do it. I cannot let go of the straight life I had. Please help.

Hello, Confused. First off,

Hello, Confused. First off, let me tell you I completely sympathize. Not only do I sympathize with you, my mother does, my sister does and many other people with OCD do, too. I am not a psychologist, but I feel fairly confident to tell you that YOU ARE NOT GAY. I have had the same exact thoughts and am quite straight. I enjoy being straight, but definitely deal with anxiety-induced worries and sensations that fall exactly along the lines of what you've described. Because I have dealt with this since I was 10, never pursued homosexuality and thoroughly enjoy the opposite sex, I DO understand what you are going through but want you to know there is help. What you are dealing with is an anxiety disorder and an increased response to these understandable and very human questions and fears that we all have, but people with OCD deal with much more and in much more detail. First things first, remember that we all have both groups of hormones that will cause us to respond to both sexes. This doesn't mean we hook up with both sexes or want to. It means we respond to beauty, to aesthetics, and even to general sexual tones, male or female. Try to be a little easier on yourself. Secondly, visit this Web site and you will see you are not alone.

http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson7.php

This site has helped me immensely as I have grown older and learned to cope wtih my OCD (which I was diagnosed with at 10, and had your same symptoms).

Have hope, sir. You aren't weird, you aren't gay, you aren't anyone bad, you aren't anything you don't want to be. You're just a 20-something living in a world that throws a hell of a lot at us. But you can handle this and still be happy. Trust in my words and my support. I wish you the best of spirit.

might be out of order.mr.kir

might be out of order.mr.kir sir i wish for your opinion im only 12 ive had crushes before (all on girls) my first ever crush was this girl that helped me out a lot and was kind generous and beautiful i could tell that i was in love because i couldn't stop thinking about her, but sadly i was too shy. when i turned eleven i developed a kinda liking for pregnant and Asian women but now thats in jeopardy. see it all started when i was surfin wikipedia and i wondered what it would be like to be gay all i imagined up was me and the dude meeting his family no harm wrong. i went to sleep and thought it'd go away but it wont i could only take enough for 3 weeks until i told my mom then another week until i was pleading to god. my step dad gave me pornographics but that only helped a bit(by then my sex drive was gone) and i just cant bear the thought of actually being gay. honestly i have no fear of gay people its just i want a wife and kids in the natural way. just please my heart is hurting all ive ever liked was women until i had that thought know sometimes it hurts when i think of dudes girls and sometimes both. please help it might help to know im an aspie. plus im scared because i got an erection 5 minutes after i tested myself if i was gay by imagining a muscular man naked and flexing i passed the test becase i didnt enjoy it. and now i cant be around anyone except for my mom and shes the first one who cared for me(and the most) and if she gets into heaven and i dont i know what'd i do with myself. plus i can honestly say that was my only homosexual type fantasy plus now i cant stop arguing with myself in my head. Plus im worried if this can affect my thinking

Hello, Trilobite. As

Hello, Trilobite. As explained before, first thing to do: take a big breath. Second thing: remember that when you try to argue this in your head, it is the best fuel for OCD to be given. When you argue in your head about whether or not you're gay, you're going to keep thinking and thinking and thinking about it. The thing about having OCD is that you will repeat a mental image or idea until you feel you have resolved it - but the catch is that it never gets resolved. The OCD keeps bringing the idea up over and over again. One of the best things you can do is try to distract yourself from these thoughts. Now I know your OCD will probably make you doubt all this. But if you read the thousands and thousands of online forums about this same subject, you will see that people all around the world have OCD with a sexuality spike, just like you. "Spike" means that you have a trigger that makes the OCD thought keep going around in your head. For you, your spike is homosexuality, as it was for me and other people writing here. You are not alone. Your brain is firing chemicals back and forth between different brain cells, making you think about this over and over again. Try to relax: we live in a very busy and stressful world, and your brain is just going into overdrive. This isn't your fault.

