Is this H-OCD

Hello everyone I writing on this site to maybe help cure this anxiety of being gay. I am a 21 year old male and have all of a sudden started to think I am gay. It is really bothering because I cannot seem to shake it and get rid of the thoughts that are really dragging me down. I have never seen a doctor to know if I suffer from OCD or not but everything I look up on the subject seems to make me think I do have ocd. I have always been attracted to woman and not men and have had girlfriends and always enjoyed there company I have never watched gay porn or got off on anything with a male only woman. Even when I was in grade 4 a buddy wanted to try stuff together and I was really weirded out and told him to leave my house. Its my first year in college and living away from home for the first time on my own. I dont even really know where these thoughts came from but it seems like I woke up one day just started to really question who I am and just escilated. Everything bothers me now because I feel weird when I go and hang with guys because I do not feel normal and feel I may start to crush on them or something. I am really confused with what is going on in my head I have always worried alot about things and everyone has always told me I am a worry wart and over think everything way to much. I am really stressing because I litterally will think about it from the second I wake up till I go to bed. I find I will want to go sleep all the time because its the only way I can get it off my mind. I have always known im straight or atleast thought so but these thoughts are killing me in every single way ive even thought of wanting to die and that is not like me at all. I have played football for my whole life and even in the change rooms never got arroused from seeing men change or fantasized about them. Im even starting to question my past and keep thinking if I actually liked the woman I dated or was hiding that I am gay deep down. I really dont feel as if I am gay but my mind keeps telling me I am and will not leave me alone and im starting to fall apart in every way. Ive been thinking this way for about a month and half and cannot shake it off im getting terrified and feel like I have panic attacks all the time and hard to breath sometimes when I think of gay things. I have always wanted to have a wife when older and kids but these thoughts are making me think so different and scared one day I will be gay and I do not want to be. I have never had anything against gay people at all but sometimes feel normal when I say I do not like gay people at all and they should not exist people should only like there opposite sex. Even thinking that way bothers me because I have never had anything against gays and even worked with a gay couple that I thought were great guys but never thought I was gay or anything nor had anything against them. I reallly dont know what is going on in my head and I cannot take it anymore I have no one to really talk to because I go to a college in the middle of know where need some reasurance of what I could be going through. I know this is a long rant but I have to tell someone I dont feel normal what so ever and want to go back to the old me where I had none of these thoughts and loved woman but all I do is question absolutely everything now i do in life. As I write this I am starting to shake and really freak out. Please send some feedback it would be really appreciated thank you.

Hi Timebomb81, My apologies

Hi Timebomb81,

My apologies for not responding to your post sooner.

What you are describing absolutely sounds like OCD - more specifically, what is often called HOCD (a type of OCD in which the primary obsession is about being gay).

If you were gay, you would most likely have been attracted to males over the years - but you haven't - you've always been attracted to females. That's a pretty good indicator that you are not gay.

However, with HOCD, your mind plays tricks on you. It causes you to obsess constantly about being gay - creating significant anxiety - just as you have described.

It sounds like you had a propensity for OCD (being a worry wart, over-analyzing everything, etc.) and may have had OCD long before the HOCD began. Many people with HOCD report that it started quite suddenly, just as it did for you.

The best treatment for it is therapy - preferably CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) - which helps you identify and change faulty beliefs and thought patterns that fuel the obsessions and anxiety.

Since you're going to school in a remote area, your resources for therapy may be limited. Your college may have a counseling center, although whether anyone there is truly qualified to treat OCD may be an issue. Not all therapists have the knowledge and skills to treat this complex and challenging disorder.

Another option may be to contact one of the OCD specialists / therapists listed on this site. If finances are an issue perhaps your parents would be able to pay for it.

Considering this is affecting you so strongly (to the point that you have had suicidal thoughts and are having panic attacks) it's really important that you get treatment. It can be treated, but it is a process. The sooner you can start working with a qualified therapist, the better.

