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Am I Really a Pedophile Or Just Sick?

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I’m a 23-year-old female who just graduated college. I’ve been in the psychiatric hospital twice in the last year, and never before that. In this same time period, I have seen a therapist and a psychiatrist on a regular basis. Half the doctors I have seen consider me to be bipolar; the other half have diagnosed me schizophrenic. So I’ve got a few conflicting diagnoses that the doctors don’t seem to agree upon completely.

The issue I raise here is one I have not raised with any of those doctors, as I am very upset and afraid at discussing it.

When I become psychotic, the first step I experience is some sort of pedophilia. I fantasize about taking a small child from inattentive parents and molesting them. When my psychosis is full-blown, I fantasize about molesting and killing these children. It takes up all my free time, thinking about these things happening, when it is at the worst point. On both occasions where it got this bad, I succeeded in admitting myself to the hospital before doing anything harmful.

My question is the following: are these visions/tendencies a result of my bipolar disorder/schizophrenia (and further, is one of these more likely to result in such things than the other)? Or am I just a really screwed-up person beyond reach at this point? Is there just some-something wrong with me?

Am I Really a Pedophile Or Just Sick?

Answered by on -


To be able to answer your question accurately I would need to ask you many questions about your psychological history. It could take hours of analytical analysis to determine whether your thoughts are delusions or hallucinations and to know exactly what their source is.

The thoughts you describe are very serious in nature. You were contemplating the abduction and molestation of a young child. Your thoughts threaten the lives of innocent human beings. Not only would these actions be harmful to others but they’d be detrimental to your life. Right now you are a free woman. If you committed these acts of torture and violence you’d risk being incarcerated for possibly the remainder of your life.

The positive aspect of this situation is that you were able to admit yourself to a hospital before one of these events occurred.

You said that you are frightened to discuss your thoughts with your treating mental health providers. I would strongly urge you to be honest with them. They need to be aware of your thoughts. If you do not reveal these very serious thoughts to them they will not be able to help you stop them. I know you are frightened to disclose this information to them but you must do so now while they are still thoughts. The concern is that sometime in the future you will not be able to control your thoughts or admit yourself to a hospital.

People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder commonly experience thoughts and feelings that are beyond their control. Medications are available to help control these unwanted experiences. Medication could greatly benefit you and stop these unwanted thoughts from occurring. But you need to disclose this information to your doctor or therapist immediately so that you can begin finding ways to stop your thoughts.

I strongly encourage you to please be brave and inform your treatment professionals about what you have been thinking. You are not beyond help. Actually the opposite is true. Help now could greatly benefit you and possibly prevent a future tragedy. You cannot get into trouble for your thoughts. But if you are not proactive in this situation there may be a time when your thoughts take over and you actually carry out the kidnapping and rape of a child. Don’t let your fear of disclosure be the reason you commit a heinous crime against innocent human beings. These horrific actions if carried out could ruin the lives of individuals, families and entire communities. It would also most likely guarantee that you’d spend many years in prison.

Now is the time to act. At this point we are only dealing with thoughts. No one has been hurt and you’re still a free, non-incarcerated individual. Make the choice to disclose your thoughts to your treating professionals immediately. It is the only correct action to take in this situation.

Am I Really a Pedophile Or Just Sick?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Am I Really a Pedophile Or Just Sick?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.