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Sexual Obsessions and OCD - Characteristics and Complications

Published on May 20, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Sexual obsessions are anxiety-inducing sexual thoughts that can arise in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Read the article below for more information.

Contents

What Is Sexual Obsession as Seen in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Sexual obsessions in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) constitute unwanted and intrusive sexual thoughts and images that cause considerable anxiety to the patient. An estimated 16.8 % of patients with OCD are affected by concurrent sexual obsessions.

Who Is Affected by Sexual Obsessions in OCD?

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

A patient displaying obsessions (frequent, repetitive thoughts and sensations) and compulsions (urge to repeat a habitual tendency over and over again) may be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The obsessions and compulsions experienced are accompanied by signs of anxiety and distress. The patient may also feel a sense of disgust at their obsessions. This is especially prevalent among those suffering from sexual obsessions with OCD since their obsessions occasionally border on obscene, inappropriate, or unacceptable sexual imagery and ideas.

What Characteristics Do People Affected With Sexual Obsessions in OCD Display?

What Themes Do Sexual Obsessions in OCD Commonly Follow?

Sexual obsessions in OCD may involve:

What Are the Complications of Experiencing Sexual Obsessions?

People suffering from intrusive sexual obsessions can experience intense disgust for themselves and lead to avoidance of people and social situations. Affected individuals may be consumed by feelings of:

How Can Sexual Obsessions in OCD Be Treated?

  1. Medications: Serotonergic medications such as Fluoxetine and Citalopram have been recommended for the clinical management of sexual obsessions and have shown better results in treating sexual obsessions than in other sexual behavioral disorders.

  2. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy for sexual obsessions relies on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The two forms of CBT used for the treatment of sexual obsessions in OCD include:

Is Therapy Effective in People With Sexual Obsessions?

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure with response prevention therapy have been known to provide some relief. However, there is an element of sexual obsessions with the obsessive-compulsive disorder that may be difficult to treat. People with sexual obsessions often display schizotypic personalities (schizotypic personalities are liable to develop schizophrenia and tend to show certain behaviors and signs indicative of but less severe than schizophrenia). These individuals are challenging to treat, and therapy may be ineffective or less effective than expected.

Conclusion:

It can be exhausting to live with excessive anxiety and fear regarding one’s sexual thoughts (despite having no active desire to carry through on any of them). However, on a positive note, those affected should understand that their repulsion is proof that they will not engage in such activities. Furthermore, engaging in sound therapy and constant practice of the same can lead to better results and reduce anxiety while also giving one the confidence to interact socially without fearing any negative consequences.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
20 May 2022  -  4 min read

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