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Does This Sound Like POCD or Pedophilia?


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It started around a year and a half ago when I was 15. I was on my bed watching a news report about a pedophile. Out of no where I just had the thought “could I be a pedophile”, and the clear answer shouldv’e been no because I had never been attracted to any kids ever before in my life. Instead, for some reason, I started freaking out, had a panic attack, and started ruminating on the question trying to objectively prove that I wasn’t for the rest of the day. That same day I began checking to see if I was aroused by children, began getting really really minor groinal responses, and seeked reassurance from my mom. These symtpoms haven’t gotten any better.


Now the “groinal responses” are so strong and produce arousal. If I ignore the thoughts and feelings my attraction to women comes back but I keep thinking “what if it’s forced” and it’s not as strong as the arousal i get from children. I don’t enjoy the GRs. They cause a lot of distress and are brought on only when I obsess over the thought or idea of being attracted to a particular child. I don’t check out children, I check our women, but I can’t get aroused by them most of the time like I used to. I have masturbated to the thoughts before but all of those times came from episodes of intense panic and during moments of checking. All incidents were followed by intense dread, disgust, and shame. I still get feelings/groinal sensations/arousal with my girl friend but my brain keeps going “what if this is fake”


The arousal from children at this point is so strong that I don’t know if this is POCD amymore what if I’m a pedofile?

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You're right:  the hallmark of obsession is that question, "what if?"  With that going on, neither we nor even you can convince you of anything.  In particular, "checking", also common with obsession, cannot work ("what if?" wins every time), and is actually silly (how can you make an effort not to think of something without continually thinking about that something to make sure you're not thinking about it?)

Can you approach your parents, tell them you're having intrusive thoughts about being a bad person, and ask if they can get you help?  You don't have to be specific.  Or, ask them for an appointment with your regular doctor, and tell him or her in confidence?

There are medications for OCD.  They don't change your feelings;  you'll still know that hurting a child is wrong.  The meds cut down on the uncontrollable thought pattern that prevents you from trusting your own answer, that you're not a pedophile.

Edited by malign
Grammar correction
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