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Hello! I am a 16 year old female who has been struggling with what I think is HOCD for about a year and a half now. I wanted to tell you my HOCD story so that I can properly identify if I actually have HOCD or I’m just in some serious denial. First off, I want to say that I have been professionally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but not OCD. Also, before my onset of HOCD, I never once questioned my sexuality and I never thought of women in a sexual or romantic way. That’s actually what started my hocd. Around last summer, I remember talking to my mom about LGBT people for some reason. I told her that I knew I was straight and that I actually found women kind of ugly (no offense :D). Then I had this random thought, “What if I am attracted to girls?” The thought freaked me out so I decided to imagine myself in a sexual scenario, just to be sure. Once I did it, it felt like a bunch of knives were crawling up my body. I had never felt this kind of feeling before and so I immediately thought it meant attraction/desire. After constant ruminations and a few mini panic attacks, I started to do my first compulsion-checking my reaction men v. women. After about 8 months of constant checking and questioning, I started to get these weird feelings whenever I would look at any type of girl. It’s not groinal responses (although I do get those), it's more of a physical sensation that I can’t describe. This freaks me out because It feels exactly like attraction. All of a sudden, I get an urge to imagine myself kissing a girl or doing something that deeply disturbed me. Every time I would have this thought, I would tell myself “ew no, that’s not me!” and immediately shut it down. But the thoughts kept coming. About 6 months in, I found out what HOCD was and every symptom exactly matched up with what I was experiencing-intrusive thoughts about my sexuality. After reading almost every HOCD article, I knew that I wasn’t gay, but maybe I was bi? After learning about ERP treatment, I decided to try and do it at home. I started off slow by saying that these thoughts and urges were just my OCD and they were not real. But no matter how much I tried, the thoughts kept coming back, and I kept on doing compulsions (reading OCD articles, sexuality tests, coming out stories). After about a year, I was fried. I avoided anything to do with the same sex and I would question my sexuality constantly. I didn’t have any more energy to be anxious about the thoughts because I had them too much. I was so used to checking my level of attraction towards women that I completely lost my attraction towards men. I have only ever had crushes on the opposite sex. The first crush was in 3-5th grade. I was emotionally and physically attracted to him, and I dreamt about being with him or kissing him almost every night, but I never imagined myself in a sexual scenario with him, same with my other crushes. I used to think this was because I am a very catholic child and I never really leared what sex was until later in life (like 13). But it freaks me out that I was never sexually attracted to these boys. Also, I haven't had a real life crush or really even talked to a boy since 7th grade (I am in 10th grade now), which makes me think I was never straight in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I still know I am attracted to men somehow but I still have no idea if I am bisexual or not. You see, now that I was having these thoughts with no anxiety attached to it, it started to feel real-more real than ever! Even during the peak of my anxiety, there was still a part of me that knew that I was straight. Now, it's hard for me to see myself with a man, and I still don’t know if these physical sensations and thoughts towards women are real! I used to have so much fun talking to my friends about cute boys or crushes that they had, but now I feel guilt because I think I have been lying to myself about my orientation, which makes me want to cry! Just last week, I had a dream about my elementary school crush. I had a crush on him for at least 3 years and in the dream we got married and had a kid. I woke up feeling very happy because I knew that I enjoyed the dream and desired to have something like that. That happiness only lasted about a day because the next day I saw a picture of a girl and her boyfriend. I realized that ever since my HOCD started, I always look at the girl first-not the boy. I always have to go back and see if I was aroused by the girl-not the boy. Before, If I would see a beautiful couple, I would always notice the boy first. It's like I am hyper aware of girls' looks. Keep in mind I don’t think I have any desire to be sexually intimate with these women, I just have no idea if these feelings are repressed sexuality or a side affect of HOCD. Another thing that freaks me out is back in my first year of high school, my best friend was having a sleepover for her birthday, and some of us had to double up and sleep in the same bed. I was paired with a girl that I didn't know very well and I remember feeling extreme anxiety and discomfort when sleeping in the same bed with her. Fast forward a year, and I read in a “How did you know you were gay” article that lesbian women can feel uncomfortable at first when in close contact with another women. This obviously freaked me out and I thought it might have been an early sign of the coming out process.  