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HOCD

The Differences Between Being Homosexual and Having HOCD

If you are questioning your sexuality, how do you know the difference between having HOCD and actually being gay?

Typical HOCD symptoms include:

  • Currently suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Recurring unwanted or intrusive thoughts about your own sexuality
  • Constantly reassuring yourself that you are straight
  • Avoiding people of your same gender due to anxiety or unwanted fears that you might be gay
  • Worrying that you might be sending out “signals” that will make others think you are gay
  • Homosexual thoughts are repulsive to you, rather than arousing
  • Feeling no attraction to your same sex
  • Repeating an action because you worry that you might have done something in a way that makes others think you are gay (example: a man repeatedly gets up and sits down on a chair because he worries that he takes a seat in a way that looks too feminine). Repeating the action relieves the anxiety, but you need to continue repeating the action to continue anxiety relief.

Typical Homosexual characteristics include:

  • Homosexual thoughts are enjoyable and/or arousing to the person, even if they hide their sexual orientation from others or are ashamed of it
  • Having had past sexual experiences with those of their same gender
  • Preferring to date or have sexual encounters with people of their same gender instead of with those of the opposite sex
  • Often, people who are gay report having felt differently than their same-sex peers at an early age. Additionally, researchers have found they preferred to engage in activities associated with the opposite sex from early childhood onward

Homosexual OCD – HOCD Treatment

Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (HOCDis categorized by intrusive thoughts revolving around one’s sexual orientation. People with HOCD suffer through uncontrollable and unwanted intrusive thoughts and images that leave them in a state of fear and anxiety about whether they are truly straight. Homosexual OCD can be debilitating to one’s life.

Be assured that HOCD Treatment involves many of the same types of therapies used for other types of OCD.

A person suffering from this sub-type of OCD constantly doubts their sexual orientation:

  • A straight person worries whether they might actually be gay even though they haven’t doubted their sexual orientation in the past
  • They might worry that homosexuality is “catching”
  • They may think that talking with a gay person will make them act out by triggering their own latent homosexual tendencies

Effects of Homosexual OCD

People with HOCD can be affected enough by their intrusive thoughts that they quit jobs, make dramatic life changes, or end relationships in order to avoid triggering their symptoms. Sometimes, HOCD sufferers are so sure they are gay that they actually out themselves and begin homosexual relationships. Where a truly gay person obtains happiness and relief in the act of revealing their homosexual orientation, HOCD people who come out continue to doubt their sexuality.

As with traditional OCD, people who are affected by this internalized homophobia engage in rituals to help them alleviate their anxiety and prove to themselves that they are truly straight. When around lesbians or gay men, they might check their bodies for arousal or question if they are attracted to the person. People with Homosexual OCD may also keep up a running mental dialogue or obsess over past sexual encounters in an effort to convince themselves that they are straight. They might also perform washing rituals if they are around a gay person, may act overtly to assure themselves of their sexual orientation, or may even blatantly act out against gay people in order to prove they are straight. Additionally, HOCD sufferers might avoid physical contact or being alone with gay people and may even carry this behavior into shunning same-sex public restrooms or not eating in public in case the food was prepared by a gay person.

HOCD Treatment

As with other Obsessive Compulsive DisordersCognitive Behavioral Therapy (which asks the patient to face the situations that trigger their obsessions) can help with HOCD Treatment. During therapy sessions the patient faces the situations that trigger their obsessions in order to learn how to deal with their internalized homophobia and reduce their fixation. In addition, certain medications are helpful in reducing the symptoms of OCD and HOCD.

Additionally, since HOCD is rather new, there is little research literature that specifically applies to this sub-disorder of OCD. Therefore, it is imperative that the mental health professional an HOCD sufferer consults with recognizes HOCD as a true anxiety disorder. If they don’t, they may counsel the person to help them accept their homosexuality which will only aggravate the person’s HOCD symptoms.

For more information and help with HOCD it’s symptoms in the Delray Beach, FL area, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

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Call 561-496-1094 or

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HOCD or Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined as the questioning of one’s sexuality by a person who already suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). What this means is that someone with OCD who is happy in their straight, heterosexual orientation becomes fixated on the question of whether or not they are actually gay. Over time, these thoughts and worries about the possibility of being gay begin to consume their lives.

People with OCD experience their obsessions in different ways from each other, but the underlying premise is that they are dealing with disturbing unwanted or intrusive thoughts. An example would be that a person who suffers from OCD is physically healthy but begins to worry about whether they actually have cancer or another serious illness. In the case of HOCD, straight people with the disorder spend countless hours wondering if they could really be gay or if they could suddenly become gay (conversely, homosexuals with Straight OCD, constantly worry if they are, or could become, straight). People with HOCD expend a great deal of energy and countless hours trying to “know”, without a doubt, that they are straight and not gay.

