Yet another HOCD sufferer.... Or am I gay?

I know there appear to be so many of us on here, and I have read so many posts. I feel like that is what I suffer from.
I have always had issues with the obsessive part of OCD, whenever something bothers me, it goes around and around in my mind, driving me insane till it is all I can focus on. I begin to feel depressed, somewhat suicidal and trapped until eventually I get over the problem without any apparent help. I'll have a few weeks off until something else triggers the cycle again.

My HOCD started about two weeks ago though, it is a very recent thing for me, yet I am already having escalated reactions and am at the point where I am just tired and scared all the time. I have never had such powerful reactions to an obsessive cycle before.

Part of my issue is I am not entirely sure if I have HOCD or not. I fall into most of the symptoms and have had minor HOCD feelings before (but got over them).

Before the current attack, I could look at naked women and so on and it would not bother me in the slightest, when I'd walk in the streets I would focus on men and ignore women and I have always had dreams about men, fantasised about ending up with one and only had cruses on them,
But now... well now I can't help but look at women and then I freak out wondering why the hell I keep looking at them. Especially if they are attractive.
When I was watching "Accepted" there were several scenes with skimpily clad women intended to be sexy and I felt like I was actually getting aroused which triggered a panic attack. I started crying, couldn't breathe and I just wanted to escape from these feelings that terrify me any way I could, yet when I checked, there were no actual physical indicators that I had been aroused.
Everyone always say when they look at someone of the same sex, they don't feel aroused, yet I keep feeling like I am, even though my body is not actually reacting at all. Is this my brain playing with me in worse ways as the HOCD escalates exponentially?

Another issue that doesn't seem to be covered much is while people are scared of being gay like I am, I have a friend or two that I can't even be around because I keep thinking I'm attracted to them. They were my closest friends before the HOCD started up but now I am scared to even read a text from them because I keep thinking I'm attracted to them.
I thought this surely meant I was a lesbian, so I tried to accept that I was gay or at least bi, but I just want to cry and tell myself I die alone if that is the case because I hate the idea of being in a romantic relationship with a woman, even these two friends I keep thinking I am attracted to. (one of these friends is Korean, so an annoying little side effect is I'm especially freaked out by asian looking women now just through generalization).

To make it more clear, I have no religious reasons to be afraid of being gay, I have talked to my parents about the HOCD and my family would accept me entirely if I was gay and a lot of my (male and female) friends are gay or bi so of course they would not care. I never had any homophobic feelings before and was rather supportive of my homosexual friends until recently.
The only reason why I am terrified of being gay is because I myself hate the idea. I am not sure if this means I am in some sort of denile or if my HOCD is just a little bit more complex than it is for most people? Because I cannot tell if I really am aroused by the same sex or not, but whenever I think that I am, I feel horrified and have a panic attack.

I am starting to get to the point where I do not want to watch any show, go into public at all or talk to any of my friends for fear of feeling this way and I am becoming increasingly suicidal with each "spike".

I suppose all I really want to know is, am I actually gay? Or do I just have a mental problem and should seek help? Because I cannot handle this for much longer. It is literally driving me insane.

Hi Almal, Based on everything

Hi Almal,

Based on everything you describe, it does not sound like you are gay. Rather, it sounds like you are experiencing symptoms of OCD (or more specifically, HOCD).

I can't say for sure, but it really sounds like the "arousal" you are experiencing has more to do with your anxiety - and, as you said, you're not truly physically aroused - rather, it's your mind playing tricks on you. But, it's confusing and feeds the obsessive thoughts and makes you keep questioning yourself.

Many people with HOCD start feeling uncomfortable around same sex friends, coworkers, classmates, etc. fearful that they're actually really attracted to them.

The dilemma is, the more you avoid shows, going out into public, or talking to your friends, the more you will reinforce the anxiety. Avoiding these things is actually one of the worst things you can do.

It sounds like you have a history of obsessive thoughts that become quite distressing, and then they subside. However, I do encourage you to seek professional help because with the right treatment, you can learn to overcome these anxious thoughts and learn to manage them when they start to appear in the future (as seems to be the pattern for you).

Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered one of the best treatments for OCD. I encourage you to find a therapist who specializes in this type of therapy and preferably, someone who has a lot of experience successfully treating OCD.

Dr. Lane

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