Visit these two sites to give you a little more understanding of the anxiety disorder you are dealing with, and how to manage it.

http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson7.php

http://hope4ocd.com/foursteps.php

You said that you don't want to be gay. The debate ends there. You don't want to be, so you aren't. You can be whoever you want. OCD doesn't tell you what to do, and it also won't turn you gay. All it does is make you worry about something that isn't worth worrying about. If you will please trust me as someone who was meant to help you in your time of need, and use the tools for managing OCD, you WILL feel better. You prayed to God. This is your answer. Please remember to take it easier on yourself, to relax, and don't let OCD take the happiness out of growing up. In due time, your experiences with women will occur and it will all be okay. But you must first try to relax, and try to do this every day.

kurd thanks it helped for a

kurd thanks it helped for a bit then it stopped a little. my mom recently took me to the doctor to help me he said i wasn't gay because he'd known some of his patients were gay and he was right all except for one who had a wife and kids then turned gay but then when we went to the store on the way home i could notice this dude in orange shirt and blue jeans and i could notice him talking to a girl at the counter then i walked past the him and noticed him then as we were going home he appeared again and mom pointed out that he was gay and im like i just thought he was one of those popular kids and was just sociolizing go fiqure does it seem gay that i just kept noticing him or was it god who made him apear to help my mom prove to me i wasn't gay plus my whole family said i wasnt gay including you

Hello, Trilo. Sure - I

Hello, Trilo. Sure - I expected that it would only help you for a bit and then come back again. That is how OCD works, especially for someone like you who has no training in how to deal with this yet. Will your mom consider taking you to an OCD therapist once a week? If you go to therapy - specifically, it is called "cognitive therapy" - you will be taught how to handle your issue, "obtrusive thoughts."

I can help you to start by reminding you that you are debating this issue again, and you are asking for reassurance from me, your doctor, your mother, God, etc. This is the first habit that you have to try to turn off. The issue here is not your sexuality. The issue is your OCD - you must learn to put obsessive thinking in its place. You can start by not arguing in your head about whether you are gay or straight. Your sexuality is already in place. Like I said, you don't want to be gay. If you did, this wouldn't have become an obsession. You can sit there and keep checking to see if you're gay, but that doesn't change that you're checking in the first place. This is called "obsessive checking." In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with being gay. What's bothering you is that your mind is bombarding you with a thought about your identity that you don't want. You don't want to be gay? Fine. That's fine - you don't have to be. But you DO have to learn now to say "Stop." to your brain. It's bullying you. Sexuality isn't something that happens to you because you obsess over it or because you "ignore" it. It's usually just a natural thing. And sometimes it's not always cut and dry. We have both testosterone and estrogens in all of us, both men and women. So we both respond to a lot of different sexual images. This doesn't mean we're all gay. You want to marry a girl and have a family? Good for you. There's nothing else required of you. If that's what you want, go for it. There are no sexuality police out there waiting to get you, tell you that you're really gay, and punish you. This is just your OCD pushing you around, and part of this is because you aren't engaging your brain in something else.

My therapist once explained it like this. Do you know those people who constantly wash their hands over and over again until they "feel better"? Or how about the people who turn the light switch on and off, or lock and unlock the door, compulsively until they feel better? How about that show "Hoarders"? Those are also forms of OCD. Yours is the same thing - you are checking and checking your responses to see if you are gay or not, or you are arguing it out in your head until you "feel better." But the nagging question will keep coming back. That is because that is how OCD works. Remember - OCD doesn't have a rationale. You can't subdue it by giving a convincing argument that you aren't gay because OCD isn't an actual person with a mind to be convinced. It is simply biology - neurons firing back and forth, probably in your amygdala (the part of your brain that processes fear). Do you think those neurons are little people who will listen to you and stop bothering you about thinking about homosexuality? No. As long as there is stress in your life - as there is in everyone's - those neurons will keep firing neurotransmitters and I can assure you, if you were to somehow get the homosexuality issue to leave you alone, you would then find another thing to obsess over. This is okay, Trilo. It's alright to have OCD and neurons that are sensitive to the very, VERY anxiety-filled world we live in. But, you do have to be good to yourself and learn now to handle this. We need people like you to do great things in this world. And if you allow OCD to steal your attention away, you may be depriving us of a doctor, scientist, artist, teacher, or whatever it is that you would like to become. You are also depriving yourself of having fun and feeling happy.

What I suggest is that you start your training in dealing with OCD now. The same as it is VERY HARD to get people who obsessively wash their hands to stop the compulsion, it will be hard for you to stop worrying about this. But please try. If you continue to try, it's going to get easier and easier. First step: tell your brain to stop. Simple. Every time the, "Am I gay?" topic comes up, tell your brain to stop. Second step, start doing an activity. Homework. Hanging out with a friend. Helping your parents around the house. You have to get up and do an activity right after you tell your brain to stop. Expect the thought to keep coming and coming. Just keep pushing through, saying "Stop." and keep doing activities.

