I’m not sure if I should post a link to this topic, because I don’t want people flooding over to the OCD forums to bother these people. These folks are suffering from a form of OCD that focuses on worrying that they are a pedophile. I will quote the site later on in the post after some expository material.
I wrote some articles about the subject, so I get a lot of emails from these folks, and I do a lot of counseling with them.
Not bragging, but they often tell me I’ve done a better job than their licensed therapists.
One guy was a millionaire who had been hiring the best psychologists and psychiatrists in the country. He was paying some guy $500/hour 3 times a week for a year or so. A couple of hours with me on the phone, and he got better than he had with the super-priced therapist in a year. Also, the psychiatrists had dx’d him as psychotic and put him on antipsychotics. I quickly figured out he was psychotic and told him so. All I saw was OCD plus some depression.
He had developed a particularly nasty form of OCD called “Harm OCD” where they worry that they are going to commit an act of violence. I don’t know if they ever act on it. Maybe there was a case or two, but I’ve never heard of a real case. So I just assume that they are harmless. Most folks are seriously freaked out about this OCD form too and think these folks are dangerous. The statistics show that actually people with OCD are the least likely to commit any act of criminal violence.
I just treat them like they are harmless and let it go at that. I even laugh at them when they tell me they are afraid they’re going to kill someone. It’s ridiculous. The millionaire, after two hours with me on the phone, finally got out of his house for the first time in four years. Actually, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the picture. I simply told him he was harmless, was never going to act on it, and to quit worrying.
I think I also gave him the Knife Therapy. I told him to put a legal knife in his pocket and go into a bunch of stores and whatnot, walking all around town with the knife. After a while, you’re not whipping out the knife and killing anyone, so you start to get over the fear.
I had one guy with Harm OCD who was a dwarf. I used to make fun of him and say, “What are you going to do, reach up and stab someone in the knee?” It’s good to ridicule the disorder and make fun of them because most people, including therapists, are freaking out on these people, and that just makes them worse.
This guy was also starting to get sadistic and pedophilic fantasies and imagery interfering with his masturbatory fantasies. He didn’t have a partner, so he masturbated. As he did so, fantasies of murder, torture, pedophilia, etc. intruded as intrusive thoughts.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty common complication, especially in young men. The main thing is that the OCD stuff is intrusive, that’s how you can tell it’s not normal. But they get upset about it because now the weird stuff is getting tied in with sexual arousal, and they can’t figure out if it turns them on or not.
There are lots of folks who get off on sadistic stuff. We call them Sexual Sadists. They’re quite common, especially in the gay male community. For straights, sexual sadism, like all paraphilias, begins in adolescence. They enjoy it and get off on it, the same way normal guys get off Raquel Welch or whoever. It feels natural, normal, like it’s a regular part of themselves. The fantasies are not intrusive. They feel just like any guy’s normal sexual fantasies. Do you try to stop those?
They like it! They don’t really want to stop thinking about it, because it’s too much fun. Sexual Sadism is a problem of desire. OCD is a problem of fear.
That’s the difference. Most sexual sadists are not dangerous, but a few of them are. Sometimes it escalates, and the sadist might start worrying that it’s getting out of control and he’s really going to hurt someone one of these times.
The differential diagnosis between Harm OCD and sociopathy is quite simple.
The sociopath loves to think about hurting or killing people. Serial killer types go around all day long thinking about little else. They don’t feel bad about the thoughts, and they never try to stop them. If they are out around the town all day, and if they like to kill say young women, they will be looking at every young woman they see and fantasizing about how they are going to capture, torture, rape and kill her.
They may not carry the acts out, mostly because they’re afraid that they might get caught. But they can’t see anything wrong torturing, raping and murdering people for fun. It’s simply their idea of a good time. Since they don’t see anything wrong with mayhem, they never show up in therapy and never ask for help. Sociopathy is a problem of lack of morality. OCD is a problem of fear.
Pedophilia is a tough case because it’s so confusing. Most child molesters are true pedophiles, that is, they prefer sex with children over sex with adults. Most of them don’t like sex with adults at all or at least not much.
There’s a website that profiles pedophiles here. It’s clear, looking through those histories, that this once again is a problem of desire. Pedophilia is a problem of desire. OCD is a problem of fear.
These guys have almost all gotten off preferentially on kid stuff since adolescence. They’re interested in adults only a little, or not at all.
They are almost all extremely happy to be pedophiles – that is, they love it! It’s what gets them off. I have no objection to their orientation, and I realize that they can’t help it, and there’s no cure for it. However, they do have to be celibate. This is going to be a problem, because how many of us are good at being celibate? So we need to watch these people all the time to make sure that they don’t act on their orientation. As long as they don’t act on their orientation, I think we need to respect them.
I don’t really know what to do with pedophiles. Maybe we should throw them on islands where everyone is over 18.
To the pedophile, pedophilic fantasies feel natural, normal, healthy, right, a part of you. They’re not really bothered by them, and they don’t try to stop them.
A lot of these POCD types start going round and round because there are some pedophiles who are not happy with their orientation. That’s not really the best way to put it. More that they are not happy with the way that society treats their orientation.
I tell people to imagine this: If you are heterosexual and repulsed by the idea of homosexuality, try this fantasy. Suppose that homosexuality was the same as heterosexuality is now. Suppose it was just normal to be gay. Suppose heterosexuality was treated the same way as pedophilia is now. Suppose straights were treated as evil, sick fucks who need to be tortured in prison forever.
Straight sex was illegal, and even straight porn was illegal. Revealing that you were straight meant you might get your ass kicked or even killed; or at any rate, massive societal rejection would ensue. I ask them how they would feel? This is how the pedophile feels.
