Lauren Pellizzi LLC

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Pedophilia OCD

What is Pedophilia OCD?

Pedophilia OCD (pOCD) includes unwanted harmful or sexual thoughts about children, or sexual orientation towards a child. This subtype of OCD often results in panic, anguish, shame and depression. People living with pedophilia OCD have no desire to harm a child, yet are tormented by thoughts of doing so.  It is important to note that individuals with Pedophilia OCD patients are not pedophiles.  The difference between someone living with pOCD and an actual pedophile couldn’t be greater.  A pedophile takes pleasure in situations in which they have an opportunity to find sexual gratification around children.  Sufferers of pOCD are so horrified by their thoughts that they will avoid children at all costs.  Furthermore, an individual living with pOCD is no more likely to be a pedophile than an individual who does not have pOCD. It is a disorder of anxiety and uncertainty, not sexual urges and behaviors. 


Common Obsessions in Pedophilia OCD:

  • Unwanted thoughts and images of sexual acts with a child
  • Unwanted thoughts and images of a naked child
  • Intrusive thoughts of having sexually molested a child
  • Disruptive thoughts of having sexually abused or molested a child in the past and fear that one may be in denial or has forgotten, blacked out and erased the memory
  • Having unwanted arousal sensations even with mere thoughts of a child’s company


Common Compulsions in Pedophilia OCD:

  • Avoidance of normal situations that involve even the most common and simplest physical contact with a child
  • Avoidance of normal activities or duties towards children such as bathing, changing clothes or diapers, and other routine care-giving activities
  • Avoidance of reading articles or watching shows that somehow depicts pedophilia, either explicitly or not
  • Constantly asking for advice and reassurance from trusted loved ones regarding self-doubt and guilt.
  • Always reviewing for subtle indicators or past events and encounters which may show a sign of a pedophilic behavior


For individuals with OCD, an endless amount of time is spent attempting to answer the unanswerable questions that the OCD posits. OCD is masterful at deceiving the sufferer by saying “if you just spend a little time on this question, you will figure it out and feel so much better!” Because the threat feels so real, it is extremely difficult to resist engaging in mental compulsions. The most imperative item on the agenda becomes gaining certainty. Often times, sufferers will replay past scenarios in their minds, making sure to examine every single “fact” that was present.


Treatment for Pedophilia OCD

​People suffering from Pedophilia OCD are encouraged to seek treatment from a mental health treatment provider that specializes in the treatment of OCD.  OCD specialists are equipped and prepared to treat a wide array of OCD subtypes, including Pedophilia OCD . Like all types of OCD, Pedophilia OCD can be treated with a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention.  Contact Lauren Pellizzi to start treatment.