The OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses common challenges seen in the treatment of HOCD, also known as Gay OCD or Sexual Orientation OCD.  Part four of a four-part series.

Gay OCD / HOCD / Sexual Orientation OCD and CBT

HOCD, also known as Gay OCD or Sexual Orientation OCD,
is best treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

In our previous article on HOCD, we looked at some of the potential sub-types that appear in this condition.  While they are all treated with various Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies, crippling fear can lead people toward beliefs that impede therapy.  Here are some thoughts about treatment issues we commonly hear from HOCD clients.

My Big Gay Secret Self

Many HOCD sufferers, regardless of sub-type, become preoccupied with the idea that other people might think that they somehow “appear” gay.  As a result, some men with HOCD may over-attend to the way they dress, opting for baggy, neutral choices rather than fitting, stylish choices that they might associate with homosexuality.  They may pay special attention to the way they speak or even the way they hold a drink, trying to eradicate any possibility that a person may mistake them for being gay.  Women with HOCD may over-attend to the length of their hair, or whether their clothes are “feminine” enough.  Both men and women with HOCD are likely to obsess about their body type and whether there is something inherently “gay” about it. Read More »

    

The OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses treatment of HOCD, also known as Gay OCD or Sexual Orientation OCD, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness.  Part three of a four part series.

Gay OCD / HOCD therapy

HOCD has many subtypes.

When we initially published part one and part two of this series on Gay OCD (also known as HOCD), it was intended solely to reflect this rather common form of the disorder as we saw it presented in many of our clients.  We had not anticipated such a significant online response, with so many additional questions and angles on the subject.

Sexual obsessions in general are under-reported because of shameful feelings associated with them.  And yet there is probably a somewhat higher prevalence of sexual obsessions in OCD than any other obsession for this same reason – the thoughts are unwanted! This seems so very evident in Sexual Orientation OCD because the feared consequence appears so tangible.  In other common OCD obsessions, such as Harm OCD, the idea that someone might be in denial of violent impulses is plenty terrifying.  However, there is an understanding that being violent is unacceptable in and of itself.  With Sexual Orientation OCD, the sufferer generally does not see anything wrong with being gay per se, as long as it is not themselves being gay.  This causes a lot of confusion and a lot of resistance to seeking treatment. Read More »

    

The OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses treatment of Gay OCD, also known as HOCD, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness.  Part two of a four part series.

Treatment of Gay OCD / HOCD

Gay OCD / HOCD / Sexual Orientation OCD

Gay OCD (also known as HOCD) can be effectively treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness

As noted in our previous post, Gay OCD (also known as HOCD or Sexual Orientation OCD), is a condition in which an individual, straight or gay, obsessively doubts their sexual orientation.  Research has consistently found that the most effective treatment for this and all types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with a focus on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

Over the past ten years, many OCD specialists have also begun to integrate concepts from Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCBT) into their treatment of OCD.  In MBCBT, the goal is to change one’s perspective toward one’s thoughts, as well as the behavioral responses these thoughts lead to.  Using mindfulness, it is possible to circumvent much of the OCD process and ultimately reverse it into remission.

Mindfulness is particularly helpful when treating the more obsessional variants of OCD, including HOCD.  When combining MBCBT with the traditional tools of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the following treatment techniques are used to address the unwanted thoughts and behaviors seen in Sexual Orientation OCD. Read More »

    

Many people mistakenly think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) solely as a condition in which people wash their hands excessively or check door locks repeatedly.  There are actually many sub-types of OCD.  In this ongoing series, the OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses Gay OCD, also known as HOCD or Sexual Orientation OCD.

So, Am I Gay or What?

Gay OCD / HOCD / Sexual Orientation OCD

Having gay thoughts is not the same as being gay

I sat down to write this blog on Gay OCD while my wife and I had started to watch a movie (It’s been suggested I work too much).  It’s either irony or personalization, but the opening scene of the movie involves a man kissing his lover… another man.  This is the second film in two weeks that I’ve rented which involve men and their male lovers, something I was not aware of when I selected the films.

Or was I?

Gay OCD is sometimes referred to as HOCD, an abbreviation for Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This is an unfortunate abbreviation because it misses the true nature of this manifestation of OCD.

