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I think I am a pedophile I NEED HELP!


NolanB777
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Hi, So I am a young male. I am 15 years old with a past of suicide attempts, severe depression, self harm, and anxiety. Recently I just saw a young boy and my genitals started to tingle. I have a past of getting severely anxious over "little" things. It took me years to come out to myself as gay. I am out to my family and friends and they are completely accepting. I have a therapist, a psychologist. I am on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety. ( I just wanted to give you background information) So basically I have just been attracted to things I have never been before. Animals, and small children, two things that I have NEVER been attracted to. These thoughts and emotions have been eating at me like nothing I have ever felt. I feel so terrible, and I feel like I should be put in jail or a mental facility. Whenever I see animals or children I get a tingling feeling in my genitals. I am so used to this feeling by now that I get extremely aggravated and upset. I know I do not like children. I like other males my age. These feelings started about 1 week and 1/2 ago. I do not know why this is happening to me and I just want my life back. I NEED MY LIFE BACK! PLEASE HELP ME! I NEED TO STOP HAVING THESE FEELINGS! WHAT IS GOING ON!? HAS ANYONE EVER EXPERIENCED THIS!? :(

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Hi Nolan and welcome to our community.

I can tell you are under a lot of stress. I'm listening.

It's good that your family is supportive and you are receiving help for your depression and anxiety. Self-care is so important. You are a maturing young man and I would think you may have a lot of new sexual feelings. Maybe you could bring your current concern up with your therapist next time you have a session or contact him/her now if you are in distress?

Can you take a walk outside or do something to clear your mind?

Take care, Nolan.

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My family tree has a past of OCD and I know for a fact that I do have OCD but it has not been diagnosed but I am going to meet with a doctor about it. Whenever I see a child or animal I just constantly tell myself how sick i am and how gross i am and I just repeat over and over "don't think about it, its nothing."

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Nolan, I don't know if this will help but I can tell you what I went through. When I was growing up and realized I was gay, I immediately assumed I was a pedophile because I grew up with the stereotype that all gays are pedos. This was also the absolute worst thing that I could imagine. That is a feature of OCD. One latches onto the absolute most horrible case scenario and assumes it must be true. How often is the worst case actually true though? Pretty rarely, in my experience.

When I was 15 I would get a boner if the wind blew, or for no reason at all. Sometimes at the most inappropriate moments. Not just a tingling. I can tell you that self criticism didn't stop it all. This is also when I was super religious and felt my feelings were sinful, that I was an abomination before God. Surprisingly, beating myself over the head with a Bible didn't help either. However, since I was obsessed with the possibility I may be a pedo, or any other kind of sexual predator, I would notice awkward feelings whenever I would see small children or animals. This turned out not to be sexual attraction though.

I have since come to learn that I am not sexually attracted to children. I know what I'm attracted to and it ain't anything that involves a kid, or even adolescent. I appreciate the cuteness of kids aesthetically, but that is a completely different thing from physical attraction. It's more a nurturing instinct, a wish for any child I see to be safe and well cared for. Even if I were sexually attracted to children, because I care about them in general I would never want to harm a child by abusing him/her.

Whether this is the case for you or not, is probably very difficult to tell at age 15. You will have a much better sense when you've gotten some experience with what you do and do not like. One thing I do believe I can say is I don't think you would be so worried about this in the first place if you had any inclination to harm a child. I dated a guy once who is a psychologist that examines sex offenders and he says that most don't have any sense of empathy for their victims, or see how their actions have caused harm. I am not sure how this would make you so anxious if you weren't desirous to avoid causing harm.

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Nolan, I am a few years older than you and am, myself, a pedophile. I have never engaged in any sort of sexual activity with a child, and I know that doing so would be wrong. However, contrary to what you said, people who merely have deviant attractions do not deserve to be imprisoned for their attractions, alone. Thoughts and attractions cannot bear moral or immoral weight. They are nothing more than electrical impulses going on within one's brain.

That being said, you're quite obviously not a pedophile. You even said so, yourself ("I know I do not like children"). In order to be diagnosed a pedophile, you have to meet certain criteria according to the DSM-IV (I don't know if/how it's changed in the DSM-V), and you meet none of those. It's obvious that you're suffering with some extreme anxiety and possibly POCD (Primarily Obsessional OCD). Fear of being a pedophile is far more common than most people would imagine, and it causes the sufferers a lot of pain and stress. However, these obsessions are manageable, and people tend to respond well to therapy.

.

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I am going to be meeting with my psychologist to talk about my OCD tendencies and to be diagnosed with OCD or POCD because I know I have it and I believe it would be best to get help for it. Last night i was out to dinner and when I was walking this 2 year old came running up behind me, so I held the door open and he smiled and kept running, having a good time. I did not have any sexual feelings for him and if it came down to it, I would give my life for that child to be safe because I don't want any harm inflicted on him.

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I would give my life for that child to be safe because I don't want any harm inflicted on him.

Many people feel the same way, including a lot of pedophiles. It's a common misconception that a sexual attraction to children implies that the individual cannot care about them. In fact, I would argue that most pedophiles who care about children never engage in sexual activity with them. That's why few people realize that there are those of us out there. You never hear stories about people who choose to live normal, law-abiding lives.

But has ANYONE ever had these feelings before!?

I've come across many posts from various individuals online who suffer with similar fears to the ones you're describing. In fact, your fears are common enough that the P in the acronym POCD is oftentimes falsely believed to refer to the word pedophile. There have been several members of this forum in the past who were worried they were pedophiles, though I don't believe any are are active anymore. One was a first grade teacher, so I'm sure you can imagine how he was affected. Anyway, if you're interested in getting to know some other people who you can talk to about this (I believe that the best help one can get is from those in similar situations), feel free to ask me via PM. I know of another, larger mental support website where there are one or two people with the same POCD you have who post from time to time.

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