Disorders and Treatment
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This two-part article was written exclusively for PsyWeb.com by Dwyerjc, a member of SupportGroups.com. In this article, Dwyerjc discusses how his HOCD started, the thoughts that troubled his mind, and the steps he has taken to overcome his anxiety.
I'm so incredibly excited to have found a site like SupportGroups.com and am very happy that there are people struggling with this terrible anxiety that is HOCD.
At the beginning of this past summer, I ended a three-year relationship with a girl whom I loved very much and still do. We had planned for a while to get married and began talking about this somewhat early in our relationship. We had started dating right before my 20th birthday.
I started having doubts about whether she was the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. When the weight of the decision actually set in, I didn't feel like I was really ready to make the decision. I thought to myself: "I'm 23. If there were ever a time to not be sure and possibly see what else is out there, it would be now."
When I was 19, my father suddenly left and divorced my mother, and I've always been afraid that I was destined to do the same thing. Nevertheless, marriage has always been very exciting to me.
About a week and a half after our break up, I made myself grieve the loss. I could tell I wasn't allowing myself to feel the pain of the situation. Then one day at work a new cook was hired, and I thought to myself, "That's a good looking guy." I had always been comfortable with recognizing a male as attractive, and up to that point I was okay with that.
Homosexuality had never particularly bothered me before. I know that when I was younger I didn't understand it, but I never believed that it was morally wrong. However, OCD changed all of this for me, and whatever memories I had about being straight flew out the window.
After my confusion began, I kept questioning my sexuality and whether I had always been gay but had never noticed it before. My thoughts spiraled out of control. I quit my job because I was mentally exhausted everyday at the end of work, trying to logically think myself out of the thought of being gay. Eventually I only managed to make myself become more and more stressed and confused.
I began checking my groin, I was scared of being in public, I was afraid of being around my male friends, and I constantly looked for reassurance that I wasn't gay from people. I often wondered if other people thought I was gay, and I even feared being attracted to the children I mentor. I was afraid that I would be aroused by them and had terrible sexual images enter my head.
My head was on a constant rerun circuit, looping the same thoughts and mental reassurances over and over, constantly trying to remember my previous sexual experiences. I tried to remember the fact I enjoyed being with women and wondered if I'd ever be the same. I felt like the most messed up human being on the face of the planet.
In Part II of this article, Dwyerjc discusses how he goes about daily life, dealing with media portrayals of homosexuality, his social circle, and how he has finally managed to regain some control over his life.
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