Age 18 - Severe HOCD: My first 8 months
8-25 I am 18 years old, I discovered pornography quite early on in life around 10 or eleven years old, I remember from the earliest moment I always was turned on by pornography. I would look at pictures of naked girls, and stuff, it then elevated to heterosexual video porn, then like most, I discover lesbian porn. I felt WOW! Two gals getting it together, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world....but soon the effect of it wore off on me, and I was looking at stuff such as girls masturbating or using machines to penetrate themselves...(sorry for being graphic)...I even gave bestiality pornography a try. But soon, it felt like I needed more and more, I was always turned on by the porn, but I always needed new porn and novel porn to turn me on. That was when I started to notice I was losing my libido, I started to feel I couldn't fantasize about women and get turned on, because I had seen it so much in the pornography.
Was I addicted to porn? I don't know how to answer that question, but hell I watched a lot of it...could I quit? I could, but it seems like me mind is so jaded by the sexual material, I cant even get turned on. I use to be able to fantasize about girls for as long as I can remember, and only did I watch porn for a while, I couldn't do it anymore, it just seemed so boring...to say the least. I use to be excited about sex, but after I watched porn for a while, it was just so boring...That was initially how my HOCD started, I found sex to be boring, however my HOCD was rather weak back then, and I had no problems dealing with it.
But the real problem came was when I discovered tranny porn, it turned me on, and I watched tranny porn, it became even more disturbing as my story goes on, was when I discovered......sigh....cringe....gay porn.....I hate fantasizing and watching those two types of pornography, one because I find it to be disturbing and quite disgusting....but for some reason, it provides me that "mental kick" as I would describe it when I MB and nothing else seems to provide that kick so well now. I know from history I am not bisexual or gay, because up to the day I discovered gay porn, I was still madly in love with a girl at my high school. And every since I was 7 I always loved girls, and not once did I take notice of a dude, and even till today, I have never taken notice of a dude. It's just not me.
But it seems like, over night I shed everything that is me, I cant love girls now, because I am always worried I am turning gay, and also my HOCD is so strong sometimes, I start to really believe I am turning gay. But always after the spike, I laugh at my fears. Of course I use to browse a lot of HOCD forums online, and I have never read a person with a HOCD problem like mine. But now I know there are lots of people like out there, after I found this site. For me, I am working to reboot, I have started actually last week, but ended up with two relapses of MBing. But that was when I was not truly committed due to the indecision in my mind, should I continue to watch this stuff till I get bored of it? or should I reboot? But I have realized I will strengthen this problem by continuing it. So now I am fully committed to rebooting. I have set some goals to achieve, first is the 4 day goal, which is this Sunday, the next goal is September 7th, the next is the 30 day goal in October. I am taking this step by step. My eventual goal is to reach the end of this year without a relapse.
So this is the end of the first day since my last relapse. I do not feel that much better, there is still that urge to MB. And those stupid disturbing and disgusting sexual thoughts keep on being intrusive and popping into my mind randomly. My HOCD is a lot better, because I feel like I understand why this is going on. And also, it feels so good to have a goal in mind, and that flame of hope has been once again re-ignited in me. I get anxiety when the sexual thoughts pop up. I wish they would stop.
Here's my description of HOCD based on what I've read
It's a type of mental illness, commonly known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, where the sufferer overly obsessed over fears. HOCD is just one type, where the sufferer is afraid that they are going to "turn" gay. Although, they are not gay or will ever be gay. OCDers can obsess over a whole range of things, such as fear of germs, fear of having disease, fear of losing control and turning violent, fear of their spouse not loving them or that they do not love their spouse anymore, and etc...OCD can take bewildering forms. In some extreme cases, OCDers might even commit suicide due to the intolerance of the unknown. Almost all HOCDers have always been confident in their sexual orientation before they developed OCD. Almost all HOCDers know they love the opposite sex, and have no feelings toward the same-sex, however they still obsess over it. For a normal person, it would be easy to dismiss these fears as irrational, however OCDers are incapable of dismissing these fears as they their own mind play games with them to try to convince them that they are gay. Which creates what we OCDers call a spike, which is rising anxiety due to HOCD. Spikes are terrifying for OCDers, as it seems that they are being cornered and have no way out. This idea of a person obsessing over irrational fears maybe hard for the normal person to grasp, however believe me, it is quite terrifying, it feels like your brain is locked in this loop of obsession and compulsions.
