Have Sexual Fantasies Corrupted My Eyes and Body?

Reader’s Question

I am suffering from serious problems. Mainly initially it used to be in sexual fantasies. Now I am feeling my eyes have become corrupt as some bad thing filled my eyes and my whole body is intoxicated (may be due to bad hormone levels) and I am frequently having bad thoughts. For some time (4 or 5 years) I have been having problems in seeing females. I can’t look them in their eyes and face. My mere presence around them causes lots of inconvenience to them as well as to me. They get frightened on seeing me. I can’t look at any female even from a long distance. Also if I try to see them I feel embarrassed. I feel my face is projecting bad things and something in my head is causing it. I am feeling tortured due to this. I don’t know if there is a cure available or not. I am trying a lot but no improvement. I am trying to stop all fantasies. I want to be freindly and respectful. I don’t how to come out of this trap. I am feeling tortured.

Psychologist’s Reply

You are describing a serious psychiatric symptom. Your symptoms may be related to the gradual onset of a significant mental health problem. Your symptoms can also be part of a severe depression or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

If this is a significant psychiatric illness, this typically surfaces between the ages of 18 and 25 and is actually a form of paranoia combined with guilt. Our label for the condition is “delusional guilt” — that is, guilt that is so severe that it includes false beliefs (delusions) about contamination, projecting your thoughts to others, guilt, shame, and having thoughts that are out of your control. When we see delusional guilt in practice, it often has equal combinations of sexual and religious preoccupation.

You will likely be having “ideas of reference” — another psychiatric term in which routine experiences in your environment are interpreted as being directly related to your preoccupation (sexual fantasies, guilt, etc.). You will feel that expressions on the faces of females are due to something your brain has projected to them — making them feel that way. If these symptoms increase, you will soon feel you are being singled out for persecution by the community.

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Exactly as you describe, this situation is torture. The condition is caused by changes in your brain chemistry. In public, you will find yourself hyperalert — intensely looking at everything and anticipating a threat. You will have thoughts of guilt and sexual fantasies that will force their way into your thinking.

There is help for this situation. We now know what causes this condition and have medications that are very helpful in controlling the symptoms and returning your thoughts to normal. I would recommend that you see a psychiatrist, report your symptoms like you have done to me, and cooperate with treatment. A psychiatrist is trained to decide if your symptoms are related to depression, delusional guilt, or OCD. Importantly, this is not a curse or something caused by having sexual fantasies. It is a change in your brain chemistry that is showing itself in your thought process, just like we recognize high blood pressure by a person’s red/flushed face. Mental health professionals are trained to recognize changes in thought process while physicians recognize medical and physical signs. Your symptoms are very treatable.

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