CSA obsessive-compulsive disorder

From MAP Wiki

Child sexual abuse obsessive-compulsive disorder, more commonly referred to as "pedophilia obsessive-compulsive disorder" or "POCD", is a type of OCD, centered around intrusive thoughts and compulsions about sexual or mostly sexual harm to children.

OCD overview

OCD is a neurological disorder, associated with genetic and environmental factors. A mutation in a human serotonin transporter gene (hSERT) has been pointed out as one of its possible causes[1], that’s why most of the medication, frequently prescribed for this disorder, belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other methods of treatment for OCD include cognitive-behavioral therapy, specifically its subtype, exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy[2]. OCD most commonly manifests as a combination of obsessive intrusive thoughts (unwanted ideas or images, appearing in one's mind) and compulsions (actions one feels an urge to perform in order to soothe the intrusive thoughts). OCD is sometimes classified by the nature and topic of obsessions and compulsions: cleaning (contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions); doubt (compulsive checking and self reassurance); symmetry (symmetry obsessions and repeating, ordering, and counting compulsions); forbidden or taboo thoughts (aggressive, sexual, and religious obsessions)[3]. It is important to know that OCD can present differently throughout one's life, and it is possible to have obsessions and compulsions from several categories, subsequently or at the same time. OCD subtypes are not independent diagnoses.

Child sexual abuse obsessive-compulsive disorder overview

CSA OCD/POCD belongs to the fourth category of OCD.

Typical obsessions

  • thoughts about sexual abuse of a child;
  • thoughts about a naked child;
  • 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;
  • unwanted arousal sensations even with mere thoughts of a child's company.

Typical compulsions

  • avoidance of children;
  • avoidance of activities that may include interactions with children;
  • avoidance of reading articles or watching shows that mention child sexual abuse or minor attraction;
  • doubt and suspicion towards one's own behavior around children;
  • constantly asking for advice and reassurance from trusted loved ones regarding self-doubt and guilt[4].

Some people suffer additional intrusive thoughts about bringing nonsexual harm to children. This type of OCD is treated by the same methods as any other type of OCD. It is also important to note that OCD-induced fears do not necessarily reflect what one considers to be harmful to children. For instance, a person can be afraid of experiencing arousal in presence of a child without actually believing this arousal would be noticeable/harmful. OCD is irrational at its core, and the mind fixates on worst case scenarios.

Alternative terminology

Since typical intrusive thoughts, characterizing this disorder, do not concern pedophilia as a type of attraction, but CSA, renaming from "pedophilia obsessive-compulsive disorder" to "child sexual abuse obsessive-compulsive disorder" makes most sense. However, it is possible that some people suffer from genuine intrusive thoughts about pedophilia as an identity, without any thoughts about CSA (even though such cases are not yet recorded). It is possible to reserve the term "POCD" for this situation, bringing its meaning closer to homosexual OCD and other sexual orientation OCD types[5].

CSA OCD and the map community

Mapmisia Of People With CSA OCD

As the more common name of this disorder, "POCD", might hint, many people experiencing it equate their thoughts of child abuse with pedophilia. "You are not a pedophile" is a common affirmation[6], and articles, written by and for people with this OCD type often claim that maps groom and sexually abuse children[7].

Multiple people with CSA OCD choose to relieve their stress by verbal violence towards maps and accuse maps of worsening their symptoms.

Ableism of maps

After negative interactions, some maps adopt ableist attitudes towards people with CSA OCD:

  • Mistrust and suspicion towards everyone with this disorder. Some maps automatically consider any person with CAOCD to be a mapmisiac.
  • Denial of CSA OCD's existence, equating it to internalized mapmisia. Poor understanding of OCD leads maps to believe this condition is just sexual fantasies about children.

Map/CSA OCD unity

Many on both sides also choose to become allies. Both are extremely stigmatized groups and both may need access to the same mental health resources, because actual maps with internalized mapmisia might need to hear that they are not doomed to rape, and, according to anecdotal evidence, people with CSAOCD experience milder symptoms in an environment where attraction to children is not seen as scary and scandalous.

In addition to that, contrary to popular belief, a map can experience CSA OCD. Maps who already have OCD are an underreported risk group for this disorder. OCD intrusive thoughts and compulsions can include both children outside of a map's age of attraction and inside.