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by Abigail Van Buren

Fear of Arrest Prevents Man From Seeking Help He Needs

DEAR ABBY: I find myself sometimes wanting to commit the most heinous of crimes. The desire to do this has been with me my entire life. I was sexually abused by my mother and oldest brother. While that's no excuse, I understand why I may be the way I am.

At 51, I have never committed any act against a young girl, but the desire is clearly there for me. The issue before me is that if I seek help for this problem, those who can provide it are required by law in this state to report me.

How am I to overcome these urges when no matter what I do I am considered guilty? -- ANONYMOUS IN AMERICA

DEAR ANONYMOUS: You should be discussing these feelings with a licensed mental health professional. If fear that you will be arrested is what is holding you back, please be aware that if the urge or feeling is not directed at anyone in particular, a therapist is not required to report what you are confiding. However, if there is a direct threat toward a specific individual, it must be reported, even if it has not yet occurred.

Read more in: Mental Health | Abuse