HOCD, How to stop the urge for compulsions? - My OCD Community

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HOCD, How to stop the urge for compulsions?

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I have proved myself so many times that I am straight like all other people, but still HOCD attacks me, it gives me urges to imagine and check any scenario, I have done that too and proved myself straight yet again. For example, when I am thinking sex, then suddenly I saw a guy then I stop, then my mind is like " You are deliberately stopping, you will enjoy it when you think about him too", then I say " No, I won't, I have checked before." But this doesn't do and again I am in anxiety that I will be aroused and urges of checking appear again. I am suffering from HOCD from 1.5 years,well I am better but this type is killing from the start.

Actually before HOCD, I thought nobody is actually lesbian or gay and no one wants to do anything with same gender and science too supports it, they are just slangs, then I came to know some people are actually like this which freaked my mind, and there are always question in my mind "why are they like this, they are human too, maybe you too are because you are a human too and love everyone." Then I say " No I am not, I do love everyone but I don't feel that way on same gender and it feels gross too." Then the urge for compulsions comes, well I can stop most of times but my mind tells " you are not checking because you will be aroused and you are scared." which freaks me out. I think my mind a logical or a biological reason for it, idk.

Can anybody help on this issue? I want to get rid from HOCD till April 30 as I am joining college, I don't want these thoughts to ruin my college life. Can I achieve this till April 30.

P.S - I can't get into therapy because where I live there are no therapists and I don't have that much money for books and also I don't want to tell this to anyone because it won't help rather create more problems.

40 Replies
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Hi, I struggled with HOCD in my teens. Like every other obsession it does not reflect how you really feel or identify. It is a chemical imbalance in your brain that needs to keep seeking reassurance to something that you are fearful of. It is important to stop checking the thought. Don't give it the attention it wants. They will continue to pop up, but don't follow them with checking or analyzing. Let them be and they will slowly loosen their grip on you. This will take time and practice. Also, medication can be very helpful. I started out on Anafranil (Clomipramine) which is a tricyclic antidepressant. I have also found SNRI's to work well.

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Hidden in reply to Depresseddoglover

1) So are you completely cured from HOCD? What happens when you notice a gay thing, I mean that is not necessary to be a actual gay thing. Example, two friends helping each other, suppose I think they're helping like boyfriend his girlfriend. I know this is not gay,but the thought has come and by this HOCD strikes.

2) About ignoring the thought, I didn't do compulsions in 2018 as I was afraid, but still it didn't go and as I said when I ignore the thoughts, my mind says " why are ignoring? You are afraid because you are a..."

3) In India, engineering colleges have low gender ratio and my is govt engineering college which even lesser 10:1, lol. Obviously, I will think so less girls then my mind will again go to HOCD. so yeah, you can take this an another example.

4) I am also afraid of dating, not because my relationships will go bad, it can but if it goes bad again HOCD will strike and I think that strike will be the strongest.Like you are not fit for girls, they are not fit for you, etc. Previously, i was not afraid of dating because even I got cheated, etc. I would not have cared.

5) Another thing, if my sex goes bad, then again HOCD will strike that will be pretty strong too.

6) I have heard that anti-depressants have side effects. Do you know?

7)Can I get rid from HOCD till April 30?

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Hidden in reply to Depresseddoglover

8) One more thing, before HOCD i.e when I didn't know someone can actually be lesbian or gay, whenever something triggered my mind, I used to tell no one actually is and I was never aroused and was rather disgusted.

But now some people are actually, my mind says that "You weren't aroused because you thought no one can be, now you are actually aroused."

What is your view on it?

I am sorry that you are going through a rough time.

There are some techniques which might work for you.

Sit with the anxiety of the feared consequences which come with resisting urges.

The anxiety will be high in the beginning, but it will get lesser.

Later, when the thought keeps popping up, categorize it as an OCD thought.

Put the thought away in a box.

I know it is difficult, but we have to keep trying.

I hope this helps.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to desipurple19

I get what you are saying, I have known this as it was in the Schwartz book too, but my question is

1) About ignoring the thought, I didn't do compulsions and tried to ignore the thoughts in 2018 as I was afraid, but still it didn't go and as I said when I ignore the thoughts, my mind says " why are you ignoring? You are afraid because you are a..."