Most straights would refuse to engage in gay sex and would continue to fantasize about straight sex. They would masturbate to it and enjoy it. Despite all the societal propaganda, they would collect straight porn even though it was illegal. They would form networks with other persecuted straights. They would campaign for changes in the laws to make straight sex legal.
Societal propaganda would try to say that straight sex caused serious emotional harm, but the straights would refuse to believe that. And in spite of severe legal penalties, they would probably try to engage in straight sex. They would not feel bad about being straights, but would only be mad at society for persecuting them.
With this analogy, you can imagine what it’s like to be a pedophile in straight society.
If you go to Wikisposure, you can see that almost all pedophiles are utterly unapologetic about their orientation, believe that kids are sexual and have sex drives (dubious), and think that adults having sex with kids is good, fun and helpful to both the kid and the pedophile.
There’s a lot of evidence now that this is not the case. For whatever reason, a lot of kids who get molested have problems later on. Why they have problems is not known, but I don’t think it’s relevant. It’s a great reason not to do something like that – chances are, you’re going to hurt the kid.
Things get complicated when some of the POCD types start testing out their POCD by masturbating to pedo fantasies. They usually just masturbate to fantasies, as child porn is illegal. They are often seriously freaked out when they find that often it’s pleasurable. This opens up a serious dx difficulty. If the person enjoys it, they’re a pedo, right? Well, not really.
At least 26
This is a pretty typical case that I deal with below. As you can see, he is complicating matters by masturbating to pedo fantasies as some kind of “testing,” but that’s only going to make him even more crazy.
At any rate, recent research shows that all normal straight males react to females all the way down to age 7. Maximal response it at age 16+. Below age 16, the response curve rapidly descends down to age 7 where it extinguishes. So really any normal male has a reaction even to prepubescent girls. It’s just not very strong is all, and it’s easily ignored.
Just spent a relaxing couple of days at a friend’s house, and started to feel ok, decided maybe I did have POCD after all and it was all in my mind, then started spiking really bad in the afternoon about various paedophilia-related things, including feeling a sudden surge of arousal when testing to see if I was aroused by paedophilia, when I had trouble getting off to normal pornographic fantasies, though managed to eventually.
I started feeling better later on after writing down my worries but then at the end of a walk in the park two young (pre-pubescent) girls walked close to me, and I thought one was cute and felt a vague groinal response, maybe a partial erection.
Then I thought, it must just be the anxiety, but then I couldn’t dismiss the feeling of finding the girl cute, and thought, ‘I never find young girls cute’, it must be sexual attraction, and ‘I must be sexually attracted to young girls’, and at this I felt a sudden intense arousal, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this, my arousal growing, then I thought, ‘If I give in and get myself off to this, it proves I’m a paedophile and I’ll end up looking up pictures of children on the internet to get off to and then that’ll lead to me molesting a child’, and horribly these thoughts made me even more intensely aroused, but I don’t think these thoughts were due to my OCD making me think of the progression of actions, it was maybe more a series of escalating sexual urges.
At the time of these thoughts, to make it even worse, I was only resisting slightly, but my anxiety grew, and I started worrying about these thoughts, but the arousal was still there strongly, and when I got home, despite my anxiety and decreased arousal, I gave in to the arousal, unable to resist, and ended up getting off to images of the two young girls ‘together’ if you know what I mean, though not in a particularly explicit way, which I think makes it even worse that the arousal and orgasm were so intense.
Immediately after, I felt shame and deep depression, realizing I must almost certainly be a paedophile, with OCD, rather than someone with POCD as all these events fit the symptoms of paraphilias and not POCD at all.
I only post here in the vague hope this can be explained as POCD, but the fact that even now in my depression and anxiety I still feel the arousal combined with the events described means there isn’t really any hope of it being POCD rather than paedophilia.
I guess now I need to work out how to fix this, if that’s even possible. For past details, see my previous post. Very depressed…
UPDATE: I now seem to be blocking out this incident as I have great trouble accepting that it happened and this blocking out serves further to convince me that I am a paedophile in denial as someone in denial would block things out like this, things which show they are a paedophile (and the omission of the word might when I wrote this seems to confirm I’m blocking this out due to denial and deep down believe I am a paedophile) whereas I think someone with OCD would not block these things out, especially not so easily (denial=easy to block out OCD=hard and thoughts recur from past experience) but would worry about them constantly and their implications.
FURTHER UPDATE: I now remember there was anxiety ‘during’ the arousal after the initial intense arousal, which like the later anxiety decreased my feelings of arousal I think, which suggests the intense arousal was not caused by anxiety, maybe just from the thought of acceptance, which as I typed just caused a feeling of arousal, but now when very anxious I only have mild feelings of arousal, though not thinking paedophilic thoughts.
This is really messing me up…I also now remember at the conclusion of the thoughts thinking ‘I’m a paedophile’ and getting a rush of excitement and arousal rather than disgust like I do now at the thought. Anxiety might have come straight after this but I’m really not sure…
Other than the run-on sentences, I can’t see anything wrong with this guy, besides the anxiety issues that he is torturing himself with. As you can see, this person is going round and round about anxieties in his head, and his mind is chasing its tail. He’s trying to think his way to a correct solution of this problem, but that’s not going to be possible.
A concise picture emerges from this case study. Although there are some variations, this is the classic picture that I see in most every case. I tell them that it seems like they are reading off the same script.
The OCD preys on whatever you are most afraid of. There’s ridiculous and insane mass hysteria about child molesters nowadays, and being a child molester is about the worst thing that you could be. OCD tells you your worst fears are going to come true. Since people are terrified of pedophilia, we are seeing a lot of OCD playing into this fear. A while back, there was a wave of AIDS OCD. It plays up whatever fears are floating around in society.
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