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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi there! I have an issue that I believe is related to OCD

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Hi there! I have an issue that I believe is related to OCD and just need some help and guidance. Just lately I have been having weird thoughts entering my head regarding children! I was sexually abused on one occasion as a child and have not thought about it for years and it hasn't really affected my life but lately I find myself averting my gaze when I see children on TV or am around them. I am definitely not sexually attracted to children and would rather kill myself than harm a child but I can't seem to stop these thoughts that pop into my head. I have suffered from OCD in the past and believe that there is a relation between the disorder and these thoughts. I realize right from wrong and would never ever fantasise about children in a sexual way but just need some clarification that I am not a bad person and am instead suffering from OCD. Please help!
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are experiencing some of the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive disorder. There are many different types of OCD. Some people obsess about germs, others about behaviors (repeating) and some about sexuality. Your obsession does not mean you are going to become a pedophile. It only means that you have picked a thought that is unacceptable to you and now you are fearful of it. The focus on your fear has become an obsession. It could also be that thinking about what happened to you as a child has become too overwhelming so you have turned your feelings into an OCD type of reaction.

What can help is to realize that your fear is the focus, not what your thoughts are about. In other words, it is not that you are going to become a pedophile just because you think you will. It is your fear of that thought that drives your obsession.

To address this, try changing the way you think about your fear. When the thought comes into your mind that you are attracted to children, instead of thinking that you are going to become a pedophile, recognize that you are having an obsessive thought and that is all. Make it about the obsession rather than what you are obsessing about.

Also, realize that the thoughts you are having are because you probably have OCD. This is a disorder caused by altered brain chemicals, and is not caused by you being a pedophile or even that there is anything wrong with you. This is not you but instead it is about OCD and the symptoms.

Refocus your thoughts. When the thoughts come into your mind, distract yourself. Find something that interests you and focus on it as long as you can.

Do not give your obsession meaning. The more you focus on it, the more importance you give it. So treat it like it's nothing. "It's only my thoughts. It does not mean anything".

You may also want to get treatment. Medications and therapy are very helpful and can provide you with the coping mechanisms you need to deal with your thoughts. And medications can help reduce the thoughts or possibly eliminate them. Talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at Also consider seeing a therapist to help you work through your past abuse. It could be that once you work through what happened to you, you might experience relief of your symptoms.

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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