Voyeuristic Disorder example
Case Study, Voyeuristic Disorder Dec 03, 2023

Background: Patrick’s Upbringing

Patrick is a 35-year-old man. He decided to get help as he became distressed by his voyeuristic tendencies. To understand why Patrick struggled, we need to look at his past. Patrick grew up in a home filled with arguments and emotional neglect, which made his childhood far from comforting.

Family Life:

Patrick’s home was always tense and filled with conflict. Domestic violence wasn’t an occasional thing; it happened often, leaving a profound mark on Patrick’s early years. Witnessing these struggles during his growing-up years had long-lasting effects on his mental well-being.

Emotional Neglect:

On top of the family fights, Patrick and his siblings didn’t get the emotional support they needed. Their feelings were often ignored or brushed aside amidst all the chaos. This lack of emotional care left Patrick feeling like he didn’t belong, making him more vulnerable to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Impact on Patrick’s Mind:

The constant turmoil at home left a lasting impact on Patrick. Instead of being a safe place for growth, his home became a battleground for unresolved problems. Patrick’s way of dealing with this challenging situation led to the development of coping mechanisms that, over time, turned into harmful patterns of behavior.

Connection to Voyeuristic Tendencies:

Given this background, Patrick’s voyeuristic tendencies became a way for him to cope—a method to escape the emotional chaos at home. Watching others in private moments gave him a break from his internal struggles, providing a temporary sense of control and detachment from his own unresolved emotions.

In essence, Patrick reaching out for psychological help is a crucial step in his journey to understand and tackle the complexities of his voyeuristic tendencies. Exploring his background shows the intricate connections between his early experiences, family dynamics, and the development of coping mechanisms that contributed to the emergence of Voyeuristic Disorder in his adulthood.

Presentation: Patrick’s Voyeuristic Behavior

Patrick’s voyeuristic behavior started during his late teens but grew more intense over the years. His compulsion to watch unsuspecting individuals, especially neighbors, through their windows became a regular part of his evenings. While he felt a thrill during these episodes, there was also a deep sense of guilt and shame afterward.

Diagnosis: Voyeuristic Disorder

After a thorough evaluation, Patrick was diagnosed with Voyeuristic Disorder. He used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria. His voyeuristic behaviors were persistent, causing significant distress and disrupting his relationships and daily life. Exploring Voyeuristic Disorder: Origins, Occurrence, and Therapeutic Approaches

Contributory Factors:

  1. Early Trauma. Patrick’s exposure to domestic violence and emotional neglect during childhood played a significant role in developing harmful coping mechanisms.
  2. Emotional Struggles. Lack of emotional support and poor mental health worsened his situation. It pushed him toward voyeuristic behaviors as a way to cope.
  3. Relationship Challenges. Negative experiences in peer and intimate relationships during his teens fueled antisocial tendencies and non-typical sexual behaviors. It set the stage for Voyeuristic Disorder.

Triggering Factors:

The six months before Patrick’s increased engagement in voyeuristic activities were marked by dissatisfaction in life. Difficulty in seeking support led him to rely on harmful coping strategies. Pressure from his unresolved emotional issues and external influences further fueled the escalation of his voyeuristic behavior.

Pathways to Engagement:

In the Descriptive Model of Voyeuristic Behavior (DMV), Patrick fell into the category of a “Disorganized Planner.” Motivated by sexual compulsivity and driven by thrill-seeking, he turned to voyeuristic behavior as a way to escape his emotional turmoil and find temporary excitement.

Treatment Plan: Patrick’s Journey to Recovery

Patrick’s treatment involved a combination of approaches:

  1. Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying and changing unhealthy thought patterns. It manages emotional struggles and develops healthier coping mechanisms.
  2. Medication: Patrick was prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). to manage anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with his disorder.
  3. Family Support. Including Patrick’s family in therapy sessions, he helped them understand his struggles and create a supportive environment for his recovery.


Throughout therapy, Patrick made significant progress in controlling his voyeuristic impulses. Healthier coping mechanisms and medication contributed to a reduction in the frequency and intensity of his voyeuristic behaviors. Improved family relationships and increased emotional support played a vital role in his recovery.


Regular follow-up sessions focused on preventing relapses, exploring underlying issues, and reinforcing positive coping strategies. Patrick’s commitment to therapy and the support of his family were crucial in his journey toward lasting recovery.

This case study sheds light on the intricate factors contributing to Voyeuristic Disorder, the complexities of diagnosis and treatment, and the importance of a holistic therapeutic approach for individuals like Patrick. It underscores the significance of addressing early trauma and building robust support systems in fostering sustained recovery.

About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.