Am I a Pedophile?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi (before i tell you what i’ve been diagnose with ADHD, Bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and i refuse to take my medication). I’m 20yrs of age. I’ve been having issues lately that are ruining my life!

about a week ago, it was late night i watching an animated christmas movie. well there’s a little girl in there and i got a very uncomfortable arousal and well i was able to brush it off without no issue. Didn’t bother me until i left to my girlfriends house, about two days later me and her had an argument and went to sleep. I woke up in the middle night with heart burn, i couldn’t sleep and for the first time in years i was afraid of the dark i had nothing but unwanted thoughts (it’s not the first time I’ve had unwanted thoughts like sleeping with my cousin, or hurting my grandmother) but they never bothered until this certain night.

Well ever since then i haven’t felt right around little girls, i can’t be around my nieces whom I’m always around but now its a constant battle of me telling my self i’m not a pedophile, then feeling like i am. I can’t. Get turned on by curvy woman anymore and it brings me to tears every day because i might be a pedophile. I’ve been thinking of committing suicide or castration.

I feel like a monster. my family, friends, and girl friend feel like I’m over thinking something so small but i on’t know what else to do. i test My self by looking at pictures of little girls to see if i get an erection and no i don’t but i get close to a child and i get and uncomfortable arousal.

I can’t be have sexual I’m afraid to masturbate(two things i love to do a lot). Now if i have sex with my girlfriend it’s very uncomfortable, i’m afraid that I’m a pedophile i should be locked up. All i do is cry My eyes everyday. I’m usually into curvy women, why would. I think like this. I feel like i should get a castration, it would help me control what I’m turned on by, I’ve had a pretty depressing week. Last time i felt like this i.thought i had aids! I just wanna be my self again. I don’t wanna be a pedophile nor a child molester!

A: Thank you for writing. I can tell that this is causing you great suffering. It’s highly unlikely that you’re a pedophile. It’s more likely that you are so concerned that you might be that you are making yourself anxious and depressed. It’s like this: What if I told you that under no certain terms you should never think about a white alligator. You probably could think of nothing else. That’s because trying not to think about something makes us think about it.

Meanwhile — why aren’t you taking your medication?? Does it make you feel bad? Isn’t it working as it should? It sounds to me like you need to have an honest conversation with your psychiatrist. Please remember that your doctor only has what you tell him or her to go on so you need to provide as much information as you can about how you are feeling both on and off your medications.

If you aren’t seeing a mental health counselor, I urge you to do so. There is help for those diagnoses. You can learn ways to manage your feelings and to work around the ADHD. You probably need some solid coaching and support in the process.

You are only 20. If you take better care of yourself now, it is likely you can have a long life free from this kind of torment. Please take care of yourself and get the help you need.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Am I a Pedophile?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/13/am-i-a-pedophile/