I am experiencing this exact same thing. I love being a girl but the strength of my SOOCD thoughts has led me to develop TOCD as well. This is even scarier to me than the SOOCD because it makes me fear that i might be both gay and trans, when I am a straight female and do not identify as either one of those. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and I cannot tell if it is just depersonalization because I have spent countless hours ruminating and trying to solve my SOOCD or if it reflects my true desires. I am so scared because, no offense to the LGBT community, but I have no desire to be apart of it and want to get back to living my happy straight and feminine life.
Atleast you are able to say you want your old life back for me It just seems like this is my true self indeed. I started getting transgender thoughts 2 months ago and have had hocd for a year plus.
Hello! Please don’t worry too much about this. I know that is easier said than done but I believe this to be a common issue for those that suffer with SOOCD. I also suffered with this for a while and didn’t know what was happening. Because OCD attacks what we most value, it is latching on and threatening aspects of your identity. This is my opinion based on what you have described and what I have experienced. Please remember to trust yourself. You are not your thoughts. I know this is hard but something my therapist recommended I do, is lean into my fear or intrusive thought. For example let’s say you think “This is not the right body for you” instead of having a fear response try to say to yourself “maybe this isn’t the right body for me” and move on from the thought. This is extremely hard but I found it to be such a beneficial way to “satisfy” and move on from an intrusive thought. In the end our fear is uncertainty, allow that uncertainty to settle. Challenge your OCD let it know “maybe” and that maybe is okay. You will be okay. You can do this!
Hi there, thank you for sharing these tips. If you don’t mind me asking, how do you effectively remind yourself that the thoughts are not reality? I feel like the thoughts will not go away unless I come out as gay or trans but that is not at all what I want and does not align with my values at all. I keep over analyzing things about my body and thinking that they make me look masculine and it’s so scary because I want to continue living life as a woman. I also have always felt kind of on edge around gay and trans people which makes me fear that it is because I’m in denial. It is just starting to feel like I am denying these thoughts and fighting them because I know they are true but don’t want them to be. How do I live life according to my values when saying “maybe, maybe not” feels wrong because my mind is telling me that I do know I’m actually gay/trans, even though, again, I do not want to be. I feel like a stranger in my own body.
I think the simplest reminder for me is that when I’m at my happiest I’m not having these thoughts. Also we often want to regain our life before we started having intrusive thoughts and I think that is indicative of what we truly value in and of our lives. You have to remember OCD is always going to feel real. If it didn’t we wouldn’t be afraid and we wouldn’t have OCD. Ali Greymond who does OCD recovery has a podcast where she talks about OCD, and specifically has an episode on how it feels SO real. I would recommend listening! OCD is always going to say this is a problem because it is trying to protect you from a perceived threat. How you defeat that is recognizing the threat and exposing yourself to it (ERP) and challenging your fear of uncertainty. That’s why I recommend leaning into it. So your mind is telling you your gay or trans, but your true values quietly remind you that’s not true, that’s not how you feel, and anxiety and ruminating over the “what if” is your OCD. So when you have that thought instead of fighting it which you are naturally going to do, I encourage you to say yeah maybe. If part of you weren’t fighting this you wouldn’t have OCD. The fact that the thought are disturbing you and you are ruminating are textbook OCD. Before I started doing ERP I listened to Ali Greymond’s podcast to help me understand why things felt SO real. I think that would be a great place for you to start. I am so sorry you feel this way. Some days I still do too. One of my ERP exercises is to dress masculine and I am still working up to it. It’s a challenge everyday. But you have got this!!!
Thank you. However, I am worried that I feel like I am starting to like the thoughts. I do not like the idea of being gay or trans, in fact the idea of it makes me sick to my stomach personally because that is just not what I want for myself. But, I have started to notice that I feel like seeing triggering images of women is actually something I am attracted to. Could this be because I have spent so much time focusing on my SOOCD thoughts that I am just hyper aware of my bodily sensations so I automatically feel like I find pleasure in the triggers? I want to do ERP but I am scared that having to see things involving lesbian/trans people will bring me pleasure and that that will confirm that I am gay/trans. I am so lost.
