Homosexual OCD: questions from our readers
We start 2022 with thematic monographs on topics of interest related to obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety. Every month, on our social networks, we start a question time to give an answer to our readers’ questions about OCD or Anxiety.
We have dedicated January 2022 to clarify concepts and talk about homosexual OCD.
We have collected the most interesting or useful questions about this type of obsessive disorder below. If you have any questions that are not reflected, do not hesitate to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next month we will dedicate it to Relationship OCD. If you want to participate in the debate, follow us on our Instagram account.
What is homosexual OCD?
Homosexual OCD is a type of OCD that affects heterosexual people. People with homosexual OCD have thoughts and obsessions about the possibility of being homosexual, while in reality they are not. They are not attracted to people of the same gender. However, they compulsively check their sexuality and constantly question their actions.
People with this type of OCD continually wonder if their actions could be viewed as “gay” and they compulsively test their sexuality. They also imagine intrusive scenes.
This has no meaning of attraction, but is the result of high internal anxiety and mental blocks that manifest themselves by producing obsessions and compulsions.
Actually, people who have this type of obsessive disorder tend to have a great fear of expressing themselves freely, of positioning themselves firmly in life and of having affective contact. These are the pillars that we work on in therapy in order to eliminate the anxiety that has led you to develop an obsessive disorder.
4 examples of consequences it can have:
- Fear or difficulty relating to people of the same sex (friends, authority figures.
- Avoidance of sexual intercourses.
- Avoidance of situations in which people of the same sex are attractive (for example, a movie).
- Constant fear of the failure of love relationships.
What is the difference between homosexual OCD and being homosexual?
Having Homosexual OCD and being homosexual are two very different things.
Homosexual OCD is a type of OCD in which the content of the obsessions is the possibility of being homosexual. It occurs in heterosexual people, whose anxiety has manifested itself in this way, as it could have manifested itself in another.
Homosexual OCD has nothing to do with homosexuality. Let’s see the differences.
What is homosexuality? Homosexuality and bisexuality are part of the human condition. A part of the population, anywhere in the world and at any time, is homosexual or bisexual, just as one can be tall or short, or have a certain hair color.
It should not be explained as a weakness or disorder, nor look for a cause such as a traumatic experience or excessive maternal attachment (or similar). It is simply a natural human socio-biological condition, one more orientation, and therefore it must be respected.
What is Homosexual OCD? It is a compulsive verification of their own sexuality and a constant questioning of their actions.
The person with homosexual OCD is not attracted to people of their gender. Instead, what happens to them is that they spend hours questioning everything they do, think or feel and wonder if they could be gay or if they could be valued that way by others.
Thus, the person has problems expressing themselves freely, having emotional ties or physical contact, or aesthetically recognizing people of the same gender; because any of those things can paralyze them and start the obsessions.
Thus, they may even avoid their friends, authority figures, places that they associate with this type of OCD or avoid sex itself, because all this triggers that anxiety.
In short, the main difference between both terms is that a homosexual person without OCD integrates their sexuality within their normal condition. Even in people who do not have it accepted, it is not the content of the obsessions.
For his part, the person with homosexual OCD does not really feel attraction, but an anxiety (arising for any other reason) that manifests itself in obsessions and compulsions. And in this case, the content of those obsessions is the homosexual theme, as it could have been any other.
Homosexuality is a normal human condition that must be respected, while Homosexual OCD is a type of obsessive disorder.
How do I know when is Homosexual OCD or Unaccepted Homosexuality?
The fundamental difference is attraction.
Not Accepted Homosexuality: A person who is homosexual knows that they are homosexual, feel a real sexual attraction to people of the same sex and feel real pleasure. When homosexuality is not accepted, you may feel great anxiety later about guilt or lack of acceptance, but the moment of attraction or pleasure is real.
Homosexuality, bisexuality and any other sexual orientations are natural socio-biological conditions in the human being, which must be respected. As this often does not happen, many people have problems accepting their sexuality.
Homosexual OCD: it is not an unaccepted sexual orientation, but an obsessive disorder, in which there is no type of attraction, desire or pleasure. What we found here are obsessive and intrusive thoughts and constant doubts that can last for many years, occupying much of the day. The person who suffers HOCD spends the whole day in obsessive thought loops and compulsive checking rituals.
It is a mental health problem, not an orientation, since we find it in heterosexual people. It has no meaning related to sexual orientation, but is a manifestation of a high level of anxiety.
