9 Signs That You Might Have Pedophilia OCD (POCD)

A checklist of common symptoms and behaviors. If you're suffering, consult a licensed professional.

Key Takeaways:
  • Pedophilia OCD, aka POCD, is the constant fear that you are a pedophile and pose a risk to children. This subtype comes with an immense amount of shame and guilt.
  • Identifying subtypes of Pure OCD can be very difficult. Symptoms manifest differently for each sufferer. However, there tend to be common thoughts and behaviors that may indicate someone is suffering from Pedophilia OCD.
  • Dr. Jordan Levy is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Manhattan at the Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy and in Livingston, New Jersey.

1. Are you terrorized with unwanted thoughts that you may be attracted to kids?

2. Do you assess your groinal response while looking at underage individuals or when you are in the same physical space as kids? For example, thinking things like “Do I feel more aroused by an attractive woman than this 8-year-old? Am I sexually aroused right now?”

3. Are you avoiding places where kids may congregate such as parks, museums and zoos out of a fear of being physically aroused by children?

4. Have you done an Internet search for pedophilia and attempted to compare what you are reading to your current experience? For example, thinking things like “Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children. What if this isn’t pOCD and I’m actually just a pedophile?”

5. Do you scan your sexual history for signs that may represent inappropriate behavior? For example, “When I was 10 I grabbed my sister’s butt. Does this mean I’m a sexual deviant? What about when I was 15 and thought a 13-year-old was attractive? Is this proof that I am attracted to 13-year-olds?”

6. Are you putting off having kids out of a fear that you may act sexually inappropriate towards them? For example, thinking things like “I can not bring a child into this world if I am a risk to them. How can I even date someone knowing that I may be a pedophile?”

7. In addition to immense anxiety, do you also feel overwhelming shame that you are having these thoughts?

8 Have you chosen to watch pornography that clearly does not contain someone who is underage or abstained from pornography/any sexual behavior altogether? For example, thinking things like “Pedophiles watch child porn. I better watch something that is as far away from child porn as possible. Maybe I will cut out masturbation altogether so that these thoughts won’t come up.”

9. Are you worried that others may think you are a pedophile?

*This checklist is not intended to serve as a replacement for a diagnosis by a qualified licensed psychologist.