2) Whenever I am feeling good, i.e when I am admiring nature, I always use to think, "do I have any problems in my life, previously it was "no, just goals." But now....

3) About OCD box thing, again my mind is telling "you are running from truth, that's why you are ignoring or using ocd box technique." What to do about this?

4) I never want to be lgbtqia+, what ifs, you are in denial are killing me but deep down I know I am straight but there is still doubts( idk, why?)

5) I am also afraid of dating, not because my relationships will go bad, it can but if it goes bad again HOCD will strike and I think that strike will be the strongest.Like you are not fit for girls, they are not fit for you, etc. Previously, I was not afraid of dating because even I got cheated, etc. I would not have cared.

desipurple19
desipurple19 in reply to Hidden

We are not ignoring the OCD thoughts.

We are not accepting what the OCD thought says.

We are just letting the thought be there.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to desipurple19

Oh! Now I get it. I can do that but the thing is my mind is like you are not responding to thoughts which means you are not accepting what you are.

And this will get bigger when I will have some relationship problems like everyone have, there will be urge to tell why I don't like male, but I will not get any good points then HOCD will again start.

Can you give me advice about 4th and 5th points and can cure my HOCD till April 30?

desipurple19
desipurple19 in reply to Hidden

I do not think that my advice is helping you.

Thus, I will not be answering any questions.

I wish you well.

You might be able to “get rid” of OCD by April 30, or you might not: proper treatment will take as long as it’s going to take and it’s up to your brain to determine whether that’s possible or not. No amount of willpower can change that, unfortunately. I think having a deadline might cause you stress and the stress might well prolong your treatment, so I’d encourage you to get rid of that deadline and seek out ERP. Try the nOCD app if you can’t find treatment in your area!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

I get what you are saying, these urges of compulsion are not stopping, some existing thoughts make me question and even some new thoughts too come. Its like if I wont check that means I am...., so I check. Thank you for nOCD app info, I will check that.

Did you ever suffer from hocd?

i can relate to what your saying all my life i wanted to be with girls i always had crushes on girls and i would imagine myself being with a girl and i still do but hocd has really affected me because when i think about being with a girl my mind would tell me that i wouldnt like it but ik i want to be with a girl. ive had hocd for 9 months already and i dont know if it will ever end i hear people tend to have it for years but i dont want to suffer with it for that long because it has ruined my life back than i would go to the gym a lot because i wanted to look better and feel better but now hocd has stopped me from doing that and i also wanted to get a job but i feel like i wouldnt be able to work properly because of hocd. I just want to be normal i know that im straight and i know i will stay that way forever because thats who i am and i know that i want to be with girls only. i was never gay nor do i ever want to be that nor bi.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to youn

Hey how are you doing nowadays have you improved?

I had/have OCD - I'm asymptomatic, though it's always there lurking in the background - and had homosexual themed obsessions for about two years, from 2012-2014 or so. It's a hard road, but it's so worth walking. If you're able to buy this book, buy it. It's indispensible.

amazon.ca/Getting-Over-OCD-...

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

So are you 100% cured, these thoughts never irritate you?

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

That particular theme doesn’t, but it’s important not to think of OCD in terms of a permanent cure. It’s certainly POSSIBLE you’ll get to a point where your symptoms are dormant for extended periods, but OCD is chronic and it’s important that you learn how to manage your symptoms (whether they focus on your sexual orientation or something else entirely) in the long run. Don’t force yourself to find a cure for your OCD. Focus on management techniques - and then, if you work really hard, it’ll be just as good.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Great! Can I ask you some questions( say some logical type) without harming you about your HOCD? You are sure it will never come back?

I'm not all sure that it'll never come back - and when you've reached the point where you can say that AND NOT CARE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, that's when you'll know you're in recovery. I know it sounds paradoxical, but it's true, and it's a crucial thing for you to remember: ERP teaches you how to not care about your obsessions as much, and the less you care, the less they'll bother you.

At this point I'm in a heterosexual marriage and I've never done anything physical with a member of the same sex. There's also a chance I'll wake up tomorrow and realize I've been secretly gay this entire time, leave my partner and begin seeking same-sex relationships. I have no idea. And I don't really care one way or another.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

So even what ifs don't irritate you? Wow! I think you have 100% beat it and sure that you are and will be straight all your life, that's why you don't care because that will not happen. Congrats! btw How many years of marriage?

