From the inbox #1158

So I have known that I was asexual since I was 15 and my feelings haven’t really changed all that much since then so I never had big problems with self doubt. That is, up until recently when I realized that I had OCD. OCD is typically diagnosed in early adulthood (I am currently 19, soon to be 20), and for me it showed signs at about 14 and then gradually developed until about six months ago when there was VERY rapid development (probably brought on by other mental issues due to isolation at the time). While it was very much a bother and really impacted my life, it basically left my personality and identity alone for the time. I was in therapy at my college the last two semesters which did a lot of good, but as soon (and I mean as SOON) as I came home from school (very end of april), I got a huge wave of what is called SO-OCD or sexual orientation OCD. This makes you constantly and extremely worried that your orientation is going to change, that you secretly are another sexuality and just don’t know it, that you are repressing certain sexual urges, etc. It basically tries to convince you that you aren’t really yourself, even though there’s no rational reason why self doubt should be taking place. It makes you CONSTANTLY thinking about your orientation and accompanying thoughts, including testing your attraction, constantly reading about your orientation to see if you can confirm anything, and over-analysing every thought (and intrusive thought) you get about everyone you meet. Everything i’ve read about SO-OCD has been about heterosexual people, with the occasional homosexual person, but never about asexual people (which is understandable). It’s making me question what sexual attraction is (i still don’t know), if i’ve ever experienced it, and basically forces myself to try and “fake” sexual attraction (or categorize everything as sexual attraction) with people just so that the OCD can say “see I told you that all that obsessing and worrying was justified!” It has caused everything to be muddy, and I can’t think clearly about anything regarding my asexuality because there is so much “in the way”, but yet, it makes my orientation a pressing issue to try and decipher and get clear answers on. I know this is a long shot, and this was partly me just venting my frustrations, but I wasn’t sure if you knew anything about this or could offer any advice.”

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