Types of Obsessions
Expert Help for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Louisville OCD Clinic
Monnica Williams, Ph.D.
Offering expert treatment for all types of OCD, including sexual obsesions. Our OCD treatment program is typically 20 sessions. We offer twice-weekly sessions and intensive programs. Intensive program can be in person or combined with Skype. State of the art medication management is also an option. Low cost options. [More.]
Sexual Thoughts in OCD
Sexuality Concerns in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have sexual obsessions, or unwanted sexual thoughts. This may include sexual orientation fears, which is sometimes referred to as sexual orientation OCD (SO-OCD) or HOCD. Theses are not the same as fantasies or being homophobic.
Sexual thoughts in OCD may include the following:
- the obsessive fear of being or becoming LGBTQ
- intrusive, unwanted mental images of upsetting sexual behaviors
- the fear that one may become a pedophile
- the fear of becoming sexually aggressive
If you have unwanted sexual thoughts, please contact us to participate in a study so that we can learn more about this issue.
The Worst Kind of OCD
Although people with OCD may obsess over any number of concerns, one of the most upsetting types of OCD involves worries about causing sexual harm to a child, sometimes called pedophile OCD or POCD. Although this type of OCD typically receives little attention from the media, the Power to Change recently aired the story of a man whose POCD was so severe he contemplated suicide before he was treated by Dr. Monnica Williams. Hear his story online and learn about OCD treatments from Dr. L. Kevin Chapman. Read his story or watch it now.
OCD Therapy Going Nowhere?
Although any medical doctor can take your blood pressure, only a few can do heart surgery. Likewise, any therapist can help someone who is feeling a bit blue, but only a few can effectively treat OCD. OCD treatment is a type of therapy that requires a specialized protocol called Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ERP or EX/RP). Learn about the Top Mistakes Made by OCD Therapists.
Top Seven Myths About OCD
One stereotype is that people with OCD are neat and tidy to a fault. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Although many people with OCD wash because they are concerned about dirt and germs, being tidy is actually not a typical symptom of the disorder. Almost two-thirds of people with OCD are also hoarders... Learn more about the Top Myths about OCD.
Take The OCD Self Test
The OCI-R is a short, reliable, scientific test of common obsessive-compulsive symptoms. This measure was developed by OCD experts. Take our OCD Self Test.
About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a brain-based anxiety disorder that causes considerable suffering and impairment.
What's an Obsession?
Obsessions are ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that keep coming back. They are not enjoyable, rather obsessions are unwanted and upsetting, causing severe anxiety or distress. The content of these obsessions is sometimes grouped into different areas, including: aggression (fears of harming others), contamination (fears of being dirty), sex, religion, and exactness. What separates OCD obsessions from normal obsessions experienced by everyone are the frequency, intensity, and discomfort. OCD sufferers attach much greater meaning and threat to these thoughts than others. The obsessions won't just "go away."
What's a Compulsion?
In order to cope with the obsessions, people with OCD engage in repeated behaviors or thoughts, known as compulsions, to make themselves feel safer. Compulsions are rituals that the person believes reduce the risk of the obsessions coming true, or at least reduce the anxiety they produce. However, the compulsions are not really useful. They do not prevent the feared consequence or are clearly excessive. Compulsions or rituals take up so much time that they get in the way of work, school, and family obligations.
Common OCD Types
|Percent of OCD Cases by Symptom|
Researchers have identified two types of obsessions: autogenous and reactive. Autogenous obsessions are experienced as involuntary, guilt-provoking thoughts without an identifiable trigger (e.g., spontaneous unacceptable sexual thoughts). Reactive obsessions are caused by external events and tend to be related to concerns about contamination, accidents (e.g., seeing glass on the floor leads to thoughts of being responsible for someone being injured), and/or a need for perfection.
There are many types of OCD that fall within each of these two categories, as shown in the table above. And many people with OCD have more than one OCD type.
The Impact of OCD
It is estimated that between 2 and 3 million people are suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder in the United States. About one in fifty people have had symptoms of OCD at some point in their lives, with 1% suffering within the last year. OCD afflicts people of all races, faiths, nationalities, and ethnic groups.
OCD causes great suffering to patients and their families, as up to 10 hours per day may be devoted to performing rituals. OCD has been classified by the World Health Organization as one the top ten causes of disability worldwide.