So why does Homosexual OCD appears? The person with Homosexual OCD may have lived through very stressful situations in their life and have grown up in a strict environment, learning to repress their emotions.
People with this type of OCD tend to cancel parts of their personality, for example, men with homosexual OCD tend to repress their more emotional and sensitive nature due to the pressure they perceive from their environment. They also tend to have problems positioning themselves in life and deciding for themselves, as well as for bonding with people of the same sex. For this reason, in therapy we work to
– Reconnect them with their true personality
– Set life goals and
– Strengthen their bonds
What can be done in this case? In a case of unaccepted homosexuality, the psychologist will help the person to integrate it into their life normally.
However, in the case of being an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with homosexual content, the psychologist will help the person to overcome the OCD. Treating the base anxiety, the obsessive symptomatology decreases. The most important thing is to help the person to live according to their own nature and not according to the strict canons that have been imposed on them.
It is important to go to a psychologist so that he or she is the one who makes the diagnosis and evaluation of the case and who decides which treatment is most appropriate for each person based on the circumstances of their life.
How can homosexual OCD affect sexual relationships?
Homosexual OCD affects heterosexual people. In some cases, obsessions and compulsions can negatively affect your sex life.
Avoiding sex: for example, some people may avoid having sex for fear of intrusive thoughts or images during the act.
Disconnection from the sexual act: some people with OCD are unable to focus during sex, as obsessive thoughts and checking rituals are activated at that time. For example, they may go into a loop wondering if they really like it or not. This causes anxiety to rise and they are unable to enjoy themselves. Furthermore, this increases their doubts and obsessions.
Fear of losing your partner or cheating on them: the person with this type of OCD has recurrent and constant thoughts about their sexuality. One of the obsessions can be the possibility of cheating on the current partner or ending up ruining the relationship. This increases anxiety in the face of hypothetical future suffering that they could cause to their partner.
What techniques can I use when obsessive thoughts overwhelm me?
If you have this or another type of OCD, these techniques can be helpful when obsessive thoughts and anxiety begin:
- Take into account what it means: Think that the content of the obsessions does not have a specific meaning. Instead, it is a way that anxiety has to manifest itself.
- Do not leave the situation: If you leave the situation that causes you anxiety, you are telling your body that it is dangerous, so the anxiety remains. Stay and give a signal to your brain: it is you who decide what is dangerous and what is not.
- Take mental distance: Stop for a moment so you do not get into a loop of ruminative thoughts.
- Do breathing techniques: It helps you relax quickly. Begin with slow breathing: gentle, deep, pausing, and blowing. Then take a diaphragmatic breath, controlling your abdomen.
- Seek serenity and body relaxation: You have to relax your mind, but also your body, since being physically in tension increases anxiety.
- Call someone: Talking to a friend can help you get relaxed, distracted, and also make you feel more supported and secure.
- Look for activities that are highly distracting: Activities that require 100% concentration help combat the most intense anxiety. Sports such as boxing, horse riding, climbing, or activities such as singing and dancing.
- Verbalize your anxiety. Talk about your concerns with someone close to you. Going to therapy also helps to be able to verbalize.
- Look for professional help. Going to specialist psychologists will help you fight OCD, break blockages, reduce anxiety and begin to confront obsessive symptoms in a powerful way.
Why does Homosexual OCD appear?
The person with OCD, whatever type it is, has a high level of anxiety and repressed emotions. The most common is that they have grown up learning to repress their instincts and their true self; and that they have been harassed by the fear of “what they will say”. This has made the person not dare to express themselves freely for fear of their surroundings.
This type of OCD expresses a social weakness, not a sexual orientation.
It can be a manifestation of:
1) Traumatic or stressful experiences.
2) Blocked sensitivity and undeveloped parts of the personality.
3) A life of repressed feelings and instincts.
Are overprotection from one of the parents and violence (bullying, intrafamily) related to HOCD?
These situations can influence either a homosexual OCD or any other type of OCD.
Before the appearance of an OCD, genetics predisposes, but does not condemn. The triggers could be certain situations related to fear, repression, inhibition and the inability to fully develop all aspects of the personality and essence of each one.
Many of these situations occur in childhood and adolescence, although not in all cases.
OCD is the result of anxiety and mental blocks arising from stressful or traumatic situations experienced during childhood or adolescence. Mental rigidity, inhibition of drives and stress end up leading to high anxiety, which causes the appearance of obsessions and compulsions.
