Apparently “homosexual OCD” is a thing. And it’s not something Kathy Griffin or Fred Phelps has.
Steven Brodsky, director of the OCD and Panic Center of N.Y. and N.J, recently told ABC News that at any one time, he treats a “handful” of clients with the affliction — straight people who are consumed with obsessive thoughts that they are gay. One of his adult patients was “so crippled by [it] that he was unable to live independently and had to move back in with his parents to cope.”
Jeff Szymanski, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the International OCD Foundation, has also seen his fair share of homOCD. “These individuals suffer from pathological doubt. Even though they know that they are 100 percent straight, not gay, they second guess it. For example, they might think, ‘Wait a minute I spent too much time looking at that guy in the locker room. What does that mean?’ They get lost in the need to know – the need to be sure.”
And heres the kicker: as acceptance of gays becomes more mainstream, homOCD is getting harder to treat. Many therapists misdiagnose the obsessive complex and try and help clients out of the closet. Instead of focusing on the anxiety, clients are encouraged to “get out there and try it.”
Which we can only assume would cause even more confusion and anxiety. It would also make a good movie. We’re thinking Bradley Cooper as the homOCD patient and as his well-meaning but misguided therapist Meryl Streep.
It does raise an interesting question though: if you’re convinced you’re gay…at what point does that make you gay?