They’re just about to enter the third year of high school, but second-year student Xiao Wen (pseudonym) was resting at home every day. One day, she was up all night wondering if she might be gay, and eventually, she couldn’t face anyone in a normal manner, not even the girl who shared a desk with her in class.
A specialist at Xianyue Hospital in Xiamen city has indicated that Xiao Wen is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, and that after more than ten cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions, her symptoms have been effectively alleviated. Just the other day, she was finally able to return to school.
News stories led to thoughts of homosexuality
Xiao Wen explained that during her first year of high school, she happened to see a news story about homosexuality. At that time, she had a strange thought. “What would I do if I were gay too?” Even more problematic, she began to imagine her deskmate as the object of her homosexual affection. Eventually, when she even saw her deskmate, images of her and her deskmate as lovers would float into her mind.
Xiao Wen felt the thoughts of her and her deskmate were profane and felt guilty about them, so she started to relentlessly blame herself.
I couldn’t face my deskmate and wanted to take a break from school
One day, Xiao Wen saw an ad in a magazine for a psychological counseling organization. She noted the address of the organization and went to find them, hoping to get help. But after nearly one year of counseling, her foundationless homosexual thoughts were not diminished at all, on the contrary, the amount of time they occupied her mind only grew and grew. Her state of mind also deteriorated, causing her to go entire nights without sleep, and putting her on the edge of collapse.
Not long after the beginning of this semester, she turned to her family asking if she could take a break from school. She thought that if she could see her deskmate less, that the thoughts would slowly fade, but that is not at all what happened. Finally, after numerous inquiries from her parents, she told them her deepest secret. After the situation was clear to them, her parents decided to take her to the Xiamen city Xianyue Hospital to seek the help of a medical professional.
She actually suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
After a thorough evaluation of Xiao Wen’s situation, Director of the Xianyue Hospital Psychology Outpatient Counseling Center Wu Suying felt that Xiao Wen was suffering from OCD, and decided that she should receive cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Reporters learned that the treatment Xiao Wen received is called “Exposure and Response Prevention” Therapy (ERP). The therapy exposes the patient to situations of which they are afraid without allowing them a means of avoidance, allowing the patient to learn ways to lower their level of anxiety through experience. With repeated practice, the patient’s OCD thoughts gradually abate, and have a smaller and smaller influence on study and life.
Through a course of 12 therapy sessions, Xiao Wen’s worries over the possibility of her own homosexuality have already been reduced to very few. Now she is also able to use rational ways of thinking to deal with her own thoughts. Last week, she was able to return to school.
To resolve psychological issues, seek a professional organization
Director Wu Suying points out that many people are suspicious or afraid of psychological counseling, and that they are afraid that counseling with psychological doctors in specialized hospitals will end in being labeled as “psychologically abnormal”. Thus, some people choose non-professional psychological counseling organizations, with often ineffective results. Xiao Wen is one such example. For this reason, people who are experiencing psychological problems or distress [should seek a professional organization to resolve such issues.]
Original publication date: 5/19/13