And can you tell me in detail, how you beat it with technique, I mean I know ERP, CBT thing but I want to know that how exactly in detail and for how much time you implemented them? I know the book you sent the link of, as I have not much money I want to see, what it ERP, CBT actually do by looking at your experience.

I know I am bothering you bro, but as you were in my shoes, I think you will understand. I am also suffering this from Sep 2018 when I got to know that some people actually want to become or are lgb.

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

Thanks! I mean, I wouldn't say it's 100% beat, because OCD will just keep finding other themes - suicidal obsessions still bug me, for instance - but the HOCD is pretty much a thing of the past. Married two years and counting; met my spouse while I was in the actual worse throes of my HOCD, which should tell you all you need to know about OCD content.

In terms of how I did it, it'd take too long to spell everything out - but the gist is, I found an OCD specialist, and together we created an exposure menu, which I then worked on, systematically and daily, for months. For HOCD, some of the things that worked included listening to repeated words, wearing a shirt with the word GAY written on it in Magic Marker, listening to stereotypically "gay" music, making contact with members of the same sex - that sort of thing. I blogged a bit about it here: snjohns.wordpress.com/categ...

Beyond that, though, you should REALLY get one of those books. The Kindle version of Abramovitz's book is only about $20 and it's worth its weight in gold.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Well you have beat HOCD, by that technique you can beat anything else. I currently have YBOCS score of 26-28, what was yours then and now, year by year? In how many months did you beat it? Did you perform mindfulness, what is it, as I have read about but didn't understand?

There are many times when I am distracted and no obsessions come but when I think about it i.e I am feeling good, then these thoughts again strike, it's like something is wrong always. Have you been through this particular thing in HOCD? For example, say that you were playing badminton with your friends and you enjoyed very much and you think about it like wow, he is a good player, will beat him tomorrow or wow, todays game was great. Then HOCD comes in my subconscious and again rendering me in anxiety. Do you get it? you can take another example too, basically when thinking about any good think, people often think about any risks associated with it.

I have read about that things in ERP, but the thing is the word is not causing me distress, but the sexual thoughts and what ifs and "why some people are like that". So you can say that the word leads to another thing that causes me distress.

I am also afraid of dating, not because my relationships will go bad, it can but if it goes bad again HOCD will strike and I think that strike will be the strongest.Like you are not fit for girls, they are not fit for you, etc. Previously, i was not afraid of dating because even I got cheated, etc. I would not have cared.

Another thing, if my sex goes bad, then again HOCD will strike that will be pretty strong too.

Weren't you scared of these 2 things before?

Can ERP and mindfulness help in these?

You are right ocd finds another themes, but in my case the same theme but different obsessions and some of them are not going by logical answering too.

I think my hocd doesn't care about my feelings, it wants a logical or biological answer meaning it is not possible with example type things even though I know 3-4% people are lgb. I think this is all because of media, it says like they are 40%. Really pisses me off.

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

The best advice I can give you is to pick up one of the OCD workbooks. I know you've said that money's tight, but if there's ANY way you can find the money to buy one of them it'll be worth its weight in gold. I was lucky to have an OCD specialist in my city while I was first going through this; we still keep in touch, though I haven't had an appointment in months, and if I need a bit of a refresher I'll use a workbook. I don't know what my YBOCS was back in 2012, but if I took the test today I'd be somewhere between 1-3.

Until you're able to get one of those books, I'd suggest reading Jon Hershfield, Dr. Fred Penzel or Dr. Steven Phillipson's articles. These two...

ocdbaltimore.com/how-to-res...

ocdonline.com/choice

...are indispensible. You've got to be careful when using the internet to help with OCD, because a lot of what's available is either wrong or, worse, provides reassurance, which is the last thing you want when you're fighting OCD. A lot of your questions are reassurance-type questions; trying to determine exactly what percentage of the population is LGBTQ, for instance, is a way of reassuring yourself that you don't fall into that percentile, yet the more you think about it, the more you're sending your brain the message "hey, this is important!" and the more you'll get stuck.

