HOCD

HOCD or in its full name Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I must admit its not every day you hear about this one.Homosexual Osessing Every now and then I get asked about something that I may not have heard of before. I regularly get requests to write some thoughts down for a specific issue that a listener may be having. But what I find these days is that we have all these new terms for things that have been issues for people for centuries. My point is the name may be new but the issue isn’t. Lets have a chat about HOCD.

As I discussed before OCD can come in many forms. Or to put it plainly, we can get caught obsessing about things and then may find it hard to quit. For more on this check out “How to stop OCD”. But lets discuss HOCD which is more common among people then you think.

What is HOCD

HOCD is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder that revolves around your sexuality. A fear that you might be gay when you would have always thought you where straight. It is a fear that one might become or already is homosexual. This notion goes against all rational and actuality of you being heterosexual. It induces major anxiety and causes the merry go round of intrusive thoughts.

Fear

HOCD is a fear that one might lose control and engage in homosexual behavior. The anxiety can be overwhelming due to the intrusive thoughts of being sexual and passionate with another member of the same sex. It is a fear and nothing more than that. As I like to say FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.

Whats the difference with HOCD and a closet Gay?

The main fear a closet gay has is the fear of social repercussions. A HOCD sufferer will fear the attraction to the same sex while a homosexual doesn’t fear this at all. A homosexual person will feel positive feelings toward the same sex but a HOCD sufferer has major negative feelings due to the fact it goes against their values, beliefs, and moral code. A sufferer with HOCD will only find sexual fulfillment from a heterosexual relationship and not a same sex relationship. HOCD can cause feelings and thoughts that just don’t fit with themselves. Thoughts of confusion, frustration, and even pain can all occur if not dealt with properly.

How to overcome HOCD

Identifying the simple fact that if you wanted to be gay you would like it and not repel it. The fact that there is anxiety attached to such thoughts of homosexuality will stand to reason that you are not agreeing with the intrusive thoughts. Have you ever fancied a member of the opposite sex? Did you get anxious about it or did you get excited and happy? Or to put it simply, did you get the reaction you are having with the HOCD thought patterns. I’m sure you’ll agree that you welcomed the thoughts of the attraction to the opposite sex. People with HOCD are generally very heterosexual. To get over HOCD, it will help to realize it is a fear and just because you thought the thought doesn’t mean its fact. Have a read of my article Wrong Thoughts Part 1 & 2.  If your struggle is lasting some time you may need to talk to somebody. I do stress that if you need professional advice or counseling you should contact one and a Christian one would always be a help.

One listener wrote…

Here is what a listener wrote ” I eventually learned that even though I could find little shreds of what some might say is gay. Things like I was fussy with my hair and stuff. My therapist old me these where all just circumstantial evidence. The fact is if I was gay i wouldn’t be anxious about it.”

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Disclaimer
This site and all its posts are simply observations and experience, and are not professional advice for you. If you are effected by any of the issues we discuss you must contact your doctor for further advice if you so require it.

55 thoughts on “HOCD

  1. Hi Mark,
    I’ll try to keep it short. I’m a 24 year old female. Been in to men ever since I was a little girl. Wanted to find the perfect guy, be loved and love a man, one and only sort of thing. At 16 I got in to a relationship with a guy and still with him, love him to death, loved being intimate and romantic with him. Unfortunately it became long distance after 4 years and I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like. I kept myself away from men even though there was a certain level of attraction that I’ve had for a few guys from uni who were interested in me. I wanted to be loyal and just wanted my relationship to survive with him. I wanted no one else but him. We had a few misunderstandings and being a very sensitive person I wanted more attention. It became depressing to see other couples together while I was alone. Gradually I developed self esteem issues about my hair,skin and weight to the point where I became obsessive about it. I wanted to be the best looking and the more I obsessed the more depressed I became to see other women better looking than me. I lost my self esteem. Two months ago I had become very vulnerable and I was watching Oprah on which a woman said that she was married and then she realised that she was gay. I remember thinking , ‘shit what if that happens to me!’ Oh God that was such a painful night. For the first time in my life I thought about being with a woman and it was so repulsive and alien. I lay in bed in complete agony, I felt nauseous, there was a painful void in my chest, I couldn’t even breathe. I don’t want to be with women!!!!!! I don’t want to loose my attraction to men, please! After that in my quest to find the truth, I started reading coming out stories and gay and big experiences and that confused me more. I have suffered from checking OCD and high anxiety for a while although I was only diagnosed by a GPS a few weeks ago that too only because my symptoms have gotten so bad that I can’t go out, I’m constantly shivering around women, can’t even look at them, can’t attend my lectures because they’re there. I look at pictures of women who I was always indifferent to before, with terror waiting anxiously for any signs of attraction and yeah maybe while I can accept that some of them may have good hair or are good looking, I don’t want anything to do with them. In fact the more I look at them, the more I hate them and wish that they’d get run over by a bus! That does not happen when I look at good looking men, I feel calm,relaxed, happy and slightly fuzzy when I see a good looking guy. But I’m so confused due to all the checking and the cross examination. Everything I see a good looking woman I feel depressed and I’m remember everything that people who realised that they were gay said and desperately trying to figure out if it’s the same. It’s so upsetting that I can’t have any positive friendly feelings towards girls because in the past I had female friends and i had fun gossiping, shopping and sharing things with them. Now everything seems to be gayish, black or white. That ‘what if’ voice is always upsetting me putting questions that confuse me in my head. I can’t even go out without these questions arising about every female I see, even little girls sometimes and my sister. It’s horrible. My GP recommends CBT with Sertraline but I don’t want to take any medication. Please I really don’t want to be … I don’t even understand how people can be gay and neither do I want to but the question that always comes to my mind is if they can then so can anyone. I really want to continue being in love with a man and be loved by one and be sure about it. Please help me, my postgraduate studies and my life are both being severely affected by this problem. I don’t even know what’s real or unreal anymore!