People with homosexual OCD, in addition to all this, often experience other additional circumstances such as lack of daring or fear of contact, whether physical or affective.
There are many factors that can lead a person to develop a type of OCD, but very often we tend to see traumatic and stressful situations at an early age as the cause of the anxiety, which is the basis of obsessive compulsive disorder.
The circumstances we most commonly encounter are: bullying, physical or psychological abuse, the constant feeling of abandonment, alcoholism or addiction on the part of the parents, as well as the constant fights between family members, excessively authoritarian, overprotective, moralistic, religious parents, etc.
In the presence of these factors, children with a certain genetic predisposition begin to generate the typical tendency of the obsessive personality and to repress instincts, drives and components of the personality. All of this can lead to obsessive compulsive disorder.
Although, we repeat, these circumstances do not always occur in childhood or adolescence. OCD is a complex phenomenon, but what we can say is that there is always a high level of anxiety at the base.
How does a strict environment affect the appearance of Homosexual OCD?
Normally the OCD of homosexual content indicates:
- Lack of Boldness: fear of living, of being oneself, of expressing oneself as one is; and, above all, fear of taking a clear and firm position on their vital desires.
- Fear of contact: fear of physical or affective contact with people of the same sex.
The person with homosexual OCD usually grows up in a repressive environment, where they cannot express themselves. In this environment, for example, it may be frowned upon to express sensitivity or creativity. It may simply be something that is not done in your environment. Or perhaps the person is afraid to express themselves and be laughed at. Therefore, the person with OCD will learn to repress this part of their personality.
And how does it affect morality (religious or not)?
One thing in common in people with homosexual OCD is that they tend to be extremely self-righteous and live their sexuality with a certain rigidity.
People with OCD have their impulses and instincts suppressed by a high level of anxiety that they have been experiencing for a long time. One of these repressed instincts is sexual. Sexuality is repressed at an unconscious level until the mind begins to rebel and obsessions appear.
Does HOCD have to do with learned stereotypes?
Homosexual OCD is not about learned stereotypes.
People know their sexual orientation, regardless of whether they accept it or not. They know if they are heterosexual, homosexual or other more open orientations or that they escape that binarism. But it is not the same to know it and not want to accept it, than to remain constantly in doubt, which is defining an obsessive disorder.
An obsessive disorder is based on very high internal anxiety and mental blocks. A person can experience traumatic events or stressful situations that generate high anxiety throughout their life. This ties in with parts of your personality that are suppressed by a suffocating environment.
For example, behind a homosexual content OCD we can find people with great anxiety, people with affective contact problems, people with totally blocked and alienated sensitivity … These are just some examples.
Nor does it usually have to do with having stereotypes about homosexual people, since the problem is not the possibility of being homosexual, but obsessive and intrusive thoughts and constant doubts.
Therefore, it has nothing to do with learned stereotypes. What has been learned is to repress one’s own naturalness and emotions, living a life which is thought out instead of felt and where the person cannot be himself. Added to this is enormous anxiety and as a consequence obsessions appear.
How is homosexual OCD treated?
There are three basic pillars to treat it:
1) Recover the instinct
2) Unblock the nervous system
3) Develop the repressed personality
After years of experience and therapeutic research, we have seen that the person with OCD needs to recover their true self and integrate that most subtle, emotional, creative and assertive part of their personality, which has been repressed for fear of what other people would say. You need courage and determination to be able to express these aspects that you have had to give up for the sake of stereotyped behavior.
It will also be necessary to work to strengthen affective bonds with people of the same gender, which have been diminished by this anxiety.
For this reason, we work to help the person with OCD to be themselves, to position themselves in life and to express themselves freely and under their own criteria, and not with the iron rules of other people. That reduces anxiety and thus obsessions and compulsions.
Why are there many people who do not consider HOCD (homosexual OCD) as an OCD?
There are many people who consider that homosexual OCD is not in itself an OCD because they think that it is latent homosexuality that begins to manifest itself and that the person just does not accept it.
This is not the case for a simple reason: because people with HOCD are not attracted to people of the same sex at no time.
It is simply an anxious doubt that generates a lot of concern and, as can never be verified, the doubt never stops existing.
Homosexual people do not have homosexual OCD.
At IPITIA, when a person is homosexual, we not only support them 100%, but we help them to integrate it and to live it with absolute normality.
But an unaccepted sexual orientation should not be confused with an obsessive disorder.