Thank you for writing in with your question about what some refer to as Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (HOCD). Anxiety disorders can seem to come out of nowhere and can be quite confusing when the focus of your anxiety doesn’t make rational sense to you, such as someone who has a phobia of an animal that they have never seen or encountered. However, as severe as anxiety disorders can be, they are very treatable.
The fact that you have never experienced romantic or sexual feelings for people of the same gender and you have never wondered if you might be homosexual, suggests that this is more about a phobic fear than your sexual orientation. Also, the fact that the thoughts came on suddenly and are obsessive in nature lends more support to them being anxiety related.
As much as possible, put your fears about your sexuality aside and get back to the act of just living your life. The right relationship for you will present itself in time. This task would easier and/or quicker with the help of a therapist but you may be able to find some relief on your own. I would suggest doing some research on the technique of “thought stopping” and just general cognitive interventions for the obsessive part of OCD. If you can’t afford therapy right now, purchasing a well-reviewed book or workbook written by one might suffice. However, consulting with a therapist or psychiatrist for even a few sessions may be enough to help you get back on track.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts