My Boyfriend Has HOCD, What do I do?
HOCD is a specific type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that has to do with sexual identity. There are many signs and symptoms of this disorder and while statistically is seems to be more common in straight men it can also affect gay men as well. Because sexuality is as complicated as it is, adding in HOCD to the mix can lead to some difficult times. When you love him, it makes it even harder. You have taken the gay test that tells you he has HOCD. How do you cope with it? MANPLAY.COM has plenty of tips and advice to help you continue loving him.
Learn More About HOCD
Is there a gay test for me to determine what HOCD is and if he has it? Yes, in fact MANPLAY.COM has several gay tests to help you get a handle on your questions about sex and sexuality.
On to business: what is HOCD? You may have some knowledge of something called obsessive-compulsive disorder. With this disorder, subjects experience obsessions and compulsions over a series of beliefs and often driven by a fear such as germs. Therefore, someone who has OCD might wash or sanitize their hands any time they touch something. Another person might check to see if they actually locked their door, several times. Someone else might have an obsession over not stepping on the cracks in a sidewalk. All of these traits, and more, belong to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
HOCD is Homosexual Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It has also been called Sexual Identity Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. The basic principle of this disorder is an obsession on one’s sexuality, usually on one’s uncertainty of their sexuality, and an obsessive drive to prove their sexuality is what they believe it is. While this disorder proves to be more obsessive than compulsive, there are some compulsions that one might suffer.
Examples of Obsessive Thoughts - "Am I attracted to this person” (of the sex which I believe I should not be attracted to)
- Constant reviewing of current and/or previous relationships to prove or disprove sexual identity
- Comparing self to straight men ‘if straight men do _____ and I do ______ then I must be straight/gay’
Examples of Behaviours - Only engaging in stereotypically gay activities
- [Noticeably unauthentically] acting in a stereotypically gay fashion
- Only talking about other men
Examples of Avoidance Behaviours - Avoiding any straight friends
- Avoiding any activities that may make oneself seem ‘straight’
- Avoiding all women unless they are also gay
Examples of Core Believes in HOCD - If I am not 100% gay than I must be straight
- If I have thoughts that conflict with the sexual orientation I identify with it must mean that I am no longer that sexual orientation
- If I continue to have doubts about my sexuality it must mean that I am straight
For more information on HOCD and the gay test that will tell you if you or another person you love has it, check out this article.
While HOCD seems to mainly affect straight people it can also affect gay individuals which is the focus of this article you are reading. It is also highly suggested that you study Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders and Anxiety Disorders as HOCD is heavily related to both issues.
Coming to Terms With HOCD
You might have been noticing your boyfriend acting strangely as of late. Maybe he’s asked you a couple times if you think he acts straight, or maybe you’ve walked in on him watching straight porn without seeming to be enjoying it. Perhaps he has snapped at you for hanging out with straight people when he’d never done that before. You find yourself looking up a gay test to see if he’s actually really in to you.
If you’re really determined to know straight up what’s going on, perhaps you have confronted him about his recent behaviours and he has told you about his thoughts, or maybe he confided in you about intrusive heterosexual fantasies. You get concerned. Does he actually love you or was it a fling and he’s been interested in women all along?
For you, the person dating the man who has HOCD, it’s a difficult ride. It’s very important to be both supportive of your partner and supportive of yourself. Now that you have educated yourself on what exactly HOCD is, here’s some important tips to consider while you continue your relationship with him.
1. Be Understanding.
Imagine for a moment how it would feel to be in his shoes. You are in a loving relationship with a man you care very deeply for, but these intrusive thoughts been popping into your brain. You don’t seem to have any control over them and you’re desperate to find a way to get ride of them. Illogical beliefs keep running over and over in your head and you’ll do just about anything to make them shut up. HOCD like any other disorder is difficult for all parties involved. Once you have come to terms with the issue, you must be understanding of his disposition and it’s especially important to let him know that you are understanding as well.
2. Encourage Self-Love and Wellness
It is so important to be an example to those who have your love. It is especially important to be an example when someone who you love is struggling with a mental illness. Remember that HOCD is exactly that. It’s nothing you have done. Don’t make him take a gay test to prove himself to you. Instead, take up healthy habits and share in them together. Allow for error and mistake in the same way that you allow for compassion and joy. For each negative thought that he shares with you, grant him a non-judgemental positive thought and encourage him to love himself the way he is the same way that you love him.
