All Posts in Category: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

HOCD – Homosexual OCD or the Fear of Being Gay

Homosexual Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (HOCD) is 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.

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

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 HOCD 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.

Treatment for HOCD Symptoms

As with other Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (which asks the patient to face the situations that trigger their obsessions) can help with HOCD.  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 and HOCD symptoms in the Delray Beach, FL area, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

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Help for OCD

Help For OCD in South Florida

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder affects more than three million people across the country. Many of us either know someone or have heard stories of acquaintances or co-workers who have unusual compulsions or behaviors: perhaps they turn the lights off and on five times before leaving any room, perhaps they wash their hands repeatedly, or maybe they feel the urge to double and triple check all work before handing it in to their boss. This type of behavior can often be classified as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive, ritualized behaviors (compulsions) that a person feels compelled to perform. The OCD sufferer typically understands that their thoughts and compulsions are irrational but they are unable to stop themselves.

To understand this disorder and get help for OCD in South Florida, it’s very important to understand the five major behavior categories associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

  • Washers – These people are afraid of contamination and often engage in cleaning or hand-washing compulsions. This can develop as a result of a fear of germs or a fear of contaminating others they come in contact with.
  • Checkers – These individuals repeatedly check things they associate with harm or danger. This could mean going over locks and windows excessively to ensure they are secure or constantly seeking updates from loved ones to be sure they haven’t fallen into harm’s way.
  • Doubters and Sinners – They are afraid that something terrible will happen if they don’t perform certain actions just right. These compulsions often revolve around religion – the fear that they will be punished if they don’t perform a religious ritual perfectly or a certainty that performing a religious ritual will prevent a negative event.
  • Counters and Arrangers – These people are obsessed with order and symmetry. They tend to be superstitious about numbers, colors, and arrangements. This can include tapping, counting, repeating certain words or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.
  • Hoarders – They fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They accumulate excessive amounts of unnecessary items, such as old newspapers, magazines, or empty food containers based on the concern that they might need them in the future.

These behaviors and compulsions may not seem too serious to those who haven’t experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder firsthand. The truth of the matter is that this particular anxiety disorder represents a very serious condition that often grips the victim’s mind with fear and, in a very real way, controls their lives. South Florida OCD sufferers should seek treatment once their obsessions begin to rule their life.

To get more information or for help for OCD in South Florida (Delray Beach area), contact Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

 

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Facts About Obsessive Intrusive Catastrophic Thoughts

Facts About Obsessive Intrusive Catastrophic Thoughts – South Florida Mental Health Counseling

Anxiety is a normal part of life. We all feel it at some point when we have a major test, interview, meeting, or some other important occasion approaching. For people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, however, this develops into an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations to the point that it cripples the person’s lifestyle.

At the heart of most anxiety disorders are obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts. These are scary, intrusive thoughts and/or images that occur over and over. The more the person tries to stop them, the more they persist. Like anxiety, the average person experiences these types of thoughts at one point or another. However, for those with anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder or depression, these thoughts become paralyzing, panic-provoking, and unrelenting.

Dr. Andrew Rosen, a South Florida mental health professional notes that there are three categories of obsessive thinking and intrusive thoughts:

  • Inappropriate aggressive thoughts or violent obsessions about harming others or oneself. Like many other intrusive thoughts, this is a part of being human, but for many they can become severe or distressing to the point that a person may be afraid to perform their typical daily functions.
  • Inappropriate sexual thoughts or images regarding intimate actions with strangers, acquaintances, family, friends, religious figures, or any number of other people. These thoughts often lead to confusion, guilt, shame, or self-loathing.
  • Irreverent religious thoughts that compel a person either toward acts they consider sinful or toward obsessive religious actions. A person crippled by these thoughts might feel a disturbing fear of reciting prayers incorrectly, or be tortured by the urge to perform blasphemous acts during religious rituals.

If you or someone you know is dealing with obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts that have begun to obstruct their normal way of life, it’s important to seek help. Counseling for obsessive thoughts can include exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Your South Florida mental health professional may also suggest combining therapy with medication depending on your individual situation. Without treatment, a person with this level of intrusive thoughts can eventually find themselves cut-off from their friends and family. But seeking treatment can help initiate a return to normal life.

For more information about mental health therapy in South Florida or for help in dealing with obsessive intrusive catastrophic thoughts, call Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida. They can be reached by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

 

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