In the meantime, try to hold onto the hope that this is your mind playing tricks on you and that you can get better.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Lane

Hi Dr.Lane I really

Hi Dr.Lane

I really appreciate you replying an no worries you didn't respond sooner. The day I wrote that I decided I would try and never look up stuff on HOCD again because it was taking up every hour I was on the computer. I tried to do my own therapy in the meantime from what I looked up about CBT and what I read in your messages to others that it really works well for this type of OCD. I found my own therapy started working I just really stopped caring about the thoughts because they became annoying and stopped acting upon them emotionally. I started to feel like my old self again for a couple days and boom the OCD came back and basically told me im only feeling normal because ive accepted being gay and now I am back on the site and looking up stuff on the subject again. I plan on finding therapy when back home for summer but that is a awhile away. I do not think the councillors at my school are trained for this type of OCD either very well. Seeing your reply has made me happy again but I do not know for how long. I just wanted to ask another question about this type of OCD and that is. Can HOCD really burrow so much gay thoughts into my head and really make you believe them even though you never thought about being gay before? I feel like I have a voice in my head and tells me everything I have known was a lie and the love of my life from back in the day was all just a cover hiding my true gay self? Can it really make you think so illogical like this and still mean your straight and not gay? I know OCD does do this but can it really trick your mind this bad? Also another question is if there is any good medication for this disorder because I think I may be able to get meds before I get therapy. Thank you Dr.Lane again I really appreciate the reply and feel good that at least someone knows what I am going through instead of just me by myself.

Hi Timebomb81, I am very glad

Hi Timebomb81,

I am very glad my response was helpful. To answer your questions, yes, OCD can play all sorts of tricks on your thinking. Many people describe the very same thing as you - the fear that, once the anxiety starts to subside, they are just accepting being gay and that everything they knew before was a lie. That is very common.

It is also normal to feel like you are being bombarded with these confusing thoughts and you start to believe them because they are so compelling and relentless. And, like you have experienced, you start to feel a little better and all of a sudden all the thoughts come rushing back.

As for medication - medication can be helpful but I personally do not recommend it as a treatment by itself. However, if this is severely affecting your functioning and you are not able to get therapy at this time, it may be a short term option. In most cases, the symptoms return once the medication is stopped. Therapy, on the other hand, helps address the underlying thought patterns that fuel the obsessive thoughts and help you learn ways to manage and even overcome the disorder.

SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants are often used to treat symptoms of OCD. These include Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro (SSRIs) and Anafranil (a tricyclic antidepressant). There are others as well that your doctor may try.

Keep in mind, medications have side effects (some more tolerable than others), so you have to decide if the benefits are worth the side effects that may occur. Also, sometimes there is trial and error involved to find the right medication for you, as each person responds differently.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Lane

Dr. Lane, (Warning, I type a

Dr. Lane,

(Warning, I type a lot, as to not miss detail, grab some coffee and a foot massage, you're about to get blasted)

First I would like to say its nice to see someone with a professional background keeping such up to date tabs on these posts! About me? I am an Air Force Pilot, I have a college degree and I love poker and video games. Mentally? Well I over analyze just about everything when it comes to girls and I was always very insecure as to how much a girl was really into me and that I would blow it if I did something wrong.

Basically, my story is as such: Up until the age of 18 or so I had an unwavering feelings regarding my sexuality. Women (I am a male) were always on my mind, disturbingly so, I could fantasize about just about any girl and would get extremely aroused. Class, home, etraciricular activies, anything. My mind was all I needed for masturbation (though I did occasionally use porn). I won't say that I was blind to what a good looking guy was, I mean, honestly, I think its natural to be able to judge ones own sex if nothing more than to compare for who the competition was.

