If you are currently having thoughts of suicide, including possible plans for how to carry it out, you should
- go to your local emergency room as soon as possible to obtain emergency mental health assistance; or,
- contact your local suicide prevention hotline; or,
- contact the United States National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988. They also have specialized services for veterans, young adults, and persons speaking Spanish.
Remember that if you are an adult and were to report actual sexual activity with a child, mental health providers will be required to report you to local child protective services, children’s aid society, or local police for investigation. However, if you only report that you are a minor-attracted adult who is emotionally and/or physically attracted to children, the mental health provider generally is not required to report your having thoughts about attraction to children.
If you were to report thoughts or plans for sexual activity with a particular child, or if you have children living with you, or if you have a job working with children, the mental health provider might report you having thoughts of sexual activity with children because of the requirement to report if there is a risk that the child is likely to suffer physical harm inflicted by the person having charge of the child.
Note also that, depending upon the jurisdiction, there are also laws requiring the reporting of older children who have reported sexual activity with younger children. There are also some providers who are unclear as to when to report and, in their effort to protect children and/or to protect their own liability, will report despite no requirement, in order to be safe.
If you are not currently suicidal, but are depressed and want help, you should seek mental health treatment so that you can decrease your depression and feel better about yourself. We are unable to know all the potential therapists throughout the United States, yet alone the larger global community, in order to refer individual MAPs to competent therapists. Therefore, you need to search locally for a competent mental health provider. If your depression is unrelated to your being a minor-attracted person, then you might decide not to report to the provider that you are a minor-attracted person. However, if being a minor-attracted person does affect your mood and contribute to your depression, then the mental health provider can best help you by knowing this contributes to your depression.
When informing a therapist that you are a minor-attracted person, one should be aware of the therapist’s possible need to report, as discussed in the preceding paragraph. When seeking a mental health provider who will be sensitive to and competent to treat a minor-attracted person, you may want to ask the potential provider some questions or be attentive to the issues that are addressed in these guidelines for seeking therapy. You might also consider B4U-ACT’s guiding principles that we consider crucial when mental health professionals work with minor-attracted people.
If you are feeling lonely and feel as if you are the only one who has feelings of attraction for minors, or if you are struggling to maintain your self-pride amidst all the negative messages of the culture, there are also peer-support groups available where minor-attracted persons (MAPs) can talk with other MAPs regarding the challenges of living as a law-abiding MAP within the culture. Here are a couple of contacts for these peer support groups:
As you progress through the therapy process, you should begin to feel gradual relief from your depression and stress, begin to have more self confidence, have increased ability to make decisions, and develop increased comfort in your interpersonal relationships. Therapy may at times be painful and uncomfortable, but periods of discomfort occur during the most successful therapy sessions. Mental health treatment should help you cope with your minor-attracted feelings more effectively.
If you feel you are not getting results, it may be because the treatment you are receiving is not the one best suited to you as an individual. If you feel there are problems, you should first discuss them with your therapist. A competent therapist will want to discuss your reactions to therapy and respond to your feeling about the process in order to improve the outcome. If you are still dissatisfied, a consultation with another therapist may help you and your therapist evaluate your work together, or you may need to seek another therapist.
The above suggestions and guidelines are intended as general information only and are not intended as medical advice nor prescriptions for any particular individual. This organization does not assume liability for any individual’s decision as to whether or not to seek therapy based on the above, nor on the competency of the mental health services the individual receives when seeking therapy, nor whether or not the mental health provider reports or doesn’t report the individual to authorities.
*The external links provided in this list do not constitute an endorsement of the philosophy or beliefs of Lifeline or Virtuous Pedophiles. B4U-ACT bears no affiliation with Lifeline or Virtuous Pedophiles, but encourages MAPs to critically explore all available online support options in search of the most suitable group for their needs.