What is P-OCD?
Pedophilia OCD, or P-OCD, is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder involving constant obsessions and compulsions related to sex with children. People with P-OCD may have persistent fears that they are pedophiles, even though they have no sexual interest in children. The compulsive behaviors associated with this condition are usually attempts to relieve the anxiety caused by these thoughts (for example, spending hours researching online to try and determine what makes someone a pedophile).
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Symptoms of P-OCD
People suffering from P-OCD experience the disorder in one of two ways: excessive fear of acting like a pedophile, or concern that their thoughts mean they are already a pedophile. An example of the former would be “What if I accidentally touch this child inappropriately when I’m alone with them?”, and the latter would be something like “I can’t believe I found a teenager attractive. It must mean I’m a pediatricophile.” For people with P-OCD, these concerns feel impossible to shake off. Anxiety and panic disorders are characterized by overwhelming fear and worry. These feelings can be so intense that they interfere with daily activities.
It is crucial to understand that the thoughts people with P-OCD experience are not related whatsoever to their pedophilia. They fear being a pedophile or doing things that would make them look like one, but they gain no pleasure from these thoughts. In comparison, a real pedophile experiences sexual gratification from thinking about children. Someone with P-OCD will go to great lengths trying to get rid of these intrusive and horrifying thoughts. People with P-OCD often become consumed by shame, guilt, and fear to the point where they may stop seeing their family. This subtype of OCD can be exceptionally difficult to manage due to the isolation it causes.