    • Thank you for your comment and may I say its a step in the right direction talking about things.
      This is typical HOCD by the sounds of it and quite typical. The HOCD is basically a fear of something that you actually don’t want happening against your will. First of all, a gay person likes being gay, the main struggle they find is telling others and acceptance of society. The groinel response is all part of it. When we think anything sexual it can cause reaction physically, its not about the guy, its more about the sexual side of the brain being fired off, nothing to do with male or female its just to do with sexual thoughts so I’d forget about that and wouldn’t bother thinking on it. Its not like your body wants one thing and you want another, it doesn’t work like that at all.
      The fear of becoming something you dont want to be then starts a rumination and the question is always like “what if this or what if that”. It actually is quite endless and doubt always crops up. The key is to not care so much for thoughts, face the fear and not be afraid of your thoughts, for its your thoughts that cause all this. Just cause you think it, doesn’t mean its you wanting to think it, your mind is a computer and we do control it when its focused but it will also create visuals and thoughts itself, its designed that way. As I always say, just cause you think it doesn’t mean its true. Tell the “what if” voice “thanks but no thanks” and say it with a smile. You are clearly straight so just let the thoughts float by, you are in control and have nothing to fear. You are the boss. Don’t fight the thoughts just let them float by.
      Hope this helps,
      Regards,
      Mark

  2. Hey Mark

    So I have been dealing HOCD for over an year. (Hopefully) I want to ask about this one thing. Does anxiety+stress feel like crush on someone? Because when I went to school this morning I was really stressed I dont know why tho. I saw this okay-looking dude then I felt anxiety. It felt like a crush but it didnt feel as same as when I get crush on a girl. But when this anxiety came I wasnt digusted about it or anything which is scary.

    • Anxiety can cause all sorts of confusing emotional signals. Its like trying to concentrate with a loud banging going on to distract you. Anxiety is also a suppressor of emotions, it basically can stop our “feel good emotions” even starting. Leading to confusion.

      • So what I understood is that anxiety can lead to a misunderstanding and to confusion because it feels so real. Am I right? Did I just feel anxiety and it led to a confusion in my brain? Sorry for asking but I would like to know.

  3. Hi Mark. 46 yo female. Who thinks has had hocd for years. Scared of being bi since child but always loved/ crushed on men. Liked women’s bodies so assumed may be bi but no crushes/fantasies of women ever until terrible thoughts hit me before my wedding over 20 years ago. Think I had groinal response as didn’t feel right but no internet so assumed prob attraction but didn’t want to be. Thoughts disgusted me and once anxiety left so did thoughts, eventually!! Some fleeting thoughts but free for over 15 years until depression hit due to early menopause. I don’t know why but I decided to check if attracted to women. Didn’t feek anything at first so checked again and it hit me full force and 5 months later I’m constantly checking and testing, finding brief relief then checking…..cant stop. Brief moments I realise its my anxiety but head says just denying my true self and should accept. Tried this but didn’t feel right still. Now think its turning into rocd and doubting feelings for hubby but know deep down I live him and have always wanted this but as I’m writing this my head says I’m lying to myself and I would be happier with a women which makes me feel sick. Just don’t know who I am anymore. Any help would be so appreciated please

    • If it makes you feel sick clearly you don’t want it. And it really is do you want to be bi or not, clearly you don’t. The groined response happens when our mind sees anything of a sexual nature and doesn’t mean your gay it just means that part of the brain is engaged. Totally wouldn’t be worried about feelings and sensations. It’s all over reaction to a thought about a fear. Drop me an email if you need more help. The simple answer is “just because you thought it don’t mean it’s true”

  4. Hi Mark, I’ll try to make this short. I’m an 18 year old girl and I remember having crushes on boys my whole life. Since I was 5. My worries all started about a month or so ago when I visited my best friend at her school. There was a girl there who to me, looked like a lesbian. We were all drunk and she hit on me, and I panicked. I instantly thought “Oh my god I must be gay if a lesbian hit on me” And ever since then I’ve been miserable, distracted and anxious. I’ve had a history of anxiety since I was 6 I’ve been deathly afraid of vomit and getting sick. I even went to a treatment center for 3 months a few years ago to get over my issues and I sort of did. I used to obsessively wash my hands or I’d think I would throw up and I falsely believed everyday that I was sick when I never ever was once. I used to count 48 hours from when I touched something and didn’t wash my hands right after and say that if I didn’t get sick within 48 hours after that then I’d be “safe”. Now ever since that night at my friends school I’m panicked about being gay. Sometimes I think it is HOCD and other times I really believe the thoughts. I constantly research “HOCD or gay/bi”. I don’t want to be around my girl friends anymore and when I am, I’m really distracted. I don’t like when I think a girl is pretty because I get scared and think that means I’m gay or bi. Right now I’m more scared of being bisexual. Ever since this night, I’ve been analyzing my past like crazy trying to see if anything proves that I’m bisexual/gay. It’s so stressful. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy. I get scared that I look like a lesbian or people will think I’m one or that I’m in denial and I’m just realizing it now. Those are the scariest thoughts for me. I spend all day worrying and then checking other girls to see if I like them or want to be with them. In 7th grade I was scared people thought I was gay too which worries me now because my thoughts are saying “that must mean you were denying it then too.” I just can’t tell if this is HOCD or I’m bisexual or gay.

    • The reason you are scared is because you don’t want to be gay and your instinct is troubled by the thought. It’s a case of over analysing and hence subsequent emotional reaction feeling low and stressed. Hope this helps.

  5. Hi mark I want to tell you that I have been having disgusting gay intrusive thoughts and I just don’t know what to do.
    If I see a boy and I find him good looking I get anxious.
    Also can you tell me what is backdoor spike.
    Please I really need your help mark.

