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
People with OCD often worry that they will cause harm by impulsively hurting someone just because they can. People with these thoughts typically have no history of violence, nor do they act on their urges or impulses. However, people with OCD often appraise their thoughts as dangerous and overly important, so when a random thought involving harm enters the person's mind, the OCD sufferer begins to worry. They often believe that having such a thought is as bad as performing the action, thus they devote a large amount of their mental effort to attempts to suppress the thoughts. Conversely, this only serves to increase anxiety and perpetuate symptoms. Below are some common fears.
Harming others impulsively
One of the most upsetting types of aggressive obsessions concern worries that a person may cause harm to others impulsively. For example, the person may fear that they will punch a friend, when they are not angry, but just because they can. They may be concerned that they might push an elderly person into subway tracks or push a child into oncoming traffic. Another common fear is that the person might use stab a loved one while using a kitchen knife. The focal point of these worries is usually loved ones, but can be strangers or pets. Sometimes the person is not worried about harming others, but worries about harming him or herself, which is not to be confused with suicidal ideation as people with these types of fears will do anything to avoid causing the harm they worry about.
A person without OCD might be standing behind a loved one at say the Grand Canyon, and randomly get a thought of pushing the loved one over the edge. They would never do it or have a desire to do it, so they might just chuckle inwardly and think what a silly thought. Or they might even shiver for a second with discomfort. But, most people would realize this was just a random thought that jumped into their head and had no significance. We all have weird thoughts from time to time. A person with harming obsessions would probably latch onto this thought and do compulsion after compulsion in response to make the worry go away. Also, if a person is afraid of thinking something, then they are more likely to think it. So, if you're always worrying about accidentally harming someone, or harming someone because you're worried you will lose control and do so, you see a person standing at the edge of a cliff, your mind is probably more likely to have a thought of pushing them in. The OCD might even just worry that it's going to have the thought and not actually have it. The person would be doing mental compulsions over and over reassuring themselves that they didn't have the thought, or weren't going to, or if they did, they didn't mean and here's why, etc.
Doing something shocking or embarrasing
Also falling into this category of obsessions is a fear doing shocking or embarrassing things. An example of this might be a fear of swearing by accident, blurting out obscenities or insulting someone on purpose. For instance, the person might be sitting in church, and worry they are going to scream out a swear word. The person would not do this, nor do they want to, but the OCD tells them they might or maybe they did and did not realize. This is not too be confused with something like Tourette Syndrome.
This may manifest itself in a fear of doing something embarrassing, like doing a task wrong to let everyone down, forgetting the words in a speech, writing something incorrectly in an email. Many people are afraid of public speaking, but for a person with OCD the reason for that might be different if they have this form of obsessions. They may be trembling with anxiety, but it could be because they are terrified they will forget their words, blurt out a swear word or that they killed a person (not true), or maybe they even worry that there will be a hole in their clothes and a private area might be showing. A normal person may worry that their speech will fall flat or that they might forget something, but this anxiety manifests itself differently. Unless the person has social phobia (which actually is often comorbid with OCD), in which case the anxiety may be even more debilitating, an OCDer with these fears might obsess for weeks in advance of a big event like this.
The person with this form of OCD might also have a fear of doing something non violent but illegal. For example, they might worry that they will accidentally steal something, and come home with a pocket full of stolen goods. They might even worry that they will look wrong at the security guard in a department store, who will then suspect of them of being a thief.