Ok so I'm a 14 year old girl and I'm concerned that I might be a pyromaniac. I've always been fascinated by fire but recently my fascination seems to be turning into an obsession. Anything that explodes or could possibly explode becomes the priority of any situation, whenever I'm bored I find myself starting a fire or (I know this sounds really bad) feeling the need to take something from someone else. I probably sound like a freak so I'm gonna stop talking but basically my question is... Can pyromania develope later in life? Because i haven't shown any signs of it until I was around 12.

1 Reply

  • Hello,

    Many thanks for your post. Sorry to hear you are having difficulties at the moment. With anything like this we would advise you speak with your GP or CAMHS if you are not already in touch with them?

    You don’t mention if you have TS but as you may know fascinations/obsessions/unwanted thoughts and compulsions can be a common comorbidity. TS often co-exists with other disorders, which are known as comorbidities of Tourette Syndrome. Tourettes Action does not specialise in these conditions, instead we would suggest you contact the specialist organisations listed below for further information and support.

    Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    OCD is a serious, anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges.

    •OCD-UK – supporting children and adults with OCD

    •OCD Action – provide support and information to anybody affected by OCD

    This type of condition which you describe as pyromania may be labelled something called an Impulse control disorder. It may be that due to the changing nature of TS and OCD like symptoms you may have not have had this obsession/impulse in the past but it has come along now and replaced an obsession you may have had when younger.

    You may find some of the following websites have useful information:

    Obviously these thoughts and obsessions are a dangerous and frightening for you and it’s important that you speak with someone who is trained in dealing with this, so again please get in touch with your GP or CAMHS. You can search online for 'Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services' in your area,

    Other organisations which can help (you may know of already):

    ChildLine - Freephone 0800 1111 0800 1111 (24 hours) | online chat | message boards

    Childline is the UK’s free helpline for children and young people. It provides confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

    Get Connected - Freephone 0808 808 4994 0808 808 4994 (7 days a week 1pm-11pm)

    Free, confidential telephone and email helpline finding young people the best help whatever the problem. Provides free connections to local or national services, and can text information to callers’ mobile phones.

    Samaritans Tel: 08457 90 90 90 08457 90 90 90 (24 hrs 7 days a week) Samaritans volunteers listen in confidence to anyone in any type of emotional distress, without judging or telling people what to do.

    Please talk to your parents/caregivers about this and get them to help you speak to your GP or CAMHS. I hope this helps in some way.

    Seonaid (research manager at Tourettes Action)

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