8-26 I hate getting that kick from the anxiety and fear. I hate it just so much. It feels so wrong.
8-27 It seems like I have mood swings. The OCD is still as strong as ever, I get spikes a lot now. But my question is, is there anybody who has a similar story like mine and recovered after rebooting? [NOTE: This is one of the questions that OCDers use to drive themselves nuts. As another guy who recovered from it advised:
Posing this question is the exact opposite of what works with HOCD. Don't research anything on HOCD, don't learn about it, don't study other cases. LEAVE IT ALONE. (Some would say that this isn't defeating the problem, but to be quite honest you won't have a cat-in-hell's chance of beating this while you're addicted to porn. Because you escalated to transsexual/gay porn, "gay" is connected to your porn use, so "embracing" the spike of anxiety about gayness, like many therapists suggest, probably isn't a good idea! At least until you've kicked the porn, but by then I speculate the HOCD will have faded a lot.]
8-28 I still get intrusive sexual images popping into my head, and that sometimes gives me shock and anxiety....but I learn, if I distract myself, those disturbing images go away...having OCD really sucks. Sometimes when I am extremely happy and optimistic, it feels like this garbage just detaches from my mind. When I get those moments, it just feels so liberating...so good....feels like me again...wish it was always like that.
I have had a therapist tell me I should embrace these things as "who I am." It made me worse. They say to change my response to these thoughts, and learn to like them. But that is BS. I cant change my response to them, because they are not me. Understandably, I never told her about my pornography addiction.
8-29 I still get intrusive thoughts.....But when I try to fight them or ignore them, they become stronger. So I tried this tactic: every time I get an intrusive thought, I put a big red X in my mind. And I focus on that big red X. I tell myself, these thoughts are just the waste product of the mind. I still get random bursts of anxiety. Even when not spiked. Today was not a great day, although I did not relapse, but still, there is always a sense of lingering anxiety in me.....I am trying to distract myself...I wish the anxiety would go away...
9-02 I am starting to get insomnia sometimes, it started about 4 days ago, I always end up waking up at 3 am and find it hard to go back to sleep.
9-05 I don't know if I should count today as day 13, because I have had several relapses. I MO around 4 times since my start. The urges are just so bad. I am not giving up. The most important thing I have learned growing up is that, everything takes perseverance, and if you fail, get up and try again. Nothing comes easy in life.If I relapse, I tell myself, it took Thomas Edison a thousand tries to invent the light bulb, and he never gave up. My challenge is a lot less than his. And also, it feels like I have no other choice, I cant go living on like this. I am able to get off to lesbian porn during the relapses (yes, I try not to test myself), but it is still weak. And of course my OCD jumps on board and tells me it is a forced arousal, but then again, before my reboot I would have had total ED with lesbian porn.
[More history] I have always been, sigh...a very...I guess I would put it this way....a very sexually imaginative person. Even before middle school, my mind was filled with images of nude girls....and when I learned about sex, it was such a novelty, I never knew you could have that kind of stuff with that beautiful girl that I had a crush on in school. It was so fulfilling just imagining that kind of stuff back then. I remember I use to get aroused around girls so much......just how sexy they were, especially if they wore a tight t-shirt..it just would leave me to imagine...and just the thought of sex...was like wow to me....it was like something that was so sacred, beautiful and fulfilling..I discovered pornography after that... at first I thought it was the greatest thing ever invented....until maybe a year or two later of watching porn...I started noticing a lot of changes in me...first...was that I was starting to find those sexual images and thoughts to be less arousing, and I wasn't getting aroused as much around real life girls anymore.....however I wasn't too concerned back then...and all the concern went away, when lesbian porn came into the scene. That was really hot....and I exclusively watched lesbian porn from then on. when I found lesbian porn, straight porn went out the window, first of all, I didn't like seeing the guy in the video, I just wanted to see girls..I started getting fantasies of having sex with two women at the same time...I remember back then, I went on like a graduation trip with my grade 8 class, and we were doing a activity of fitting as much people as possible on this wood platform, and I was piggy backing this girl, and her breasts were on my back, I know this is kind of creepy, but it felt so good.....
