- ERP Therapy: A Good Choice for Treating OCD
- Steps for overcoming HOCD
- ERP for Intrusive Thoughts
- Gay OCD / HOCD Treatment
- ERP for HOCD with you are a christian?
ERP Therapy: A Good Choice for Treating OCDIntrusive thoughts are part of OCD. Sometimes people get a little confused by that, when the see OCD as just hand washing, and checking. Or you might think that with intrusive thoughts that you do not carry out compulsions, but they will be there and you can read more about this here. The thing about intrusive thoughts is that it is not the initial thought that makes you suffer, it is what you do with the thought inside your head, and what you do next, that makes you suffer. Let me explain. However, if you started the analyse the thought while you were cooking, you could become more aware of the knife and start to feel really bad. You might question where the thought came from. Over time you might start to avoid cooking, or cooking when someone is present, or you might put the knives out of harms way. It is these things — the additional thoughts, the change in your behaviour that starts to cause the problem, and it is this that makes you suffer. I just used intrusive thoughts relating to knives as an example, but the example and the rest of this article is applicable to all forms of intrusive thoughts. All the thoughts are obsessions and the things you do, such as not cooking with another person, are compulsions. ERP helps you by getting you to gently expose yourself to your thoughts, instead of avoiding them, and being able to face your thoughts, without carrying out compulsions or avoidance. First you will be taught how to manage anxiety, as your anxiety levels may increase when you start to change how you respond to your thoughts. Your anxiety may not increase as I have seen clients of mine change dramatically once they are sure what is happening to them is just intrusive thoughts and not that they are capable of bad things. You will then be encouraged in a systematic way to react to your thoughts differently, by not carrying out compulsions, for example, not changing your behaviours. I am going to break this down a bit so you can see the benefit of doing this. At the moment if you have an intrusive thought, you more than likely will have an increase in anxiety, and it is this increase in anxiety that will make you want to do something to help with your thought. This is understandable as we do not like to feel uncomfortable sensations and do everything we can to get rid of the uncomfortable emotion. You might engage in a compulsion as you are afraid of the thought this is the anxiety you feel. For example if you have the thought you could stab someone while holding a knife, you might start to avoid knives, with ERP you will be encouraged to see that you are as safe around knives as your were before. Or if you are having intrusive thoughts around children and maybe avoid bathing or changing your child, with ERP you will be encouraged to face the thought, and take the fear out of it, without changing your behaviours, i. ERP helps with HOCD as you will learn to allow your intrusive thoughts regarding your sexuality to come, without carrying out compulsions such as checking you are still attracted to members of the opposite sex. Would you like my help? I have an online course that is available to start now Find out more.
Steps for overcoming HOCD
Posted by Steven J. Seay, Ph. Straight people with HOCD fear they may become gay or are secretly gay ; gay people may fear becoming straight. Emerging sexuality can be confusing for any teen or young adult, and gay teens face a variety of unique challenges over the course of adolescence. In addition to learning to understand their own sexuality, gay teens must navigate complex situations and pressures that may not be relevant for straight teens. They must also deal with opinionated parents, friends, and others who sometimes hold differing views about sexuality. Anxiety, distress, and confusion are often part of this process. HOCD is not unique to teens but can occur at any age. Straight individuals with homosexual OCD experience obsessive fears about the possibility of being gay. Their HOCD obsessions often consist of unwanted thoughts, impulsesor images that uncontrollably pop into consciousness. However, the same basic elements are directly applicable to all people with obsessive doubts about their sexual orientation. People with HOCD worry that they might secretly be gay or might become gay, despite not questioning their sexuality in the past. Prior to the onset of HOCD, they might have had few doubts about their sexual orientation. Many people with homosexual OCD also have a history of having enjoyed heterosexual relationships in the past. The occurrence of this unwanted thought then causes them to question their sexual identity and reanalyze previous experiences, in light of the possibility that they might possibly be gay. However, due to the way OCD is strengthened and reinforced by rituals, these attempts ultimately backfire. The result is that some people with HOCD become extremely disabled. In some cases, individuals with HOCD experiment with homosexual relationships or adopt gay lifestyles because of doubt about their heterosexuality. Moreover, they continue to experience doubt and uncertainty about their sexuality. Still others worry about acting on unwanted sexual impulses. What maintains intrusive sexual obsessions? Faulty beliefs about sexuality and sexual orientation perpetuate fear about the possible consequences of resisting OCD-related compulsions. This is harmful because every time an unwanted thought is avoided or neutralized, it is reinforced and becomes more likely to become activated again in the future. Avoidance and rituals thus prevent the occurrence of corrective learning experiences that would ultimately cause these unwanted thoughts to decrease in frequency and intensity. Rituals associated with homosexual OCD include mental rituals and behavioral rituals. If you have homosexual OCD, what-if questions about sexuality are ultimately unanswerable in the way that OCD demands they be answered. The best strategy for reducing your symptoms will be based on exposure and response prevention for HOCD. Exposures for HOCD are built around purposefully seeking out situations you avoid and then resisting mental and behavioral rituals. Developing a good exposure hierarchy can be confusing, so find a good HOCD therapist to guide you. Moreover, your HOCD therapist will also help you stay consistent in the goal of learning to live with uncertainty. That person is not an HOCD specialist. These types of promises are inconsistent with how effective HOCD treatment actually works. Although everyone with HOCD wants to get rid of their gay thoughts, thought suppression techniques will be ineffective in the long-run. To understand why, or to read more about my general treatment approach in my South Florida Palm Beach psychological practice, see my posts on sexual obsessionsthought control and thought suppression. Living with HOCD or another sexual orientation obsession? Sound off below. Seay, I recently read an article saying that this type of obsession should be treated with care because in some cases the person experiencing these thoughts is actually gay but they have OCD as well. Would this type of person have the same compulsions you presented in this article?
