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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

I might have HOCD/SOOCD?

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jjusa

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Hello! I am new here and I’m so happy I finally found a place where people with OCD come together to talk about their experiences.

More about me: I have major depressive disorder and suffer from complex trauma and anxiety. I am in my late twenties. In the last 6 months, I have been wondering if I also have OCD. Specifically sexual orientation OCD or HOOCD. Not sure which yet. For the last 3 years I have been questioning my sexuality, but I can’t seem to get over it nor do I ever find an answer, even if meet with and talk to new people every day. I am chronically indecisive when it comes to my sexual orientation and I fear that I will never know what it is. I ruminate over it on a daily basis. I am in deep distress and cannot stop obsessing over this. Ok, here are what I believe are the symptoms of HOOCD and/or SOOCD. I’m not sure which one I would fall under but here goes.

Unwanted/intrusive thoughts: I would say I have obsessive thoughts. Sometimes I feel they are unwanted. Other times I do not. I don’t think my obsessive thoughts are about fearing being gay – it’s more wondering if I’m really gay.. It’s more trying to figure out if that’s really me, and obsessing over that. Are my thoughts/fantasies of the same sex intrusive or genuine? Are these thoughts telling me to look further or should I just ignore them and treat them that they don’t mean anything, that they are just thoughts and nothing worth looking into? Even though I have dated the same sex but was never successful or got anywhere, does that mean I am not gay and I am just experimenting, or have I just not found the right person yet.

Doubts: I am very doubtful of my sexuality and it’s very distressing to me. Even if I talk to people and they help me sort out my thoughts, I am never going to get over it or get the answer to it. I am desperately searching for a solid answer if I am gay or straight. More focus on answering if I am gay. I am not just searching for a solid answer if I am straight.

Compulsions: My compulsions are in the form of checking if I am gay (masturbating, thinking of past situations with the same sex, checking to see how I behaved or felt around them; checking to see if specific people of the same sex I paid attention to were gay feelings or just “girl crushes”. I am also chbut also avoiding anything lgbt. Stop dating. Nervous around other people. These kind of conflict with one another I think because I want to believe that I am gay but my thoughts keep sending me conflicting messages: you’re gay-no you’re not (x10 per day)

Attraction: Am I attracted to them or attracted to their energy or attracted to them platonically. Do I want the same sex or do these “attractions” not mean anything. Is my nervousness and anxiety around certain ppl of the same sex just because they are intimidating/I’m an anxious person, or am I truly attracted to them. Do I actively avoid dating the same sex or even talking about the same sex, because I am not interested or am I not accepting myself? Is my jealous/envy when certain ppl of the same sex get into another relationship due to me being interested in them or me being sad that I am not in a relationship? Am I actually attracted to the opposite sex because when I went on a date with the same sex, I didn’t desire them. I can’t remember who I was attracted to, if I was at all. Why can’t I confirm any previous attractions that I might have had?

History of self-discovery: So far, it’s been 3 years of questioning and going on dates, meeting new people, and I still don’t know. My history of questioning is also a constant up and down. When it should go more linearly. When actual lgbt people realize they are lgbt, it’s more of a gradual process for them. Questioning – Realizing – Maybe denial/doubting – Acceptance. They learn new things about themselves and their attraction as time goes on. For me: Questioning --- I think I’m gay --- Denial/or doubt --- I think I’m straight --- Questioning --- I think I’m gay again. It never ends. I can’t accept something I don’t know. It’s like I’ve made progress… a few weeks later, I’m back to square one.

If you've read this far, thank you for listening.
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

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when i was a kid i started getting huge crushes on short blonde girls. i never had that happen even once towards a guy.

did u have any crushes when u were a kid?
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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Hi there jjusa. I also suffer from SO-OCD so I know how tough it is. I don't know if you're male or female but I think many people go through a phase of questioning, curiosity and/or experimenting with the same sex but for most people it's just that and they don't stress about it or overthink it.

I think if you're gay you know you're gay and you don't question it obsessively and obsessively ruminate.

Were you always interested in the opposite sex? Did you have crushes on the opposite sex and want to date and have sex with the opposite sex?
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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I'm sorry, I didn't mean any harm. I suffer with SO-OCD so I understand and it's easy to say the wrong thing.
 
magich8ball

magich8ball

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I don't know if this is helpful, but maybe you could look more into compulsory heterosexuality? I don't have this type of OCD but I struggled heavily with my sexuality and reading about compulsory heterosexuality really helped me rethink my relation to men (I'm a lesbian though).
This is a specific lesbian masterdoc that /can/ people with that (even nonlesbians), but I'm sure if you looked up bisexuality and compulsory heterosexuality you could find other more specific resources too!
 
