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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I seem to be suffering from a kind of OCD. Help needed...

 LiLi00 - Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:21 am

Perhaps, I should have added this to my first thread, but I thought it might go unnoticed (I am the 17-year-old female who was concerned about a rape scene in a film). I have not been diagnosed by a professional, but after a week of agony and searching, I found an OCD forum where several people seem to be suffering my EXACT symptoms. There is a facet of OCD that causes one to live in constant fear of becoming a pedophile, when one has never truly been attracted to children. These people described everything I was feeling to a "T": nervousness around children, constant worry, nausea, at times intense self-loathing, "checking (that is, fixating on a child to be sure your feelings aren't inappropriate. Go figure that when people see you staring at a child, they think you are the very thing you are so afraid of)". Anyway, to make a long story short, these people know my struggle, which is amazing, because I thought I was just evil or crazy.

These are not pedophiles, just people with a completely irrational fear of becoming one (the obsession), which manifests itself in such compulsions as staring at children to make sure you're not "turned on", searching for articles about pedophilia on the net, and inevitably, always finding something that proves to you that you are one... even when, in your heart of hearts, you know you aren't and would never hurt or do anything sexual with a child.

Everyone I talked to said that therapy and/or medication are in order. I never thought I'd wind up a mental health patient and have no idea how to seek treatment. I would greatly appreciate advice on what steps to take to get some help and get these irrational fears under control.

 Dr. K. Eisele - Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:12 am

User avatar Dear LiLi:

Since you continue to be very worried about your reaction to the scene in this film, then you should see someone.

The place to start is likely your family physician. It may depend on what type of insurance coverage you have. If you are in the US, anyway, and health insurance then most plans will require you to have a referral from your primary physician of record. If you have no insurance coverage, then call your county's community mental health clinic. In the US, every county has such an office, by law.

It is true that OCD can take the form of "intrusive thoughts," which occur in the absence of an obvious compulsion. You have read about a compulsion to fixate on a child to test yourself to be sure that tendency to "desire" a child is not present in you. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts, i.e., obsession, is there without a compulsion. In cases where there is also a compulsion, it could be many different things. For example, an individual may determine that they can no longer go out during the day when children may be more likely to be outside unattended. Or, they may feel compelled to do more activities to help children either directly or indirectly to somehow "make it right."

Good luck!

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