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HOCD or Gay? Please help!!!

I'm a freshman in college. The initial transition went really well; I made a bunch of new friends, etc. However, my schedule for my meds has been wonky since I got here (I take Zoloft for depression and anxiety) and I missed the first two weeks. I fell into one of my old ruts my third week up here, and that lasted about a week, until I hooked up with a female friend of mine for a couple of days before she called it off. For whatever reason, that helped get me back on track, and things went back to normal. Then last week, I missed my meds two days in a row, and then I fell into another rut for a little bit, but that really diminished about two weeks ago. However, a few days later I woke up with all these weird, uncomfortable thoughts, like stupid random things that pop into peoples heads normally, only I couldn't fight them, and they like burrowed into my brain in a way that really freaked me out. I had random thoughts about suicide in general, and about doing...inappropriate things with friends; the latter freaked me out more than the first, because normally if I have weird thoughts like that I can just brush them off, cause I know it means nothing. But in the state I was in, I began hyper-analyzing all of my thoughts, and searching for reasons for everything. It freaked me out, and now I'm obsessing over those random thoughts. I know I'm not gay, I've never felt any such ideas before, I've dated several girls, only ever been attracted to girl, and it's just never been something that I was concerned about. But now, if I try to think about doing anything physical with anyone, guys or girls, it makes me nervous and supremely anxious, and I can?t eat or sleep. I have no idea what's wrong with me now, and I?m terrified. I can't get the thoughts about being gay out of my head, even though only sex with girls turns me on and the thought of anything with guys does nothing for me; in fact, I tried looking at pics and videos and whatnot to see if I was in denial, and it honestly made me gag and it repulsed me. I've never been diagnosed with OCD, but I'm depressive and have major anxiety problems; this same kind of thought process is what knocked me into depression when I began obsessing over pregnancy scares with ex-girlfriends and the thought of leaving my last girlfriend (who I loved, and was terrified I wanted to leave for absolutely no reason, until she broke up with me). I feel like I don't belong in my skin, and I can't stand it. Please, someone help!

Hi Wolfman, You are

Hi Wolfman,

You are definitely describing symptoms of OCD (more specifically, HOCD which is a type of OCD). Based on what you describe, it does not sound like you are gay - that is your mind playing tricks on you.

Considering you are having suicidal thoughts and the amount of distress this is causing you, I encourage you to talk to someone right away (most colleges have a counseling center of some sort, so you may be able to start there). There may not be someone there who is qualified to treat you, but they should be able to give you a referral to someone who can (your financial resources, insurance coverage, etc. will partially determine who you can see).

You didn't say whether or not you've ever had therapy for your depression and anxiety. Medication alone is never the best treatment for either. And medication alone will likely be insufficient for the symptoms you are describing. Zoloft is a good medication, but you need more than that at this point.

The best treatment for OCD / HOCD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). I hope you can find a therapist who is trained in CBT and has experience in treating OCD (not all therapists have the skills and training to treat this challenging disorder). A skilled therapist can help you learn how to manage and reduce these distressing thoughts. There are many resources on this website that you might want to check out as well.

Also, please talk to someone immediately if you think you might act on your suicidal thoughts. The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best!

Dr. Lane


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