One day I was talking about my lesbian aunt with my dad and we discussed our feelings on homosexuality. We are both very strong Christians and we agree that its either a choice completely, and if its inherent well then its a choice to live that way. I wouldn't dare say I hate or despise gays, I have known quite a few to be oustanding people. But that night, I was masturbating in the shower (thinking about this girl whom which I always wanted to have sex with) and at the end of my session I had an image of a male friend, completely out of nowhere. That coupled with the conversation earlier sent me into a panic attack (at least I think it was). For the next few hours I was unable to shake the question of whether or not I was gay, why I would have such a thought, how could that happen, etc. That plagued me for weeks. At the time I was a virgin (to intercourse, as I have had many oral encounters with serious female partners and just flings). The uncertainty was debilitating for weeks, unable to be turned on by anything, including my once very active imagination. Until one day I recieved a text message from a friends Ex-Girlfriend (regrettably she was a girl whom Ive always fantasized about and who did go down on me while they were together =[) and she said she wanted to have sex with me (knowing I was a Virgin). That immediately and surprisingly jump started my libido and I had a full on erection for about 4 days until we finally did have sex. That seemingly cured me. This was right before I started college. The thoughts would flow in and out but the realization of that event was always powerful enough to reassure me and the thoughts would pass.

College went by with very few hiccups. I believe I was more sensitive to the idea of being around attractive males because consciously noting a guy was good looking would send me into a small questioning cycle but I was easily rebounded out by not being all to worried.

Four Years later I finally met a girl who I started to date seriously. For most of college relationships were short, shallow and not all too emotionally fulfilling since I was always hung up on my highschool sweetheart who was (ironically) hung up on her highschool sweetheart (we had a threesome of awfulness - I loved her, she loved both of us, and he loved her [they were neighbors, giving him a massive upperhand]). So my new girl and I were starting, and I hadn't had too much "sex" in college, just a lot of foreplay, and this girl was definitely sexually active. I tend to be a premmature kind of guy, and I didn't want to blow it (so to speak). I read some stuff about lasting longer and actually kind of put off sex wanting to make the relationship stronger before turning her away from lack of performance.

Things came to be and we had sex a few times, though I was still very insecure with my performance (orally im fine, intercoursely? im probably a 3-4). Well during sex I went limp, crazy as it was for me, she didn't care at all... like at all. But it plagued me. Stuck with me for days. Eventually throwing me back down into a cycle of, "Does this mean im gay?" "Does this mean I don't like her?" "How could I have gone limp" "Normally I climax in 2mins or less, but this time I couldnt at all?!". I tried beating it to porn but that gave me anxiety because of all the issues that I've had morally about porn and relationships. This put me back in my 4 year expired rut but worse, since I didnt have a virginity to lose kind of experience that was exciting. After 6 weeks I finally stumbled across HOCD (after having done a lot of damage reading stuff saying, if you doubt yourself, youre probably gay). Learning about HOCD really helped. It took me out of my rut and everything. Through all of this I was always able to talk to my mother and brother and they always had good encouraging words, but noone telling me that I'm straight makes me feel better (haha).

So reading helped, our relationship progressed, we basically lived together for about 6 months, still struggling with anxiety and some issues in the sack, but all in all our relationship was strong and healthy. Spiking occasionally, I wanted to really test her love so I dropped the bomb on her. She surprisingly received it well (dealing with her own anxiety and actually taking medication) she was like "Baby, trust me, there is no way you're gay - though I know you can't brush off the thoughts that easy, know that I love you and im here". This helped a lot.

Being that I am in the Air Force, I had to leave her that december (this all kicked up the previous April). I am an Air Force pilot so through training I was very busy (12hr/6days a week). Enough so that the thoughts kind of went into remission, surfacing enough so that I still was always a little in the hole and still struggled with a decreased sex drive. She visited about once every six weeks and would stay for about 5-6 days. We'd have sex about 2-3 times (her sex drive is kind of cramped cause of her meds) but it was good. Other than sex our relationship is an easy 10; emotionaly, physically, compassionately, etc. Eventually, I mustered up the courage to propose (we are getting married in 3 months!).

Things are good but its the fact that the thoughts have kind of been in and out for so long that it becomes bothersome. My feelings on the matter are that I have always struggled with anxiety, I didnt really know what it was as a kid, but the feeling in my gut are the same. My parents are divorced and I would have sleepless nights (as a gradeschooler), random boughts of nausea and uneasiness and always a bit of insecurity. Most of the times my anxiety would latch onto things with a definitive end - will I see my mom again? Yes. Will this girl go out with me? (pending the results). Will I get good grades? Yes.

