homosexual obsessive compulsive disorder

The Rules

Hello there! My name is Mark, and I am a gay male with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I am writing for the benefit of heterosexual folks who hope to use this article to understand their fears about being gay (also known as gay OCD or HOCD). No worries, my friend: If you are trying to understand yourself or someone close to you who has HOCD, you are reading the right article.

Rule one: If you say you are heterosexual, then you are. Period.

Rule two: There are no other rules.

Thank you for taking the time to read and obey the rules. I am a teacher in my real life, and I always spell out the rules early on.

Now that we are coming at this from the same mindset, please bear with me as I walk you through HOCD.

What is Homosexual OCD?

In November 2004, real-life stress was playing havoc with my emotions and OCD. I had been off medication and out of therapy for years, and I needed a place where I could talk about personal issues. Searching under OCD and gay, I discovered the old BrainPhysics discussion board and decided to post. I thought I was joining a board full of gay people with OCD. Only ten minutes after I had started reading the most recent posts, however, I realized that something was wrong: The folks with gay fears were clearly not gay. It took another five minutes for me to figure out what HOCD was and why so many people had gay obsessions. "Well, duh!" I thought. "This is an OCD board. Of course they have false obsessions."

Before my own OCD was treated, I had suffered for years with obsessions about natural disasters, religion, my health, and being rejected. What I saw in the HOCD obsessions mirrored the anxiety, checking, illogical thinking, and broken record quality of everything I had experienced. HOCD felt real to its sufferers just as my own obsessions had felt real to me. Again, duh! OCD always feels real. If it did not, it would not be OCD. It plays with your mind, making you believe lies and doubt truth.

I would later learn that truly gay people may also get HOCD, but that they falsely fear that they are heterosexual. Bisexuals with HOCD have the false fear that they are attracted to only one sex, usually the one they are not currently involved with. These facts alone should help straight HOCD folks to see that they are indeed straight. HOCD is an illness, and who but a gay HOCD sufferer would fear being straight, the thing society prizes? Just as HOCD obsessing over being straight = gay in reality, HOCD obsessing over being gay = straight in reality. Straight folks with HOCD know deep down that they are not gay. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Obsessive thoughts of being homosexual that cause fear in person who is straight.

I turned 40 a week ago, and I have been out of the closet for almost two decades. In that time, I have helped other truly gay people come out of the closet. If I thought for a minute that even one of the straight HOCD sufferers on the board was gay, I would do the same for him or her. Yet, while I have done my best to help many on the board, I have helped no one come out of the closet.

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