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Authorities sound warning over sexual perversion mental health cases

Nov 12. 2017
Mental Health Department director-general Boonrueng Trairuengworawat
Mental Health Department director-general Boonrueng Trairuengworawat
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By The Nation

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Mental Health Department director-general Boonrueng Trairuengworawat said on Sunday men who displayed their genitals in public suffer from a mental illness and sexual perversion.

Victims of such behaviour were advised not to scream or show fear as that could boost the perpetrator’s confidence. 

If victims express indifference, exhibitionists who derive sexual pleasure, gratification or confidence from a frightened reaction would be discouraged from continuing such behaviour, Boonrueng added.

Only an estimated of 25 per cent of such patients, who studies have found are mostly males aged between 15 and 25 suffering from mental health issues, hormonal imbalances or feelings of sexual inferiority, have sought medical treatment, although the illness could be cured if treated properly, he said. 

A study showed that 20 per cent of woman surveyed claimed to have had encounters with such behaviour, with sexual perversion defined to include public exposure, obscene phone calls and voyeurism. 

“Such sexual perversion can be cured, so relatives or friends of such persons should take them to seek treatment at a psychiatric hospital. Don’t be shy of doctors. Because if this remains untreated, such behaviour will stick with the patients for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Dr Thitipan Thanirat, director of Nakhon Sawan Ratchanakarin Psychiatric Hospital, said the most frequent sexual perversion cases involved exhibitionism; fetishism, or masturbating using another person’s undergarments or other personal items; frotteurism, or rubbing one’s genitals against another person in a crowd; voyeurism, or watching others when they are undressing, naked or engaged in sexual activity; and obscene phone calls. 

Treatment for sexual perversion consists of mental treatment to adjust patients’ thinking process and behaviour, particularly to overcome feelings of sexual inferiority. Physical treatment could include hormone pills to treat testosterone imbalances. Lastly, social treatment involves social peer pressure to discourage such behaviour and encourage more positive activities.

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