ERP for Intrusive Thoughts
That said, this strategy of purposefully exposing yourself to things that make you anxious may not sound quite right to you. If you have OCD, you have probably tried to confront your obsessions and anxiety many times only to see your anxiety skyrocket. With ERP, the difference is that when you make the choice to confront your anxiety and obsessions you must also make a commitment to not give in and engage in the compulsive behavior. Think of your anxiety as an alarm system. If an alarm goes off, what does it mean? The alarm is there to get your attention. If an intruder is trying to break into your house, the alarm goes off, wakes you up, gets you to act. To do something. To protect yourself and your family. But, what if the alarm system went off when a bird landed on the roof instead? Your body would respond to that alarm the same way it would if there were an actual threat such as an intruder. This is one of the cruelest parts of this disorder. Now consider that your compulsive behaviors are your attempts to keep yourself safe when that alarm goes off. But, what does that mean you are telling your brain when you engage in these behaviors? A bird on the roof is the same as a real intruder breaking into your home. The bottom line is that in order to reduce your anxiety and your obsessions, you have to make a decision to stop the compulsive behaviors. However, starting Exposure and Response Prevention therapy can be a difficult decision to make. It may feel like you are choosing to put yourself in danger. You begin to challenge and bring your alarm system your anxiety more in line with what is actually happening to you. Talk therapy can be a very valuable treatment for some disorders, but it has not been shown to be effective at treating the active symptoms of OCD. Read more about medication for OCD here.
Gay OCD / HOCD Treatment
At the same time these stories were being broadcast, there were chat rooms open where people could connect and talk about anything related to OCD. I joined right in, letting everyone know that while I was not an OCD sufferer myself, my year-old son had recently recovered from severe OCD. I wanted to share our story as well as learn all I could about the disorder. At one point during the chat, I connected with a distraught young woman who had been seeing a therapist for quite some time, but her OCD was getting worse, not better. Our family had floundered and then fought our way through a disorienting maze of treatments and programs, desperately trying to find the best help possible for Dan. But I had thought Dan was the only one who had been steered in the wrong direction, sent to the wrong therapists, and put on the wrong medications. It was then and there that I became an advocate for OCD awareness. In a nutshell, this therapy involves the person with OCD facing his or her fears and then refraining from ritualizing. This is extremely anxiety -provoking initially, but eventually the anxiety starts to wane and can sometimes even disappear. They might be asked to touch a toilet seat and then refrain from washing their hands. So why do so many therapists remain in the dark? When Dan diagnosed himself with the help of the Internet at the age of 17, he was referred to a well-respected clinical psychologist in our area. This therapist employed traditional talk therapy, which included examining underlying issues. This form of therapy is usually ineffective in treating OCD. In fact, talk therapy often exacerbates OCD. Repeatedly talking about their fears and reassuring OCD sufferers only adds fuel to the fire. OCD is not something rational that can be discussed. It is a neurologically-based anxiety disorder. In fact, a study done in showed that OCD sufferers had less gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with suppressing responses. Telling someone with OCD not to worry is like telling someone with asthma to stop having trouble breathing. And so Dan spent months in therapy, getting worse. He ended up spending nine weeks at a world-renowned residential program for OCD, and that was his, and our, first introduction to ERP therapy.