HOCD THOUGHTS please help??

I am 20 years old girl, VERY shy, VERY insecure, paranoid and anxious in general (I was diagnossed with GAD few years ago).

Since I was in elementary school I have never "wanted" to like boys, or better I never allowed my self to, so when my girl-friends would start havin boyfriends (from 2nd grade on) I was a bit jelous I guess but I didn't like the idea of having a boyfriend right then, I mean I thought I had plenty of time. And I alwas convinced myself I didn't like anyone to the point that I made myself believe it.

I remember "liking" a boy, saying I thought he was cute and funny (I also found a diary where i wrote it down when I was like 8) and I liked this boy throughout all elementary school. Eventhough OBVIOUSLY I never said anything aloud, I didn't want to like anyone because I was afraid that had they found out they would tease me no end about it.

In middle school I was shy around guys, my friends started having real dates and I was "surprised" to see that they were interested, I felt I wasn't ready at all. But being around some of my guy friends I realized I liked some of them more, especially one, who used to kiss me on the neck for some reason and I felt really good about it, eventhough I would tell him to stop and blush because I felt embarassed, but it gave me butterflies .
Back then I jsut thought this particular guy was cute and all but I never said "I like him , I want to be with him".
From 8th grade my life started to be a living nightmare. I started having anxiety attacks at school, I didn't want to go to school, I hated my life, I was acting like a rebel, parents brought me to a therapist together with them and my sister, but I barely spoke. I didn't want to be there.

Then I started High school, I was ready to find the perfect friends, all my life I've always wanted to be part of a group of friends (girls) to share my secrets with, to do fun things together, just like I saw on tv. But this never happened.
Other girls made fun of me, I was shy, overweight, very quiet and for all these reasons I probably looked "dumb" (while I am a very smart girl actually) but I wasnt't able to stand up to them.
This went on for like 2 years, I considered suicide so manytimes, I basically cried every signle moment! Old friend didn't recognize me anymore, I became so insecure I barely left home.

Things started to go slighlty better from 11th grade. I started making new friends and I started going to therapy.
In all this, my interest in boys was basically null, I was very sweet and vulnerable but also kind of proud and tough. So, I would always cry for help, and I wanted everyone to notice how hurting I was, but I didn't want them to know that I wanted a boyfriend or that I needed someone in my life, I never allowed myself to say that I liked someone, I thought it made me weak. So I kept convincing myself that I didn't need one. And during High School I never liked anyone.

I remember liking male actors and singers obviously, I met one once and he kissed me on the cheek it was wonderful ). I had their posters all over the room and I adored them, but still I never talked much with friends about how cute they were or anything as other girls did, I mostly kept that for myself.

My sister had her first boyfriend at 16 and they dated for 4 years. I was jealous of her, but I denied this to myself, I mean, I still do.. I'd say to myself that I obviously wanted it for me too, but I would immediatley take it back. Saying I don't need one and stuff like that. But I was confindent that one day I'd be thinner, and prettier and I would find real love.

When I was 15 my step sister came out. I was a bit shocked, I mean, she was very masculine way too masculine actually, but she also had been dating a guy for more than 10 years and was going to marry him, so I wouldn't have dreamt of it!! While my other sister said that she suspected it because of several reasons and so did my mother. I wasn't against it, I guess I somehow forced myself to accept it because everyone at home acted like it was normal, but deep inside me I felt something wans't right, although I am not homophobic or anything.