Shitty enough, sometimes I wonder if I love my fiance enough to marry her. Not that I wonder if I love her, but because I worry about the "gayness", I would hate to crush her, and this can throw me into a vicious cycle that can be hard to break at times. She is my world, but the ironic question is, why would I question myself sexually if I truly did love her.

When I think scientifically, I bring myself to the conclusion for me that its like the smell and memory relationship. I deal with anxiety, I understand that. The most anxious part in my life were those two 6 week periods where I dealt with the worst batch of doubt... so when I get anxious for no reason, my mind immediately races back to that, because surely that has to be the problem. Poker and video games are great ways for me to handle the problems, as they completely take my mind off everything (sometimes even my girl, UH OH, haha). But at times where I dont feel like playing the boredom leads to anxiety/depression, which brings me back to square one.

Maybe its important to note that while I've been away from her, I had resulted to a decent amount of masturbation (most of which is to porn [all straight, though even seeing the "gay" tab on the side always kind of spikes me a little] since its hard to keep my mind off the fear and I get afraid that ill think of a guy or something if I cant stare at a girl, which isnt the case when I do get manually, but still, enough fear = porn). It must say its lead to somewhat of an addiction which I've already started to curb recently.

Sorry for the book. Any response, Dr, would be appreciated. Let me know if you'd like more information.

Add: Before the second

Add: Before the second serious onset of this, my dad and I were talking about my stepmom's friend's husband who just told her he was gay and they are getting a divorce. They had been together for about 12 years and this troubled me because I was all like "How is it possible to be married that long." Apparently he had been in gay relationships the whole time, but yeah, that didn't sit easy with me. The major spike (going limp during sex) occured about 2 weeks later, and as im sure you can imagine, thinking back to this conversation during that questioning period didn't help at all!

Hi AnalyzeThis, Based on

Hi AnalyzeThis,

Based on everything you describe, it sounds like you have many symptoms of HOCD. The thoughts are so very compelling that it is hard to ignore them.

As for the incident with your girlfriend when you lost your erection during sex - that was very likely due to anxiety rather than you being gay. And that being said, that happens to everyone at times (that doesn't mean they will ever admit it!). No one's body performs 100% of the time. A lot of other things could also cause that, including fatigue, stress, alcohol use, medications, and other factors as well. But, I am not surprised that it made you question your sexuality, because you were already anxious about that.

As for your stepmom's friend's husband who recently came out after 12 years of marriage. That has happened many, many times. Many gay people suppress their homosexuality (for a variety of reasons, such as religious beliefs, personal issues, fear of how others will treat them, etc) and live life as a straight person (just as you mentioned that you and your father had discussed a few years ago). They get married, have children, and so on.

But, they didn't just wake up one morning and realize they were gay, or suddenly "turn gay". Even though it may appear that way.

As for thinking another male is attractive - that doesn't make you gay. Just as you said, everyone is capable of noticing and / or admiring physical attractiveness of others - both male and female. Admiring it or noticing it is not the same as feeling physically / sexually attracted TO the person. And based on everything you described, you are not sexually attracted to other men - just women.

HOCD plays all sorts of tricks with your mind - if you take some time and read through other posts here, many people have stories very similar to yours. Once these thoughts start, they become relentless, and they make you constantly question your sexuality. But, with HOCD, that questioning is due to the anxiety itself and not because of being gay.

I hope this makes sense.

OCD (and HOCD) is not something most people can simply overcome with willpower. Reassurances from others (including me) rarely help - they might bring temporary relief but the thoughts come flooding back, often with more questions and self-doubt. It's the nature of the beast.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best types of therapy for OCD. It addresses the underlying thought patterns that fuel anxiety and perpetuate the obsessive thoughts. With a skilled therapy you can learn ways to make changes in your thinking that will significantly reduce the anxiety, and in some cases, overcome it.

If this continues I strongly recommend you find a therapist who is experienced in treating OCD using cognitive behavioral therapy (if you can find someone who specializes in the treatment of OCD using this method - and who has a track record of success - that would be ideal). It takes some time and effort, but it can be very effective.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Lane

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