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POCD is widely used to refer to fears associated with paedophilia OCD, an unwarranted obsessional fear of being a paedophile. Some sufferers use acronyms to refer to their type of OCD, but the acronym is often used as an avoidance, in this case from using the word 'paedophile'. The term POCD can also lead to confusion over the type of OCD being referred to because some use it to describe other forms of OCD, for example postpartum OCD or 'Pure O'.

This confusion leads to delays in treatment where a person will seek specialists in POCD but are unable to find any, as POCD is not a medically recognised term. It is also possible that thinking of the illness to be something other than Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may also hinder progress in understanding and tackling the illness, especially if the OCD later changes guise chameleon-like.

For informational purposes the acronym POCD is most are commonly understood to refer to:

  • Paedophile OCD.

Because of the high risk of confusion, OCD-UK generally discourages the use of these acronyms. Regardless of the form of OCD, it will involve both obsessions and compulsions which are the problems that need addressing, and they are all equally as treatable through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

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