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Can anyone relate/fully get their life back?



Mar 24, 2019
I’m in a really bad place at the moment and I’ll just summarise my situation...

Mild/Normal social anxiety until last summer when me and my girlfriend spent time apart due to university commitments.

Started with HOCD thoughts but didn’t take over my life...until Xmas when I finally plucked up the courage to google my thoughts and realised it was HOCD..feel like the thoughts got worse since then.

I then discovered what POCD was, in fact I remember the exact day and time, and literally since then (2 months ago) I’ve been fully convinced that this is what I am and I just feel immense guilt constantly and just can’t fathom how I can ever not have these thoughts. It brings up relationships/moments I’ve had when I was younger with people and then I feel guilty for even thinking about that. It’s so annoying because I can literally say I didn’t have HOCD until I found out what it was, the same with POCD (and ROCD). Yet why can’t my brain process this and accept that it’s not me?

I don’t know if anyone has ever experienced it to this level but it happens loads where I’ll pretty much put myself in the mindset of someone gay or a terrible person and think things like “surely they were just normal like me until they impulsively did something” and that’s what I’m so afraid of. You know when you’re angry and just snap at someone, it’s that sort of thing that I’m scared of doing like if I’m out on a night out and just think “ah to hell with it” and kiss someone etc. I’m so scared of those situations.

In terms of recovery, I can’t seem to find a specialist OCD therapist in my area. My parents don’t know about my mental health issues, and my girlfriend is just aware that I have OCD and some depression but I’m one of those people where it’s hard to really tell what I’m feeling from the outside. I don’t want to tell anyone my thoughts because for me that’s like confirming they’re real and I don’t ever want that. I’m clinging onto 2 months ago where I’d never had a POCD thought, I’m clinging onto a year ago where I’d never had a HOCD thought. I’ve not done medication yet because I’m scared of the side effects ruining my sexual relationship with my girlfriend/triggering ROCD if I don’t feel attracted or something. This probably sounds silly. I’ve also tried some ERP myself I have a table on my phone I use but I don’t really know what is exposure and what is checking? Like if I just sit and stare at a topless man is this exposure or checking? And what am I meant to think during this? I just sit and stare and have no idea how long or what to do. Because I barely leave the house my ERP is always just Pictures or videos on my phone and even then I feel guilty for searching things.

I’d really appreciate some help/guidance on my next steps, Thank you


New member
May 30, 2019
Untied states
First of all I want to say that you don't sound silly. I get exactly what you are going through and Although my OCD did not have the same themes as you, I get it. HOCD POCD and ROCD are common types of Pure O (nickname for OCD with Mental compulsions). Pure O however is often misunderstood and never shown in movies and stuff, only the hand washing or lock checking kind is. However Pure O is very real. I really am gay and trust me when I tell you, you can't just turn gay and nothing you do will make you turn gay. It's not a choice and you have be born gay and realize it when you hit puberty and have sexually attractions and crushes toward the same sex. I had a transgender theme when I heard that many trans people just think they are gay a first. Even though I never felt uncomfortable with my body, I have no interest in woman clothing and stuff, and I am comfortable being male, My anxiety persisted and took over my life. I get how crippling it can be and the biggest "hook" was that I kept think to myself "If I have this much anxiety about it, it must be true." that is a flaw in my logic that just keeps fueling the obsession. I also struggled to leave my house, and too tell people. Because every time I wanted to tell people, that's when the secondary fears come flooding in. "What if I really am and I'm just in denial?" "what if I tell my parents, or a therapist and they think I am just in denial?" additionally it feels so shameful and embarrassing because the themes are viewed negatively by society and so is mental illness in general. Then there's the depression about what is has done to your life. I know its hard but you need to find someone who may be able to understand this in your life. Start by explaining what OCD really is and how it can also have hidden mental compulsions, then you can talk about your themes. Because the truth is, the themes don't matter, its all the same illness: OCD. Everyone has distressing thoughts be we get stuck on them, obsess about them, and preform compulsions to try to make them go away temporarily only for them to come back and haunt us again. If you would like to talk more, feel free to message me (I'm new here and don't really know how you can do that). Also its best to try to find a therapist who specializes in OCD, And I know that hard especially if you live in a small town, but there are even over the phone and Skype therapies. And I know this is crushing to hear, but OCD is a lifelong struggle. The thoughts won't ever completely go away but therapy can teach you how to stop compulsions and lower you anxiety to cope with it and live a normal life. Sometimes medication can even help. It was really helpful for me to watch videos by the mental health advocate Chrissie Hodges. She struggled with HOCD for 12 years but has now been in recovery for even longer. I know her camera Quality isn't the best and she laughs a lot in some videos but that her way of saying positive though such serious topics.

She has a lot of videos! find the ones that are the most relevant to you but here are some that you may want to see: