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Hi I'm Ellie, I'm a 22 yo girl who's very confused. I was diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, OCD and paranoid schizophrenia. It made me feel better to know more about myself, but I'm still very confused about something and i don't know what it is. I don't have a sexual attraction for children, i don't get aroused thinking of them or anything, but when it comes to 14-17.... I think about sex all the time and sometimes I think about minors. I don't know if it happens because I'm very childish (I still play with baby dolls) and I feel like they are more like me, because I don't feel like an adult at all... I feel so bad because of this. I've been exposed to porn since I was 6, and I started masturbating when I was 5. I have such a HIGH sex drive I used to masturbate every day more than 4 times a day when I was a child, and I still am like this. Last year I sexted with a girl and she was 13yo but I wasn't attracted to her age, I just felt like she was just like me and I didn't think it was a bad thing. This year I realized it was bad and I tried to kill myself because of the guilt and fear that I'd go to jail. I had two girlfriends in my life and they were 18+, but I do feel attraction for minors as well ((not children)). I'm so confused, I'll never ever ever do anything with a minor again though. I just feel bad for having these thoughts and I don't know what to do. Maybe I should try to kill myself again I don't know.

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Hi, Ellie, welcome!

I'm sorry you're struggling with so many issues, it must be hard :( . Are you in treatment? I mean do you take medication and also see a therapist regularly?

Attractions can be very confusing. Yet I hope we can help you to understand more what's going on and what it means. To your question in the title, there is a clear answer right in your own post:

11 hours ago, Ellie said:

I don't have a sexual attraction for children

So no, you're not a pedophile. You're objectively still very young and thus very close to people who are a little under 18 - and you are even more close mentally to them, as you mentioned. Attractions don't follow legal limits and you're not attracted to prepubescent children (as pedophiles are), so you're attracted just to people similar to yourself.

Moreover, you've already recognized that any sexual behaviour involving minors is not "a good idea". Thoughts and fantasies are not crimes! And even though you'd been involved in sexting, you're definitely not "a bad person who shouldn't live"! You've been lucky that police / justice has not known about what happened, but I think you can think of it now as being over. You got your "lesson" (=no more sexting) and you can move on; no need to blame - or even punish - yourself.

I wonder a bit if your diagnosis of paranoia wasn't influenced by the fact that the doctor didn't know that you had "done something" that made you feel fear police and punishment - perhaps they saw the fear but not the "threat"... Or are there other examples in your life when you felt paranoiac? 

In any case, I hope you stay safe and won't think about punishing yourself anymore. You need help, support, and compassion to cope better with the mental issues, not judgement or blame or anger because of some confusing thoughts or desires.

Take care!

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Hey @Ellie hope you are ok.  We live in a society that criminalizes everything so be careful.  

Just because you are "diagnosed" w something does not mean that is who you are.  Everyone on the planet would be diagnosed w something by these behavioral heath folks.  

I hope you'll advocate for yourself and feel better.  If writing here helps then certainly feel free.  

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Thank you so much for the replies, I feel better now. Yes I am in treatment! I see a therapist and a psychiatrist weekly. 

12 hours ago, LaLa said:

I wonder a bit if your diagnosis of paranoia wasn't influenced by the fact that the doctor didn't know that you had "done something" that made you feel fear police and punishment - perhaps they saw the fear but not the "threat"... Or are there other examples in your life when you felt paranoiac? 

 

No it isn't! I told him about what happened, but I'm constantly worried that I'm being watched, or that people can read my thoughts, or when I go out I feel like people are taking photos of me and I get very uncomfy and angry, but none of those things has to do with the sexting, because it's been happening for years, it just got worse after that.

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Thanks for the clarifications, @Ellie ! I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and also that you're in treatment! It's good that you told your doctor also about what'd happened - it means you trust him which is important :) .

Take care!

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