Paraphilic Disorders

Things you should know...

What is a paraphilic disorder?

Paraphilia is a term that describes individuals with atypical sexual preferences. Preferences can include a variety of activities and are considered normal. However, if you have been diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder, it means that this "atypical sexual preference is causing you significant distress or impairment, or entails personal harm or risk to others." The behavior associated with the disorder is recurring and would include intense sexually arousing fantasies (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Having a paraphilic disorder can cause harm to the self and others, and evokes feelings of shame, guilt, intense sexual frustration, and loneliness (DSM-V, 2013), and most people do not seek treatment (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014) but you have made the first step! Continue on to learn about types, causes, treatment, and resources.

There are different types of Paraphilic Disorders:

Diagnosis and Description:
Fetishistic Disorder- Non-living objects or non-genital body parts
Transvestistic Disorder- Cross Dressing
Sexual Sadism Disorder -Acts involving the physical or psychological suffering
of another person
Sexual Masochism Disorder -Acts of being humiliated, beaten, bound, or other-
wise made to suffer
Voyeuristic Disorder -Act of observing an unsuspecting person who is
naked, undressing, or engaged in sexual activity
Exhibitionistic Disorder- Exposure of one's genitals to an unsuspecting
Frotteuristic Disorder -Touching or rubbing against a non-consenting
Pedophilic Disorder-Sexual activity with a prepubescent child or

(Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014)
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Causes of Paraphiliac Disorder:

A number of things may cause a person to evolve into a paraphilic disorder. Perhaps you are able to think back when you were younger and remember sexual abuse, physical abuse, or exposure to a sexually stimulating atmosphere. Children who were exposed to corporal punishment, or aggression are more likely to act out impulsively, aggressively, or sexually toward others in a negative way later. There is suggestion that brain development and structure, and problems with the hormonal system may contribute to pedophilia.
Behavioral psychologists suggest that it is possible that a patient diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder may have been exposed to a stimulus, then had sexual thoughts and fantasies about the stimulus, and continually reinforced that stimulus through fantasy or masturbation. Cognitive theorists suggest that behavior is passed down through a sort of process of thought about the behavior learned from parents to justify the maltreatment of others.

Treatment Options

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Important Components that Help in Recovery for Offenders

When going through the process of treating a paraphelic disorder as an offender, it is important to gain empathy for those forced in to a situation. Therapy will help you identify persons as victims and with help you identify with the victim. This helps reduce the possibility of re-offending (Benuto & Zapanick, 2009). It is also important that you have a support system such as friends, family, or a sponsor. Below is a link to sexaholics anonymous and sex addicts anonymous which can help connect you to support from peers.

For more information:

Concerns regarding access or payment:

These resources are available if you should need help with a referral or obtaining an insurance plan