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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I enjoy abusing animals


 DentalStudent - Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:12 am

Hi,

My personal background:

I’m a 22 years old student at Denver. I have a serious condition that is escalating almost everyday. My father is a psychiatrist and holds a private practice, but unfortunately I cannot (in no shape or form) ask him for any help due to multiple reasons; I have always been my dad’s “golden” son; not a single day goes by without my father calling me to tell me how he has been “proud” of me. As a kid, I saw my dad treating patients and learned a lot of this field of medicine, but now for some unexplainable reasons I’m simply terrified to think about becoming his next “patient”. I just feel 100% uncomfortable talking to my father. I have even thought about seeing a different psychiatrist, but I’m afraid he would turn out to be someone that would know my father and might contact him to discuss my condition.

My problem:

In one sentence: I enjoy abusing (to an extreme extent) smaller animals such as cats or dogs. It has become unstoppable and I need serious help to end it.

I own a sweet, beautiful cat that I love, and sadly, from time to time I attempt to hurt/torture her. My “episode” lasts about 15-30 minutes, during the time I am absolutely powerless to stop my action but then suddenly I “wake up”, and stop what I was doing, then start crying and asking myself “why the hell did I just hurt my pet?”… I become emotionally depressed and feel very ashamed and guilty. Sometime I attempt to hurt myself to overcome the guilt and pain that I have caused to an animal.

I feel like a different person when I torture my pet. During the time, I have no sense of guilt or sympathy for the animal but when it ends, my emotions seem to completely switch to an opposite direction. It’s like being super happy for a period of time then extremely sad and guilty afterwards. I feel like two different people from time to time.

This is not a new condition that I’m experiencing at the current time; as a kid I always enjoyed abusing/torturing our house pets. But then, I felt no guilt or shame for my actions (I was never caught hurting an animal in our house). Time went by and I realized that my actions were wrong/immoral and I had to do something about them. Maybe this is the reason of why I’m so reluctant to disclose my condition with my father.

I really feel sick.

I really hope that I can get some help from a psychiatric professional in this forum.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:30 pm

User avatar Hello,
You are correct that this is a serious concern and you need to see a psychiatrist about it. If you have medical insurance for mental health you could start there for a referral but any information received by the doctor will be kept in strict confidence. That is one of the most important of confidential information and professional ethics. Any psychiatrist would also be aware that mental health problems can happen to anyone. There is hope and help but you will have to seek it directly.

Please find someone you can see about this. If you can't see a psychiatrist right away, find another mental health therapist or clinic to start with but don't delay. Things can get much worse, just as you have noticed some escalation in the behavior. The sooner you begin treatment the better your chances of a good outcome before it progresses to something very serious, putting yourself or others in danger.

Many high-functioning individuals have mental illnesses - you just don't know about them because of privacy concerns.

Good luck with this.

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