I used to be this boy-crazy girl with a new celeb crush every week, now all I can think about is if I am attracted to women. It's like the more I thought about being with a girl, the more normal it became, which has led me to believe that I actually like the thoughts. Do these “urges'' mean that I want to have these thoughts, but I just can’t accept them? The thoughts feel like I want them, but I don’t at the same time, which makes no sense. At first, the thoughts seemed very intrusive and unwanted, but now they seem like a normal part of me and I no longer have a reaction to them. Does that make me bi? Another one of my main compulsions is doing sexuality tests. I try to answer as honestly as I can but I keep mixing up my real desires and fear of real desires. An example of a question would be “You see a cute girl at the bar and she comes over to ask you out, would you go out with her?” I want to say no because I would have said no before my onset of HOCD, but I keep having this nagging thought in my head saying “yes, you want to go out with her'', so I just end up saying IDK for most of the questions. Even then, a lot of my results say that I am heterosexual, even the Kinsey test. Then, I stupidly decided to take a “Am I in denial test”. After taking it, the results said that I was either gay or bi, and I was scared at first but I didn’t really have a reaction to it. Does this mean that I am ok with it? Being in denial and repressed sexuality are so similar to HOCD, and I don’t even know if I have OCD. All I can say is that these thoughts are beginning to feel more real than ever, and my mind keeps telling me to accept it but something is telling me that it's not who I am. These thoughts are making me feel like I would be fine with being gay or bi, and that I have been in denial this whole time. I have nothing against the LGBT community and none of my anxiety has come from worrying about what other people think, I just worry about if I am attracted to the same sex or not. Like, writing this email about my gay thoughts doesn’t give me anxiety, which it would have a few months ago. These thoughts have me convinced that I desire the same sex, and I just want it to be over! I want my old, straight life bacI want to do treatment but I’m not sure if this is OCD or not. Sorry for the long email but I could really use some advice.
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Avatar universal
The main problem you have is Google.  Stay away from Googling symptoms.  It's a killer.  If you're gay, your actions will tell you that.  You're quite young and although many people do start having sex at your age or younger, most don't and you haven't, so you have no basis on which to judge your sexuality yet.  That will come when you truly start dating, and who you decide to date, whether it be women or men.  Either way is fine.  I'm alone on here in not believing HOCD is a thing.  It's a diagnosis like so many that is relatively new and a bit of a fad.  The more people hear about that diagnosis the more they think they have it, as they label themselves.  But you do apparently have an anxiety problem, and anxiety can't exist without obsessive thinking.  Nor can depression or any number of behaviors in life, even greed.  Even religious belief, actually.  Even a belief in the Big Bang.  Every human gets thoughts, it's what makes us human, but that's only a problem when we also have anxiety or depression or the like and magnify the thoughts negatively into something bad instead of just one of millions of thoughts we have every day.  Finding women attractive is common for straight women.  Women have much more pleasing shapes than men do.  You don't have to want to sleep with one to find them nice to look at.  I would say the thing to do right now is investigate why you're so insecure about sexuality that you are so worried about it.  Also keep in mind that the only reason thinking about being gay is so troubling to everyone is centuries of repression of gay people.  It's hard to be gay.  Nobody wants life to be harder than it has to be.  This bias is so ingrained in our civilization that none of us totally escapes it, not even gay people.  This is changing, but these things change slowly, and the religious and cultural beliefs and propaganda that brought this about fade slowly.  There was a time when being bisexual appears to have been the norm.  So we change.  I have no idea what your sexuality is, but it seems you are heterosexual but prone to obsessive thinking.  I think that's your problems that needs work, and let your sexuality develop naturally.  You'll know by who you choose to become romantically involved with.  That isn't the problem.  The problem is you're driving yourself nuts thinking about it and that's what you need to focus on.  Peace.
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Thank you for the advice. I always thought that liking boys was a natural occurrence to me, and I didn't have to force my attractions. This is why I always believed I was straight but now after obsessing over my supposed "attractions" to women, I feel like my sexuality has completely flipped.  Is this a result of my OCD? (I believe HOCD is a real thing btw)
You're allowed, of course.  I'm on my own on this island, I think it's just a term they made up for something many people feel at some point or other in their lives.  Just don't let that label define you.  Let your actions define you.  
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