- 4 Great Therapy Techniques For Treating OCD
- ERP Therapy: A Good Choice for Treating OCD
- HOCD: Homosexual OCD & Sexual Orientation OCD
- Steps for overcoming HOCD
- HOCD / Gay OCD: Challenges to Treatment
4 Great Therapy Techniques For Treating OCDFollow ocdla. Part two of a five-part series. Using mindfulness, it is possible to circumvent much of the OCD process and ultimately reverse it into remission. Practicing mindfulness means actively observing your own tendency to over-attend, over-value, and over-respond to thoughts. In Sexual Orientation OCD, the sufferer is over-attending to ego-dystonic thoughts related to sexual identity. But if an individual with Sexual Orientation OCD has a thought of secretly or suddenly being gay, they feel an overwhelming need to investigate, neutralize, and suppress that thought. When you over-attend to any thought, you automatically give it increased value. It is no longer a thought that just popped up for no apparent reason; now it is an important thought you carefully monitored until it presented itself! And now that it has been over-valued, you desperately want to respond to it. Of course, any response in this situation will be an over-response, because the thought has no important value in the first place. Everyone has distorted thinking at times. In Cognitive Restructuring, the objective is to learn to identify distorted thinking, and challenge it with rational, objective, evidence-base thinking. Identifying distorted thinking means learning the language of OCD and knowing when to call yourself out on maladaptive cognitions. This can be a slippery slope for the obsessive-compulsive who may feel inclined to use restructuring as a mental ritual. The trick is to be straight no pun intended and to the point. A triggering situation occurs, you think something about it, and then you have one shot to modify that thought for something more rational. It is important to remember that this is not a debate between you and the OCD. The OCD got its chance to call you gay. Then you get your chance to challenge the idea. Anything else is mental ritual. It is important to understand that mental rituals are compulsions, and that they make your OCD worse. When simple cognitive restructuring is not doing the trick, it is always a wiser choice to return to mindfulness and to accept that many thoughts happen without those thoughts having to mean something important. This is, of course, just a sample of the trickery OCD uses with this issue. The greatest change, in fact the only change, occurs when we change our behavior. We would all like to feel better before actually taking the steps needed to get better. We must first change behavior, and then learn patience while we wait for thoughts and feelings to catch up. Learning to ride a bike requires exposure to the fear of falling, paired with prevention of the instinctual response of jumping off the bike to prevent falling. Nobody with a fear of falling off a bike gets over that fear before getting on the bike. Some OCD sufferers may be concerned that this means engaging in homosexual behavior to overcome their fear of being gay. This is missing the mark. The fear is not about having gay sex, but is instead about being stuck with thoughts that you think have the power to ruin your enjoyment of heterosexual sex and destroy your life. Instead, a more effective approach would be exposure to thoughts of homosexuality and the fear that you are not who you thought you were. Your OCD brain tells you that you must not think certain thoughts because they are dangerous to you. But your rational brain has the power to stand up to this bully and burn out the OCD circuits by intentionally exposing yourself to unwanted thoughts about your sexual orientation. This often takes a combination of visual, situational, and imaginal exposure. The objective of these exposures is to intentionally, but gradually, raise the anxiety caused by your unwanted thoughts, and to ultimately demonstrate to your brain that you can tolerate the presence of these thoughts. Conversely, compulsions teach the opposite — that you cannot tolerate discomfort. Exposure is the same mechanism employed any time you wish to gain strength.
ERP Therapy: A Good Choice for Treating OCD
If you are questioning your sexuality, how do you know the difference between having HOCD and actually being gay? People with HOCD suffer through uncontrollable and unwanted intrusive thoughts and images that leave them in a state of fear and anxiety about whether they are truly straight. People with HOCD can be affected enough by their intrusive thoughts that they quit jobs, make dramatic life changes, or end relationships in order to avoid triggering their symptoms. Sometimes, HOCD sufferers are so sure they are gay that they actually out themselves and begin homosexual relationships. Where a truly gay person obtains happiness and relief in the act of revealing their homosexual orientation, HOCD people who come out continue to doubt their sexuality. As with traditional OCDpeople who are affected by this internalized homophobia engage in rituals to help them alleviate their anxiety and prove to themselves that they are truly straight. When around lesbians or gay men, they might check their bodies for arousal or question if they are attracted to the person. People with Homosexual OCD may also keep up a running mental dialogue or obsess over past sexual encounters in an effort to convince themselves that they are straight. They might also perform washing rituals if they are around a gay person, may act overtly to assure themselves of their sexual orientation, or may even blatantly act out against gay people in order to prove they are straight. Additionally, HOCD sufferers might avoid physical contact or being alone with gay people and may even carry this behavior into shunning same-sex public restrooms or not eating in public in case the food was prepared by a gay person. During therapy sessions the patient faces the situations that trigger their obsessions in order to learn how to deal with their internalized homophobia and reduce their fixation. Andrew Rosen at or email him today. The Center for Treatment and of Anxiety and Mood Disorders specializes in treating a wide variety of disorders including:. The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. We offer cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, group therapy. For individuals around the country or those wanting help from the comfort of your own home, we offer therapy via Facetime, Skype or phone. We have professionals available 7 days a week. For those who prefer a more short-term approach we offer weekend sessions for individuals or groups. Perfect for those with a less flexible work schedule. Repeating the action relieves the anxiety, but you need to continue repeating the action to continue anxiety relief. Additionally, researchers have found they preferred to engage in activities associated with the opposite sex from early childhood onward. Types of Therapy The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. Mindfulness Training Learn More. Cognitive Behavior Therapy Learn More. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Learn More. Medications Learn More. Group Therapy Learn More. Intensive Weekend Programming Learn More. More Ways to Get Help Now. Online or Phone Therapy For individuals around the country or those wanting help from the comfort of your own home, we offer therapy via Facetime, Skype or phone.
HOCD: Homosexual OCD & Sexual Orientation OCD
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. What works for one OCD sufferer may not always work for another. You and your therapist will work together to find the right balance of therapy, medications, and stress management techniques that will give you the best chance of success. The best resource out there for finding these competent therapists is the International OCD Foundation. Not only do they list health care providers by state, they give you tips on what questions to ask when interviewing a prospective therapist. Three years ago Dan was so debilitated by severe OCD that he could not even eat. ERP therapy literally saved his life and today he is a rising senior in college with a wonderful life ahead of him. After navigating through a disorienting maze of treatments and programs, Dan made a triumphant recovery. Janet has become an advocate for OCD awareness and wants everyone to know that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable. There is so much hope for those with this disorder. Her own blog, www. She is married with three children and resides in New England. Psych Central. All rights reserved. Find help or get online counseling now.
Steps for overcoming HOCD