To Ligeia

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Posted by John 16's Mom on April 29, 2002:
Dear Ligeia,

I have not posted directly to you before, so I'm not sure at what point you are at in your treatment of OCD. Have you been to behavior therapy or seen a psychiatrist for medication? Anyway, to clear up your questions about homosexuality, no you cannot "turn into" a homosexual. Your sexual inclination is pretty well set very early in childhood. Of course, we humans have free choice and a person could always choose to go to either lifestyle. I say that purposefully so as not to just offer you reassurance that you are not homosexual. That is what OCD therapy is all about. You cannot have a final "for sure" answer about anything in life. Many times we have to just live with our doubts and that is what is so hard for an OCDer. An HOCDer wants definite proof that they are not gay and will never be gay. If you keep seeking that answer all the time, then the OCD will always have power over you. Instead, you must learn to say, "I know that I am not gay. I have a boyfriend whom I am sexually attracted to. As far as I know, this will continue on until I make the decision to do otherwise. I can live with the uncertainty that I will never have a final answer on my sexuality. But for now, I am going to enjoy my life and not worry about it." Thoughts of this sort render the OCD powerless. It can no longer have a hold on you when you do not cave in to the fear it is trying to keep at the forefront of your mind 24 hours a day.

To answer your other question, ego-dystonic means against one's own nature. There are many people who are homosexual, know that they are, have attraction to the same sex, but do not want to be. That is very different from a person with HOCD who is having anxious, constant worries and obsessions about being gay. When you are in the throes of OCD, the distinction between the two, HOCD and ego-dystonic homosexuality, may not be very clear. That is why I always recommend reading as much as you can about OCD so that you can learn to recognize the symptoms of the disorder. If you need the titles of any good books on OCD or need any other help, I will be glad to answer back. Take care and God bless.

John 16's Mom

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