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Thread: Is infantilism a mental illness?(Please take no Offense)

  1. #1

    Default Is infantilism a mental illness?(Please take no Offense)

    I feel that if I label it an illness that it allays my feelings of shame and guilt. And it seems that my infantile feelings if not the behaviors are at least partly out of my control. I feel compelled to mess myself sometimes although I've shown more control lately. Maybe in my case it is a compulsive disorder. Jesus! I don't want to be this way but I am. Yeah it feels good sometimes but I could do without it. But there it is, and it ain't going anywhere. It's not my fault is it? What do you think?

    Michael (the grownup)
    I don't know if anyone else has asked a similar question and I'm sorry if it sounds redundant. I'm new to this forum and site and I need friends right now. I'm also pritty new to the AB/DL community. Help me break in.

  2. #2


    There is a clear divide between what is a fetish and what is an illness. First and foremost, it's important to realise that a fetish is a heightened appeal to a certain object or action that would otherwise not instigate any sort of interest. That being said, having a diaper fetish or being an infantilist relates to having an interest in the wearing and/or using of diapers, baby paraphernalia, the experience of being treated like a baby and all the pleasure, joy and satisfaction gained from those things.

    There are a wide array of reasons people have a fetish, some more deeply rooted than others, some more emotional, some just because they like the object in question, or in the case of being a diaper lover, the convenience - just to name a few. A fetish is not an illness in that it can be practised (safely) without adverse side-effects, particularly if that fetish happens to be infantilism. (I'm not going to discuss other unsanitary fetishes... I'm sure you all know what some are).

    An illness, or rather a mental illness to be specific is something that can cause serious emotional and psychological problems if conditions worsen or is left untreated. Mental illness causes depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation and harmful or suicidal tendencies, just to name a few symptoms - which, mind you, are the complete opposite of what you gain from participating in a fetish (which is pleasure and satisfaction).

    In that regard alone, infantilism or having a fetish in general can be ruled out as being a mental illness. So whilst negative emotions are being pumped into mental illness, there are many positive emotions that come with having a fetish. Not that I am ruling out the negatives of having a fetish (like guilt, acceptance issues and the whole secretive aspect), I'm just looking at it from the perspective of what you gain emotionally from indulging in something you know will get you in a positive mood.

  3. #3


    Thank you for that thoughtful reply. And I must say I think you are right. I personally diagnosed, and many times by many psychiatrists, with Bi-Polar disorder. My fetish is usually fun for me and if I allow it with some sensible practices, it affords me relief from the stresses of life and, from my real mental illness, Bi-Polar disorder. I've also been told by the proffessional counselors that I see every day of the week that it is normal to feel the way I do about baby things. They are very supportive and only encourage control and sanitary practices. They even know that I wear diapers and they tell me "So what? A lot of people do for all sorts of reasons and there's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself that way."

    As long as I don't feel guilty or let my fetish rule my life, like giving in to malignant regression then I count my infantilism as a blessing and certainly not a mental illness. Anyway thats todays progress. Thanks again.

  4. #4


    No, not an illness but rather a symptom of something else like a sneeze is caused by an allergy or cold. In my case I find I diaper up a lot more when I’m stressed whether from work or personal issues.

    It’s still not your fault, can you not sneeze? Play carefully and cover your nose when you sneeze!


  5. #5

  6. #6


    I'd say it certainly can be an illness. However, it need not be. Typically (psychological) illness is defined in terms of causing you personal distress and/or interfering with your daily functioning.

    If it's not causing you serious distress and really isn't interfering with your life, then it's not an illness. However, say you started not hanging out with friends because you always wanted to stay home diapered.. or if it interfered with your job performance. Or, say it made you feel ashamed and bothered to the point where you thought about hurting yourself. Then, it'd be an illness.

    The trick is deciding which it is. If it's not obvious to you, you can always seek professional help. I suspect they would tell you something similar, and help you figure it out.

  7. #7


    It's not an illness for me today. In the past yes because of all the reasons you mentioned Chevre, and a few more. And I've seen how it is (at least in my case) a symptom of other emotional disturbances, one of which is a diagnosed mental illness called Bi-Polar Disorder, I'm sure most are familliar with it by now. Anyway I am happy to care for the little one today and its not interfering. And I don't think its a problem, Now its fun most of the time and lilbabymikey is happier.

    Thanks friends


  8. #8


    Mental disorders and mental illnesses, in the medical field, are used interchangeably. When distinguished, disorders are characterized by a condition that impedes functionality, whereas a mental illness is a blanket term that encompasses all departures from a normal state (including depression, anxiety, etc.)

    Infantilism is definitely not a disorder, because it does not directly or indirectly cause or promote unwanted behaviors. Over time it may make you want to become incontinent, or impulsively buy diapers, but at that point the problem becomes one of addiction, much like social drinking degenerating into binge drinking. In this sense, it could be treated as an illness for its potential to turn otherwise healthy people into submissive, helpless, exposed, and/or incontinent adults.

    The correlation on this is minor, however. It has about the same affect on people as drinking does: the majority know how to control themselves and when it is appropriate, but a few may latch onto it and find themselves spiralling into addiction. Infantilism cannot be blamed for this, and it is likely that something to this effect would happen to that individual in some other way.

  9. #9


    Even though this is old news now, I just would like to wish you the best in your therapy. I have two friends who are bi-polar. They have both done quite well. My one friend had very extreme problems, but has made very good progress over the years. Both friends have obsessed over music careers. Since I am a musician, I have worked with them both on their music. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I appreciate what you are going through.

  10. #10


    It's silly to call certain states of mind, mental illnesses... People talk about chemical imbalances... but really all that's happening is that people have discovered that people with different mentalities can be identified by the chemical levels in their brain... It's really just a form of supremism to say your chemical balance is the benchmark and that other people who aren't like you are inferior and need to be made like you...

    The fact is that the DSM is democratic anyway... It's made of what people have accepted and what people have rejected... Think of alcoholism, which is in their because people want an excuse for their weakness... they want to say they can't help it because of some disease... And on the other side... it's no longer crazy to have different sexualities because there aren't enough prudes in society...

    Its fair enough to say everyone has mental illness... or that mental illness doesn't exist... but it's just discrimination to decide that some people have mental illness and some don't

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