First, it is not exclusive to heterosexuals.  Over the years, therapists here at OCD Center of Los Angeles have treated many homosexuals (male and female) who are plagued by obsessive fears of being “straight”, and who suffer equally when OCD attacks their sexual identity.  Furthermore, the fears that clients with this condition report have little to do with actually becoming gay (or straight).  At its core, Sexual Orientation OCD is the fear of not knowing for sure, paired with the fear of never being able to have a healthy, loving relationship with a partner to whom one feels genuinely attracted. Read More »

  • HOCD: 30 Things You Need To Know

    HOCD is a type of OCD in which the individual obsesses about their sexual orientation. Here are 30 things you should know about HOCD. From the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Doubt, Denial and OCD

    A discussion of “The Denial Obsession” in OCD, in which sufferers obsess that they don’t really have OCD, but are merely “in denial”. By Lauren McMeikan, MA, and Tom Corboy, MFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Dermatillomania: A Skin Picker’s Guide to the Dermatologist

    How one woman with Dermatillomania finally opened up to her dermatologist about her longtime struggle with skin picking.

  • Imaginal Exposure for OCD and Anxiety

    Imaginal exposure for the treatment of OCD and anxiety is discussed by Tom Corboy, MFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • ROCD: Relationship OCD and The Myth of “The One”

    ROCD (Relationship OCD) is an often misunderstood variant of OCD. By Sheva Rajaee, MMFT and Tom Corboy, MFT of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Moral Scrupulosity in OCD: Cognitive Distortions

    Cognitive distortions are common in the Moral Scrupulosity subtype of OCD. Part three of a multi-part series.

  • OCD in the Family

    One mom’s story of her son’s battle with OCD and its profound impact on their family, as told to Elizabeth Kassel, MSW, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Scrupulosity in OCD: Cognitive Distortions

    A discussion of cognitive distortions in the religious Scrupulosity subtype of OCD. Part two of a multi-part series.

  • OCD and Eating Disorders

    Diagnostic similarities and differences between OCD and eating disorders are discussed by Kimberley Quinlan, MFT, Clinical Director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Harm OCD Treatment With ERP

    Harm OCD treatment using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is discussed by Tom Corboy, MFT, Executive Director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles .

  • My Life with OCD

    The impact of OCD and related anxiety based disorders on the family is often overlooked. In this multi-part series, we present first-hand accounts of the ongoing impact of OCD, BDD, and Bipolar Disorder on one man and his family, as told to Elizabeth Kassel, MSW, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Scrupulosity: Where OCD Meets Religion, Faith, and Belief

    The Scrupulosity sub-type of OCD is discussed by Kevin Foss, MFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles. Part one of a four part series.

  • Mindfulness for OCD and Anxiety

    Using mindfulness to enhance traditional CBT for OCD and anxiety is discussed by Kimberley Quinlan, MFT, Clinical Director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Hoarding, Cluttering, and Compulsive Shopping: My Childhood Story

    One woman’s story of her life as the child of multiple generations of hoarders.

  • OCD and Thought-Action Fusion

    Thought-Action-Fusion is a frequent problem for those with OCD. This issue is discussed by Laura Yocum, MFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • OCD, Anxiety, and Resistance

    Resistance and acceptance in OCD and related disorders is discussed by the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Harm OCD Treatment: Cognitive Restructuring

    Harm OCD is often misunderstood, but it can be effectively treated using an integrated treatment plan that includes Cognitive Restructuring. Part three of our ongoing series that explores “Harm OCD” and its treatment .

  • OCD & Anxiety: Five Common Roadblocks to Treatment

    Learn the five common mistakes that interfere with successful treatment of OCD and anxiety. By Kimberley Quinlan, MFT, Clinical Director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Harm OCD Treatment: Mindfulness Based CBT

    Harm OCD is an often misunderstood condition that can be effectively treated using Mindfulness integrated with CBT. Part two of a multi-part series from the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

  • Dermatillomania / Skin Picking Disorder Treatment

    Treatment of Dermatillomania (Skin Picking Disorder) with CBT. Part two of a series from the OCD Center of Los Angeles.

 

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