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L

Lonelygirl91

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I don't know if this is helpful, but maybe you could look more into compulsory heterosexuality? I don't have this type of OCD but I struggled heavily with my sexuality and reading about compulsory heterosexuality really helped me rethink my relation to men (I'm a lesbian though).
This is a specific lesbian masterdoc that /can/ people with that (even nonlesbians), but I'm sure if you looked up bisexuality and compulsory heterosexuality you could find other more specific resources too!
This isn't helpful to someone with OCD about their sexual orientation. We're not in the closet or covering up being gay; being gay simply isn't part of who we are. Whilst there's certainly nothing wrong with being gay; it doesn't feel right for us just as being straight wouldn't feel right to you
 
magich8ball

magich8ball

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This isn't helpful to someone with OCD about their sexual orientation. We're not in the closet or covering up being gay; being gay simply isn't part of who we are. Whilst there's certainly nothing wrong with being gay; it doesn't feel right for us just as being straight wouldn't feel right to you
Sorry! Thank you for helping me understand.
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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People who are geuinely gay may struggle with their sexuality but it's not because they don't know whether they're gay or not and don't desire these thoughts but because they fear reactions of family and society. However thankfully in this day and age, being LGBT is very accepted and LGBT people don't face stigma from society (unless they have a very conservative and religious family and/or live in a religious small town or in a country where homosexuality is illegal).

I fully support the LGBT community and have gay friends but for me the idea of liking and being with a woman depresses me (like being with a man I'm sure would depress you). It's nothing against being gay as there's absolutely no problem with being gay but not being able to like men would depress me. It's part of my identity like being a lesbian is part of your identity and being straight would make you unhappy. It would be like someone telling you that you have to like something that you don't like even though there's nothing wrong with liking that thing.

I hope that this makes sense. It's nothing about being against being gay. Many sufferers with this theme don't come from religious backgrounds or families that condemn the LGBT community. I grew up with very liberal and loving parents. My mum herself has many gay and lesbian friends so if I was gay or whatever my mum would be fine with it and I live in a liberal LGBT friendly society. I think for people who are in the closet the biggest obstacle is coming out especially like I said they may have parents who don't approve of being gay and/or a community that condemns LGBT people.

Also there are gay people who have anxiety about being straight so it's not only straight people who have an obsession with this theme but gay people as well who fear that they're straight. I've come across many gay people on OCD forums who have this obsession but with liking the opposite sex.
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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Also if I had a son or daughter who were gay I would fully support them and be 100% ok with it.
 
magich8ball

magich8ball

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People who are geuinely gay may struggle with their sexuality but it's not because they don't know whether they're gay or not and don't desire these thoughts but because they fear reactions of family and society. However thankfully in this day and age, being LGBT is very accepted and LGBT people don't face stigma from society (unless they have a very conservative and religious family and/or live in a religious small town or in a country where homosexuality is illegal).

I fully support the LGBT community and have gay friends but for me the idea of liking and being with a woman depresses me (like being with a man I'm sure would depress you). It's nothing against being gay as there's absolutely no problem with being gay but not being able to like men would depress me. It's part of my identity like being a lesbian is part of your identity and being straight would make you unhappy. It would be like someone telling you that you have to like something that you don't like even though there's nothing wrong with liking that thing.

I hope that this makes sense. It's nothing about being against being gay. Many sufferers with this theme don't come from religious backgrounds or families that condemn the LGBT community. I grew up with very liberal and loving parents. My mum herself has many gay and lesbian friends so if I was gay or whatever my mum would be fine with it and I live in a liberal LGBT friendly society. I think for people who are in the closet the biggest obstacle is coming out especially like I said they may have parents who don't approve of being gay and/or a community that condemns LGBT people.

Also there are gay people who have anxiety about being straight so it's not only straight people who have an obsession with this theme but gay people as well who fear that they're straight. I've come across many gay people on OCD forums who have this obsession but with liking the opposite sex.
I mean, I understand what you're saying. You're straight but your OCD makes you question that, not you having genuine second thoughts about being gay.

In regards to your second part..Uh..I don't know how to tell you but gay people do face a lot of stigma, obviously it's better than it was 50 years ago but many LGBT people face many barriers that non-LGBT do not face, both with "liberal + accepting" folks and "conservative + religious" folks.

And regards to the gay people having an obsession with liking the opposite sex..I'm not doubting that there are folks who are gay who have patterns of OCD similar to yours about sexuality..but for a lot of gay people we struggle with the thing I mentioned before "compulsory heterosexuality" which makes a lot of us feel like unless we're straight or in a relationship that can make us look straight, we are invalid (whether our communities are accepting or not). It's complicated, especially because (even with accepting families or not!) many of us feel as though if we are a man, we /have/ to marry a woman and vice versa, to be ""normal"".
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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I mean, I understand what you're saying. You're straight but your OCD makes you question that, not you having genuine second thoughts about being gay.

In regards to your second part..Uh..I don't know how to tell you but gay people do face a lot of stigma, obviously it's better than it was 50 years ago but many LGBT people face many barriers that non-LGBT do not face, both with "liberal + accepting" folks and "conservative + religious" folks.

