HOCD or Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined as the questioning of one’s sexuality by a person who already suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). What this means is that someone with OCD who is happy in their straight, heterosexual orientation becomes fixated on the question of whether or not they are actually gay. Over time, these thoughts and worries about the possibility of being gay begin to consume their lives.

People with OCD experience their obsessions in different ways from each other, but the underlying premise is that they are dealing with disturbing unwanted or intrusive thoughts. An example would be that a person who suffers from OCD is physically healthy but begins to worry about whether they actually have cancer or another serious illness. In the case of HOCD, straight people with the disorder spend countless hours wondering if they could really be gay or if they could suddenly become gay (conversely, homosexuals with Straight OCD, constantly worry if they are, or could become, straight). People with HOCD expend a great deal of energy and countless hours trying to “know”, without a doubt, that they are straight and not gay.

The Differences Between Being Homosexual and Having HOCD

So, if you are questioning your sexuality, how do you know the difference between having HOCD and actually being gay?

Typical HOCD symptoms include:

  • Currently suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Recurring unwanted or intrusive thoughts about your own sexuality
  • Constantly reassuring yourself that you are straight
  • Avoiding people of your same gender due to anxiety or unwanted fears that you might be gay
  • Worrying that you might be sending out “signals” that will make others think you are gay
  • Homosexual thoughts are repulsive to you, rather than arousing
  • Feeling no attraction to your same sex
  • Repeating an action because you worry that you might have done something in a way that makes others think you are gay (example: a man repeatedly gets up and sits down on a chair because he worries that he takes a seat in a way that looks too feminine). Repeating the action relieves the anxiety, but you need to continue repeating the action to continue anxiety relief.

Typical Homosexual characteristics include:

  • Homosexual thoughts are enjoyable and/or arousing to the person, even if they hide their sexual orientation from others or are ashamed of it
  • Having had past sexual experiences with those of their same gender
  • Preferring to date or have sexual encounters with people of their same gender instead of with those of the opposite sex
  • Often, people who are gay report having felt differently than their same-sex peers at an early age. Additionally, researchers have found they preferred to engage in activities associated with the opposite sex from early childhood onward

HOCD Treatment

HOCD is treated in much the same way as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In general, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based therapy is used to help the person reduce their response to their thoughts and help them deal with their obsessions. Additionally, these behavior therapies may or may not be combined with medications such as SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, etc). By changing one’s behavior and responses towards one’s intrusive thoughts, it is possible to neutralize and eliminate the fixation.

For more information about HOCD or to explore treatment options, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

  1. Reply

    What can I do to make it go away I don’t like it I’m only 14 years old it stresses me out so much

    • Reply

      Me too

  2. Reply

    I am from Brazil and I have been suffering of this specific disorder for long four years. I have already been treated: not enough, not even in the right way (I believe).


    The obsessive thoughts have slightly disappeared, but the fear of seeing men and having contact with something that leads to the theme still anguish me and bring me severe relapses.

    I need more information about HOCD and treatment options.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Reply
    Farzana Hossain Mim

    I too have this problem since 1 year after developing OCD last year.Im heterosexual but I have obsessive thoughts that I’m not.My mind says to me that I’m homosexual and prevents me from taking the enjoyment of my heterosexuality.This thought affects my heterosexual feelings & emotions.It prevents and stops me from getting aroused like before.Please help me!

  4. Reply

    I believe that I have porn-induced HOCD because there has been a progression to where I get certain enjoyments out of the prospect of homosexuality but I feel anguish and confusion at the same time because I am attracted to women and only desire a meaningful relationship with women. The porn-induced aspect makes it that much more confusing because the compulsions and intrusive thoughts make it a continuous cycle that I have been unable to break by myself.

    • Reply
      Dr. Andrew Rosen

      Hi Matt,

      Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support are available.

  5. Reply

    I think I have had this from a young age, some curiosity around the same sex. But as an adult I have never had or wanted to be with a man. The thought of sex with the same sex gives me fear! Then my brain tells me that I’m in denial! I know I want to settle with a woman but my brain tells me I’m living a lie. Iv had these thoughts for many years. But after the one year anniversary of breaking from my ex it’s got so much worse! Constantly checking HOCD websites and telling myself I’m straight. The thought of being gay gives me fear rather than acceptance. Life is becoming really difficult with this.

    • Reply
      Dr. Andrew Rosen

      Hi Jay,

      Please contact us through the contact page to learn more about the options and support we have available.

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