Paraphilic Disorder

Do I suffer from a sexual disorder? What are the symptoms?

What is Paraphilic Disorder?

Paraphilia is defined as a “condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme". Many paraphilia’s revolve around particular objects or an act, for example inflicting pain or children. The paraphilia disorder is also more common in men than in women. Most individuals who suffer for paraphilia are distinguished by a preoccupation with the object or behavior to the point of sexual gratification or dependency.

What are the Characteristics of Paraphilic Disorder ?

  • alterations to the nervous system: head injury
  • Behavioral theories such as sexual arousal or stimuli
  • Fantasizing about individuals having sexual intercourse
  • "Dirty" talk
  • feel personal distress about their interest, not merely distress resulting from society’s disapproval;
  • or have a sexual desire or behavior that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury, or
  • death, or a desire for sexual behaviors involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal
  • consent.
  • More men suffer from this disorder than women

What causes this disorder?

There is no clear definition on what causes individuals to suffer from Paraphilic disorder. Many researchers believe that it occurs during a behavioral process called conditioning. For instance, non sexual objects become arousing to the individual.

Other research states it could be due to sexual inappropriateness during an early age, which means a child victim reinforces the behavior they witnessed or experienced more aggressively at a later age.

Is it treatable? What are my options?

Paraphilic disorder is treatable. However, most individuals who suffer from this disorder do not seek treatment here are some options for those who choose to seek help:

  • psychoanalysis, hypnosis, and behavior therapy techniques
  • a class of drugs called antiandrogens that drastically lower testosterone levels temporarily have been used in conjunction with these forms of treatment
  • Reconditioning techniques
  • Antidepressants
  • Empathy Training


Psychology Today. (2002). Paraphilias (Causes) | Psychology Today.

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Sexual Conditions Health Center. (2005). Paraphilias and Mental Health.

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Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). Abnormal psychology (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

American Psychiatric Publishing. (2013). Paraphilic Disorders.

Retrieved August 4,2014, from