Needless to say, it is crucial for all OCD sufferers to understand that there is no avoiding what they fear. Facing what you fear is a way of getting closer to the truth.
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The purpose of compulsions is, of course, to undo, cancel out, or neutralize the anxiety caused by obsessions. They may actually work in the short run, but their benefits are only temporary. It is sort of like having only half of the Velcro. Also, it is important to understand that compulsions are paradoxical — that is, they bring about the opposite of what they are intended to accomplish. That is, to help the sufferer to be free of anxiety and obsessive thoughts. I like to tell my patients that: What compulsions do accomplish is to cause the sufferer to become behaviorally addicted to performing them.
Even the little bit of relief they get is enough to get this dependency going. Compulsions only lead to more compulsions, and avoidance only leads to more avoidance.
This is really only natural for people to do. It is instinctive to try to escape or avoid that which makes you anxious. Unfortunately, this is of no help in OCD. Another problem that arises from performing compulsions is that those who keep checking their own reactions to members of the opposite or same sex will inevitably create a paradox for themselves. When they are around members of their own sex, they also become anxious, which leads to further stress and, of course, more doubts about themselves.
The flip side of this is when they look at things having to do with sex of an opposite orientation and then feel aroused in some way, which they then conclude to mean that they liked it, which means that they are gay or straight.
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This is the mistake I referred to earlier when I stated that people react sexually to sexual things. People like to ask if there are any new developments in OCD treatments.
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Aside from a few new medications since the last article, treatment remains essentially the same. The particular form of behavioral therapy shown to be the most effective is known as Exposure and Response Prevention ERP. ERP encourages participants to expose themselves to their obsessions or to situations that will bring on the obsessions , while they prevent themselves from using compulsions to get rid of the resulting anxiety.
The fearful thoughts or situations are approached in gradually increased amounts over a period of from several weeks to several months.
Sexual Attraction and Orientation
As you do so in slowly increasing amounts, you develop a tolerance to the presence of the fear, and its effect is greatly lessened. By continually avoiding feared situations and never really encountering them, you keep yourself sensitized. The result is that as you slowly build up your tolerance for whatever is fear provoking; it begins to take larger and larger doses of frightening thoughts or situations to bring on the same amount of anxiety.
When you have finally managed to tolerate the most difficult parts of your OCD, they can no longer cause you to react with fear. This reduced distress may, in turn, as a byproduct, reduce the frequency of the obsessions. Complete elimination of intrusive thoughts may not be a realistic goal, given the commonality of intrusive thoughts in humans in general. Using this technique, you work with a therapist to expose yourself to gradually increasing levels of anxiety-provoking situations and thoughts. You learn to tolerate the fearful situations without resorting to questioning, checking, or avoiding.
You may experiment to see what makes you comfortable and happy. The process may take a while. It is important to be honest with yourself and with others. When, how, and to whom you tell about your sexuality is your decision. It is healthy for you to share your feelings with others. It is important to know that telling others — even people who are close to you — may not always be easy or pleasant. It is possible that people already know and are waiting for you to be comfortable enough to talk about it.
Homophobia refers to fear, prejudice, or discrimination toward homosexuals. It can take many forms, from name-calling and bullying to serious crimes like assault and murder. It is not okay for people to be treated this way because of their sexuality. Talk to someone in law enforcement if you are being physically or verbally abused.
Fred Penzel, Ph.D.
The process of developing and experimenting with your sexuality can be hard and confusing. It may cause stress and anxiety. It could lead to a period of depression. If this happens, it is important to talk to others and get help. Keep in mind that every type of sexuality is normal and okay.
There is nothing to be ashamed about. This article was contributed by: This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone.
Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Being in good sexual health means you are well informed, careful, and respectful to yourself and others. STIs are infections spread by sexual contact. They are very common, and many can be cured.
Receiving an HIV diagnosis can be frightening. Remember that HIV is manageable and can be treated with medicines. People who are transgender are often grouped in with lesbian and gay as a way to include people who don't feel they fit into the category of being "straight. Why are some people straight and some people gay? There is no simple answer to that. Most medical experts, including those at the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP and the American Psychological Association APA , believe that sexual orientation involves a complex mix of biology, psychology, and environmental factors.
Essay: Teenage Homosexuality
Scientists also believe a person's genes and hormones play an important role. Most medical experts believe that, in general, sexual orientation is not something that a person voluntarily chooses. Instead, sexual orientation is just a natural part of who a person is. There's nothing wrong about being LGBT.
Still, not everyone believes that. These kinds of beliefs can make things difficult for LGBT teens. For many LGBT people, it can feel like everyone is expected to be straight. Because of this, some gay and lesbian teens may feel different from their friends when the heterosexual people around them start talking about romantic feelings, dating, and sex. LGBT teens might feel like they have to pretend to feel things that they don't in order to fit in with their group, family, or community.
I'm not sure if I am homosexual or bisexual. How do I know for sure?
They might feel they need to deny who they are or that they have to hide an important part of themselves. Fears of prejudice, rejection, or bullying can lead people who aren't straight to keep their sexual orientation secret, even from friends and family who might support them. Some gay or lesbian teens tell a few close friends and family members about their sexual orientation. This is often called " coming out. They feel comfortable about being attracted to someone of the same gender.
But not everyone has the same good support systems. Even though there is growing acceptance for LGBT people, many teens don't have adults they can talk to about sexual orientation.