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However, due to the way OCD is strengthened and reinforced by rituals, these attempts ultimately backfire.
The result is that some people with HOCD become extremely disabled.
In order to avoid symptom triggers, it’s not uncommon for people with homosexual OCD to become depressed and drop out of school, quit their jobs, end relationships, or make other life-altering decisions that paradoxically make their symptoms worse.
In some cases, individuals with HOCD experiment with homosexual relationships or adopt gay lifestyles because of doubt about their heterosexuality.
Other people with homosexual obsessions have a contamination-related variant of HOCD and worry that contact with gay men, lesbians, bisexual individuals, or effeminate/androgynous people is “contagious” or may somehow “activate” their latent homosexuality.
Still others worry about acting on unwanted sexual impulses.
However, the same basic elements are directly applicable to all people with obsessive doubts about their sexual orientation.Faulty beliefs about sexuality and sexual orientation perpetuate fear about the possible consequences of resisting OCD-related compulsions.This is harmful because every time an unwanted thought is avoided or neutralized, it is reinforced and becomes more likely to become activated again in the future.People with HOCD worry that they might secretly be gay or might become gay, despite not questioning their sexuality in the past.Prior to the onset of HOCD, they might have had few doubts about their sexual orientation.