After a few months I started having fears and thoughts.
I also had dreams of me having sex with a guy who then turned out to be a girl! before I woke up! These kinds of dreams freaked me out and I didn't know what they meant. It was always girls I didn't even find pretty, so it was very confusing. I even had dreams of me having sex with my mom or other older women. But I knew it wasn't really my desire or my true will so it wasn't a real issue.
But it's like After I found out about my sister these "homosexuality" thing took over my life. I was obsessed that people thought I was a lesbian, if I didn't talk about guys or never like guys. I even thought that my own parents thought that about me. I had a pen friend (girl) who I was very attached to because I used to tell her everything, she was older (25 yo when I was 16) and she was theo nly person I tursted and told my "feelings", all my problems at schools and my parents and things like that. I wans't in love with her or anything lol, this didn't even cross my mind but when my mom asked me things about her I had the feeling that she thought she was my gf or something. It was hard, I constantly felt like I was hiding something. Almost like I was really a lesbian. But back then I had no real doubts. They were just fears about what other peopel thought about me. I had no desire for women whatsoever.
Then one day I started wondering "you're 17, why aren't you interested in guys?" and this started to bug me a lot.
I started having thoughts like "you must be a lesbian" or "are you a lesbian?" and especially at nights it gave me anxiety. But still I had no real proof to say that I was a lesbian, eventhough I thougth that not having ever had a boyfriend was a proof :(.
When I was 17--18 I started going out more and I met some new guys. And I started to let my self FEEL whatever I wanted to feel, so I noticed that I actually was able to be interested in guys. There was one I particularly liked, which was my friend's boyfriend. I remember liking him a bit more than others, but I was "shepperoning" his relationship with my friend, I didn't even think I could stand a chance I really never even questioned that. It was off limits, to me dreaming of a guy was like dreaming of being a hollywood actress, something I would love to do, but too of reach.
BSo I always only liked guys as I would like actors , just admire them from a far, feeling awkard around them and nervous, or liking it if they hugged me or gave me attention but nothing more!!
Anyway, for two years these fears weren't as reccurent as now, I remember feeling akward when looking at a pretty girl on tv, I had the feelings thato ther people around me would think that I was staring.
So sometimes I had anxiety when looking at movies with my friends. Or when I watched tv shows with cheerleaders on it I was very anxious, it was like my anxiety was telling me that I was a lesbian but I also remember reassuring myself saying "stop being so ridiculous, you don't like them stop the anxiety" and sometimes it worked. These thought were on and off for the last 3 years or so, I would have months without a thought , or a week with more thoughts but it wasn't as bad as now.
Besides I was acucsed of being clingy in High school, so even years later when I met new girls I had the feelings that I was soffocating them even if I was just making normal conversation, and this feelings slowly became fears of showing interest in them. But it was ridiculous and annoying but I didn't really believe I was a lesbian.
Since I was 16 I started making up stories in my head before going to sleep, where I was the new character of a tv show I liked, and I would have relationship with the guys but I noticed they were never "normal" relationship like dating or anything , they were always dramatic and tragic, I would imagine us having sex and it "felt good" but I never imagined the real romantic part, as if It's not meant for me, as if I don't see myself in a romantic relationship.
Last summer everything started to get worse. I had a tragic summer, my pets (who meant the world to me, since I was so lonely during my teen years, they were my only friends and I loved them so much) both died after being ill for months, so it was very painful to see them dying. Besides I had had mild vaginal bleeding but even after being told that it was nothing serious and I was already cured I coudln't stop obsessing over it, I had two abdominal ultrasound , pap test, and went to several gynecological appoinmtents and I was told everything was fine but for months I couldn't accfept that I was ok.
My therapist helped me realize that my fears were irrational but I coudln't stop worrying and I was scared by everything that concerned sexuality, masturbation, and sex in general, I couldn't stand being naked or taking a shower, my life was pure hell.
One day in september I was at the pool with my mom and I looked at a woman (my mom and I thougth she was wearing make up in the pool) but when she catched my eyes I suddenly felt anxious, like I was starring and I was a creep. I rushed to my mom and almost crying I told her that I didn't want to be a lesbian and she laughed and I laughed but then I run into the hotel room and started the mental checking , I started questioning if I would really want to, then all my previous fears started to surface and I thought "this is it, you are actually finding out you are a lesbian". These thoughts never let me since.
It all got worse when I went back to university, I saw a guy I thougth I liked, and I felt no attraction to him, while all my girl firends looked so pretty! The first day of university I run home and went to see my therapist.
She called these thoughts "intrusive thoughts" and she told me to not trying to find exlanation to them.
I felt unconfortable being around gir, there is a friend of mine I used to hang out with a lot last year at school, she is older than me (she's 27) she's accomplished so many things in her life, she went abroad, she moved in with a boyfriend (who she met abroad) basically all Iv'e ever wanted to accomplish. We have many things in common (not everything but quite a few) starting with our interest in langauges (we study languages) and travelling and other things related to this. We became friends and studied together. As everyone I would come close to, I had thougths about "don't be so clingy they'll think you like them" even before september, but it never bothered me. But after the bleeding trauma I started being unconfortable around her, and one evening we went out for dinner and we stayed out all night just talking and laughing a lot, and she brought me home at 4 am it was very late and I wanted to ask her if she wanted to spend the night over (since my sister moved out we have a spare bed) but thinking this made me feel unconfortable, I thought "what would my parents think" or "what would she think" and so I didn't say anything, besides I was feeling very unconfortable about my healt problems so I wasn't in a good mood for sleep overs.
After september I started to "check" if I would like to be with her, because I thought "maybe you like her" and what frightened me was that I didn't have a real "avversion" to the thought, it almost felt right, but it was accompanied with a lot of anxiety. I even tried to put her in my mind when I masturbated but it just felt wrong and I stopped and I cried, afterward I felt so ashamed and I've never did that again.
This term has been nighmare. I skipped lots of classes , I felt awkard going to my firend's places. I had thoughts that I liked every girl I saw, and I lost all attraction in guys, now I almost feel that I wouldn never want a boyfriend. Or when I feel "yes you would like to have a boyfriend" then I picture myself with one and it's like I don't like it!! It's so freaky. I've read about HOCD and it seems like it fits with what I am going through.
But I read that a lot of patient express they desire towards the oppposite sex while my deisre was/isn0t that strong.
I am quite romantic, I've dreamed of finding prince charming or thingsl ike that but never really believed it.