    • Hi mark I need your HELP.
      I have been having gay intrusive thoughts since September 2015 and it feels like they won’t go away.My mind is telling me sleep with another man even though I don’t want to.
      I cannot even relax or communicate with another male.

  6. Hi Mark, please, help.

    I am 22 year old girl, I’ll try to make this short. I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD, but I think I’ve always had some periods of OCD, for example like when I was 15, I saw a movie where a girl killed her parents and I got all anxious because what if I was like that girl, this lasted like 2 months, but I went back to school and I forgot about it, looking back I just think “what? what a silly girl I was, it was just a movie”, but until last year it happened again but this time it was about “what if i am gay?” but this time the thought lasted like 2 weeks, but last december it came back and until this day, the HOCD it’s been there, well I hope it’s HOCD. Never ever in my life I doubted about my sexual orientation, I always had crushes on boys, when I like an actor or someone famous I get on the total fan-girl mode, but now I doubt everything I ever felt for a guy, and the fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend makes it worse, I must admit that yeah, I always believed in waiting for the right one, but now everything is about doubt, there have been nights when I just want to cry because I want my life back, my attraction for guys come and goes, when I’m feeling better (without the thoughts) somehow my mind finds a way to start doubting again. I’ve had lesbian friends, and they never bothered me, I have nothing against homosexuals I even used to joke about it like saying “Yes, I’d marry Emma Watson” but I knew it was in some kind of admiration, like I want to be her, not be with her, now I even get anxious about being near my friends who are girls, it’s horrible!!! I just want my old life back! Please help.

    • Hi, when a person struggles with some unwanted thoughts it’s hard to find room to see guys attractive as your mind is under stress and preoccupied so don’t fret if your attraction for guys comes and goes, it’s ok. You clearly don’t want to be gay and your example of when you were younger is a really good example how sometimes you may obsess a little over a thought. This appears to be one of those times, the reason it is , is because you had a emotional reaction to the thought so your mind doesn’t forget what gave it a shock. So your mind(like a computer) tries to make sense of it by testing outbid there truth to the gay thought. Testing ideas and inventing stuff, to the point of creating stuff in your imagination. Don’t fear the thought and in time it will pass.

      • Thank you so much for answering! I am better now, what I hate about this thing is that the thoughts come and go but the compulsions of checking are starting to go away! But there is something else that causes me anxiety, I remembered that when I was like 13 I meet a girl and we got along really well because we liked the same things and all that, but and I remember thinking “If she asked me to be something more than friends I’d say yes” and now it’s like WHAT? what did I think that? I didn’t had a crush on her or anything, but I had that one thought! Over the years I’ve been in contact with her and I’d never had any romantic feelings for her, because it’d be so awkward! We talk about the guys we like and all those girly talks! She is like a sister to me! I think I was just a confused pre-teen but this hocd thing really makes me doubt!! What if i am denial? It’s horrible!

  7. I have definitely been suffering from this HOCD. the more i try to repel it the more it comes. The more i try not to think of anything like that the more i end up thinking. Please help me out of this mental trap. I just want to lead a normal blissful life. Just be free from this stupid fear. I know i am striaght but i am just getting unwanted thoughts. Please help. My life is a complete hell. Please. I am 21 year old female

    • Hi Catherine, thanks you for your meal and please try and not let it become too much for you for there is a solution and it is fixable. Can you send me an email and we can take it from there. Thanks,
      Mark

  8. Hi mark! I’ve heard about you on HOCD forums and I just wanted to hear your opinion on me. This will probably be a log post.

    I’m 17 and when I was younger(prepubescent) I’ll admit I was a little bi-curious(but that’s normal right?) But, eventually I grew out of that and became soely interested in girls… Then I had my first HOCD attack when I was 12.
    When I was around that age I had become homophobic because, back in 08, every one was and I never thought twice about it. I didn’t look at guys, I didn’t think of them sexually. I admired some, but I was never remember being sexually or romantically attracted to them. But, like any tween back then, I would constantly imitate gay voices(stereotypically of course) and I would do the gestures and everything.
    Anyway’s, one night when I was sleeping over at my cousins house, I had a thought “What if the reason I do those things is because I’m gay?” Of course they had no merit. There was no reason for me to be scared, I’d had plenty of crushes on actress’s, female wrestlers, etc. But, for the next few months I was constantly terrified of these thoughts, I don’t remember what I felt, but I remember thinking these thoughts: “I’m not gay.” “I am gay.” “I don’t want to be gay.” “what if I wan’t to be gay?” “Oh god, I don’t want to want to be gay!”But eventually, I don’t remember how, but I beat it. AND I MEAN CRIPPLED IT, to the point that I wouldn’t think twice about seeing a well built man.

    Eventually I made NEW friends, And a lot of them turned out to be lesbian, gay, Bi. I was pretty much the only straight one. And I didn’t seek these friends out because of familiarity, I did it because I had a thing for one of the girls that hung out with them. (I’m no longer a homophobe, I support gay rights and all that) I’ve never had a crush on a man before. Never. I STILL don’t.

    Now, about two months ago, I had a new girlfriend, and I swear I was in love with her. On our third date, is when she kissed me. I enjoyed it, it was great, I couldn’t get enough of it. And then, a few weeks later, I had a dream. I don’t exactly remember the contents of it, but I do remember there being a shirtless man. Now, normally I had these dreams rarely, but they never bother me because, I don’t let them. It’s normal(right?) Anyway’sI woke up and thought to myself, What if I don’t find my girlfriend sexually appealing anymore and I freaked out. I was terrified, I just couldn’t bare the thought. She had been all I ever wanted and I was afraid of not wanting her anymore. Not just because of that, but because I also didn’t want to hurt her.