You can do this. People all over the world, including yours truly, have learned how to deal with the EXACT THOUGHTS you're having. Have just a bit of faith to step outside of the OCD worrying and try to ignore it for...let's start with one hour. Try to just ignore it for one hour. And find another activity to do for one hour. Like I said, the thoughts are still going to come. Try to work on your activity and keep lightly pushing the thought aside. It will come back. Lightly push it aside again. Keep practicing this. And remember to do what I told you: you have to relax. Do some deep breathing or say some prayers.

You're on your way. Good luck!

okay this is hopefully my

okay this is hopefully my final question but what i want to say is when i think of a women in my fantasy its always a pregnant woman and i get hard like in a min but i want to know is that just because i want to or is it my body natural response because when i try and get hard i somrtimes find myself mentally thinking to make my self started im worried if thats just me making myself aroused or my thought i tested it alone with a woman and with a man alone=grew a bit woman=full blown man(dont know if its because i didn't imagine vividly enough or something like i did with the opposite sex)= smaller so what i want is your opinion does this mean i straight for shure

Trilobite, It sounds like

Trilobite,

It sounds like your mother cares about you deeply and wants to help, and that is a very good thing. However, no doctor can say for sure whether you are gay or straight (and, as you pointed out, the doctor has not been 100% accurate). Also, no one can just look at someone they pass by (like the guy in the orange shirt) and know whether or not he is gay or straight. It does not work that way.

There are many people who may "look gay" (for example, a man who is a bit effeminate or a woman who has masculine traits) but that doesn't mean they are. Only that person knows in his or her heart whether or not they are gay; appearances, mannerisms, etc. can be deceiving. These assumptions are one of the reasons so many kids are bullied at school - teased about being gay when they aren't necessarily - just because they're less masculine or feminine than their same sex peers.

You are looking for constant reassurance, but unfortunately no one here, on another forum, or even people who know you can say 100% whether or not you are gay or straight. I suspect that you are straight and have symptoms of OCD (HOCD). But I can't say that for sure. Also, you have Aspergers, which affects how you process information and view the world, which complicates this a bit more.

If this continues to distress you, I encourage you to see a psychologist or other mental health professional who has a lot of experience working with people with Aspergers, as well as treating OCD (that may be a difficult combination to find).

In the meantime, I encourage you to give yourself a break (and yes, this is easier said than done) from the constant checking, reading forums, surfing the Internet for information, and so on. You are torturing yourself and it won't make the thoughts go away. Instead, try to spend time doing things you enjoy. The more you focus on the obsessive thoughts, the more power you give them. It's the catch22 for people with OCD, which is why treatment is usually necessary.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best.

Dr. Lane

Kurd2010, You have provided

Kurd2010,

You have provided many useful tips in your posts. However, the last paragraph in your post above contains seriously inaccurate statements.

You said "you don't want to be [gay], so you aren't" That is NOT always true. There are many gay individuals who are very distressed by their homosexual desires. They don't want to be gay for different reasons, but one of the most common is because of strong religious beliefs (which appears to be a factor for Trilobite).

Some religions teach that homosexuality is a sin and that acting on one's homosexual desires will condemn them to hell. Many people desperately seek help to change their sexual orientation because being gay is unacceptable to them. Some live their entire life in denial or "in the closet". Some even kill themselves.

You also said "You can be whoever you want". Not when it comes to one's sexual orientation. People don't choose to be straight or gay.

It would be nice if your statements were true, but they simply are not.

Dr. Lane

Dr.Lane i've just been so

Dr.Lane i've just been so worried i liked girls up untile the minute i wondered what it'd be like to be gay i've liked girls for the past 2 years since i started puberty i've liked pregnant women for the past year i've wanted a wife and kids the traditional way i want to be with my parents and family plus im one of those kids that overthink to the extreme so far the only other ocd like thing i remembered was when i was five and i thought everyone that was out of sight was dead plus i felt love 4 a girl that was in my fith grade class that was kind to me and always helped me when i dropped something honestly i only started thinking gay thoughts when i thought of a life as me as gay i know you probably provide these services for a fee but as you can see by me stating im only 12 plus it may intrest you to know to add to my aspergers i've been cooped up in my room most of the school year and dont get out of my except for one school feild trip and some family gatherings my mom clearly stated by the many times i cried and needed her which has become nightly that she can feel that im not gay plus my churches youth leader from what i told her and my grandma granny and doc they think the same and honestly i cant remember my pre gay worries erection from a girl even though everytime i would watch a show called shakeit up i would get an erection from the girl called zendeya

Trilobite, You are clearly

Trilobite,

You are clearly distressed and I have no doubt that everyone wants to reassure you that you are not gay. My concern with that is due to the underlying motives. You sound like you have a very religious background in which homosexuality is very unacceptable (you mentioned in a previous post about your mother going to heaven but you wouldn't).