My therapist now agrees that it's OCD but I don't know if she's an expert and I am afraid she won't help me.

Please anyone, help!! I am feeling so depressed and scared!!

Can those past fears be the start of my HOCD?

In the last couple of weeks I

In the last couple of weeks I have been a bit better. And now I can almost see that I don't really like women!! I've never felt so sure about this since september. so I basically went back to as I was before september, but I still have the racing thoughts during the day, even if they bug me less.
Today though I woke up anxious and the thoughts have been more annyoing than they used to be in the last few days!
The obsession about my friend came back, and it ruined everything. I don't feel anything for her, we weren't even so close, I started building this up after september on propuse to "check" and it didn't go well, but before that I never felt anything !! The thing is after september I started avoiding her, because when I was with her I had intrusive thoughts.
so I started to hang out more with other girls and I had intrusive thought with them too, (like feelingi mpulse to kiss them or something) but with time they went away, while since I 've never saw her again, I still fear her a lot.
Please, can anyone help me?!?!

Hi messedup, That was a very

Hi messedup,

That was a very long post so please correct me (and forgive me) if I misread something or didn't understand something correctly.

While I'm not in a position to diagnose you, I do think this sounds like HOCD. You've struggled with deep insecurities since grade school, and although it sounds like you've always fantasized about and desired a boyfriend, you kept boys at arms' length and told yourself "stories" (e.g. "I don't want a boyfriend") so not having one wouldn't be so painful. It sounds like the primary reason you've found it almost impossible to believe you could have a boyfriend is because you don't regard yourself as the type of woman any guy would want.

I also suspect that your weight may be serving a protective purpose (this is true for many overweight women and men). Sometimes it's easier to be overweight than to deal with the pressures and vulnerability that can come with having a more attractive (and thus sexually desirable) body (based on society's standards in general). So, that is something you might also explore in therapy.

Checking behaviors are counterproductive, but a common symptom of OCD. Sadly, they provide minimal, temporary relief at best, but that also reinforces the behavior. Also, when you avoid the things that cause intrusive thoughts, like the one girl you mentioned, as well as spending time with other girls, you are making things worse in the long run. You see, every time you avoid those situations, it reinforces your anxiety. Part of overcoming irrational fears is to face those fears (usually gradually) - NOT avoid them.

The impulses you feel to kiss other girls is also very common with OCD. Many people with OCD (not just HOCD) experience intrusive, unwanted, inappropriate impulses. The impulses cause a lot of anxiety, but the vast majority of people never actually act on them. However, like you, they misinterpret the impulse as a genuine desire. That causes more distress because they think it means they must really want to do it (whatever the impulse is).

OCD is comprised of a vicious cycle that is difficult to overcome. I don't know if your current therapist has the skills to help you successfully overcome this. OCD is a very complex, challenging disorder and I do feel many therapists lack the skills and experience to treat it successfully. This is why I generally recommend that people find a psychologist or other mental health professional who is very experienced in treating OCD, preferably with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as that is regarded as one of the most effective types of therapy for treating anxiety disorders.

So, for you, I suggest you have a very open and direct conversation with your therapist regarding her experience in successfully treating OCD. Any therapist with integrity, self-awareness, and professionalism will recognize his or her limits and do what is in the best interest of his/her patients. If your therapist has limited experience in this area, then find someone who has more experience (or who may even specialize in it, if possible), or ask her to refer you to someone if she knows someone. But, that is an important conversation for you and your therapist to have.

As for what other people think, with regards to whether or not you are a lesbian, etc. - you have to find a way to let go of that. Other people's opinions don't determine your sexuality. Some heterosexual males tend to be effeminate, and others think they are gay. Some heterosexual women, especially those who are very tom-boyish or not very feminine, may give the impression that they are lesbian. And the same is true for homosexual men and women. So, even if something thinks you are a lesbian doesn't make you one. However, I do realize that with HOCD, this is a very scary thought and often reinforces the anxiety. So, again, something to work on in therapy.

Sorry for such a lengthy response. I hope you can continue in therapy, either with your current therapist (if she is competent to treat OCD) or with a new therapist who has a lot of experience in this area, so you can learn to manage these obsessions and fears and, hopefully, even overcome them.

Dr. Lane

Hi Dr. Lane, Thank you so

Hi Dr. Lane,
Thank you so much for your response.
It was a long post indeed, sorry about that.
I just had so many things in mind I didn't know which ones to "sacrifice".
Also sorry if some parts of what I wrote didn't make much sense, I am not a native speaker, plus I am pretty confused.

What I also don't understand about me is that eventhough some years ago I started "longing" for a boyfriend, I've always "shivered" at the idea, and I felt like "omg not now though".

Then in 2011 I started College, and I thought to myself "ok , now I can start looking for someone, I'll find my prince charming and I'll live happily ever after" but something still kept me from putting it into practice. Like I wouldn't talk with anyone when I was out (not with guys anyway) or I would avoid going out much, and I always staied in the "safe zone" where there wouldn't be many guys or I staied away from unconfortable situations.