The Differences Between Being Homosexual and Having HOCD

So, if you are questioning your sexuality, how do you know the difference between having HOCD and actually being gay?

Typical HOCD symptoms include:

  • Currently suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Recurring unwanted or intrusive thoughts about your own sexuality
  • Constantly reassuring yourself that you are straight
  • Avoiding people of your same gender due to anxiety or unwanted fears that you might be gay
  • Worrying that you might be sending out “signals” that will make others think you are gay
  • Homosexual thoughts are repulsive to you, rather than arousing
  • Feeling no attraction to your same sex
  • Repeating an action because you worry that you might have done something in a way that makes others think you are gay (example: a man repeatedly gets up and sits down on a chair because he worries that he takes a seat in a way that looks too feminine). Repeating the action relieves the anxiety, but you need to continue repeating the action to continue anxiety relief.

Typical Homosexual characteristics include:

  • Homosexual thoughts are enjoyable and/or arousing to the person, even if they hide their sexual orientation from others or are ashamed of it
  • Having had past sexual experiences with those of their same gender
  • Preferring to date or have sexual encounters with people of their same gender instead of with those of the opposite sex
  • Often, people who are gay report having felt differently than their same-sex peers at an early age. Additionally, researchers have found they preferred to engage in activities associated with the opposite sex from early childhood onward

HOCD Treatment

HOCD is treated in much the same way as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In general, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based therapy is used to help the person reduce their response to their thoughts and help them deal with their obsessions. Additionally, these behavior therapies may or may not be combined with medications such as SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, etc). By changing one’s behavior and responses towards one’s intrusive thoughts, it is possible to neutralize and eliminate the fixation.

If HOCD has left you struggling with relentless questions about your sexual identity, HOCD: Everything You Didn’t Know – A Primer for Understanding & Overcoming Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a book by Dr. Rosen, Founder and Clinical Director of The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders will be an indispensable and compassionate guide that will demystify the disorder and offer hope.

For more information about HOCD or to explore treatment options, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

17 Responses

  1. What can I do to make it go away I don’t like it I’m only 14 years old it stresses me out so much

  2. I am from Brazil and I have been suffering of this specific disorder for long four years. I have already been treated: not enough, not even in the right way (I believe).

    SEVEN TIMES: THERAPISTS AND PSYCHIATRISTS.

    The obsessive thoughts have slightly disappeared, but the fear of seeing men and having contact with something that leads to the theme still anguish me and bring me severe relapses.

    I need more information about HOCD and treatment options.

    Thank you very much!

  3. I too have this problem since 1 year after developing OCD last year.Im heterosexual but I have obsessive thoughts that I’m not.My mind says to me that I’m homosexual and prevents me from taking the enjoyment of my heterosexuality.This thought affects my heterosexual feelings & emotions.It prevents and stops me from getting aroused like before.Please help me!

    1. Hi, Farzana.
      I know exactly how you feel- mine has warped my perception of things I used to love- past relationships, friendships, feelings, etc.

      My mind tells me the same thing. While I haven’t been able to take care of it myself, I have learned from others that ERP therapy works really well. Of you can’t get therapy, try looking for ERP based steps and ideas online. That is currently what I’m doing.

      I know it’s scary- to be honest with you, I’m terrified- but know that you have not, can not, and will not lose the you that you were before this started. Remind yourself, if you can, that it is your brain that is teasing you- not your heart, nor your soul. You can get through this.

  4. Hello, I’m 30 years old, male, and my longest psychological problem in my life was this (the f***ing HOCD), with combination by depression, anxiety, fearness, unwanted thoughts and feel guilty because of this. I remember when i was kid i had it, sometimes i thought that it left out in parts of my life but it was returning back again, when i was 19 i went to psychiatrist and suggested me pills, anyway. In August 2019 my treatment was ended, i was happy my life began again! But i went to other psychology on 1 November for some other reason and i had to say her that i had this, because that it the right way, (to know my past story). But this scared me again, and is somehow the HOCD is coming back again slowly slowly, and i’m afraid and worry about my psychological health, i feel that i’m sinking in depression again, my mind doesn’t concentrate so well like after August because of the anxiety and i feel my body low. Like before! My psychologist said that i had many traumas in my soul that we have to heal, but I thought that I passed them all especially HOCD and by my opinion i think these traumas was the cause of my HOCD other times i think that this psychologist had re-traumatized me. And i wanna ask you now. Did i did right to go to the psychologist after many years of treatment by psychiatrist since that the symptoms had almost totally are gone? Psychologist said me that the HOCD doesn’t healed but i “covered” it there! But i think I’m not, because she made to remember the past to find the traumas that i had from my past and childhood… My emotions are confused, after all i remember many memories that traumatized me and moments from the past that my HOCD was intense. What is your opinion? What are you suggesting me to do? I’m afraid and I don’t wanna live the same life again after… shall i continue to go to this psychologist or stop and just staying to psychiatrist? Or it’s better to stay both of them? You think i made wrong to go to psychologist? Is my psychologist said the right that i “covered” my HOCD and i wasn’t heal?.. Forgive me for the long text and my many questions. I think you can understand why… Thanks in advance!

  5. Hello, I’m 30 years old, male, and my longest psychological problem in my life was this (the f***ing HOCD), with combination by depression, anxiety, fearness, unwanted thoughts and feel guilty because of this. I remember when i was kid i had it, sometimes i thought that it left out in parts of my life but it was returning back again, when i was 19 i went to psychiatrist and suggested me pills, anyway. In August 2019 my treatment was ended, i was happy my life began again! But i went to other psychology on 1 November for some other reason and i had to say her that i had this, because that it the right way, (to know my past story). But this scared me again, and is somehow the HOCD is coming back again slowly slowly, and i’m afraid and worry about my psychological health, i feel that i’m sinking in depression again, my mind doesn’t concentrate so well like after August because of the anxiety and i feel my body low. Like before! My psychologist said that i had many traumas in my soul that we have to heal, but I thought that I passed them all especially HOCD and by my opinion i think these traumas was the cause of my HOCD other times i think that this psychologist had re-traumatized me. And i wanna ask you now. Did i did right to go to the psychologist after many years of treatment by psychiatrist since that the symptoms had almost totally are gone? Psychologist said me that the HOCD doesn’t healed but i “covered” it there! But i think I’m not, because she made to remember the past to find the traumas that i had from my past and childhood… My emotions are confused, after all i remember many memories that traumatized me and moments from the past that my HOCD was intense. What is your opinion? What are you suggesting me to do? I’m afraid and I don’t wanna live the same life again after… shall i continue to go to this psychologist or stop and just staying to psychiatrist? Or it’s better to stay both of them? You think i made wrong to go to psychologist? Is my psychologist said the right that i “covered” my HOCD and i wasn’t heal?.. Forgive me for the long text and my many questions. I think you can understand why… Thanks in advance!

  6. I believe that I have porn-induced HOCD because there has been a progression to where I get certain enjoyments out of the prospect of homosexuality but I feel anguish and confusion at the same time because I am attracted to women and only desire a meaningful relationship with women. The porn-induced aspect makes it that much more confusing because the compulsions and intrusive thoughts make it a continuous cycle that I have been unable to break by myself.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support are available.

  7. I think I have had this from a young age, some curiosity around the same sex. But as an adult I have never had or wanted to be with a man. The thought of sex with the same sex gives me fear! Then my brain tells me that I’m in denial! I know I want to settle with a woman but my brain tells me I’m living a lie. Iv had these thoughts for many years. But after the one year anniversary of breaking from my ex it’s got so much worse! Constantly checking HOCD websites and telling myself I’m straight. The thought of being gay gives me fear rather than acceptance. Life is becoming really difficult with this.

    1. Hi Jay,

      Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support we have available.

  8. Thank you i tried this yesterday and now its almost completely gone i guess its just part of growing up

  9. I have always loved women. I watched straight porn and never liked gay porn. Since i had HOCD I started doubting my self. I kept asking my self if I was gay. The last 3 months i’ve been struggling with it. I really want it to go away.

  10. I am only 12, but I am quite certain I have this. It’s completely taken over my life. I don’t want to tell my parents because I don’t want them to think that I’m a lesbian and I’m actually embarrassed. I feel guilty not telling them but I genuinely don’t know how. I’m certain I’m not a lesbian at times but after I feel relief the feeling comes back no matter what. I can’t watch movies or tv shows without being scared that I am a lesbian. I have a lot of the symptoms that are listed throughout a lot of articles. I try and do what they say to get better, but I feel like it’s not enough and this has been going on for a good couple of months. I don’t want those months to turn into years so I decided to look up, “am I gay” and after a couple of research sessions I am almost certain I have hocd. I don’t want to have to get my parents involved, so I want to try and figure this out at home. I really want this to go away, what can I do?

    1. Hi Grace,

      Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support available.

      1. I also sometimes feel zero attraction to women when I’m questioning myself. I keep falling into the cycle of doubt and relief.

        Please help!

        1. Hi Mark,

          Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support available.

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