Answer to Nina about “Compulsive Staring” at Privates
Nina’s OCD behavior, feeling compelled to stare at the private parts of others is not unusual and is an OCD behavior that we have seen before. Nina, you mention your fear that you will be caught by others and be humiliated. I am guessing you also have fears/concerns about what this may mean about you and are concerned is this really OCD or is there some other problem you have. This is OCD. The targets of OCD are often focused on what might be most threatening to us. With the trauma you suffered, your mind creatively has figured out what would be terrible for you — further humiliation and, again, what does this mean about you. Again, I am guessing that you spend an equal amount of time obsessing about being caught, how to control yourself and what does this mean about you. Because I don’t know you, I can only discuss in general terms what exposure and response prevention would look like. Because it is impossible to have the concentration to control where you are staring 24/7, initial treatment would have you staring at private parts on purpose, but trying to do so in a sneaky way so as to not get caught. This gets you out of the control bind. Scripts to accompany the exposure depend upon whether my guesses about your feared consequences are correct or not and your personal history. In general, they would focus on how you would try to cope with being caught in a positive way and not having definite answers to questions about yourself. You’ve mentioned a traumatic experience, this also requires treatment combined with the OCD treatment. I don’t know if you have seen an OCD specialist. You can check with the OC Foundation (www.ocfoundation.org) and their find a therapist part of the website. If you find names that are close to you, you can call the Foundation to find out if they can tell you more about the therapist. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but you should know this is a treatable form of OCD. If you have a therapist who is willing , I would provide them with some supervision.