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Can OCD explain some homosexual attractions? A girlfriend asks ‘Private Lives’

Can OCD explain some homosexual attractions? A girlfriend asks ‘Private Lives’

A woman wonders whether her boyfriend’s recent, anxiety-ridden ‘coming out’ could be a case of OCD, on a recent post for British newspaper the Guardian’s Private Lives section.

The post reads: ‘A few months ago [my boyfriend] told me he has feelings he may be gay.

‘I’d read about types of OCD that can zone in on thoughts about sexuality, and thought it sounded like that.

‘He’d been to a GP a few years before and been given the same diagnosis, but he refused CBT and didn’t take the medication offered.

‘It seems to me that he thinks that the truth is that he is gay, but is supressing that truth and feels anxious and stressed.’

While some commenters were quick to suggest he is indeed gay, or at least bisexual, some argue OCD could really be the source of his anxiety.

User ‘BrightonBloke’ explains: ‘People with OCD confuse thoughts with actions.

‘A non-OCD sufferer might see two men holding hands and briefly think about what being gay is like and forget about it. A person with OCD would respond differently.

‘They would say to themselves, “No-one else has these thoughts, what do they mean about me?”

‘The repetitive nature of OCD thoughts deceives the sufferer into believing the thoughts are important.’

‘BrightonBoy’ says he felt the same way, until his ‘mind was filled with homosexual imagery all day long’. Now, however, he dates women.

‘No-one wants genuinely gay people to use the OCD label to remain in the closet, but unfortunately, too many OCD sufferers never disclose their sexual orientation obsessions because they fear being misunderstood, or there are those who are given inappropriate and harmful therapy to “help” them come to accept their “latent homosexuality”‘ he says.