    Eventually though, I realized after some foreplay, I could still get an erection from her rubbing against my body, the sound of her shaky breath whenever I would play with her breasts.

    Hell, before all that happened I was even turned on when she would play with the fabric of my swim trunks near my knees!

    But, later on, I had this horrible fear that she was cheating on me with my best friend. I couldn’t do anything hardly, I was just terrified. She was cold, distant, and it felt like she didn’t want me around. I don’t have any proof that she did, though… It was probably (ROCD)

    Anyway’s in response I became distant to her, because I was scared that she didn’t want me and I didn’t want to annoy her. Then later she broke up with me. I was relieved, because I didn’t have to worry about her cheating on me anymore… but then I became depressed once again.

    And, I don’t remember what triggered this but… It came back again, My HOCD. And recently, I feel like I’ve been getting attracted to men, because whenever I see a man I know is attractive I get a hot feeling in my stomach and I can’t tell if it’s anxiety or attraction… Eventually I told my parents my dilema and it felt good to talk to someone about it. They told me even if I was gay, that they would still love me and it wouldn’t change how they felt for me. It felt good… But even though I tried to let these attraction pass… something about them felt off… I don’t know it didn’t feel right. I felt like crying, I felt a little sick, I felt tired, and I felt like I had no energy.
    On top of this all, I feel like my sexual attraction to women is gone… I want it back though, I wan’t it back so bad…

    And, Everytime I see my ex, I feel sad because we don’t talk anymore, and because I feel like she doesn’t care about me anymore. And I feel depressed because I feel like I’ll never love anyone again. I don’t think I’m capable of being romantic with a man… I’ve tired to imagine it but it doedn’t feel good nor bad… I feel nothing. The same with women though.
    I also have no more urge to masturbate… I used to do this all the time(I had a problem) but no more… I’ve tried to do it for men, but the only attraction I get from that is the feeling of my hand. I have gotten hard to women though… but sometimes a chiseled chest comes into my mind just before I climax and it scares me. But, like I said, I can’t do it to men. Hell, i’ve tried to do it to gay porn and found myself a little nauseated, and making a disgusted face. Even laughing at it. (I don’t think lowly of homosexuals just do you know)

    That’s it… That’s my story. Are these feeling of attraction caused by anxiety? because I find that, when I’m preoccupied and an otherwise attractive male passes by I don’t notice it immediately, while with women I did. Am I gay? I don’t know anymore… I just wan’t these thoughts and feelings to stop…

  9. Mark….thanks for this you’ve put a lot of things I’ve feared about my HOCD into words when I couldn’t do it. I’m in the awkward position of knowing that this is all fake but being at it’s mercy anyways but I just wanted to thank you for soothing some of my fears

  10. Hi I’m a 13 year old girl, I’ve always liked guys. I’ve never really had many boyfriends but I’ve always wanted one. Last year I had a female teacher who was really pretty, and I don’t know why but I felt a bit awkward round her. I think it was just admiration, I never had any thoughts about kissing her or anything. Everyone else admired her too. But one day I thought… what if I’m a lesbian?? That really freaked me out but for the past three months I have obsessed over it. She actually left our school at the end of July and I forgot about her, but I still obsessed over being a lesbian. I don’t want it to happen!!! I look at girls and think “do I want to kiss her?? Of course not!” but I think that just makes it worse. It never works. I spent all summer worrying about it, I thought getting back to school would take my mind off stuff. But some of my friends are really pretty and I worried about that too. I ask myself if I find them attractive all the time its so annoying. It does not help that it’s an all girls school. I’ve always found both genders attractive but only wanted to date boys but now I picture myself kissing girls. The thing that bugs me is whether I’m bisexual or just a HOCD sufferer, because when I think of kissing girls I don’t feel much disgust anymore. I don’t have a panic attack either, I’ve never had a panic attack in my life. However I do feel confusion, frustration and annoyance. I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD but then again I am quite young, and have always been the really stressy one in my familly. I’ve worried about stuff before, but never like this! I’m sorry it’s so long but I really need help here. Also it would be great if you could send me what you think my sexuality is and treatments for HOCD (if it is HOCD). I can’t get counselling or whatever, because only my mum knows about this and she thinks I’m just being silly. So is there any free way of banishing HOCD??? I’m really scared that you’re going to tell me I must be bisexual or even lesbian, but I guess I need to know the truth. I want to be straight. I even tried telling myself that everyone is technically bisexual, and it’s about the choices I make at the time so I mustn’t worry, but of course I had to search it and find out that I was wrong, so now I’m scared again. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. It’s a bit weird though, because most of the time I fight the thoughts with logic, so I will wake up and think…… ok before I ask myself I am straight, because I like boys and etc. etc. I’m fighting it with logic and checking if I find girls attractive, but I don’t think that’s helping at all. Please help I will be so grateful. Thank you.

    • Hi, my advice would be talk with your mum and say how serious this feels for you. It does appear that you are working yourself up a little. The answer is simple,if you want to be straight then you are straight, that’s the real you, that’s your honest answer. Talk to your mum and get help if you need it. God bless, Mark

  11. Hi Mark, I’ve been struggling with HOCD now (I hope) for the past three months. I’m getting married (I am female) next summer and I’m too scared to tell my fiancé, but I can’t take the fear of being bisexual anymore and I feel so alone. I don’t want to be with women in any way, shape or form…but my mind is completely screwing me. The groinal responses I’ve been having are out of control and I know it’s just anxiety, but it’s not enough to stop the fear that ripples through me. I love my fiancé to death and the fear of being without him is stronger than the HOCD, but that (coupled with the fact that truly bisexuality people aren’t afraid of it) just don’t seem to register with my brain.

