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ok its my first post on here. so a little about myself. im a 19 year old lad, and im very confused. for my entire life i have always been crazy about girls, always had girlfriends or being seeing a girl, always masturbated over girls, you get it, always been totally straight, never any questions. also currently in a relationship of 2 years with my girlfriend who i love and still totally fancy.

a few month ago things changed, i was working in an extremely stressful enviroment in a sales call centre, never hitting targets, always had bosses on my back, got a load of hassle from customers on the phone, i was a genuinely depressed person, you couldnt speak to me i was so moody and angry, it also didnt help that i was due to go in the armed forces this year and the thought of leaving my girlfriend was always on my mind.

the thoughts started when i got back from a lovely holiday and had to go back to that hell whole job, i dont know if it was the stress or depression that triggered them or what, but they began to (and still do) make my life absolute hell. from when i wake up, to when i go to sleep these gay sexual thoughts and constant doubt of my sexuality plague me. they cause a lot of anxiety and are ruining my social life aswell. up until then i can honestly say i cant remember ever thinking about men in a sexual way. im very sporty and competed in wrestling, so ive grown up in changing rooms with blokes and rolling around half naked with them, and never once has the idea of being gay crossed my mind.

ill be honest, i can acknowledge a good looking bloke, but never in a sexual or romantic way, and now if i find myself noticing a man the anxiety kicks straight in and the thoughts tell me im gay. i get that deep feeling of fear in the bottom of my stomach, and my heart races.

i find myself worrying alot about whether i dress gay, sound gay, walk gay etc aswell, which i know all 3 i dont cos im quite a manly lad, but the doubt is still always there.

im constantly testing myself to gauge my feelings for men, and often when i do think gay things i find myself cringing uncontrollably, as if id just sucked a lemon. i find myself thinking the thoughts during sex to test my reaction, and i never get turned on by it. usually the opposite happens. i find myself constanly looking at images of women to gauge to feeling towards them, lots of different complusive things, but theres just that constant doubt that you just cannot shake off.

if i go online and read articles i do manage to shake it off but it just returns shortly after, with the anxiety and stress. it also doesnt help when you read about people coming out as gay when there old men and stuff. but i know the majority of gay people knew they were gay at a young age like 12/13, lots even younger, and either came out or stayed closeted for whatever reason, but for me ive never had that inkling that i like boys, its always been girls, no questions asked.i can remember my first major crush at 12/13 and that was obviously a girl! i simply could not engage in sex/romance with a bloke, no way.

ive read a lot about this HOCD, i know there are some believers, and non believers. ive never been diagnosed with ocd but i do have some obsessive tendancies with things like money in the bank and the clothes i wear, but nothing serious.

i suppose i just want help, is it some form of sexual OCD, is it anxiety, could i be gay? even writing that question spikes my anxiety instantly, i have nothing against gay people but i would just hate it if i was gay, its the total opposite of the person i am and person i want to be in later life. suicidal thoughts have definitely not been uncommon during this ordeal. i just wish i could get some help to control these thoughts and the anxiety that comes with them.

Something that happened recently really freaked me out and prompted this post, recently the thoughts gave been pretty bad and have been beating me, just lastnight i was having sex with my girlfriend and i purposely thought a gay thought to test my arrousal and i got the feeling i was gunna come straight away. Ive been an ancious mess since. What can that mean? I know i didnt enjoy the thought, i put it there as a test, can focusing on coming too much or worrying about coming too much actually cause you too, was it the nerves? I just dont know!!

Thanks in advance for any help

Answer
Hi John

What you are describing is quite possibly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) symptoms. That is, despite all objective evidence to the contrary, your mind is locked into obsessive thoughts that you can't seem to shake. And the harder you try not to think about them, all it does is...MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT THEM. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. And then you go a level deeper, thinking that if you're constantly worried about being gay, well then, that must mean you ARE gay, or why else would you be thinking about it all the time? Sound familiar? I don't think you're actually gay, based on what you said. It sounds like all your concerns are rooted in anxiety, rather than attraction, which is the big telling sign.

Like I said, it is quite possibly OCD. It can manifest in many ways. My mother has OCD, and for her, it's all about making sure doors are locked. She will get up out of bed several times a night to check the doors, even though she KNOWS she already checked them. She has even driven back into town several times in one night to make sure she's locked up the store my parents owned. Again, even after she's already done so in the same evening.

The good news is that OCD is highly responsive to therapy, if that is indeed what you are experiencing, and even a little bit of therapy could vastly improve your quality of life. I would consider talking with a counselor. You'll be surprised how comforting it can be in even a very short time.

I wish you well,

Tedd

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Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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