Okay, on to the next part of the journey...I got into high school watching lesbian porn, soon the effect of this stuff was wearing off on me. I got bored of lesbian porn, and the libido meter hit a new low...I was starting to get kind of worried that I was turning gay, because I found it hard to get turned on by Megan Fox, since all me new high school friends were raving about how sexy she is. And I just couldn't get turned on...soon I found it hard to get turned on at all in real life...and I was always getting erectile dysfunction. I was freaked out...I was only like 14 back then. However, this concern became minimal because one I discovered new porno to get turned on by, and two I found out a girl liked me, and I started to flirt with her, we never got into a relationship, because that summer she moved away and we lost contact. After that, I was quite depressed, I became addicted to compulsive video gaming. Not only that, I started to resort to watching violent war movies and cop movies to kill the pain. I missed her so bad. Surprisingly, I did not resort to porn to cut the pain, why it did not come to mind I don't know. By then, I had close to zero libido. I kept on browsing and browsing more and more porn, occasionally I could get turned on by lesbian porn (if it was a really really hot girl or if there was a really good scenario) and machine porn, bestiality was a short-lived novelty too....I was really getting scared I was turning homo by that time. That was when I started to develop HOCD, I have had a history of different types of OCD and anxiety disorders since I was young, I just didn't realize it was OCD back then.
Grade 11 comes along, for this whole year, I had no libido, and HOCD worsened.
Grade 12, the worst thing that can happen, I stumble upon transsexual porn, then gay porn, which provided the shock and anxiety and turned me on. I was so depressed, my HOCD went overboard, I could not love women anymore because everyday I lived in total fear and anxiety. I thought I suddenly turned gay, but I do not like guys. So it didn't make sense. I started getting so much anxiety and I was depressed, I was too afraid to get anti-depressants. I hated watching/fantasizing that stuff, because it was so disgusting, it wasn't hot like lesbian porn...there was always that sense of sickness...some of the milder stuff was less sickening, but the hardcore stuff was unbearable. At the lowest of the low, I was contemplating suicide, because it was just so sickening. And OCD made it a lot worse because it would throw random sickening pictures into my mind 24/7. I hated every awake hour. I could not concentrate on anything. I started to spend almost every hour on HOCD sites, searching in vain for an answer. I found my answer when I discovered this site. It explained everything, I was different from a lot of the HOCD'ers on OCD sites.
I was hooked to masturbation, and when I do not masturbate, the OCD symptoms become a lot worse, I start to get urges to masturbate, if I do not, the OCD gets worse, every time I relapse, I feel so much worse....but somehow the OCD goes away....for a while. I am not a scientist, maybe there is some link between OCD, porn and masturbation? I am able to get aroused by women again, like when I was typing this post, I was getting spontaneous arousal. And 2 of my relapses were on lesbian porn, although it was weak....but I feel like it is coming back to me. But still arousal for the gay and tranny porn is still here. I don't how weak or strong it is. But it is still here. I need to give it more time.
9-07 The suicidal thoughts are back. Hammering my brain. I am being tortured on every front. My morale is so low right now. This mental illness is driving me insane. I blame pornography. It has destroyed everything. My life is in ruins. I am sickened mentally. I cannot think about anything other then HOCD. The HOCD thoughts plague my mind every freaking second. I have taken the dose of medication prescribed by the doctor, zoloft is the name, it doesn't do much for me anymore, my body has been building resistance to this stuff. I don't see much to live for. The anxiety is gone. I am just depressed. I cant do anything now. I cant even watch a movie without getting a spike. I cant go outside. I cant go to the store. I cant play sports anymore. I cant talk to my friends.....nothing. I keep on losing control of my temper with every little irritation. My mind has gone to hell. They say a person is weak if they want a way out, well I guess I am weak. It doesn't matter. Once again, I will not go back to porn. Never. If porn was a tangible figure, I want to rip it half with my bare hands. It has destroyed everything. My hate towards porn is indescribable.
