Monday, August 13, 2007

Homosexual Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (HOCD)

Homosexual Obsessissive Compulsive Disorder (HOCD) is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in which the individual is preoccupied about being homosexual when, in fact, they are heterosexual.

Some will read this and think it is ridiculous. The truth is there are many sufferers who worry about being homosexual--and some actually are. Until society makes room for gays and lesbians and diminishes homophobia, these types of disorders will remain.

Sufferers of HOCD will be relieved to know this exists and can get the help they need.

Characteristics of HOCD which I found at

  1. Unwanted or intrusive thoughts about being homosexual
  2. Doubts of one's own actual sexuality
  3. Inability to get rid of unwanted worries or intrusive thoughts about being homosexual
  4. Seeing a member of the same sex causes anxiety and triggers unwanted thoughts about being a homosexual
  5. Avoidance of members of the same gender from fear of unwanted thoughts or anxiety about being attracted to them
  6. Thoughts or worries about giving off signals that one may be homosexual
  7. Repeating mundane actions for fear that these actions may have been performed in a "homosexual" way or a way that may signal homosexuality in the person (for example, a male may feel the need to get up from a chair and sit back down in it if he feels that the way he sat in the chair was "feminine," or a male may worry that the way he walks is too "feminine" or signals homosexuality)
  8. Repeating an action may relieve anxiety, but then the person feels the need to repeat the action (or ritual) again and again to relieve anxiety
  9. Anxiety over being a homosexual is in opposition to one's own values and desires
  10. One feels that the thoughts are unacceptable and inappropriate
  11. Homosexual thoughts are repulsive rather than arousing

Characteristics of Being Gay (not suffering from HOCD):

  1. Having feelings of attraction for members of the same gender (even if kept secret)
  2. Having sexual encounters with members of the same gender
  3. Preferring members of one's own gender for sexual/dating partners or feeling comfortable with both male and female sexual/dating partners
  4. Homosexual thoughts are pleasant, though a person may be shameful of their sexual orientation or keep it a secret

Sometimes a closeted gay individual can experience OCD symptoms until they fully come out. That is different than a heterosexual suffering from HOCD. There is no coming out process for someone who is straight other than with the fact that they are suffering OCD and need treatment.

I'm Gay and You're Not: Understanding Homosexuality Fears Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Takes Many Forms

A personal story written by Mark-Ameen Johnson for the BrainPhysics website, 8/2005 illustrates HOCD best. Mark is a gay man who had OCD and achieved recovery finding his truth homosexuality and coming out. He talks about those who have HOCD who are not gay who get treatment and their recovery is relieving symptoms of OCD understanding they are innately heterosexual.

Here is Mark's story

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