Individuals who are gay (I'm not saying you are) who grow up in that type of environment are surrounded by people who are highly invested in them NOT being gay, so they constantly reassure them that they are not. That leads to significant internal conflict and distress for someone who is gay.

I never assume that just because someone is worried about being gay that they have HOCD. It is simply not that black and white, unfortunately. Some cases more clearly fit the pattern of OCD; others are more complex. That’s why forums and chat rooms aren't always the best place for someone vulnerable. There are far too many people who really don't know what they are talking about giving very bad (and sometimes downright harmful) advice.

The real issue for you is not whether or not you are gay; rather, it is your anxiety. Some people with anxiety about being gay truly have HOCD, and need to be treated accordingly. Others, however, actually are gay and need help coming to terms with that - treating them for HOCD would do far more damage than good.

I hope this makes sense. I don't know if you are gay or not - you are young and haven't really had much opportunity to explore your sexuality in the real world. You can ask others for reassurance that you aren't gay, but ultimately the answer is within you. If you do have HOCD, all the reassurance in the world is probably not going to stop the obsessive thoughts, unfortunately.

I hope you are able to get the help you need for your anxiety.

Dr. Lane

Hello, Dr. Lane. I appreciate

Hello, Dr. Lane. I appreciate your corrections. I understand you figured you were correcting an inexperienced non-clinician, but I have been treated for OCD since the age of 10 by psychologists who specialize in the matter and have conducted a great deal of research on it myself. In the case of OCD patients and the processing they have, yes - it is a matter of not wanting to be gay. This is a primary reason this specific trigger manifests, and there are also gay patients terrified they are straight. Moreso than moral dilemmas, this specific trigger is fueled by the fear that something that horrifies you, or goes against what you want, will happen against your will and that this somehow represents an actual will. I appreciate and agree with your comments - sexuality is something more innate. However, this doesn't work for people with OCD. We do things until we "feel" okay, but yet never feel okay. We don't and can't work on innate realities, as our compulsion is driven by constant fear that these realities aren't concrete enough. This is why, for Trilo and according to the therapists I have worked with, the sexual debate must be boiled down to something more simple. If it is debated as you are doing here, it only gets worse. With people who do not have OCD and are homosexual, yes - your assessment is correct. As someone who has been there for my homosexual friends both during and after their coming out, there are many painful inner conflicts that occur. And religion plays a part for some. However, these are not the conflicts that can be applied or analyzed in discussing sexuality for sexuality triggered OCD. As someone who has read many many posts on this and discussed it tirelessly for the past 20 years, I can say that Trilo displays the exact debates of a person with OCD on this matter. You are correct in that it can't be concluded 100%. But again, OCD sufferers, especially young ones with no training yet, cannot handle or accept that. In this specific circumstance, the statements I made are true. The entire mechanisms behind sexuality are not fully unraveled yet, and for the OCD sufferer, part of desensitizing the trigger is to remember that sexuality IS your choice, in that it is NOT the choice of your OCD. You apparently come from a different school of thought, and your being a doctor is most admirable in validating your perspective. But many doctors experienced in this specific trigger would completely disagree with your even presenting this debate to Trilo in the first place, as it gives him more to perseverate on and encourages his compulsion. At any rate, though I admire your intelligence and your intention to help, I am not comfortable discussing this further. Like you, I wanted very badly to ease Trilo. However, though I am experienced with this, I cannot be anyone's doctor nor should I be. I wish you both the best and admire your communication. Trilo, be good to yourself. Take Dr. Lane's and my advice on seeing a therapist for OCD. I promise you, it can get better and you can feel better about this. You will be okay.

You are entitled to your

You are entitled to your opinions, but very few (if any) experts in this area will support your statment that "sexuality IS your choice". Research also does not support that. Telling someone with OCD that it is, is providing erroneous information and can do more damage than good.

While I appreciate that you have knowledge on this topic, discussing it tirelessly for 20 years does not make you an expert, nor does it make you a qualified mental health professional. Thus, you are not at all qualified to determine whether or not Trilobite has HOCD or not, and your responses to him are based entirely on the unqualified assumption that he does. That is why I spoke up because I have seen far too much damage done by well-meaning individuals who think they know more than they do.