  12. Hi, thank you for this article. I would like to ask you if my feelings are still HOCD. I’m a woman, 21 years old and still a virgin. I’ve always waited for “the one”. Always had this “straight” feelings for my entire life – for the opposite sex. I used to seduce men etc. But now, after watching some random video on youtube a week ago about girl coming out I’ve felt anxious. I didn’t have the exact thought about being gay a first. I remember being panicked, anxious and depressed and feeling gay. The thought came later. I am so panicked right now, I don’t know what to do. And I’m even more depressed because I’ve never had sex. But I’ve imagined myself having sex with the man I love. I used to dream about men, used to have crushes (didn’t have a real crush for long time – a year now, just some guys I’ve only seen once and I’m longing for some of them). I never crushed on girls, like never. I’ve always admired them but without some sexual arousal. I don’t want to be with a girl, don’t want to have sex with them, never watched lesbian porn, so I don’t know what’s happening with me? If this is HOCD can it take all happiness from life away, all attracton to boys? Will it ever come back to me? Will I have my life back? Because what I feel now it’s nothing like my life. I used to go to sleep with a imagination of me with some guy who would take care of me and now I can’t think actually of anything before I sleep. I wake up and the first thought is: “What if I’m gay? I must be gay.” But then I think about woman by my side and It’s disgusting. It bring a relief for like 5 seconds and the anxiety comes again even harder and I start doubting myself like my whole life was a completely lie. In the evenings I feel super tired, because I’m thinking nonstop about this. I’m scared being around women and even around men. When I think that some woman is attractive and some man isn’t I feel so depressed. Being with woman feels like it isn’t my nature, but ocd makes it so real and doubts my attraction to men. Is it even possible? I read the articles about HOCD over and over just for reassurance and for doing “something”. HOCD took my life away from me. Can a person in this world who has believed was straight, never questioned it, never doubted it, never even thinking about this, just doing what instincts say the whole life and now when she’s 21 she’s turning gay and everything’s alien for her? Please help me, because I’m loosing my mind and control over thoughts. I’m avoiding friends, television, books (I love books, especially novels), everything what’s gayish (is that even a word?) and even what’s straight, because I don’t want to see couples (and women on screen, men too – it’s disturbing). I just want to lay in my bead and not think, jus lay and pray for resurrection or death.

    I hope you’ll read this and help me, because I’m not far from being insane. I’m sorry this is so long… and for my grammar – I’m from Poland.

  13. Hello Mark,
    Ive had this for 5 years maybe 6. Im 19 and I just found out about HOCD and OCD. It started around the time my parents were getting divorced and I was very down. I was always boy crazy and at that time it went down so I thought that made me a lesbian. Ive liked guys ever since I could rememeber but my mind still tells me i like girls. Luckily my mind leaves me alone about me being gay, but now im freaking out if im bi. I tried to come out and accept myself as bi but i couldnt it made me so sad and i felt like death. My boyfriend knows about this and fully supports me. My older brother knows but he doesnt think HOCD exists.. Its all so hard. I wish i wouldve known about this sooner because i just felt this fear all these years. Now that I know im taking the advice of not checking and its really hard sometimes but i pull through but now im numb and feel this annoyance. My therapist says i cant have OCD because I dont have compulsions or count things. He asked if i checked the stove or anything like that and i dont so he diagnosed me with a generalized anxiety disorder. it makes me so sad cause i feel like ive had other obsessions like my health, the devil possessing me, hurting others, doing drugs, MY RELATIONSHIP, which has been the worst because i dont want to lose him. Im so lost and im sorry im rambling. My head is all fuzzy and i cant think straight

    • Hicks does exist and you sound like you are showing traits. But HOCD is temporary thing, how temporary depends on recovery and how long it takes but you can certainly get passed it. The shock in your life of your parents split would have possibly triggered it for you and all those other things you think and check about are all just OCD obsessing on things you fear would happen. That’s exactly what HOCD is, you fear being gay for you are happy being straight so your mind in its anxious state obsesses to try figure it out when really no figuring out is needed. It’s learning to deal with uncertainties in life and being lead by WHAT YOU WANT not by what you think you might want. Hope this helps.

  14. Hi there!
    I posted on here in February in the height of my anxiety and panic attacks about HOCD. I have read the thread since and I can identify with what people are saying and I want to let them know it can get better. I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with OCD and I am currently doing cbt once a week. It is good but sometimes I feel like she doesn’t know what to say to me. It is now August and I am definitely in a better place. I can go out more, I am more willing to talk to a girl without having panic attacks. I will admit that medication is helping me curb the anxiety as well as the cbt but I have also pushed myself to face my fears and I also do a lot of talking to myself saying “that’s irrational”.
    However, a few weeks ago I relapsed badly when I went to an exercise class and the instructor was a lesbian. My heart started pounding and I could feel the tears coming to my eyes but I was too embarrassed to leave the class. I stayed and didn’t make eye contact with her once. When I left the class I felt like a complete failure, I truly thought I got to a stage of believing I wasn’t going to become a lesbian and it was fear all slog and then this episode happens. The instructor was quite butch but she had an attractive face. She wouldn’t leave my mind then for days. She was not present in my mind in a pleasurable way but my problem was I thought there was something wrong with me for thinking a butch girl was attractive. I forgot about this after a week or so.
    Then, last night I went to the class again almost to prove it was fear preventing me. She wasn’t there and I was glad but I saw a picture of her. Again I commented to myself that she is pretty and since then I am in bits. How could a straight woman find a butch lesbian attractive if it didn’t mean something? I can happily say my best friend is beautiful without panic but my mind is saying the butch girl is a problem. I don’t want to go back to exercise class again in case I start to fancy her. Typing this is making me feel stupid but in my head it’s a problem. Last weekend I did my pre marriage course with my fiancé (a man) and it was wonderful, I was excited for days after about the wedding and didn’t have thoughts and now this has come up again and I am struggling to overcome it. Why is she still in my head.

