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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    371

    A perspective on HOCD

    I thought it might be of some help to do a thread from the perspective of someone who has gone through the coming-to-terms with their sexuality thing, and come out, and lives happily as a homosexual-type person! I also have OCD so can perhaps offer some useful thoughts on the difference between synthetic and real attraction.

    Please bear in mind that if you are suffering from OCD, it's the OCD that needs help, not this specific theme: if you don't tackle the root of the problem, your OCD will just jump to another topic when it's done with this one. So, if you're reading this thinking 'great, an answer to whether or not I really have HOCD!' that's fine, but you also need to get onto the OCD full stop.

    So here goes. When I was realising I was attracted to other women, it was *plain as the nose on my face*. I wanted to be around them, wanted to be intimate with them, wanted to spend all my time with them. Was there an element of denial? Not really. I was just focused on how I would conceal the fact of my sexuality from people who wouldn't like it; I never didn't think I was gay. It was stressful to realise I was different, but how I felt was not something I questioned. I would seek out resources about being gay as a reassurance that all would go OK in the future, not as a way to 'test' my feelings, because I knew that my feelings were there all along. On the outside I put on a tough front and said homophobic things to other kids along with the rest, but I never once felt I was actually disgusted with myself and the things I was feeling. I think Hollywood has given us a picture of 'the sad homosexual in denial' who doesn't understand their own feelings and turns bad, but in reality, I don't think that happens.

    I am sure that everyone is different but even if you look at coming-out stories later in life, you will find a general theme which is 'I just fell in love with another woman' - it is something that happens *to* you, not something that you go back and forth and question what you feel about.

    The difference between this 'real' coming-out-to-myself process and the synthetic thoughts that OCD gives you is that at some level, when you have an OCD theme, you *know* it's your OCD. When you think about the thing your OCD is telling you, you feel sad and anxious and conflicted and like it can't be true (because it isn't!). If you are spending all your time worrying that you might be gay, then that is the OCD talking, because no actual gay person spends all that time worrying about whether or not they *are* gay, they spend all their time worrying about how to tell people/will it be OK/what if the object of my crush is heterosexual. Funnily enough, I occasionally get a bit of inverse-HOCD where I wonder if I'm secretly straight: but it passes quickly because the idea of actually going out with a man does nothing for me, and having been through deciphering my sexuality, I'm not afraid of what that would be like a second time.

    I would also stress that OCD plays on things we fear - which indicates that at some level, people with HOCD may fear turning out to be gay, having to go through the coming-out process. It doesn't mean you're homophobic, more that you are frightened of being different and going through a painful time, if this is at odds with your personal values and family values.

    Does it help if I say that being LGBT is really not something to be frightened of, in itself? We live in a society which is increasingly tolerant and as a 'lifestyle' there is really nothing you can't do. You may hit a few road bumps with intolerant types for a brief time but honestly - if I could snap my fingers and change into a straight person - I wouldn't. Difference is nothing to be afraid of. In the highly unlikely event that you were to experience (and then choose to act on) homosexual attraction, the worst-case scenario of being shunned by all just wouldn't happen. There would be so many people hoping to support you and help you on your path.

    The thing with OCD is that it insists on knowing the answer to the question you're asking yourself NOW. In that, it is like any other anxiety disorder. It is a trap because you need certainty but certainty is impossible in this life. We are far too rich and varied a species to know anything for sure!

    Sorry for the wall of text but it's upsetting to see so many people struggling, and I wanted to reach out and offer some thoughts. Good luck all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    76

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    OMG thank you for this!! Please read my post? I'm struggling, but I don't want to be with a girl (I am a girl) I want to be with a guy!! But my head doesn't want me too!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    371

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    Hi Helpmeeeeeplz, I've already read and responded to your post and offered some advice about where you should look next for help. I think it would be a good idea to follow that advice and also consider what other posters on the same thread have recommended about speaking to a responsible adult or GP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    24,037

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    Bea,

    This really is a top post and I hope anyone through forms like HOCD, TOCD, the inverse versions, etc all read this.

    It's really good to get someone talking about the difference due to actually going through understanding their sexuality who also understands OCD. And it's very clear you have a deep knowledge of OCD.

    You explain it's little tricks very clearly and I like that you talk about sorting OCD itself and not a theme. Speaking to so many on here it's been clear anxiety jumps from one theme to another and at times it even disappears in some to jump back out and back here they come.
    __________________
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    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    371

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    Shucks! Thanks. I like your 'vicious flower' analogy - it really is like a persistent weed that crops up again and again (for the unlucky ones!). But knowledge is power with these things and as a community we have plenty of that going.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    24,037

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    Thanks Bea, I came across the Vicious Flower ages ago from some therapy reading. These are useful sources (copied from another thread) that explain it and how to counteract it with a Virtuous Flower:

    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsTerry View Post
    A useful way to tackle a problem with a belief is by using a "Vicious Flower". This allows you to look at the belief and your behaviours towards it in terms of prevention of it coming true or to protect yourself from your belived the consequences of your belief i.e. the maintenance cycles.

    Here is a good example:

    http://psychology.tools/vicious-flower-formulation.html

    You can take it forward by creating a "Virtuous Flower" which seeks to counter it as seen here:

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...flower&f=false

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=1606238698

    (See pages 78-81)

    Do you notice the strong use of acceptance in the Virtuous Flower? Self directed compassion can also be seen.
    It's interesting because I once read a paper aimed at therapists talking about why exposure therapy can fail due to inadequate therapy design. In there it explained about why it is important to first analyse the root of the problem rather than be distracted by the symptoms otherwise you may create a hierarchy of exposures address the current symptoms but fail to address the root and the result is new anxiety forming later or potentially through different themes.

    That's very relevant in OCD just like you said where you must address what is underpinning the theme. We can tailor to a theme but unless it addresses more general OCD too, it re grows or sprouts shoots in other directions.

    In the article it just mentioned how there is a core and addressing what is attached to it doesn't necessarily address everything attached to that core or the core itself. This is where the flower seems a good visual representation.
    __________________
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    188

    Re: A perspective on HOCD

    this is really interesting, i never thought ocd could reach to that level.
    Last edited by fma11122345; 06-12-18 at 21:19.

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