I am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and well-versed on OCD. I stand by my statements. Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of misinformation on this topic and other mental health topics all over the Internet.

Dr. Lane

thanks guys i will not be

thanks guys i will not be making another postuntil this is cleared up or until i can't take it anymore but just if you do have anymore info just give it out to everyone iknow i may be 12 and you guys are more experienced with this but even though dr. lane says i might be gay but my mom the 1 who has seen me grow up says for certain this is just driving me insane infact i shouldn't even be on her my mom says this is feeding this thing thats tearing me in 2 i leave you to your buisness and thanks for your help

peace,trilobite

I think the articles written

I think the articles written by this Doctor, who has treated OCD for several decades, will help you. Peace.

http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson7.php

could this actually be

could this actually be puberty cause now i dont know what i want its like im just dull and i have no feelings because i dont know what my heart wants because all i ever had a crush on since 5th grade was girls now i don't know what i want all i have is the random heart aching and my groinal responses but i have proof that im straight because my penis goes full blast when fantasizing about women and nothing when testing with man in my head but i got edgy again when my moms friend's boy toddler touched me on the leg and my thing didnt go all the way but it felt like it grew a bit

Hello, Confused. I am 26,

Hello, Confused. I am 26, male, and I have OCD. Up to a certain time in everyone's life, which is different for everyone, we are programmed by society, media, and our own genetic makeups to follow certain routines, behave in divers ways, and entrench ourselves in set thought patterns and ways of thinking. True mental growth and maturation begins when you experience a desire to take over the process of programming yourself, as it were, from your environment and those in it, so that you alone may choose who and what you want to be. Although it happens at different times for everyone, this "taking of control" over who you are and how you act and respond in situations typically happens in the 20s. Naturally one of the gears within ourselves that falls under our inquisitive seeking is the part of ourselves that is one of our most intimate; that is to say, our sexuality. However, it is a fluke of nature that sexual maturation occurs before mental and emotional maturation, wherein the workings of our sexuality remain largely unconscious and accepted by us. The anxiety you feel is a completely natural response to your sexuality inevitably falling under the category of "things about yourself you must question". I can assure you from experience with these feelings that you are not gay, but anxiety (a product of conscious action attempting to change an apparently unalterable entity) can actually hinder the growth you may need to go through. I can assure you that 1) EVERYONE goes through this, but everyone who goes through this thinks they're the only ones, or at least that their problem is "different", or "worse", because it's rarely talked about, 2) your unconscious mind will work this out, and 3) trust in, and do not fear or be anxious about, the void of desire and feeling you have, for perhaps it is just the calm before a more spectacular dimension of sexuality is opened up to you. Be at peace, my friend.

Thank you both for responding

Thank you both for responding and thanks for your support.

I've been through a lot with this and its made me question a few things in life. Firstly, that most things in life are an unconscious decision (i.e love and sexuality). I have read other stories on this website where people are going through a similar thing and psychologists have told them that what you consciously want is your orientation. I would never consciously have a homosexual thought or encounter except for checking for any reaction (and obviously there will be because I keep looking for it!)Arousal is not the only thing which determines sexuality. And to be honest the only reason I believe that I'm not getting aroused by women much at the moment is because I am nervous and stressed around them (this was never the case until this started happening, I guess its because I desperately desire arousal from them). I think this is what you was suggesting someone, in that anxiety over this has hindered me getting over it. If it didn't frighten me so much, I would have regained my normal heterosexual arousal.

Kurd2010, that article was very interesting and useful in that I have experienced both of them spikes before. It amazing how they can feel so real though and that that is what you want. Even though you know consciously its not.

I know that I'm not that weird and I think deep down I know I'm not gay. Though my mind will convince me otherwise. In the end, its alright to feel a certain level of attraction and even arousal I suppose towards the same sex, but if its not consciously what you want then you wouldn't really enjoy it.

The thing is, I know that when this goes away, I will be very happy again in a heterosexual relationship. I am now to be honest, its just these thoughts and feelings make me question it and make me think its not what I want.

Thanks once again for your responses and best wishes, and you have my best wishes and support as well. Any more insights or even success stories of people getting over this are welcome as I find them to be a good motivator.

I think the articles written

I think the articles written by this Doctor, who has treated OCD for several decades, will help you.

http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson7.php

 
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