    • I reckon keep going to exercise class and face the fear and do it anyway. This is simple rumination on an over exaggerated fear. There is no danger there just irrational thoughts based on a fear, you will overcome this, you already have.

  15. hi mark, hocd has gotten really bad for me. it’s to the point where i want to cry all the time because its all i think about and it scares the living heck out of me. i’m only 14 and its so hard i feel depressed all the time. it all started when i watched my favorite youtuber’s coming out video. after it was over everything went down. i was constantly having bad feelings in my chest area sorta like increased heart rate and it did not feel good. before this i never overthought or had any doubts about my sexuality. its like my mind is in a constant battle. the thing that really gets my anxiety all over the place is that in school i had a favorite teacher she was kind of like my best friend. when we were doing an expieriment with sound we had to hold hands. a thought popped in my head during that time that i wanted to hold my teachers hand but i didnt anyway. during that time i never doubted my sexuality. i knew that thought was just a thought and she was just my favorite teacher. my ocd grabs on to that thought and says that i was emotionally attracted to her and it really sucks because i know its not true but ocd makes me doubt it. its like it flips around my past. also i have seeked therapy and it is helping but ocd says im ATTRACTED TO MY THERAPIST. it will grab onto anything. i am so scared to be gay and it doesnt feel right. the second the ocd comes in strong and tries to make me believe it feels like my whole life is a lie and im never gonna be happy and always feel sad with this doubt. it just feels so real. i am recieving medicine tomorrow and i hope it works because sometimes i feel like this isnt ocd and i really dont wanna be gay. i also have a boyfriend who i love but this makes me feel like im not attracted to him. i just always want to cry.

  16. Hi mark , I think I have hocd but I’m no sure .
    It all started when i heard a guy with a femine voice speak , and something said he is gay and I said why do I care then something said you are gay . Then it started from there. So the next day I went to the girls lockeroom to check to see if I get aroused from girls, nothing happened so I left . So after that it was like a cycle . I would look a gay couples to see if I wanted what they had , I would look at pictures of girls to see , watch porn to see , force myself to dream of guys to see , think of scenarios too see if this is what I want . I would repeat phrases like I don’t want to like girls I want like men . I would wake up and say I want to be straight . So from morning to night even in my sleep I would just fight the thoughts . I took gay test and researched and stuff . I looked back in my past , and it is like if flipped my past into something gay or a different meaning . I did one gay thing when I was young and I hate that I did .
    So I kept doing these things until I started talking To people I told my parents about because it was like I had a urge to blurt out I think I’m gay .
    So after that basically I’m dealing with these things right now I don’t like when don’t freak out when I feel Iam attracted too girls . I spoke to some people and they told me to not ruminate on the things but just let them sit there and try to feel them . So I did exactly that and it left me feeling like I accepted that I liked girls and it was like a bothering feeling . So the bothering feeling causes me to feel like Iam not myself . Then I feel bi but I don’t understand how I feel bi when I feel like Iam scared to go around boys , when Iam suppose to be straight like it makes no sense . But I don’t like the fact that I’m okay with the bi thing .
    So basically Iam asking you what do you think I should do because I tried a lot of stuff and nothing seems to be working. So what should I or the steps I should take . I can’t have a therapist because it is too late , I made an appointment but I was scared that I might realize what I fear is true . So what should I do

    • This sounds like HOCD. The fact that you are scared of being gay is a clear sign so you have nothing to worry about. Do talk to a therapist for this will help you get over your fear.

    • Hi it me again . So I think Iam at the end of my hocd but I can’t seem to shake this feeling and I was just wondering was it normal to feel this at the end sense you are almost done . I have this strong feeling of me not wanting to get better like what so ever . I had it before but this is super strong . Everything at the end just fed really strong and real to the fake urges and attractions and thoughts and slightly reactions . I don’t fear it anymore . But towards the end I feel like I could really do it and not have a problem with it at all . I feel like this not ocd but a really gay feeling that has got worse . It really hard for me to describe how I feel at the end . Is the feelings suppose to feel more real at the end because I don’t use reassurance and don’t fight it no more . Like I tried the whole don’t question it just let it past thing for a month and it worked and I relapsed and this time around like right now it just feels super real and worse but I don’t know if it because I learned to deal with it . But it doesn’t like ocd to me no more just real gay thoughts that feel like it is really me . And my energy level is to low for me to do reassurance barely feel like it . But I was assuming that you overcame hocd and you can tell me . How the end of you recovering goes . Thank

  17. Hi Mark,

    So this has been going on for the past couple of years. I know I like guys, and I am in a stable and loving relationship with my boyfriend for the last 4 years. However, since I was 14 I have been constantly checking out girls and testing myself to see if I find them attractive or not, and it’s an obsession I have gotten panic attacks over. When I was around 8 or 9, we had no anti virus software on our computer and I accidently clicked onto a pornography site. I do believe this has had a part to play in all of this. I have since occasionally gone on to a porn site to again, test myself. It’s like BECAUSE I’m afraid that I have a sexual attraction/feeling of arousal to girls, and the feeling of arousal is immediately followed by fear. I have spent hours repeating things such as “you KNOW you like this guy, so why do you think you fancy this girl?” Strange thing is, I never really think of being in a relationship with a girl, literally just think of sexual/crude/pornographic things and nothing more. It’s like because I’m afraid that I get aroused if that makes sense? I am still totally attracted to guys, but it’s like if I think about being attracted to them, I’m not aroused/fancy them. It’s like my brain is forcing me to think of girls in that way, but I know its not true? Like for example, if a guy starts flirting with me and I’m not thinking about this whole thing and I find them attractive physically and emotionally i.e chemistry, all this just flies out the window? I am completely obsessed by this and so confused. I don’t know if teenage hormones (for example, if I actually did have an emotional crush on a girl when I was a teen and couldn’t accept it) have played a part in this or not? I’m 20 now and obviously passed this stage, and this is causing sleepless nights etc and I can’t do it anymore. Thanks for this thread, didn’t know this was an actual fear til today and feel less alone now since. (¨*anxiety runs in my family just to let you know)

