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POCD

Question:

Hi,

I’m going to try to explain my situation. I started with depression since I was 13. I was abused physically and psychologically by my mom. I got over that. The thing is that, at age 29, I started experiencing panic attacks which I manage to get under control.

One day this horrible thought popped into my mind that I was a child molester. I’m a 32 year old woman,I have always been attracted to men and never attracted to children sexually in any way. I used to love to be around them and I was very good with them teaching them to pray, etc.

So I just want to know why is this thought in my mind? Can these be from demonic obsessions? I went to a counselor and she told me I have OCD. But why sometimes do I doubt myself? It’s sad because I wanted to get married and have kids. Now I don’t want to.

Thank God I’m going to die and be with God.

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Answer:

By that last statement that “you are going to die and be with God,” I assume you mean that all of us are someday going to die. I hope and pray that you are not thinking about suicide. If you are, then it is vital that you go to the emergency room of your local hospital, tell them that you are feeling suicidal and they will help you. The most important thing is to be safe. Later, you can sort all of this out.

Nevertheless, it’s important to discuss your very important questions.

First, your mother was abusive both emotionally and physically. Based on my long experience as a psychotherapist, it is my opinion that you did not “get over that.” For most people who survived abuse during their childhood, it requires the help and support of a psychotherapist and attendance at support groups made up of people who went through the same type of trauma.

In the same way, it’s unlikely that you simply got over panic attacks. Probably, you experience intense anxiety instead of the full blown panic.

The focus of psychology is on human behavior and emotion and not on religious belief. Therefore, I do not believe that your disturbing thoughts have anything to do with “demonic possession.” What I can tell you that it is common for people who have survived child abuse to fear that they will become abusers. The thought that popped into your head has more to do with that fear than anything else, at least that is what I suspect. Even your conclusion that you cannot marry and have children has to do with your feat that you might be just like your mother.

You need to keep in mind that you are not your mother and that there is no reason why you cannot marry and have your own kids. I do want to encourage you to be in psychotherapy as a way of reducing your suffering and coming to accept yourself as a good person who will not do what your mother did. Also, there are many support groups of people with similar problems help one another to heal. You can find one in your area by doing a Google search.

By the way, if you have OCD, constant self doubting goes along with that diagnosis.

I hope this helps a little and that you get help so you can start on the road to truly healing.

Best of Luck

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