So I think this fueled my fears a lot, because when I started having fears of being a lesbian I didn't have a past of many hetero experiences like others hocd sufferers had, but unlike them I felt like I actually never liked guys.
Even before having fears of being a lesbian I had noticed that I never liked anyone or better: never fancied anyone, because I admitted I liked a couple of guys.
In the following years also, when I met a guy and I "liked" himI had this feeling of relief almost. And this is bugging me a lot now. Cuse it's look like I was completely uninterested in guys.

Now to the contrary I feel like I would like to have a boyfriend but when I focus on the idea I see myself running away as fast as I can. Like something dangerous and not enojoyable.

What does all this mean?!
Sometimes I have thoughts like "it would be so nice if you had a boyfriend" and I am in peace with myself for a while. Then a moment later I start having thoughts like "no you wouldn't , you don't like boys at all you would never be confortable around them" and before I know it another "that's-because-you're-a-lesbian" thought ,comes up.
I am positive that this might be still HOCD doing his job, eventhough I actually doubted that I didn't like boys at all for sometimes, to the point that I was gladly surprised when I found myself feeling attraction or deisre to some of them.

Also I was reassured by the idea that when I am around certain guys I feel butterflies for them if they are nice with me or if I am physically close to them I feel this weird (good) feeling in my chest.
But sometimes I have this feelings even with older men or men that I would never date. So in this circumstances I had thoughts like "see? you have these feelings around anyone, that's because it's not a feeling of attraction, so you like women" .

Everything now (and it has been like this for a couple of
years or even more) revolves around the fact that I might be a lesbian. And , as I said, at first it was just my stupid mind , but after september, I was actually doubting it, eventhough in my heart I felt "no it can't be, it's not possible you want a normal family, you never had attraction towards women" but then other thoughts came, like : "but women are pretty, you like them, you don't find guys as pretty as women" and things like that, and it scared me so much.
Even now, that I am doing a litle better, I don't get these kind of thoughts so often, but when I do I don't know how to contrast them, because it feels like it's true. Women are prettier than guys that's just the way it is.
And I like a guys with tough arms and msucles because it makes me feel protected but a pretty girl, with long hair, nice face, thin, with pretty clothes is just nicer to look at. But romantically speaking (or even sexually) I would never want to be with a girl . Now my hocd (or whatever it is) makes me doubt everything.

Is this normal? Is this common in hocd the fact that I started having intrusive thought in the form of doubts instead of impulses? (when I was younger I didn't have impulses to kiss girls around me like I did in the last few months, I just had the fear of friends thinking I was a lesbian, or acting out like I was one, or I had thought that the way I looked at a girls was not "normal" and it bugged me because I didn't really like them like that! But now I think that every lesbian girls realize that she is a lesbian this way. Could my sister coming out have caused my hocd??

I also remember when I was 15 finding written in an old diary that I was very hurt because a friend of mine stopped speaking with me, she was a ctualy my older sister's friend but I spent time with them and I liked her because I thougth she was cool and she looked "mature" (more mature than my friends), and I wanted to be her friend and be around her and my sister (my sister never really welcomed me when she had her friends over).
But then my sister started to " exclude me" and keeping me away when this friend was over, and this girl didn't defend me, and I felt hurt. I remember crying that day a lot, I was in 7th grade and I was starting having problems at school and with parents, also I remember writing on my diary that I wanted her to talk to me, that I cared about her and that she was improtant , that my life was empty without her friendship, nobody wanted me, nobody cared about me and stuff like that.
when I found this stuff I was shocked, I had completely forgotten about it and reading this stuff after learning about my sister's homosexuality made me spike! I thought "omg what's that?? it looks like I was in love with her what's wrong with me?".
And then everything started ...
Could I have actually been in love with that girl and not knowing about it? I know I was desperate for friends, I used to watch shows with groups of close friends and I liked the idea of finding the perfect BFF! what scares me is that It actually seems like I put much more energy in finidng the perfect friend rather than the perfect boy.

I've always imagined myself married with a husband and kids, even though I had the feeling that it might never happen.And now I worry that it was because I actually knew I didn't want a husband but a wife.
But I don't imagine myself with a girl, I am 100% sure about it damnit!! when my sister and her gf come over It's so weird... I don't mean to offend anyone and I have accepted it by now, but it just doens't sound right, I remember talking with my mom and saying "jeez how can they do that?" but maybe I was jsut in denial!!

In two days I am going to see my therapist, but I am afraid that she will get offended if I ask her about her abilities again.
She always says "why can't you trust me?".
I don't know maybe she is right and I'm just not good at trusting people and I can't convince myself that I have HOCD. I hear this is quite common with OCD, that we doubt a lot whether its really OCD or not.

Thanks for your attention.