    • Hi Kay, panic attacks come when anxiety gets so intense our body literally panics and believes there is a danger but the truth is our thoughts have brought it on so that is why keeping anxiety to normal levels is important as panic attacks tend to occur after long anxiety stricken spells so don’t fear panic attacks. The root of the anxiety is fear which I’m sure you know already. I must stress that if you were gay you would not fear it, in fact the biggest fear a gay person might have is what others would think but when nobody is around they want to be gay, they enjoy being gay and this is clearly not your case regardless of what you might think. In fact I’d say you are very straight to the point you even fear the thought of being gay. Putting all thoughts aside, you clearly want to be straight and the facts are you are and that won’t change.

  18. Hey mike, I am a 28 year old male. Up until 2 or 3 years ago I believed I was straight. I don’t remember having homosexual thoughts when I was younger all I remember is liking girls, their bodies, their voices…etcs. I never thought about males as more friends or in another ways. 2 or 3 years ago a thought popped in my head that I could be gay! And it has made my life hell. I can’t look at my male friends because I am scared I am attracted to them and my anxiety goes way up,I met a great girl that I really want to connect with but doubts and anxiety holds me back! I don’t have a problem with gay people but I never want to be gay. I love women! And I miss the strong feelings I had for them.

    • Mark* sorry about missing up on your name! I really want to break free from this mental trap! And be happy with a girl and raise a family

      • You can and will break free but your going to have to start with a new attitude of “I’m going to get passed this regardless of how long it takes”.
        Obsessing occurs when a thought causes great anxiety and our brain goes into fault fixing mode and starts “like a scientist” analysing all thoughts and scenarios in order to find out why anxiety was caused, is there truth to the thought, what if…etc Understand the problem with this thinking and see that thoughts are just thoughts, and thoughts can’t change who you are.

        • Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! I just fear that thoughts, will lead in to action and it will mess up my life and my future plans!

          • You are fearing thoughts from your imagination, there is nothing to he afraid of and secondly thoughts can’t make you do anything unless you choose too, and from experience people don’t choose to do things they don’t want to do

  19. Hi, Mark. I feel like I almost definitely have this HOCD. It’s been on and off for the past two years but I’ve only just found the name for it. I’ve never thought of myself as gay, never had homosexual fantasies nor have I ever felt sexual attraction to another girl. One time when I was young, I had a gay dream of kissing a girl I knew and I remember just feeling horrified by it, I didn’t like the feel of the dream. But it’s like my mind is doing everything it can to tell me I’m gay and flashing back to moments in my past looking for proof or signs like that dream and asking ‘what if you weren’t horrified by it, what if you liked it, you must be gay’. I feel like this started when I was asked when I was younger if I was gay (as a bit of a joke) and since then I’ve been cautious of looking or acting gay, or saying gay things – could that be true? There is just so much doubt going through my mind and I’m constantly checking with every girl I see if I’m attracted/would I kiss her etc and it’s driving me crazy, almost blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s not! I was always falling in love with male celebrities and day dreaming about them but now my mind is just like – that was all a cover up and a lie because you’re gay. Is this HOCD? I’m terrified that I’m actually just in denial. I’m looking into self help, I guess I just need some reassurance that this is in fact OCD.

    • Hi, many people in their lifetime may have had a gay dream, this doesn’t mean you are gay. Same way if you dream you are a superhero it doesn’t make you batman. When thoughts conflict with our beliefs and values and the result is anxiety and turmoil it usually sounds like hocd. The fear and thoughts can seem so real but they still are just thoughts…invisible…imagined…fake…just thoughts. I know it’s hard to see past them right now but that is because you are fearing these thoughts. It takes time but learn to pursue what you want and what brings you joy and peace, in that way you’ll do great and over time you’ll become stronger.

  20. Hi….. I am A straight man who has been dealing with this HOCD for almost a year now…. it is affecting a lot of aspects in my life but at the same time making me a stronger person. when I was very young I had a same sex experience (masturbation) that I did not enjoy…. I was young and did not know what was going on and was forced into it. To this day it haunts me and makes me have unwanted thoughts about my sexualty. It wasn’t up until about a year ago that I started to have these thoughts and questions about my sexualty… I have always dated and had sex with women and I still do and I still love doing it… But there is always and guilt and hard thoughts that follow a few days after and then the dark side kicks in. It is very negative and just not a comfortable or good feeling at all. Drove me to the point of having to check my sexualty by watching same sex porn and it was the most uncomfortable and disgusting thing I’ve witnessed.. voices in my head “your gay” “your gay” repeatedly in situations and have me think about unwanted thoughts in any and every day situations. It just doesn’t make sense to me because of how aattractive ed to women I am…. I can sit there and say a man is good looking and give him respect on how good looking he is… but never have the desire to do anything sexualty with another man. I often think abiut also if other people think im gay and if the way i dress and the way i speak or the things i say are gay…I just want to be free and let these thoughts go away and not control my life..I am sexualty aroused by women and only women… never have been sexual aroused by a man…but the thoughts in my head have me checking to see if I will be aroused by anything else but a woman. .. I love women and just want to go back to loving them so I can have a great relationship and one day get married. ..