Which leads me to mindfulness. The idea behind mindfulness where OCD's concerned is to learn how to be an OBSERVER of your thoughts and to not actively participate in them. Jon Hershfield has lots of great writing about mindfulness (check out the OCDLA website for some of it - that's another great resource, by the way). It's very, very difficult, but it can be done. Oh, and the OCD Stories podcast is great - check that out as well.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Yes the searching on the internet turned a nightmare for me. Well the OCDs articles and stories actually helped me a little me. But I was so much anxious that I started to search about those type of people which freaked me out. Even luck didn't helped me, I don't know when HOCD hit me, then only I started to find some celebrities who are lgb, found like 20-22 out of 100-150 which freaked me. Before HOCD, I knew only one and thought he was just mocked because of his behaviour( well he still is mocked, lol) and is actually normal.

Thank you bro! for these articles, will check this out for sure. Hope I become straight like you all till April 30 otherwise probably best years of my life i.e college life will be doomed.

May you have great kids with your ever-lasting wife, Have a great life ahead. Can I ask you whenever necessary in this section about HOCD?

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Hey can you check your ybocs when you were at its peak. I am asking you to check because my mind is irritating me that your hocd was not so high than mine, rhats why you are cured.

I am pretty sure that if you recall you can get a approximated score what you had.

After overcoming HOCD, did you felt that "at last now I am free this HOCD thing and it will never bother me again?"

addictionsandrecovery.org/t...

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

I mentioned reassurance seeking earlier, and your questions are both classic examples of reassurance seeking - in particular the first. I won't be answering either of them.

Here's a link for you to check out. Kimberley Quinlan is great.

kimberleyquinlan-lmft.com/3...

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

So I just have to ignore it( not try to ignore, though) which is mindfulness and in some months I will be ok, right?

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

Ignoring a thought isn't mindfulness. Observing a thought is mindfulness: when a thought pops up going, "Oh! A thought!" and refocussing on whatever it was you were doing before the thought occurred. You can choose to ignore the thought or to engage with it, but the point of mindfulness is being present with the experience of having the thought. If the thought is telling you something like, say, "You're gay," a really powerful way of addressing the thought is by saying "maybe, maybe not!" and getting back to what you were doing.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

another thing, suppose I saw something gayish for example a guy's.... , normally before hocd I ignored it or made fun by mocking him, but now when I ignore my mind tells repeatedly to look it and I get so much annoyed and last I have to look which actually becomes a compulsion, right? Did this happened to you? Well you can sure tell me your hocd symptoms, right?

I have to stop that.

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

You want to know what my symptoms were in order to know for sure that what you’re experiencing is HOCD, which, again, is reassurance-seeking. Next time you’re looking for reassurance try telling yourself, “Maybe this is a symptom, maybe it’s not.” See if that helps!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

-Maybe it's not? Then isn't the mind will be like you are gay or not sure which will again put me in hocd cycle.

-I am asking that symptom as an example as I have so much tried to stop compulsions, many times I have succeeded but many times failed too, but the most disturbing thing is that thought never goes. You get what I am saying? Say like whenever I am thinking about my future(which means I am free and not doing anything so there is nothing to get distracted), the what if thoughts are constant which means even though I am not thinking about hocd, there is always a thing like something is not right. I going to college this year which means a new chapter and from that I will meet new people for almost upcoming 10 years that's why I am so much scared.

-Please tell me did you suffer this too?

-and After overcoming HOCD, did you felt that "at last now I am free this HOCD thing and it will never bother me again? I know this is reassurance but not having reassurance is not helping me either, please understand brother.

-I also thought about your shirt technique, how exactly did it helped? I mean you must have noticed some things after doing that technique. Wat changes came as that technique really helped you including some others?

(I dont think this is a reassurance its just a treatment question, right?)

-I also tell myself to calm, so what if I met a gay person but that doesn't do for me because 2 question arises:

1. I met a gay person and didn't feel anxiety which would send me to HOCD (I know about backdoor spike, though) but the thing is that the thought will come at that time then what will I do? And this can even come at a normal person.

2. and most horrible one, what if I become a part of lgbt

-the thing is I don't want to, before hocd always fantasized myself with girls like the rest of men. I even have a crush, even her thoughts are not giving me peace. I was never aroused to males and still not, before hocd I even said to myself I should appreciate males too on their looks even though most of them didn't even look good ( not being a narcissist, because when comparing to me most of them are lot better)

P.S- I really don't want to annoy you but please answer my "-" thoughts it will help me greatly, I hope you will understand.