3. Be a Safe Person
If you want your relationship with him to last you need to show him that you can be someone he can talk to. While it is incredibly important - depending on the degree in which this effects him - that he should seek professional help as well, he will also need YOU to be loving, understanding, and there for him. He doesn’t need a gay test thrown at him as proof of his love for you. Remember that this is a mental illness. It is not something he can control. There’s no on and off switch. There’s no miracle drug. There’s no ‘just stop thinking about it’. Show him that he can come to you when he is struggling, when he is afraid, when he is troubled. If the issue is too big for you to take on alone, be the person who will help him get the help he needs when he needs it.
4. Don’t Go at it Alone
In the same way that he needs supports from other people, so do you. You DO NOT have to do this alone. Anyone who has a loved one that is suffering from a mental illness will tell you this. Find a support group. HOCD is relatively new and for the most part many people only understand one side of it: where a straight person has obsessive thoughts that they might be gay. Nevertheless, the other side of the coin is just as valid and just as hard to cope with. Because HOCD is an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, look into support groups in your area that support the friends and families of those who suffer from OCD.
5. Know your Limits and Take Breaks
Combining the two points above, it is also important to know your limits. You cannot be that person all the time and it is crucial for you to exercise that line in a calm, caring, and loving way. If there are emergency lines for mental illness available in your area, or coping mechanisms that you have both learned for the issue, help him use them when you cannot be that person. Living with a mental illness can be very difficult and so can loving someone with a mental illness be. If you need a break, make sure you take one. Make sure to plan some ‘you’ in your schedule and TAKE IT.
Treatment: Do it Together
You have the foundations of what HOCD is and discovered together the gay test confirms he’s suffering from it. How to come to terms with it now? Understand that you need to set limits for yourself (the caregiver) and be understanding of him (the one with HOCD). You may have looked up a couple of support groups for people who are dealing with OCD and/or Anxiety Disorders. Now it’s time to really dive in on the topic of treatment.
Like all mental illnesses, they are difficult to overcome. Most of the time, treatment is heavily focused on coping with the issue and through various coping mechanisms coming to learn how to live with the symptoms so that they are no longer causing disorder in your life. Survey is out on whether mental illness can truly disappear or whether we learn to incorporate it into our lives in such a way that it no longer causes chaos. Regardless, HOCD can be treated.
Finding a solid therapist can be a trial of itself. It takes time, and you should know what to look for in a therapist. Like dating, finding a therapist is very personal. You can help your loved one along the way, help set up meetings, support them with their first meeting, but they must be comfortable on their own with the therapist. That is absolutely crucial!
The gay test said yes, he has HOCD. The therapist said yes, he has HOCD. It’s not the end of the world, promise! When you have spent a huge portion of your life discovering your sexuality, coming to terms with your sexuality, finding people who support your sexuality, and building a community around yourself that supports your sexual identity, having it be challenged by unwanted thoughts can be extremely stressful. Most people that get unwanted thoughts immediately try and fight them. The more you fight them, the more you’ll come up with rituals and behaviours to prove them wrong, the worst your HOCD will get. You have to accept these thoughts and know that just because you might have a fleeting curiosity or thought about heterosexual sex doesn’t mean it’s something you want.
A huge portion of HOCD is based out of anxiety and fear. Fear that what you thought you knew wasn’t true. Fear that you will have to leave the person you love because you are actually straight. Fear that you might have been straight all along and had been fooling yourself into thinking you were gay for whatever reason. An important step toward beating HOCD is actually embracing these invasive thoughts. You can take a million gay tests to try and determine whether you are still gay or not, but that won’t make anything better. If anything, it will make it worst.
Here’s a question for you: So what if you are straight? Maybe you’re bisexual, and if you are so what? There’s nothing wrong with that and if you love the person you’re with right now it doesn’t mean you have to leave him. Accept and embrace these thoughts. The more you do this, the less frightening they will become.
There are several relaxation techniques someone can employ when they are suffering from anxiety. Remember that when you have an invasive thought and a compulsion follows, that compulsive behaviour is spawned by anxiety and fear— a need to prove the thought wrong because of fear and disgust for the thought. Accept the though, embrace the thought, and learn a couple of relaxation techniques to combat the anxiety you have over the thought.
Can you tell whether it’s HOCD or just curiosity?
MANPLAY.COM has a gay test to help you discover the truth!