It’s impossible to provide a diagnosis over the Internet, but generally speaking it’s not normal to be attracted to children. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, individuals who meet the following criteria may have a pedophilia disorder:
- For at least six months, have had intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child; or
- Have acted on these sexual urges or the sexual urges or fantasies have caused distress or interpersonal difficulty.
It is good that you recognize this as a problem. You must do whatever is necessary to ensure that you never harm a child. One of the most effective prevention strategies, is seeking professional help. You should be working closely with a mental health professional to control your urges and behavior.
Counseling can also help you to understand why you feel the way you do, but most importantly it can teach you how to divert these unhealthy urges into something more healthy and appropriate. There’s no law against thinking particular thoughts, but indulging in these thoughts significantly increases the risk for dangerous behavior.
You hypothesized that maybe you have these feelings because you want your own children but I don’t think so. Until this problem has been completely eliminated, you should avoid children. Nor should you be trying to start a family. At this point, your urges are not well controlled. I hope that you consider seeking help. It is the best preventative measure you can take. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle