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Am I a pedophile? Please help!!


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I'm a 17 year old male, I sometimes suffer from OCD, usually I don't have a care in the world, yet occasionally i have periods of severe OCD flare ups. Now and then I have periods where I worry a lot about my health (physical and mental), I've been worried to the point where i was depressed because i thought i had aids or diabetes..

Recently I was watching a pedophile hunt documentary where they showed a blurred video of a man sexually abusing his 6 year old daughter. I didn't know how to feel when I saw it, I wasn't completely horrified but I wasn't greatly aroused either, I was just emotionless yet I got butterflies in my stomach and hot flushes, its as if my brain knew the material it was watching was highly sensitive and led me to obsess about my reaction to it. I would ask myself, I kept re-watching the clip to check for any arousal yet the results were always inconclusive. This worried me greatly because I imagine the usual reaction would be to be horrified etc.

Since then I have been constantly worrying that I may be a pedophile... I've never thought about kids sexually, my younger cousin always used to want to hold my hand and kiss me (this repulsed me) so I took this as I sign I was 'alright'. But now I'm questioning myself, I find myself looking at kids to see if they arouse me and I'm almost certain they don't but its like I can never find the exact answer, there's always that what if? banging around in my head.

I really need help, i have been obsessing over this for about a week now and its starting to get to me, i would have gone to a therapist but its such a sensitive subject.

I'd appreciate any feedback you can give me, thanks a lot for listening.

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Welcome MrJohnDoe

I dont know much about OCD, but I think I have heard of OCD sometimes making you believe you are a pedophile.

I know for a fact that I'm attracted to children (however it could change)

I am not in any doubt.

Hope this helps, even thou it is not a direct answer ;)

Good luck!


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Hello, John, welcome!

From what you describe, I really wouldn't say you're a pedophile. Our body (as well as mind) sometimes "gives us" some strange reactions (as yours to the scene), but those don't represent "us", our complex character. Of course there are ways we think we "are supposed to" react and then when we don't, we are ashamed, confused or angry. It happens. Then we start to think about how much that reaction is "something typical" for us and/or how could we avoid it in future. It's good because it helps to prevent us from some type of inappropriate behaviour, that could sometimes result from inadequate reactions. You did this thinking and the facts lead to the conclusion that it was something atypical and that you're not a pedophile. However, as you're often suffering from OCD, you didn't stop with this conclusion and you've been over-thinking it and "encouraging" your fears. That's very typical for OCD. It cannot help you to find "the right conclusion" about you, it only can make you feel worse and worse. So I'd say you need to address the real problem - your OCD, not "a possible pedophilia".

(BTW; first of all; I'm convinced it was wrong to use such a scene in a documentary (it would be wrong in a movie, too, of course); the blurring didn't help.)

Seeing a therapist is a good idea. You don't have to worry about being judged; you haven't done anything wrong and, moreover, you even aren't attracted to children, you're just obsessing about it.

Take care!

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