When I'm around children I get this intense feeling of paranoia and fear

I'm a male in my early 20s. Lately, my paranoia about being around kids is causing me too breathe heavy and sweat a lot. I then start to act weird because I'm trying to fight my paranoia. This leads to people starring at me because they don't know that I'm suffering from panic attacks and paranoia. They just notice me acting scared around kids and they think I'm a threat because of it.

I'm not a pervert or predator. I would never hurt a kid. I like kids and don't know why I'm so scared to be around them.

I don't understand why I feel like this. Am I a bad person? How do I make this stop?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Your question is written in a very sincere tone.   This, together with the fact of searching for self-understanding, sound more like someone who is unsure and puzzled, not someone who is "bad".

What was your own childhood like?

The sensations you describe feeling sometimes occur in people who are reminded of very deep hurts from during their own childhood.

Is it possible what you're feeling is from being reminded of great distress you lived through when you were at a similar age as the kids around whom you feel this sudden and great paranoia and fear?

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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