    • Hi Joe, yes it can be a difficult time and I have worked with hundreds of cases like yours. The good news is it will pass. It’s clear you are hedrosexual and these obsessive thoughts are just ruminations. A short answer would be to with what you desire in life rather than theories and thoughts of other possibilities for the ruminating thoughts are just thoughts and not actual factual desires. If they where you would find peace when you pursued them or thought on them. But there is more to it, this nice is a fear, and rather than fight the fear just see it for what it is, fearful invisible thoughts that cannot control you. You are in control and if I asked you what do you want your answer would be “to continue to be straight” that is the real you and all the rest are just theories and irrelevant. Hope this helps

  21. Hey im a 13 year old boy and ive been dealing with this for about 2 weeks. It started with watching a movie about 3 months ago where a boy found out he had feelings for his guy friend. I brushed this off at the time and new it was stupid as i have liked girls my whole life. Then about 2 months ago i had a dream where a dude told me i was gay and i woke up and had a complete panic attack. This also passed in the morning as i calmed down and came to my senses. Then around 3 weeks ago i became sick with a throat infection on the weekend i visited my doctor and i was pescribed penicilin. But on the begining of that week i started a small obsession questioning my sexuality it wasnt severe yet though. Two days after my pescription my body started breaking down and i lost my appetite and i became depressed. On the sunday i broke down and googled “how to tell if your gay” i read one thing and went insane i ran to my mom -who has a phyc degree and started spinning “what if im gay” do you think im gay an things like that was what i was saying. My mom reassured me and i calmed down and relaxed. This didint last long i had a panic attack i started hyper ventilating and i got hot flashes and i was saying things like “if im thinking about this much than i have to be omg omg omg” i drove myself insane. Since then i have questioned virtually every thought that has ever crossed my mind and i have gotten a bit better with a few attacks. It comes and goes i just wanted to get it out and i would like to talk to you if its cool.

  22. Hi i have one question i think i am one HOCD suffer but i never see cases where a hocd suffer look to same sex and found them attractive and i think i am in this case , is like if i see a goodlooking guy my head or me i just dont know make feel like “hes cute” and that shts i dont know if this is hocd anymore ;( i have girlfriend but this doubt its destroying me :((

  23. Hi! Thank you for this article… I was hoping you could help me. So my HOCD started almost 4 months ago. The worst thing about it is that I didn’t had panic attacks anymore and I just knew I was overcoming it. I had unwanted doubt but nothing that made me feel in extreme despair anymore like the first week of it, when I didn’t know HOCD was a thing. So my background is a little complicated to use details here but… I just really want to got back to who I was before! I had a really bad panic attack again and I’m afraid I’ll fall even deeper after all the endurance I had. I went back to the one thing that put me in this situation thinking that I wasn’t going to be affected by it anymore… but It did caused me a spike. I’ll try to explain myself a little better. I’m a 16 year-old girl (and I guess that means for lots of people that this things are “normal”) but I know I’ve been straight my entire life, that I still am and I know that’s who I want to be. As I said there’s a lot more of this to explain but I don’t think I can say all of it in this comment. Can you help me through an email?

  24. i dont know whether am suffering from hocd or not but m very distress about my gay or lesbian feelings it so disturbing i dont know whether i am straight or not my sexual identity have been lost some where i have consulted to the psychiatrist he is giving me censpram anti depressant it worked the persistent the thought i have always thinking about this but still these thoughts are come again when a girl hug me or touch me am afraid of meeting with my friends i have a boyfriend we had four year relationship had sex many time and that time i have never thinked that i am not liking it or something irrational
    m realy stresses about who i am please help me
    in my area there are psycholgist but i dont think any one provide behavrioul therapy

  25. Hi there,
    I know this article is from 2013 but I figure it will still arrive. I find it very refreshing that I have found a website explaining this condition in Ireland.
    Since January 5th 2015 I have been suffering from what I think is this condition. Although not diagnosed with ocd yet I am due to see a psychiatrist this week.
    I am due to get married in decemebr to the most wonderful man and have been really busy planning our wedding over the last few months. Then boom I had a lesbian dream one night which I enjoyed in the dream and came to the conclusion that I must be gay. This is coupled with the fact that I have been turned on by lesbian porn in the past (in the company of my fiancé). It was in the same week that I would be listening to the radio station and hear stories about women who were married to men and then fell in love with a woman. My world has crashed over the last number of weeks, I have not slept in about a week and I couldn’t eat. I’ve been to the doctor and am on Xanax,she reckons this is my new focus for the month. My gut agrees as in December I was obsessed with my fiancé dying in a car crash and then prior I was convinced he was in love with someone else. Through all this I am also obsessed with my body weight. I tortured myself going on Google to do everything I could to prove that I am not a lesbian. It makes me extremely anxious and I feel uncomfortable at the thought of being in a relationship with a woman(I am not homophobic,I support people’s choices but it is not my choice).
    I feel it has got so bad that I am avoiding eye contact with a woman in case she thinks I am checking her out or that I all of a sudden develop feelings for her. The funny (not really) thing is that when I imagine losing my fiancé I start to cry.
    I have been attending a psychotherapist as I am a seriously anxious person(childhood rough) since last September and she reckons I don’t have any OCD. I did get depressed in 2012 and was on meds for 1.5years without counselling.
    She told me in the early stages of going to her that ‘I didn’t really know myself’ and I have held onto that and keep thinking she thinks I’m gay. She also told me other things like “will you be looking over your shoulder all your life wondering if your fiancé is enough”.
    I am a firm believer in trusting my gut and my gut is saying my fiancé is the person I want to be with. I love him. The voice in my head is saying “are you sure, are you sure, you are in denial’.
    This is the first time my sexuality has every been threatened. My fear at the moment is that Il go to a psychiatriat and they will say there is nothing wrong with you, you are in denial. My family are aware of how I feel and I know that if I did have anything to come out about I would have support. Even my fiancé knows.
    Anyway I want the day of peace and calm to arrive.
    Have you any insight?
    Many thanks.

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