And regards to the gay people having an obsession with liking the opposite sex..I'm not doubting that there are folks who are gay who have patterns of OCD similar to yours about sexuality..but for a lot of gay people we struggle with the thing I mentioned before "compulsory heterosexuality" which makes a lot of us feel like unless we're straight or in a relationship that can make us look straight, we are invalid (whether our communities are accepting or not). It's complicated, especially because (even with accepting families or not!) many of us feel as though if we are a man, we /have/ to marry a woman and vice versa, to be ""normal"".
I'm sorry to hear that the LGBT community still faces a lot of struggles, even in a so-called liberal and open society. It's very sad how backwards and prejudiced people can be. Society will always marginalize certain groups and those who don't fit in with the "norms".

Other people's views do not reflect on you. The way I think about it, I don't want anything to do with stupid and bigoted people anyway so I don't let them affect me. The worst thing is to care about what society expects of you. What do you expect of yourself? Live your life for you and not for others. By society's standards I should be in a hurry to get married and have kids as I'm almost 30, but I'm not. I'm not going to settle for any guy and have kids just because society says women have to be wives and mothers to have purpose and meaning in life. I have friends who live by this pressure and are desperate to settle down.

My heart goes out to you but be strong and don't let stupid people bring you down and make you feel that you should be ashamed of who you are.

Also remember that you are valid no matter what your sexual orientation, race or gender, religion etc x
 
T

TooTooMuch

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You don't actually have to decide if you are gay or straight. I don't have to decide if I like french fries or not. Sometimes I do, when the opportunity arises and I'm in the mood. Usually not. and I don't go out of my way to have them but will under certain circumstances.

How about if you just say yes? when you ask yourself if you are really gay, say yes. If you ask yourself if you are straight say yes. If you ask yourself tens times a day say yes. You could pursue someone you find attractive and want to sleep with and then you'll ask yourself if that means you're gay or straight based on whether you enjoyed it. But it doesn't matter. If you didn't like it don't sleep with them again. Or do and see if it gets better.

The point is that it doesn't actually matter if you are gay or straight. Or in between. Or sometimes under the right circumstances. many ppl identify as bisexual leaning towards mostly male or female, or one way for relationships and another just for sex. This doesn't have to be a painful exploration--it could be a fun wonderful exploration, like trying to figure out which is your favorite ice cream flavor.
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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You don't actually have to decide if you are gay or straight. I don't have to decide if I like french fries or not. Sometimes I do, when the opportunity arises and I'm in the mood. Usually not. and I don't go out of my way to have them but will under certain circumstances.

How about if you just say yes? when you ask yourself if you are really gay, say yes. If you ask yourself if you are straight say yes. If you ask yourself tens times a day say yes. You could pursue someone you find attractive and want to sleep with and then you'll ask yourself if that means you're gay or straight based on whether you enjoyed it. But it doesn't matter. If you didn't like it don't sleep with them again. Or do and see if it gets better.

The point is that it doesn't actually matter if you are gay or straight. Or in between. Or sometimes under the right circumstances. many ppl identify as bisexual leaning towards mostly male or female, or one way for relationships and another just for sex. This doesn't have to be a painful exploration--it could be a fun wonderful exploration, like trying to figure out which is your favorite ice cream flavor.
This is really NOT helpful and the worst advise that you could give to someone! This only makes people with OCD anxious! This is not about exploring sexual identity! This is about straight people who fear that they are attracted to the same sex, not because they have a problem with it but because it's not part of who they are. Gay people also have this theme and have the fear that they are straight! Bi people can have this too and fear that they are more attracted to one sex than the other! This is NOT about having a problem with being LGBT or worrying about family or society and coming out; it's quite the contrary. It's feeling that it isn't part of who we are. OCD attacks things that are the most important to us including aspects of identity. Like I said, many gay people have this OCD too and fear being straight.

Experimenting is NOT a good idea for people with SO-OCD as it causes more anxiety and uncertainty. It's not helpful to say that most people are bi. Whilst many people are curious about the other sex or even if they've experimented it doesn't make them bi. Many celebrities claim to be "bi" or "pansexual" to be cool and relevant but it's rubbish.

Please don't post if you have no knowledge of how OCD works.
 
T

TooTooMuch

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I didn't mean to suggest that most ppl are bi. I don't think that's true. Or to give harmful advice as it was my opinion, not medical advice. Thank you for chiming in with your own reaction.

Sometimes when you've tried everything else or the same standard OCD advice, you might want to try something else. Just an option among many.

If what you are saying, or anything I said, resonated with the OP, they should discuss it with their mental health professional.
 
T

TooTooMuch

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Jjusa, if what I said made you feel worse, I truly apologize so please ignore my opinion. I certainly didn't mean to cause you more anxiety. If anything you've read resonated with you, talk with a professional about it. Obviously don't blindly take the advice of internet strangers. I

Good luck to you.
 
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