From a teen in the U.S.: I’ll keep it brief. I’m 14 and a girl and I’ve recently started having really scary thoughts about being a pedophile. I really don’t think I am at all, but I keep having thoughts that convince me that I am, and then I convince myself that I’m not, and then the cycle repeats. I’ve mentioned this to my mom and she told me that she would support me no matter what, but that I am NOT a pedophile. That comforted me. I just want to stop the cycle of thinking about me being a pedophile and it ruining my life because I feel like it’s making me more and more anxious. Just to be clear, I am like 90% sure that I’m not, but I need help. I want to make sure that I’m not a pedophile and I want to stop thinking about it!
PS. I also have OCD. I go to a therapist and take Luvox (but I’m almost off it! :)
A: I believe you. You are not a pedophile. But you are caught up in thinking about what you don’t want to think.You have fallen into a vicious cycle where the more you think about NOT being a pedophile, the more you think about it.
This is a normal response to trying not to think about something. The same thing would happen if I told you that you should absolutely, positively not for a moment think about a purple gorilla. Trying not to think about it would be thinking about it.
Please talk to your therapist about how to do some “thought stopping”. Your therapist can teach you how to banish unwanted thoughts.
I wish you well.