HOCD ("Gay Thoughts")
Read these articles about HOCD. Feel free to email a question to Dr. Brodsky for a free consultation within 24 hours. If you're ready to take the next step, you can make an appointment online now or just call 212-726-2390. Virtual teletherapy or in-person sessions are available nationwide in 33 states.
Many people have irrational OCD doubts about their sexual orientation. They know rationally they are heterosexual, but abruptly develop thoughts that they are gay. They've never had same-sex attraction. They have a life-long pattern of happy heterosexual relationships. So-called HOCD, however, attacks a person's identity.
They test their arousal in same-sex or reverse-gender situations. Sometimes they'll test themselves repetitively back and forth in rapid succession that they can still be in a state of arousal by one while switching to the other, and confuse their libido so much that they get aroused either by everyone or no one. They'll endlessly review their entire lifetime for even a single moment of attraction to a same sex friend. A truly gay person has pleasant same-sex feelings, but HOCD consumes a person with fear and they can't stop thinking about it.
HOCD sufferers compulsively take online "Are you gay?" quizzes endlessly, according to Dr. Steven Brodsky ...(read more)
Many search incessantly online for "Are you gay?" quizzes and take them over dozens of times. They seek out gay and straight porn to test if they're more aroused by one or the other, or to "cure" themselves of intrusive upsetting gay thoughts.
Apparently "homosexual OCD" is a thing. And it's not something Kathy Griffin or Fred Phelps has. Steven Brodsky, director of the OCD and Panic Center says....(read more)
They're afraid they'll "turn gay" or "discover" they're gay late in life after having a family. To make matters worse, they withdraw from same-sex friends and sometimes being around people in general because it triggers their intrusive thoughts. Worst of all, they're afraid therapy itself might "make them gay" and never seek help.
Their reactions aren't homophobic. They might be politcally progressive and have many friends and relatives who are gay. Underlying issues have nothing to do with sex. Many fear they'll never have a close adult relationship that they lacked in childhood. In fact, it's common to have both HOCD and Relationship OCD (ROCD). Others compare their appearance to friends of the same sex. Some are scarred by an abusive childhood in which "gay" was a taunt.
Greater acceptance of gay people often blind sides most therapists who are not OCD experts. Therapists make HOCD worse by trying to convince such clients that they are gay. Others try to reassure clients they're not, which actually perpetuates the OCD. Some will even recommend experimenting, saying "give it a try and see if you like it," or refer clients to conversion therapy, which has been discredited as harmful and ineffective. Some straight OCD sufferers who feel flawed, excluded, or disenfranchised can develop HOCD or trans-OCD unconsciously as a maladaptive way to "fit in" or even be a "hero" or "victim" worthy of attention.
Doubting sexual orientation or gender identity might be OCD, rather than being actually gay or transgender...(read more)
Feel free to email a question to Dr. Brodsky for a free consultation within 24 hours. If you're ready to take the next step, you can make an appointment online now or call 212-726-2390. Virtual teletherapy or in-person sessions are available nationwide in 33 states. We're everywhere you are.