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Am I a Bad Person?

From the U.S.: I have SEVERE OCD. I was diagnosed with it in 2009. I have been in Therapy since then. My Mother passed away this past December from Uterine Cancer. I stopped going to Therapy because I was helping take care of her.

My current Doctor is cutting back on his practice so I’m now in between Doctors. Now, since 2009, I’ve taken Prozac. I take The Prozac at night because when I’m at work, I don’t want to get a stomach ache,and I work during the day.

Last Thursday, while at work, I had to use the bathroom. I put my smock over the bathroom stall. As I was going to get it, I saw someone’s crotch as that person was urinating.I don’t know if this person was 8,9 or 13 yrs. old. I know the person was underage. I don’t know how long and how many times I looked at the person’s crotch. It could’ve been 1 min., 2 mins. or 10 mins. I’m not sure.The underage person whose crotch I saw I think was Mentally Handicapped but he was still standing at the urinal.

The truth is that I couldn’t afford to go to counseling. After My Mother died, I had to get a job and pay the bills and other expenses to think about. I didn’t stop going to counseling because I felt like not going. It’s just I had other things on my mind plus, I couldn’t afford it financially.

Now, I know you don’t know me but I have to ask. Did I do anything wrong? Am I a bad person? I would really like to know. Please email and not call.

Yes, you did do something wrong. Staring at an underage or handicapped person’s crotch is against the law and rightfully so. But — and this is an important but — you weren’t knowingly doing it for your own titillation. You have OCD.

I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t respond to how the diagnosis factors in legally. But as a psychologist, I can say that I don’t see you as a bad person. I see you as a person with a long-term mental illness that isn’t currently being treated. It isn’t helpful to judge yourself harshly for what you did. It is more useful to understand the incident as a signal to yourself that you still need treatment.

Sadly, you’ve had a hard lesson in the consequences of not working with a therapist. Get back into treatment with a prescriber and a therapist. There are alternatives if you don’t have the ability to pay. See this article for a list of options.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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