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Paraphilias are emotional disorders defined as sexually arousing fantasies, urges or behaviors that are recurrent, intense, occur over a specific period of time, and cause significant distress involving non-consenting partners, partners who are suffering or being humiliated (simulated or real) or through the use of an object.
There are a number of causes that result in Paraphilic disorders. Some of them are:
- Brain injury
- Biological factors
- Humiliating factors
In most cases, one or more events occurred during childhood that led the individual to associate sexual pleasure with that event (or object) thus resulting in the development of a paraphilia.
Symptoms of Paraphilia:
- Humiliating another person
- Beating or spanking
Symptoms of paraphilia can include preoccupation to the point of obsessiveness that may intrude on the person's attempt to intimate with the person of similar age. Paraphilia sufferers may experience depression or anxiety that is temporarily relieved by engaging in paraphilic behavior, thus leading to an addictive cycle.
How do health professionals diagnose paraphilias?
Usually providers of mental-health care help make the diagnosis of paraphilias, including licensed mental-health therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers.
Common Treatment of Paraphilias:
Treatment modalities currently used fall into three categories: surgical castration, psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy.
- Pharmacological interventions consist of antiandrogens.Cyproterone and medroxyprogesterone acetates are the two antiandrogens more commonly used.
- Psychotropic drugs may be effective solely in men with a definite obsessive-compulsive disorder component.
- Group therapy helps in breaking through the denial so commonly found in people.
- Cognitive therapies described include restructuring cognitive distortions and empathy training. Also social skills are a better way to treat patients with these types of disorders.
Physicians must be aware that not every therapist treats people with paraphilias. There may be a need for consultations with other professionals, such as a neurologist (if neurologic signs are present), an attorney, or even a member of the clergy.