Like, not to ask for reassurance, but if I was truly gay, wouldn’t I like the very thought of being gay? I am struggling with this because I feel like I may actually be attracted to women, but even if that was true the idea of being out in the world as a lesbian is awful to me. I am trying to remind myself that admiring women and finding them attractive is not indicative of wanting to be with them romantically, but I do feel like if I was straight I wouldn’t have these thoughts. It’s like I respond physically to triggers in a way that makes me think I like them, but if someone told me to come out as gay right now I wouldn’t be able to do it because that is not what I want.
@cf05 100%. The more you focus on your reactions, urges, sensations the more you will be aware of them. Not assigning any meaning to them is key. Okay, so I just felt that, and I want to freak out, but I’m not going to. OCD is not in charge I am. OCD is always going to feel real. There is a lot of fear around engaging in ERP for everyone. For me it came down to, this is the most effective treatment for people with OCD and I want to recover. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. What I see in ERP is triggering. It does feel real. But honestly the exercises will feel less and less triggering as time goes on. For me I didn’t have a therapist that diagnosed me with OCD. I found OCD on my own and then started doing research reading books, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and it really helped me work my way up to ERP. Where I felt prepared and was ready to face my OCD. I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking your time. That said, I heard something once that kind of described OCD as a monster or vampire where the only way to defeat it is to drag it out into the sunlight. You have to look directly at it to bring it down and it does take time.
@cf05 As for your second comment, it sounds like you are describing groinal responses which are a typical symptom of OCD. I don’t know if you have heard of them, maybe you have, but if not you should look them up. Hyper awareness or checking compulsions will eventually give rise to a groinal response or physical sensation. It’s science and unfortuantely fuel for OCD. I have struggled with that as well and self compassion has really helped me the most here. To not condem myself and hate myself for something I can’t control. The key is to feel it and move on. My first therapist told me sexuality is a spectrum and that I am the only one who can determine my sexuality. My second therapist told me she believes people are born gay and know that deep down their whole lives. I’ve read articles that say all women are sexually stimulated by both men and women. There is a TON of information out there and guess who holds the truth for us? We do. OCD is going to turn you against yourself. You won’t know who you see in the mirror. It’s ugly it’s painful. It sucks. But you have to be there for you and trust yourself. When I am feeling at my darkest I often remind myself, that I trust myself.
@ces089 Thank you very much. I am just scared that this is just my true sexuality finally coming to light after being a thought in the back of my head for so long. In the past, I would have these thoughts after seeing a girl that I thought was pretty or someone with a body that I wish I looked like. These thoughts would persist for a bit, but after being in relationships with men, they went away for awhile and were significantly quieter. I’m just so scared that they must be true because being gay feels like it’s so much more real and true than being straight at this point. If it is/were up to me, I would only ever be with men in the future, but I am afraid it is out of my control and something is going to make me come out as lesbian and force me to be with women just because I can acknowledge when a woman is attractive. Also, the loss of attraction to men/feeling like I am faking it when I call a guy attractive scares the shit out of me because it makes it seem like I’ve truly lost the straight part of me and she will never come back
@cf05 That’s what OCD feels like. At the end of the day how you treat this is up to you! You can do this!
@ces089 Thank you. I am just so scared because I feel like I am constantly hiding something. Lately all my friends just want to go and look for guys every time we go out somewhere, which is not who I am, partially because I have never been one to throw myself at them. I also envy my friends for their ability to present themselves in a way that men are attracted to, but what terrifies me if the fact that now saying “I want a boyfriend” doesn’t even feel right, when it always has. I don’t know if this could just be because I have not been in a relationship in a couple of years and am scared to let people get close to me, but I really am so scared that this means I’m gay. Everything in my life feels like I am gay and I have to be gay even though I cannot actually picture myself in a relationship with a girl and the thought of coming out and living life as a lesbian makes me sick.