POCD (Sexual Taboos)
POCD involves the irrational fear that one might be a pedophile or predator, despite no evidence. Other sexual OCD sufferers experience upsetting obsessions about inappropriate sexual relationships, such as family members, married people, coworkers, children, animals, rape, the dead, or a divine entity. They fear they are or will become a pedophile, rapist, molester, adulterer, promiscuous, pornographer, paraphiliac, fetishistic, or deviant. Others question their sexual orientation (HOCD).
Don't be embarrassed; millions are going through the same thing as you. Email a question to Dr. Brodsky with complete confidentiality for a free consultation. Only Dr. Brodsky himself will ever see your question. If you're ready to start, make an appointment online, or you can call 212-726-2390. Sessions are available online or in-person nationwide.
Sexual OCD sufferers constantly test their arousal level to these people hoping to reassure themselves that they're normal. They review past situations to determine whether a completely ordinary interaction might mysteriously have resulted in forced sexual contact, STD, or even pregnancy. Some fear that while drunk at a social or work gathering they were recklessly intimate with their boss, boss's spouse, best friend's girlfriend or boyfriend, or in-law and have amnesia about it. They keep monitoring coworkers and friends after the event for hints of possible confirmation of their indiscretion.
Others have OCD that they might have been the victim of the above sexual misconduct. This is different from an actual victim. The OCD sufferer knows rationally they're not, but can't stop reviewing their life for horrifying violations. Even consenting adults worry whether one or the other feel coerced.
People who worry they've done something illegal, such as rape, molestation, or child pornography will check TV and newspapers for reports of their imagined crime. Others worry they will become deviant in the future.
Like other OCD that have interpersonal themes, the underlying issues in POCD or harm obsessions have nothing to do with sex or harm. Sufferers usually had bad role models of relationships characterized by a "control or be controlled" or "perpetrator or victim" nature. Indeed, POCD sufferers can sometimes feel like the perpetrator and other times feel like the victim. They see other people as more threatening or more vulnerable than they really are. Knowing only these extremes, they're just projecting their own vulnerability onto others as a defense mechanism rather than feel vulnerable themselves. But it backfires because perceiving others as vulnerable victims makes them think they themselves are the perpetrators. Indeed, they are both.
Email a question to Dr. Brodsky with complete confidentiality for a free consultation within 24 hours to see whether you're suffering with POCD. Only Dr. Brodsky himself will ever see your message or speak to you. If you feel ready to start, you can make an appointment online now or just call 212-726-2390. Sessions are available online or in-person nationwide.