HOCD ("Gay Thoughts")
Many people have irrational OCD doubts about their sexual orientation. They know rationally they are heterosexual, but abruptly develop thoughts that they are gay. Despite having gay friends and relatives, so called HOCD attacks a person's identity. They test their arousal in same-sex or reverse-gender situations, repeatedly break up good relationships and make up weekly, and confuse their libido so much that they either get aroused by everyone or no one. (It also happens to LGBT individuals who suddenly think they're straight.)
Their reactions are not homophobic. Indeed, underlying issues have nothing to do with sex. Some fear they will never have a close relationship missing in childhood. Others make comparisons to same-sex peers. Still others are scarred by an abusive childhood in which "gay" or reverse gender labels was a taunt. (A gay person can have a similar irrational obsession that they're straight.) Many HOCD sufferers have had bad role models of relationships characterized by a "control or be controlled" power struggle. In fact, it's common for people with HOCD to also have ROCD.
Therapists who are not OCD experts often make it worse by trying to convince such clients that they are gay. Others try to prove clients are not gay, which actually perpetuates the OCD. Read this article about HOCD. Feel free to email a question to Dr. Brodsky for a free consultation within 24 hours. If you're ready to take the next step, you can make an appointment online now or call 212-726-2390. Virtual teletherapy or in-person sessions are available nationwide.