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All you need to know about the difference between HOCD and being in denial

All you need to know about the difference between HOCD and being in denial

Excessive fear of becoming or being homosexual characterizes Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (HOCD). Subjects frequently report having intrusive, unwanted mental images of homosexual behaviour. Excessive uncontrolled thoughts/doubts are extremely distressing and can lead to compulsions like checking.

On the other hand, Bisexual people may feel discriminated against and suffer from high levels of stress and depression because they believe their sexual identity is frequently questioned or denied by others. This is called the state of denial or being in the closet.

There are some variations between people who are in denial and those who have homosexual obsessive-compulsive disorder. Being in the closet is one thing while being diagnosed with HOCD is another.

Thus, I will discuss both of them concerning conditions in detail, after which you will know the contrast between them. Just stay connected till the end.

What is the distinction between homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (HOCD) and denial or being in the closet?

There are some notable differences between the two.

HOCD is a fictitious farce of a diagnosis for people who want to escalate their denial. They are so preoccupied with their homosexual thoughts and desires that they convince themselves something is wrong with them. They manipulate the medical community into making this diagnosis solely to justify their self-hatred.

While this has no bearing on their sexuality, it impacts their disconnect from reality. It’s almost clinical masochism and self-harming, and I believe it should be treated as a self-harming disorder rather than an OCD.

Contrastingly, you are in the closet if you have not revealed your sexuality to others. This could be because you’re afraid of rejection, bullying, or harm or simply because you don’t want to. However, someone in the closet will have discovered and accepted their sexuality.

The main difference is that you have not come to terms with it yourself. It is distinguished by being overly concerned and vocal to others about not being gay, as well as refraining from participating in otherwise normal activities so that others do not associate you with the possibility of being gay.

In many ways, denial is similar to being in the closet but different from HOCD.

OCD wrote with alphabets
Homosexual obsessive-compulsive disorder (HOCD)

HOCD vs. Being in the Closet

HOCD simply refers to an obsessive fear of being gay and the need to check yourself constantly. Many straight men are afraid of being gay. and for some, this fear can become compulsive. The conversations are more common to occur in locker rooms.

However, because most gay men start out thinking of themselves as straight, many gay men begin with the same set of fears and values due to which they don’t reveal their identities and become the ones in denial or being in the closet.

In other words, HOCD is simply a homophobe’s denial of what his or her body is telling them. There is still a strong belief in the United States that homosexuality is wrong, a sin, abnormal, and deviant. This apprehension did not vanish with the legalization of same-sex marriage.

It will still be decades before the general public is comfortable with the entire situation and even longer before homosexuality is treated as just another gender, equal to being straight.

So, I would argue that gay men can have HOCD as well, but their fears are grounded in reality rather than fantasy.

Many gay men struggle with this as well for a variety of reasons. Social acceptance is also very important. However, this becomes an issue only after you’ve accepted yourself.

Check out this video.

What do you know about the people who suffer from HOCD?

Many people have suffered from HOCD. Some are brave enough to share their experiences. A boy shares one such experience.

He narrated that;

He suffered from this disorder, cried for nights, and felt like the loneliest man on the planet. Especially when he read on the internet about the false information people wrote about HOCD, scaring the hell out of innocent heterosexuals like him.

Gays are hiding because they are afraid of being rejected. This is the denial. They aren’t afraid to be gay. HOCD has affected gay people as well. It becomes heterosexual OCD as well. It is real; the perpetrators are some brainwashed information providers, not the victims.

Representation of several factors that lead to mental illness
Anger, fear, and pain can cause mental illness.

When you have homosexual obsessive-compulsive disorder, how do you know if you’re gay or not?

By definition, if you have homosexual OCD, you are not gay. This is a heterosexual person’s fear that they will become gay. Interruptive thoughts exacerbate the anxiety.

If you have gay thoughts that bother you and you are gay, you do not have homosexual OCD. That’s just having issues with your orientation.

To be more precise, it's a glitch in the matrix for our brains.

Those who don’t believe it’s true: you haven’t had it, and you don’t have OCD. Those who do will almost certainly admit to having suffered from other types of OCD, such as POCD, ROCD, etc. Those are both terrible fears to have.

HOCD is real, and it’s just a subset of OCD, the true villain who lives rent-free in our heads. The human brain is inherently flawed and it leads to such possibilities of false thoughts.

Varied Perspectives on HOCD and Sexual Identity

Some people shared their experiences. They say that:

Technically, no gay would be uncomfortable with same-sex thoughts, and that is because straight people like them aren’t uncomfortable with opposite-sex attraction. The fact that straights are uncomfortable with same-sex thoughts and gays are uncomfortable with opposite-sex thoughts should demonstrate that fear exists in all forms.

You’re simply being overly anxious as a result of your OCD. And, no, you are not experiencing an identity crisis.