9-23 Basically when the impulses to PMO or MO and when the severe mood swings hit, I stop and tell myself mentally, ``this is withdraw and if you go back to the habits it will only get worse, if you ignore it, it will pass and you will feel better``...then I ignore it and listen to music or work on school work. And it goes away.
9-29 These days I have gotten much better, I have noticed a very interesting thing, I really start to find more and more girls to be attractive again. Before when I was PMO'ing to the nasty stuff, I could not find women attractive at all. Now, everywhere I go, I am checking hot chicks =). It is true that I have gotten a lot better, but I still get flashbacks of the times when things weren't too well (sometimes it is in dreams).
10-09 a couple days ago, I was sitting next to this girl in the lecture hall, and for some reason just a whiff of her turned me on. It smelled like something sweet. I don't really know how to describe it. But it got me all tingling and stuff. Right now, I am really just waiting out this addiction to pornography and unwiring my brain. It could take months....I just got to keep going....I have achieved at conquering some obstacles, but there is just more to come. I wish I had better news to tell you guys...but I feel the circuits are getting weaker as I progress, but they just are not gone. Its a long long road out of hell.
I went through some withdrawal this morning, but I went outside got my bike out and biked far far away just to get some fresh air and let the headache of withdrawal leave me.
11-02 The past few days haven't been too eventful since my last panic attack, but I had a relapse yesterday after not PMOF for a whole week, I MO. Not good, I am not discouraged this time around. Not like before, there is nothing to be discouraged about. The day I decided that I wanted my life to change, after that there are no steps back.
11-08 I can say that after ten weeks of hell, I have managed to rewire to heterosexual fantasies. I instantly get hard when I see a hot girl in a bikini or I fantasize about having sex with a women. Almost like 2-3 years ago, before I was desensitized with pornography. Now this was impossible for me a mere ten weeks ago. Not to say I have unwired the really nasty stuff I watched for so long...I cant say, I need to give it a little more time with a little more effort, as I need to completely stop MO. It will be a struggle, because it took so long for me to be able to bear that stuff in the first place. Anyways, when I am around a real girl, I get aroused instantly. Unfortunately I do not have a partner yet to experiment with. I am on a new type of anti-depressants now, I cant really spell it but its called cilanpatrono or something like that, its suppose to be weaker than the stuff I was taking, but I am starting off with very high doses, so I can ease off it. The OCD is still here, but I don't expect it to go away anytime soon. Because even before I started watching this stuff, I already had OCD. As long as I can remember I have had OCD. From fearing I would go blind to losing my hearing to being crippled in a car accident to suddenly becoming violent and doing something I would regret (Harm OCD).
I find that gross videos like surgery really kill any desire to MO. I don't have a porn video collection anymore, just a collection of surgical instruction videos. hahah =) I download them from youtube and put them on my phone, so I have immediate access. It also helps that I have a phobia for surgeries and amputation so it distracts me from wanting to MO. I am using that technique and overloading myself with school work to get back on routine...its tough I admit. But I am doing all I can. OCD is a little better, I don't think it will ever go away or be cured, there is no medication to cure it. But it can be treated.
11-15 The past few days have been up and down. I had an OCD attack, actually I had several OCD panic attacks. These were the few attacks I've had in a long time. At first, I panicked, real bad...but I realized that these were just illusions of OCD and nothing else. I had to revisit some of the OCD forums, and it helped to remind me that to make OCD go away, I have to ignore it. And that is how I brought it into control.
12-18 I went treadmilling today while watching television. I find it easier watching television while treadmilling because it distracts my mind so it doesn't wonder. It cut the anxiety quite a bit. And I find that when the anxiety is down, these sensations and feelings disappear......its incredible how fast they leave. When I get an OCD spike I instantly get anxiety which brings back those feelings and sensations.
