The paraphilias, obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder, and the treatment of sexually deviant behaviour.
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The paraphilias have been mostly ignored by psychiatry, even though psychiatrists are ideally suited to treat and diagnose these disorders by virtue of their medical and psychological training. The sexual deviations require an understanding of both biological and psychological causation and skills in psychological and pharmacological treatments. More recently the Supreme Court of the United States in Kansas v Hendricks (1997) upheld the constitutionality of the civil commitment of sexually deviant individuals for psychiatric treatment. As the various states adopt statutes based on Hendricks, psychiatry will be forced to take an active interest in the diagnosis and the management of the paraphilias. This paper outlines briefly where the field is in the understanding of the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of the paraphilias.
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