In contrast to that, some of the masses have the opinion that,

Hence, different people share opinions about HOCD and being gay. We need to assess on our own what’s what.

Is it HOCD, or am I denying my homosexuality?

People ask this question frequently, either from themselves or any medical practitioner. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have doubts about your sexuality. It’s too soon for a label while you’re still figuring things out.

According to different research, it’s most likely HOCD if you’re disgusted.

As a person suffering from HOCD narrated;

I was disgusted by my HOCD when I had it. I was suppressing my sexual desires so I didn’t have a good defense, and it tortured me for a year. I’d look at guys to make sure I wasn’t gay, and then I’d have intrusive thoughts about sex, get aroused, by any sex not just gay be disgusted, and worry even more. I eventually got over it, but I’m still not gay and despise homosexual sex.

Your concerns about being gay may be causing you to focus on gay sex. Our brains can be vexing in this way. But even if you do have feelings for other guys, it’s not a total disaster. You can have gay relationships if that is what you want. And if you discover you have feelings for women, that’s also fantastic.

Even better, if you have feelings for both men and women, you can choose who you want to date.

For now, the best thing to do is stop worrying about it, which I know isn’t always easy. Accept that sexuality is natural and that gay feelings are normal and not bad. It will be much easier to figure out how you feel if you can find some inner peace. And, whatever the answer is, you can find happiness in that way.

All in all, you can figure it out through online sources as well. They help you identify your HOCD or denial.

An image representing the concept of coming out of the closet
The concept of “Coming out” from the closet

Denial or HOCD, what is it?

We all have male and female parts of ourselves, both physically and mentally. In my childhood, I observed that gender dysmorphia was heavily condemned, and I have several friends who would turn out gay if they could.

It is different nowadays. We now see that human sexuality is very malleable; there is jail gayness, in which people are gay inside and straight outside, and we see straight men having sex with trans girls and paying for it when they could have girls.

One major factor that comes up in your question is fear and anxiety, which can lead to sexual gender OCD as well as HOCD.

People who have experienced HOCD truly believe it. Sometimes, a woman doesn’t seem to be turned on by women, and men don’t seem to be turned on by men. On the other hand, boys had no feelings for girls and were crazy for other boys until they had that one thought of being gay. That thought haunts them every day and is always with them.

Maybe you’re overthinking it. when you question it.

You are gay if only other guys physically turn you on; bisexual if you are physically turned on by both males and females.

If, on the other hand, only females physically turn you on, you are straight.

Thus, experiments are not needed. You get a feeling on your own. The best way is to give yourself time and monitor your likes and dislikes.

This table shows studies on homosexuality, their types, and sexually transmitted diseases in different centuries.

The 19th centuryPerversionDenial
The Mid 20thHomosexualityLiberal research
The Mid 1960s-1980sGa and lesbian livesRise of gender theory
The 1980sHIV and AIDSDiscourse theory
The late 1980sQueerPoststructuralism
An introductory and interdisciplinary approach to gay studies

Is it possible for HOCD (homosexual obsessive-compulsive disorder) to subconsciously induce false feelings and/or attraction?

It is not possible. There may be no such thing, or we can say this is just a way to backlash someone. But somewhere, it is believed, too.

There’s a concept known as “false attraction.” Keep in mind that this feels like you’re attracted to him. Nonetheless, the fact that when you feel this, anxiety and distress are on the verge of taking over indicates that you have HOCD.

Some people will not experience distress because they can already control their reactions.

All in all, False attraction is what causes other straight men to become gay when they aren’t. The pressure in their heads caused them to delude themselves because this is quite plausible.

Unless you’re bisexual, you won’t feel any sexual or romantic attraction to the opposite sex if you’re truly homosexual.  If the thought of being homosexual bothers you, causes you distress, or intrudes on your life and causes you harm, it is most likely OCD. 

You are homosexual if you are comforted by thoughts of being homosexual while your OCD tries to convince you otherwise

By self-assessment and monitoring, you can easily identify whether HOCD triggers OCD or false thoughts.

Final Thoughts

  • HOCD (Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is characterized by excessive fear of being homosexual. It leads to intrusive thoughts and compulsions.
  • Denial or being in the closet refers to individuals who hide their sexual identity. They do this often due to fear of rejection or societal discrimination.
  • HOCD can cause distressing thoughts by convincing oneself of a nonexistent problem. It leads to self-hatred.
  • Being in the closet involves not revealing one’s sexuality to others. And it can stem from various reasons, including fear of being associated with being gay.
  • HOCD is a form of OCD and can affect both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. It causes them to doubt their sexual orientation.
  •  Embracing and respecting different sexual identities is crucial. It creates a more welcoming and inclusive society. 
  • It’s important to seek professional help or conduct a self-assessment. Because it helps to distinguish between HOCD and genuine sexual feelings.
  • Compassion and empathy should be extended to individuals with mental health issues like HOCD. These are the ones navigating their sexual identities.

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