Hi MessedUp, Again, much of

Hi MessedUp,

Again, much of what you describe sounds like HOCD to me. It can cause you to have both doubts and impulses. It sounds like you have liked many boys - from a distance - as you never let anyone get close to you. You also mentioned adoring and having posters of male actors and singers, and having posters of them in your room. That doesn't sound very "lesbian", does it?

As for being in love with your sister's best friend years ago. I doubt it. It sounds like you looked up to her and really liked her (in a friendship way) and wanted her to reciprocate. I'm not surprised she didn't stand up for you in that situation; that would be pretty unusual at that age as peer pressure is very powerful - if she had, then she would have risked hurting your sister - her best friend.

I don't think your sister's coming out "caused" your current HOCD symptoms. I think you were already very vulnerable to those occurring and that just happened to be the trigger - it was particularly powerful because it was your sister.

Again, I think your biggest issue is self-esteem -until you deal with that I don't think you will feel worthy of anyone. I also encourage you to not think in terms of "perfect" (i.e. a perfect guy, perfect friends, etc.). You used that word several times; perfect is not reality and looking for it will always leave you very disappointed in the end.

As for your therapist - trust issues can definitely interfere with the therapy process, and may be an issue that your therapist has noticed. However, a skilled therapist is more likely to say something like, "it seems you have a very hard time trusting anyone, including me, let's talk about that (or, why do you think that is?)" and get a conversation going about trust issues. If she is truly always saying "why can't you trust me?" - well, that could be a red flag (since I'm not there to hear the conversation, it's hard to say). If she's making it about her, that's a problem.

What I suggest you ask her is, "Have you ever successfully treated someone with OCD - meaning, they were able to leave treatment because they had learned how to manage their OCD symptoms (from therapy with you)?" Or you can also simply ask, "What is your experience in treating people with OCD?" If she responds to either of those with "Why can't you trust me?" rather than answering your question, then I suggest you find a new therapist. If she has never treated anyone successfully, and / or if she doesn't use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ask her specifically), then I would also consider looking for a new therapist.

All therapists need to recognize and be willing to accept their limitations; not doing so is unprofessional and unethical. Now, she might have the skills to help you, but with OCD, I think it's always best (if possible) to work with someone who has a lot of experience in treating it. YOU are the client and you are the one who gets to decide if you want to stay in treatment with her. NO therapist should make you feel guilty or bad if you decide to work with someone else who you feel is better suited to treat you. It's your life, your future. If you had cancer, you wouldn't want a doctor who thought he could treat it but had very little or no experience in treating cancer patients, would you?

Finding someone who is really experienced in treating OCD may not be easy, especially if you live in a rural area or small town. I would do a search online. For example, if I Google "OCD therapist Seattle" (for example) I find several who specifically state that they specialize in treating OCD. Once you find a few, make some calls; ask questions; you are interviewing THEM to make sure you are a good fit.

Look for therapists who use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - most experts agree that that is the most effective type of therapy for OCD.

I hope that helps!

Dr. Lane

Thank you again Dr Lane for

Thank you again Dr Lane for your time,

My therapist has been using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with me since the beginning (5 years ago).
She noticed that I have "trust issues", and we talked about it many times. For example when I couldn't bring myself to "trust" my doctors when they said that I didn't have cancer or endomethriosis : I would jump from one gynecologist to another only to be told what I had already been told.

She brought this subject up again when I started saying to her "are you sure I have hocd?" "how can you be sure?" or when I mentioned her that I was looking for information on the internet, but she was never "ofended" by it or at least she didn't make me see it.
It's just me, I don't feel very confortable telling her that I have doubts about her, I am in no position to have doubts: she's the doctor.
I mean, for example I would like to be an interpreter, but I wouldn't appreciate if my client told me that he thinks I am not translating things correctly, I am the professional, not him. I would think he's being arrogant.
So I don't know what to ask her without offending her.
Besides I don't know if she is not good enough, maybe I just have trust issues.
What "alarms" me is that she never mentioned exposure excercises.
I mentioned them to her (after rading about it on the internet), and she told me that ERP is not the only treatment, and that the aim of ERP is to manage the anxiety and I am already good enough at managing anxiety because I have been dealing with anxiety before. She also said that she understands it's hard for me, but I should put an effort in trying to trust her methods and "have feith" in her and in her skills. She suggested that I'd follow her technique for a month or so, and then if things didn't start to get better, we would re-evaluate the "therapy plan". In my worst moments I asked her desperately about medications and she told me that she doesn't like to give medication to young patients, because of the side effects and she thiks I can manage even without the meds. Besides she is not allowed to prescribe any meds so she told me that I had to go to see a psychiatrist, she told me that she would help me find one (and then have a double therapy) after I'd given a try to her therapy (what I mentioned before).

Now I must say that things are getting better, I am more confident that I am not a lesbian (saying that I doubt it less), but I don't know what changed.

