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Sexual Orientation OCD – Symptoms & Test

Best described as a constant and disabling fear of being gay when you believe yourself to be straight, or being straight if you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual.

While stereotyoical OCD is often perceived to focus on fear of germs, illness, or leaving the stove on, a surprising and common form of OCD is known as Sexual Orientation OCD, which is best described as a constant and disabling fear of being gay when you believe yourself to be straight, or being straight if you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual. Sufferers of this form of OCD try to disregard and shrug these thoughts off, but these constant fears become very overwhelming and can quickly consume one’s life.

About Sexual Orientation OCD

Sexual Orientation OCD can be seen in individuals of all sexual orientations. Suffering from the obsessive thoughts that plague OCD sufferers can significantly impact quality of life. You may be distracted or feeling constantly overwhelmed by your thoughts, as you struggle with the intense thoughts and feelings that Sexual Orientation OCD can cause.

What is Sexual Orientation OCD?

Seen in people of all sexual orientations (gay, straight, bisexual, or trans), this condition results in obsessive thoughts that are focused on intense and unwarranted fears and doubts regarding their long-established sexual orientation. These thoughts create a substantial amount of guilt, shame, and fear and anxiety which the sufferer attempts to decrease by engaging in compulsive behavior. Confusion and self-denial are also very common when it comes to Sexual Orientation OCD and often result in the individual keeping their fears a secret from others. It’s important to know that this condition has nothing to do with being homophobic. Sexual Orientation OCD sifferers aren’t distressed by other people who may be gay, for example, just that they themselves may be. They are afraid of the consequences that may occur as a result of their fears, such as losing a loved one.

 

    Signs of Sexual Orientation OCD

    It’s important to understand your symptoms as a step on the path of receiving a clear diagnosis and appropriate care and treatment. Referenced below are common symptoms of Sexual Orientation OCD:

    • Have recurring intrusive or unwanted thoughts about your sexuality
    • Constantly trying to prove to yourself or reassure yourself that you are straight/gay/bisexual
    • Avoiding people who are of the same gender as you because you fear that you are gay
    • Feeling no attraction to the same sex
    • Engaging in compulsive, repetitive behavior designed to decrease your anxiety about sexual orientation

      Common Experiences of Sexual Orientation OCD

      Common experiences that individuals who suffer from Sexual Orientation, including:

      • Low self-esteem
      • Confusion regarding of sexual arousal or desire due to intrusive thoughts
      • Searching for evidence that their obsessive thoughts are true
      • Mistaking that imagined scenarios that go against their established sexual orientation defines their sexual orientation
      • Avoiding things that may trigger their thoughts and behaviors

      What should you do if you think you have Sexual Orientation OCD?

      Sexual Orientation OCD is a recognized subtype of OCD and can be effectively identified and treated. It can be embarrassing to discuss your distressing intrusive thoughts and feelings, which is why people tend to avoid getting the help that they need. Taking an OCD Test can help provide clarity and can start you on a much-needed path of healing.

      Treatment for Sexual Orientation OCD

      The gold-standard treatment for sufferers of Sexual Orientation OCD is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy). This is a form of CBT whereby the patient engages in exercises that gradually expose them to their fears in a planned and strategic way. Research demonstrates that this is the most effective way of treating Sexual Orientation OCD and is successful in more than two-thirds of cases.

      Some see medication as a last resort, but for others it is an effective way to manage their symptoms when combined with appropriate psychotherapy and behavior change. Medication (most commonly SSRIs) can be used in conjunction with other treatments and is most effective when combined with ERP.

      If you think you may have Sexual Orientation OCD, the best course of action is to see your physician or a therapist who will assess your symptoms and advise you on the best course of action to help you.

      Conclusion

      Any type of OCD can have a major impact on your quality of life. Seeking treatment for this condition can help you regain control over your thoughts and help you get back to living the life that you enjoy. By taking the OCD test, you can learn whether or not you may have this condition and seek out the help that you need.