“What if” thinking is not unique to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is a feature to a greater or lesser extent in several other conditions. Using what we know about Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) for OCD might improve treatment for these other conditions.1
In the early 2000s, patients started reporting a new worry to their OCD therapists: what if I’m gay? This thought was often prefaced by patients declaring that they weren’t homophobic, but the fear was still there. The theme was dubbed homosexual OCD or HOCD.
I’m a specialist in the treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders. OCD is a debilitating mental health disorder whereby patients experience unwelcome, intrusive, disturbing thoughts (obsessions) that create anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often wears down children and parents. Prior to beginning treatment, parents often state that they can no longer understand or recognize their child. They see their child as being rigid, stuck, and exhausting.
What is OCD? OCD is composed of two components: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images. The thoughts, impulses, or images are not excessive worries about real-life problems.
Founded in 1979, ADAA is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research.