She told me not to ruminate when the thoughts come, but I just can't do it! I still spend a lot of time ruminating (not as much as before though), and looking for help on the internet (which is my main compulsion). Eventhuogh since I am more "convinced" that I am straight I am doing it less and less everyday.
So I didn't really apply her technique, but still I am getting better, so I don't know if it's because of her.

When I tell her that I am feeling a little better, she asks me what I think has made me feeling better and we talk about it, and then she tends to focus on other aspects of my life, like my social phobia my lack of self esteem and so on.
Is this how the treatment works?
she also noticed that I wasn't following the therapy , I basically spent my time doing nothing, avoiding schools, friends and unconfortable situations, then I would look for reassurance on the internet all day and I would run to her when the internet wasn't enough to reassure me anymore (even after she stopped reassuring me saying that my thoughts had no meaning, they were just my OCD and I needed to stop the ruminating, because by ruminating I was fueling the disorder) and she warned me saying that OCD is likely to get chronic if I don't "stop" it. (she said something slightly different but I don't know how to translate it in english).

I would like to hear a second opinion for what concerns the methods to treat OCD, (that's why I decided to aks you). Besides I think in US there is a bit more awareness about OCD.
I jsut want to be sure that I am not wasting my time and that I am doing everything in my power to overcome this. But I would really like to follow the therapy with her, it's so hard for me to trust people and I've known her for 5 years so she knows me well by now. It was easier to talk with her about these things.
Besides the fact that she's known me for so long(so she already has her own idea about me and about my "sexuality" )helped a lot, because a part of me knew that I couldn't be a lesbian, I was just really worried and confused by these years of fears and when talking with her I felt that she would know that I wasn't really a lesbian because she had known me for many hears, while if I were to go to a new therapist I would dread to tell her my fears , fearing that she would assume I was a lesbian , I don't know if that makes sense).
I remember that when she brought up the "boyfriend" subject I would always try to belittle the problem. Saying "nah, I don't like anyone" as I always did, but she had the idea that I've always wanted one eventhough I didn't feel worthy enough. But now, I wonder if that's even the truth, when talking about guys or boyfriends I've always dismissed the idea of finding one, it was too scary too "innapropriate" like it wasn't for me, so maybe I was just faking everything!!

I spent the holidays looking at my sister with her boyfriend and then my other sister with her girl friend when they came over and wondering which one I'd rather be like. It was so stressful, when I noticed similarities between me and my step sister I'd freak out. I even noticed the way she moves her toungue when pronouncing the letter T (in our language) , looks just like the way I move it when pronouncing the "english T", so now everytime I utter the T in english I notice that I move my toungue like her and I spike. Could I be more pathetic?
I remember thinking "why does she have to be so masculine? she looks just like a boy" in the past, and now I always hope that she looks masculine so I won't think that she can be feminine and still a lesbian (since I am feminine enough). And I know that it doesn't make sense, but still, its' just so hard.

Would you mind explaining a little how a normal CBT for OCD would work?

Thank you very much

Hi MessedUp, The nutshell

Hi MessedUp,

The nutshell version of CBT for OCD is this: it helps you identify erroneous beliefs and irrational thought patterns and behaviors that feed your anxiety, and helps you change those thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors to ones that are healthier, allowing you to gain control over your anxiety. (That is very oversimplified, but the best I can do for now.)

You keep seeking reassurance here. Your therapist has already talked to you about not doing that, yet you ignore your therapist and continue to do the things she has said will not only not help, but make things worse. (And I agree with her 100%.) Any relief you get will NOT last.

So, here is my question for you: WHY? You say you don't want to be wasting your time in therapy, yet you are, because you aren't really working with your therapist. Do you want to get better or not?

I don't mean that to sound harsh at all. But to be honest with you, I think there is a much bigger issue here than OCD (or HOCD) that must be addressed if you ever want to get better.

I read your response to crazylady's post. You talked about dreading all the bad things / waiting for the worse to come. Yes, pets die, parents die, everyone dies at some point. That is part of life. Bad things happen. Pain is part of the human experience. But if you choose (and yes, I do believe you are choosing on some level) to look at everything in such a negative, pessimistic light, rather than choosing to look for the good (e.g. enjoying and loving your pets while they're with you and embracing that), you will remain stuck.

You said in that other post that, if you are gay, you can't get married, have a family, or "build a career". THAT is irrational thinking. Family and marriage aside; why can't you have a career if you're gay (not saying you are gay, but questioning that belief)? (You don't need to answer this for me, but you do need to answer it for yourself and explore this in therapy.)

I almost get the sense that you don't really want to get better. You go to therapy but you sabotage your progress. That is something you MUST discuss with your therapist - if you don't address that and change that then therapy isn't going to do much good. Based on your posts, I would say 5 years of CBT has done nothing for you, because I don't see you applying ANYTHING that CBT teaches.

You are constantly looking for more and more things to question whether or not you are a lesbian (today's post was "internalized homophobia"). I could spend a chunk of time responding to that, and tomorrow it will be something else. And so on. So I'm not going to respond to it. You will never get the reassurance / answers you seek by spending hours on the Internet. I GUARANTEE IT. Instead, you will find an endless number of things to fuel your anxiety even more - just as your therapist said.

