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Thanks in advance for reading this. I am a girl and I think I have hocd. I have constant thoughts about the idea of being gay. I have had this for awhile. When the thoughts first started I would get extreme anxiety. I couldn't function. Now it's almost like I have gotten used to the thoughts and the anxiety isn't as bad. This scares me because this makes me think I like the thoughts when I don't. I just feel really confused. The worst part about it is my mind makes me think that I am gay and starts planning ahead. This really bothers me because I am not gay . I just have doubt. I also feel anxious when people talk about gay people because I have the thought of what if I were gay and what would people think. Then I have major anxiety because I start to think that I might be gay. There is no part of me that wants to be gay. I just have this fear that I might be. I don't want to have gay relationships but I still worry that I might want to.

Part of my anxiety comes from the fact that I have never had a boyfriend. I want a boyfriend but there isn't anyone that I am attracted to right now. I used to have crushes but I haven't for awhile now. I went to an all girls high school. I am also scared to date because I am worried that I won't be attracted to the guy. When my friends talk about guys I get anxious because I start to think am I attracted to guys enough. I am worried that I am never going to date even though I want to have a boyfriend.

Can you help me? I feel like I am never going to get over this. I'm seeing a therapist about this. Thanks

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I'm sorry, but I had to post

I'm sorry, but I had to post again. I can't stop thinking about this thought I had. I was walking back from class and I thought I people were ok with the possibility of me being gay would I be ok with it too. Then I felt a little calm and peaceful, but a few seconds after that I panicked because I thought this meant I must be gay. I tell myself it's just my mind trying to convince me of something I am not. Like I said before my mind sometimes tries to mentally prepare myself. I just really don't want to be gay. I tell myself repeatedly that I am not gay, but I have so much doubt when I say it that I don't know anymore. I can't even look at our girls without thinking oh my gosh am I attracted to her. I can't look at guys either because that gives me anxiety too because I start to think why am I not attracted to him. I don't want to be gay, I am just so confused.

Hi Rose, I'm really glad you

Hi Rose,

I'm really glad you are seeing a therapist - I hope you have (or will) shared all of this with the therapist. But I will do my best to respond to some of the things you've said (but please ultimately defer to your therapist, as he/she knows you and I just have a tiny bit of information here).

What you describe does sound like HOCD. If you were gay, you would be sexually attracted to other girls, and it sounds like that has never been the case.

You said that you keep telling yourself that you're not gay. That doesn't work - in fact, it actually backfires because what you are doing is trying to resist the obsessive thoughts, and the more you fight and resist them, the stronger they get.

Also, as long as you keep telling yourself that you don't want to be gay, that it would be terrible, etc., you also give the thoughts a lot of power. (Do you see where I'm going here?)

You see, if you can come to a place of accepting the possibility of being gay (which is not the same as saying, "okay, I'm gay") - and letting it be okay, rather than fighting it, then the thoughts don't have any power any more. But most people find this really scary because they confuse it with accepting that they ARE gay, and it's not the same thing.

Also, you mentioned you're afraid of dating because you might not be attracted to the guy. Guess what? That's NORMAL! You won't be attracted to every guy - you wouldn't be normal if you were. There will be just a small number of guys that you find attractive to YOU. That means you're selective, not gay.

HOCD does play tricks on your mind; the obsessive thoughts are very compelling.

I hope your therapist is experienced in treating OCD, and more importantly, uses cognitive behavioral therapy methods in your treatment, as that is one of the best approaches to OCD.

Hang in there. Stop fighting the thoughts - it won't help you. Ask yourself, what would be the absolute WORST thing (or things) if you were gay? And then ask yourself, why those would be so horrible. AND, if "what others would think" is on that list (I suspect it will be due to what you said in your post), then ask yourself WHY other people's opinions matter so much. You see, no matter who you are or what you do in life there will always be people who won't like you, won't accept you, and will judge you - and you can't let those people's opinions rule your life. If you live your life always worried about what other people think, I guarantee you'll be miserable!

I hope this helps!

Dr. Lane

Thank you so much. I will try

Thank you so much. I will try to make myself okay with the thoughts. The problem is it's not just the gay thoughts that bothers me. I know you said it's just that I am selective, but I get so anxious when my friends mention boys because I start to think am I as attracted to them as they are. They can go on and on about boys, but I don't do that and it scares me. I had crushes on boys when I was younger, but now I am worried that I have never been attracted to boys. I just at this point feel comfortable by myself. I just feel anxious when gay people and boys are mentioned because I feel so confused. I just really don't want to be attracted to women.

Hi Rose, It's not really

Hi Rose,

It's not really about "trying to make yourself okay with the thoughts" - please read my earlier response to you again. Rather, you need to find a way to accept that being gay isn't awful, terrible, horrible, disgusting, (or whatever negative words you attach to it).

In order to do this ("trying" probably won't work), you need to explore the underlying issue (which is where therapy can help). As long as you attach extremely negative thoughts and feelings with the idea of being gay, then these obsessive thoughts (i.e. that you are gay, were never really attracted to boys, etc.) will have a lot of power and create significant anxiety. You need to determine for yourself why being gay would be so terrible in your mind. The acceptance part means that you no longer see it as being a bad thing. I hope that helps clarify what I was trying to say earlier.

As for your attraction to boys - you know you had crushes on boys when you were younger. That experience was a reality, even though the obsessive thoughts are making you question it now. TRUST your earlier experience (easier said than done, I realize).

You also say "I just really don't want to be attracted to women". Either you are or aren't attracted to women - if you truly were, you would know it. You would feel sexually and physically attracted to some women, just as you had crushes on boys when you were younger. The fact that you aren't attracted to any particular boy right now does NOT mean you are gay. Also, keep in mind that anxiety can really dampen sexual desire, so as you're working through all this you might find your interest in boys waning a bit - and that's not unusual with HOCD.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Lane

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much!

You're very welcome, Rose!

You're very welcome, Rose!

Dr. Lane


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