1-14 Okay this is where my therapist really got me confused. What is the difference between these two terms? I know what sexual arousal is....it is when my wee wee gets hard. But what does sexual attraction mean? If sexual arousal = sexual attraction...that must mean I am sexually attracted to porn. I want to break out of this prison cell that porn has created for me...I want to take back my life and feel normal again. I don't want to have to live my life thinking that bestiality and transvestites are my only sexual interests. Its sickening. It use to be that sexuality was simple, but porn changes it all. You are right, the brain is able to morph and morph and morph with external stimulation. I think the best comparison is like playing a video game, you buy a game, its exciting and fun at first then after a while it gets boring because you are playing it every day, then you have to go buy another game and play it until it gets boring. 50 years ago, there was no porn or stimulation, you cant get bored of a game if you treat yourself to it only rarely, its always exciting....
1-17 My mind is anxious again from HOCD, my mind keeps on rewriting the past. It is now telling me that I was aroused by tranny porn and gay porn from day one....but I know that isnt true....then it is telling me its true and it indicates I have homosexual tendencies.....I just feel so anxious.
Sigh...rebooting is just so tough...I have made small advances..for ex. my arousal tastes have changed somewhat back to normal...I get aroused at straight porn and lesbian porn, and I still find gay porn to be arousing when the anxiety kicks in it is still arousing... and unlike before when gay porn was ultra arousing, its not like that anymore..Its only moderately arousing when the anxiety and fear kicks in...I think it is a big change for me, because it use to be any gay porn would get me instantly hard and now it takes a while for me to get hard...just doesn't have that intense arousing kick to it anymore....tranny porn is a different story.....I find tranny porn to be more arousing than both straight or gay porn....I just hate it...I know I am kind of to blame for this, because after I quit gay porn, I thought why don't I masturbate to tranny fantasies, which carved even more channels into my brain.
I really need to drop the masturbation to get any more progress...masturbation is feeding this problem and its carving more channels into my brain. I am trying to regroup, the urges are more controllable. I need to start exercising again...I stopped exercising before because I got to confident as the urges resided. Then when I stopped, all the urges came back at me...and I binged on masturbation for about two weeks. I masturbated like 2-3 times a day. I am going to regroup and pick up the exercise. Also, for the anti depressants killing sex drive, I don't think it should be relied on to cure the problem. You see for the first couple weeks I was on the anti depressants, it worked, but after a while there is this resistance that builds to it...and the effects just went away. IMO, medication cant be depended on as a long term solution. Like any addiction, it requires commitment and strength to resolve. This is my update on progress.
1-28 I have made a lot of progress. First off, I am proud to say that my masturbation problem is under control. It use to be that I have to fight the urges to masturbate and have insane chasers after. Now I think my brain is adapting to without masturbation. I can go for days without masturbating once. I still sometimes masturbate, but usually its something that triggers it...for example an advertisement or a picture that slipped through my Internet filter. I find the Internet filter to be extremely useful because it minimizes the times that this kind of thing happens. I found after stopping masturbation, the OCD quieted down quite a lot. I found that right after an orgasm is when the OCD is worst..its like my mind is racing and everything is just crushing me. I just feel engulfed. I have seen some quite amazing results of rewiring...I hardly find the old porn arousing. Its still arousing in that it causes anxiety, but it wasn't like before where I was addicted to it and the dopamine crave was screaming in my head, screaming for the next dose. When I think about it, its hardly arousing at all. Sometimes, when I think back at everything that has happened in the last few month, it just seems so surreal...I don't know how to describe it. I still cant believe that I had to deal with this problem, because I would never in my life would I have thought that porn would have become such a big problem for me. I am glad I didn't continue down the road of pornography, because I don't know where I would be right now...I very well could be dead. It give me chills to think about it.
2-14 Well, today was pretty hectic..I am extremely fatigued after exams and I keep on seeing doubles from being tired. I made some progress with that girl I mentioned on my last post. I actually managed to chat with her in person. I know her name and she is single. So I am hoping this is my lucky strike.
4-21 This is a general update of what is going on with me right now. First lets get the bad news over with, and that is I am still dealing with addiction. My addiction to the dopamine rush still has not disappeared...and I hate to admit it, but the old daily masturbation habit has come back. Although the relative good news is that I don't do it to porn. With that aside I feel a lot better than 8 month ago, when everything crashed for me. What I am most proud of is that I can actually feel sexual attraction again.