One other thing. It's not necessarily arrogant to question a professional. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to do so. Doctors are human and make mistakes. Some doctors are better than others; some have more expertise in one area than another. And so on with all professions. Now, that being said, if you question EVERY doctor (or professional) who tries to help you, then that is your issue. But my point is that what you stated (that it's arrogant and not right to do so) is another example of totally flawed thinking.

I do believe you are suffering. But I also think you are getting a "pay off" for staying "sick" (or always being the victim). I don't know what it is, but I think that is a topic you should discuss with your therapist. SHE is the person you should be bringing all these questions and concerns to. SHE knows you well and is in the best position to answer them.

BUT, until you fully commit to getting better, and following therapy, doing your homework, etc, you are NOT going to get better. I don't doubt that you struggle with anxiety and depression, but you still have choices to make. You can either continue to be a victim, or choose to be a fighter. Regardless of what ails you in life, or whatever bad things happen, you ALWAYS have that choice.

This is my last response to you because, if I continue responding, I am enabling you. And I don't want to do that.

Please know that I genuinely care and truly want you to get better. But YOU have to make that choice. I really hope you choose to invest in yourself and really work on changing these beliefs that are keeping you stuck and in despair.

I truly wish you the best.

Dr. Lane

Hello Dr Lane, thank you for

Hello Dr Lane, thank you for taking the time to answer me.
I'm afraid you took my words wrong or more probably I didn't make my self clear enough.
You said you weren't going to respond me anymore, but I really hope you will read my post.

I said that I didn't want my therapist to think I was arrogant, because I am very shy and insecure and I don't know how to address my doubts to her, I always feel I'm being judged and I hate it. I hate that other people may have a bad opinion about me. That's why your post "hurt" me so bad probably. I've spent my life feeling that no one understood me and only thought bad things about me without taking the time to really understand what was on my mind and in my heart.

I asked you an opinion about CBT because I don't see that hings are changing, and going to therapy seems a waste of time.
She never talked to me about OCD or what OCD is, she just told me that I should ignore the thoughts and put them away.
All I know about OCD I read it on the internet, and I read that it is important to find a qualified doctor.

When I said that I don't know if my therapist was qualified it was because other than saying "ignore your thoughts" she never suggested I'd do anything else like ERP or other things.
I know is wrong to keep checking here I know it's reassurance seeking and it won't help me in the long run, but in my last post here I wasn't looking for reassurance actually, I was just looking for a second professional opinion since I don't know if I can trust my therapist.
I didn't mean to act like a victim , I am just really frustrated by all this, and by the fact that I never had a good moment in my life, and I realize it's my fault! I realize that I always see and expect the worse from life, but I don't know how to change that, and after 5 years I lost hope.

I don't think that I didn't work with my therapist in the last 5 years, I actually did but I don't see much improvement in my approach to life.

And it's not that I don't want to waste time in therapy, I just want to get better soon, because all this is killing me, and I don't feel like my therapist or anyone around me understands what I am going through. That's why I come on these support groups to remind myself that I am not alone.
It hurts so much you have no idea, and though I appreciate your concern , what you said was really painful because once again it made me feel like I deserve this. You said you think I am not helping myself, it's not true: I am trying really hard but I read that therapists in general teach patients to do excercises ,exposures, my therapist never mentioned anything like this.

As for internalized Homophobia, I was just trying to understand things better, I don't want to run away from things, I want to know.
Since I'm young and unexperied I fear that this is a chrisis , therefor I want to know everything there is to know about this subject. My thoughts are overwhelming. I have thougths about everything and everyone sometimes even kids and it's so scary.
When I go to bed at night I feel like I have to pray or else something bad will happen , and I am not a very religious person, I don't go to church but still I have this feelings that if there is a God or whatever up there and he's watching us, if I don't do certain things I'll be punished. I have been feeling "forced" to do it lately and I am now realizing that this is kidn of scary. Once I had these thoughts that I had to do certain things and pray a lot but I didn't want to , and my cat who was sick , died. After that I started having the feeling that I wasn't worried enough (eventhough I was) or that I underestimated it.

You're right, die is part of life but it hurts very much anyway even if they were just pets, love is love and I loved them and I miss them very much no one wil ever change it.

What I said about never getting married or building up a life was not referred to being a lesbian, I was talking about my incapability of being happy.
There are moments I don't really believe I am a lesbian but still I have this feeling that I will never be happy anyway. That something will always come up.
If after 5 years of therapy I don't see improvements and I still have the same suicidal tendencies I had when I was 16 maybe it is fair to doubt my therapist's work or re evaluate it.

