Hello Brave One!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Sexual Orientation OCD:

Sexual Orientation OCD is characterized by recurrent and persistent intrusive (unwanted) thoughts, urges or images about Sexual Orientation OCD along with compulsive, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety/distress or preventing a feared outcome from happening, all of which cause distress and impairment in functioning.

Common Sexual Orientation OCD Obsessions:

  • Intrusive thoughts/images/impulses relating to sexual orientation
  • Excessively questioning your sexual orientation
  • Fear that you actually don’t identify with your current sexual orientation and are in denial
  • Fear of being inauthentic
  • Fear your sexual orientation will change sometime in the future and you will be responsible for hurting your partner and/or feel regret for the rest of your life

Common Sexual Orientation OCD Core Fears:

  • Loss of identity, being inauthentic/disingenuine
  • Causing irreversible harm/being a bad person
  • Loss of love, ending up alone

Common Sexual Orientation OCD Compulsions:

  • Sex/intimacy to check your attraction/arousal
  • Avoidance of sex/intimacy altogether out of fear of what it might mean if you don’t enjoy it
  • Checking for arousal (making meaning out of groinal responses)
  • Checking for attraction
  • Testing in your mind if you can imagine yourself as a different sexual orientation
  • Ruminating/replaying interactions with others to try and figure out your sexual orientation for sure (including going back to childhood)
  • Reassurance seeking/self-reassurance
  • Confessing thoughts that don’t align with your sexual orientation to others
  • Comparing yourself to others with the same/different sexual orientations
  • Researching

**Please note: themes help us get more information out to individuals suffering with OCD, but anything can become obsessive and/or compulsive and themes can overlap. It’s also important to remember that the content of OCD is not important, it’s all the same mechanisms responding to different triggers. We recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP.

Stay Brave!
The OCD MN Team