And sometimes it is spontaneous! This is amazing change. Because for the past 2 years, I couldn't feel any attraction at all. The porn had taken its nasty toll on me. I was desensitized so much by pornography, that only extreme porn turned me on. On the topic of extreme porn, I am slowly shedding it. I feel progress because often I am disgusted by the thought of extreme porn, which was an utter impossibility 8 months ago. This is not to say I am clean of it. Because extreme porn has been part of my life for a long time, and I believe it will take even longer to get my brain in balance.
Although I am not the ultra-religious type, I have also been to church, and talked with many of them about my problem. At first I was reluctant to tell them about my pornography addiction, but I did in the end. Seeking their counselling was a great help to me, because I felt spiritually capable of ending this addiction once and for all. Although I don't agree with everything they preach, but I found what the church taught about healthy sexuality is very valid. PMO is a distortion of healthy sexuality. Which I found out the hard way. Although I am not cured of the problem, the amazing progress I feel keeps me going everyday.
[We asked him what he thought helped him the most during his eight months]
First off, I found that to deal with HOCD is to always know yourself. Know and believe that whatever HOCD is throwing at you are just lies, whether it is sensations, nightmares, feelings or constant thoughts. You MUST ground yourself in reality and not jump on the OCD train. OCD will try to take you there, but it takes stubborn resistance to not go with OCD. Then use ignorance. After you tell yourself, this is just OCD, ignore and redirect attention. If one does this correctly, they find that anxiety melts away. Watch a television show, listen to music, go biking, whatever, this stage helps to release the anxiety and distract you from recurring thoughts.
Bring positivity into your life. Think of every little bit of progress as a sign that you are recovering from this nightmare. An optimistic view on recovery does wonders.I cannot stress the importance of positivity, OCD feeds on negativity, if you let yourself be consumed by negative thoughts and feelings, OCD will spin out of control. Think positive things, let positivity take over your mind and body.
Withdraw was probably the most difficult part of dealing with addiction. At points I reverted to binges of masturbation just to make the HOCD nightmare stop. I think a combination of perseverance, anger and a refusal to give up got me through the withdraw. Maintaining your spirit during withdraw is the most important part. Because there really isn't much you can do about it, but bite the bullet and suffer through it. It takes a while, and is slow and painful. But it always ends. Anxiety can be greatly minimized by practicing Schwartz. Refuse to believe in OCD. Ignore it.
As to masturbation, I find it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to drop PMO and MO. I cannot stress the importance of dropping PMO and MO. Wondrous things happen when you give your brain sometime to recover, desensitize and rebalance. You feel like yourself again. I would say the first thing for any HOCD sufferer is to cut out PMO (permanently) and MO (as long as you can for each stint). It feels like your brain is calmer and smoother, without the ultra intense jets of anxiety and dopamine that drive OCD overboard.
I have cut out Porn almost completely. As for masturbation I have cut it out for periods of time. For example, at first I managed around a week of complete non-masturbation, before starting to masturbate again out of anxiety. It was a kind of an on and off type of thing, I would go for weeks without masturbation and then start becoming complacent and thinking "oh I am cured", but that is always the reason I return to MO. Perhaps I am not being stubborn enough at resisting the temptations. Once I went for 4 weeks of not masturbating, because I just didn't feel the temptations and after 4 weeks, I got bored and started masturbating again.
My suggestion is to your guard up with masturbation, keep using cold showers as a technique to remove temptations. Train yourself to be strong willed against temptations. This is something I have trouble doing. I believe that if I were able to cut out all masturbation, I would recover a whole lot faster. Because masturbation just reinforces OCD and slows down the sensitivity of the brain.
As a closing thought, for those who have suffered a long time, do not try to hurry your recovery. It takes time. It takes a lot of time. Especially if you have masturbated to this kind of stuff for a long time. You have to be patient. Becoming frustrated and pitiful of yourself doesn't help. But slowly you will see bits of your old self coming back.
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BY - TheGeneral