I am really sorry if I annoyed you, I just really needed some help.
I hope you'll find the time to give me some advice.
I didn't mean to sound rude or plaintive.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Messedup, Before you read


Before you read this, please know that what I am saying is based on many years of training and experience. It is to HELP you, even though you won't like some of it. I am challenging many of your distorted statements (and that is part of what CBT is meant to do). But it won't help you if you choose (and yes, that's a choice) to see it as merely another criticism and "bad opinion" of you. Because that is NOT my intent.

I've read all your posts - most of them two or three times. One of the consistent patterns I see is that you frequently contradict yourself. One minute you say you are doing better, then (just above) you say "after 5 years of therapy I don't see any improvements and I still have the same suicidal tendencies..." - so, which is it? (That's just one of many examples where your story keeps changing.)

You admitted at least once, and I think twice, that you didn't do the things your therapist suggested. My guess is that you won't do any of the things I suggest in this post either - I hope I am wrong.

I don't think you consciously want to be a victim, but I believe on at least a subconscious level, that it's easier to stay a victim than to do the really hard work that is required to change - and it is hard work; it takes consistency and persistence, and sometimes progress will be slower than you'd like. That is true of MANY people, not just you. I do believe that you often aren't sure what to do, but yet can't imagine that in 5 years your therapist hasn't given you many suggestions...

You completely misunderstood my point regarding pets. Please reread that again.

As for exposure response therapy; I don't think it is going to help you much - at least not right now. There are other things that must be addressed first.

You say you've had 5 years of cognitive behavioral therapy. I see NO evidence in any of your posts of that. So, either your therapist really isn't doing CBT (or doesn't really know how to do it correctly), or you are not making any effort to apply the methods. I don't know which it is. Perhaps a combination of both. But after 5 years of CBT, you should be able to challenge these negative ruminations, and I don't see you doing that.

You also said, "She never talked to me about OCD or what OCD is, she just told me that I should ignore the thoughts and put them away." So, you are saying that in 5 years of therapy all your therapist has ever done is told you to "ignore your thoughts and put them away"? I don't buy that and believe that is another distortion on your part (which CBT can help you with).

Perhaps it's time to find a new therapist, because something is definitely off here.

You said, "I hate that other people may have a bad opinion about me. That's why your post "hurt" me so bad." I don't have a "bad opinion" about you; rather, I am pointing out what I believe some of the underlying issues are. But this is a perfect example of your victim mentality, and it WILL prevent you from receiving the help anyone offers. I'm trying to help you, and yes, I'm using a bit of "tough love", and you misinterpret it as me having a "bad opinion" about you.

You said, "I've spent my life feeling that no one understood me" (you've mentioned that no one understands you a few times). As a therapist, that's a red flag when I hear it over and over. It's an excuse. As long as you keep telling yourself that, you are not open to receiving help. You're right in that no one has lived YOUR life and walked exactly in YOUR shoes - that's true of all of us. That doesn't mean people don't understand and can't help - if you let them.

You said, "... I never had a good moment in my life". Really??? In 21 years you've NEVER had ONE good moment??? Not EVER? (I'm using a CBT technique right now, by the way.) That's distorted, "all or nothing" thinking. I challenge you to sit down with a pen and paper and spend as long as it takes to come up with just 10 good moments in your life. Just 10. Out of 21 years. Maybe one was a happy moment with a beloved pet. (Just one example). Are you willing to do that?? CBT helps you challenge these statements about "no one ever understands", and "I will never be happy", and "I've never had a good moment" and so on. Those are all examples of black and white / all or nothing thinking - and they WILL keep you stuck in your pain if you don't start challenging them and changing them.

Here are 2 things I encourage you to do. They WILL help if you will do them consistently.

1) STOP searching online for reassurance, support, or more info on HOCD. Do that for at least 1 week. When you feel the compulsion to get online (for this purpose) do something else, like go for a walk, pick up a book (on a fun topic) and read for awhile, or something else that is healthy, constructive, and forces your mind onto something else. This IS a choice - will it be easy? No. Will you do it??

2) Start a gratitude journal and write in it every single day. Write down at least 10 things every day that you are grateful for - even if it's as simple as "the sun is shining today" or "my parents are healthy". Every day. It will help you gradually shift from constantly focusing on all the awful things in your life. Do it for at least 90 days. Yes, 90. When you get sick of doing it or tell yourself "this doesn't help", do it anyway. But do it with a genuine desire to find things for which to be grateful.

Are you willing to do those 2 things (plus the exercise above about writing down 10 good moments you've had in your life)?

The choice is yours.

I don't have a "bad opinion" about you. That's your distorted twist on my response. (That's not a criticism, just an observation - so please don't interpret it as such.)

As long as you keep telling yourself that you can never be happy, you never will be happy. You need to start changing what you tell yourself.

On that note I will end with recommending a book to you: "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy", by Dr. David Burns. It's a classic and it is based on the principles of CBT. If you read it and use it as a guide to start challenging your thinking, it WILL help you. YOUR choice.

I hope you start making good choices for yourself.

I wish you well.

Dr. Lane

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