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
Because the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder are so specific to each individual, there are many symptoms that do not fit neatly within any particular category. Below are some typical compulsive behaviors that have not been the focus of much research, but are nonetheless quite common. Compulsions are any behavior performed by someone with OCD to quell the obsessions. They do not work in the long run as the relief is only temporary, and the person with OCD does not learn that the compulsions are unnecessary.
Excessive list-making: People with OCD often fear they will forget something important, so they may make excessive lists to remind them to do daily routine activities (i.e. brush teeth, make breakfast, etc.) However, research has shown that people with OCD do not have memory problems, so the lists are actually unnecessary. List-making would be considered a compulsion because the list reassures the person with OCD and helps them to feel temporarily better, thus they never learn that they do not need the list to remember things. People with OCD may also make lists to remember things that may be contaminated to later wash or avoid, which also contributes to the OCD process. List-making can be in writing or verbalized aloud.
Urges to tell or confess: People with OCD may constantly wonder if they have done something wrong or made a mistake. One way they often try to cope with this fear is by telling every detail of their actions to another person. This behavior can be particularly troublesome in relationships, as for example, a husband may have an urge to tell his wife every time he notices an attractive woman, to assure her she does not think he is looking at her in an improper manner. Likewise, Catholics may feel compelled to confess every small sin to the priest to be sure that they have not accidentally omitted a cardinal sin to prevent damnation. People with OCD may even stress their therapists as they may feel the need to disclose every detail of their past mental health history to be sure that the therapist will have all the information needed to render a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. As a result people often get tired and frustrated listening to the person with OCD confess or explain things to an extreme degree. The need to tell or confess is often coupled by the need to obtain reassurance (see below).
Excessive reassurance seeking: People with OCD often seek reassurance from others as a way of reducing anxiety from obsessions. Research has shown that people plagued by obsessions about sex, religion, morality, and bodily concerns tend to be the most likely to use reassurance to cope with their distress. Requests for reassurance can come in the form of demands or can be elicited more subtly. People with concerns about illness may visit a doctor repeatedly to be reassured that they have not contracted an illness. People who worry about having said the wrong thing, may seek reassurance from others to ensure that have caused offense. People who use reassurance to cope can be very skilled at eliciting reassuring feedback from others, and neither party may even be aware that the obsessive-compulsive process is occurring. Therapists often provide reassurance to clients as part of the treatment process, but people with OCD should not be reassured as this only perpetuates the OCD cycle.
- Superstitious behaviors
- Self-damaging or self-mutilating behaviors: For example, biting nails to make them all even, or picking skin to address an imperfection.
- Urges to touch, tap, or rub
- Rituals involving blinking or staring
- Ritualized eating behaviors (e.g. eating foods in certain order, etc.)