Sexual confusion

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have always had problems with anxiety and depression. So has many other people in my immediate family. Several years ago, I had debillitating anxiety that manifested as irrational worry, (i.e. despite living my whole life drug free, i worried that i would become a drug addict and lose everything) strange, huh. I eventually pulled out of that episode, and lived for years, worry free. Well about a year ago, the worry came back, though this time I worried about being a pedophile. I have never touched a child nor had a sexual fantasy about a child, and I have never thought about a child during masturbation. But i have this constant fear of becoming this, and i have obsessive thoughts about it. I avoid all contact with children even though i know i would never do anything. So, i went to the doctor and told him about anxiety (not the child part, because of fear of persecution)and he put me on paxil. Paxil tamed the anxiety, but the obsessive thoughts are still there and it seems they are getting worse. I know I have sexually preffered girls between 18 and 21, but I know these wierd feelings are “not me”, and this didnt start until a year ago at age 32. Am I a pedophile? Is this a strange manifestation of OCD? what is going on with me? Please help if you can and advise me on what i should do or if it is even posssible to overcome this.

A. Find a therapist who believes in talk therapy. Medication has not really helped you with your obsessive thoughts and talk therapy very well might. Your interest in girls between the ages 18-21 would hardly make you a pedophile. Be prepared for a lengthy period of time spent with your new therapist. It would also be good to find a therapist who utilized cognitive therapy. Good luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jul 2005

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2005). Sexual confusion. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2005/07/07/sexual-confusion/