-Are you getting annoyed? I am really sorry but bro....

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

I am not getting annoyed, not in the least! But you've got to understand that I'm not going to answer reassurance-type questions because, if I do, I'll set you further back. I know you don't like it, but hopefully one day you'll understand why I'm not doing it.

In terms of wearing a shirt with GAY written on it: the purpose is ERP is being in the presence of unwanted thoughts/feelings/urges and learning how to not respond to them compulsively...so, for instance, by checking, seeking reassurance or repeatedly telling yourself you're not actually gay. Again, you should really, really get one of those books that I and several others have recommended: they're indispensible, and they're written by actual experts in OCD treatment. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing how your progress is going!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Ok! as you were a patient of HOCD and successfully beat it, I will obey you.

As you said "the purpose is ERP is being in the presence of unwanted thoughts/feelings/urges and learning how to not respond to them compulsively."

Well there are many times when I do not act compulsively but the anxiety always remain and the what if thoughts are constant, whenever thinking about enjoying with any friends, these thoughts strike back in which I do not act compulsively (though sometimes my subconscious acts compulsively) and many different type of imaginary images too come which actually kills me. The thing is I am not actually that much worried for compulsive behavior now, but the thoughts itself and btw urge for compulsions too annoy me.

Can I be cured from this?( I think this again is a treatment question)

Let me tell you my life before hocd, as I didn't knew someone can actually be lgb never bothered to check for myself (this was the strongest feeling) as I thought why would anyone be such a disgusting thing.

Whenever friends acted gay with each other for fun( they are all straight), when my mind got overload, it immediately diverted to girls for which I was so thankful. The word gay gave me anxiety before too but that was the anxiety all people have. Whenever I tried to talk to new people, I said to myself "Go talk, you are acting like they are gay." Then I went to talk. Actually they were annoying before too but the images, obsessions never came, maybe because I also thought everyone makes fun of them and despise them( still more than 75% people in world despise them though) which fueled my feelings and was even more stronger.

Until one day, I got from the internet they exist and in many countries they are supported by love is love thing, which actually don't make any sense to me. Then all the questions, images, thoughts, anxiety, reassurances and compulsions hit me and this is from Sep 2018. I didn't ever did compulsions for some months as I know the thoughts will get embedded but couldn't control as anxiety and questions were killing me. That's why I am not actually afraid of compulsions, I don't want these thoughts to come and if come in 1-2 sec disappear like it did before and before,these thoughts came rarely say 50-60 times in a year due to circumstances and everyone of them disappeared so quickly.

How long does it take until I can stop giving into my ocd and compulsions and feel okay?

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Can you tell me your journey? As you have already said how you beat it, I want to know what changes came to you. From 2012 to 2014. For instance, say in 2012 x type of thoughts killed me but after treatment " I am like why was I bothering for this thought. Wasted so much of my time."? Do you get my question? I dont think this is too a reassurance question, a treatment question like after fever asking other patient how the tablets did the work.

OCD IS treatable, but you have to work at it - hard. Get one of the workbooks I suggested - start with Abramowitz’s; it’s fantastic - and start doing ERP. That’s how you take on OCD.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

Are you the one who has given review for that book in amazoncom?

$30 is quite "pricey", as I don't have such amount, I will see what I can do maybe the kindle version, will that book be enough for 28 ybocs score hocd? I am talking about anxiety i.e the thoughts of something is not right. Not only compulsions? Well these questions are not reassurances.

In how many days or months were you cured, this info is necessary for me as I am heading to college in may-june 2020, I have to become like before or even better. I have to make a good plan for it.

NWOntario
NWOntario in reply to Hidden

I've helped you as much as I can, my friend; get yourself an OCD workbook, get started on ERP and get moving forwards your recovery! We're all in your corner and look forward to hearing about your progress.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NWOntario

I have arranged some money, and going to order it now, I have to make a plan for curing it till before April 30 once and for all. Do you have tips for it? my ybocs score-26-28

Awesome! Treat ERP like a part-time job. Do it daily, and do it for as long as it takes. Good luck!

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