How To Stop Masturbation … And Do You Need To?
Masturbation is a healthy and normal sexual activity that may help you explore your body and release sexual tension. However, this habit can become disruptive for some people. Read on to learn about when masturbation becomes a problem, what compulsive masturbation disorder is, and how to quit masturbating.
Masturbation — why it’s usually not a problem
Masturbating is a completely healthy and normal activity. There are many benefits of masturbating, including:
- It’s safer than other kinds of sex. There are no chances of getting pregnant or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from masturbating.
- It may help you learn more about your body, sexuality, and what you like and dislike during sex.
- It may help you relax by reducing stress and boosting your mood, by increasing your endorphins — the chemicals in the brain that can improve mood.
- It can relieve cramps — endorphins also act as natural pain relievers.
When masturbation turns into an addiction
Masturbation is a very common sexual activity, but for some people, it can turn into an addiction. Signs of addiction to masturbation include masturbating so often that you:
- Skip your daily activities or chores
- Cancel plans to meet family or friends
- Miss important public or social events and gatherings
Using masturbation as a primary method of mood regulation is another sign of addiction.
5 side-effects of compulsive masturbation disorder
Compulsive masturbation disorder is generally an impulse control disorder that may occur along with obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. People who have this disorder feel an intense desire to masturbate to relieve symptoms of anxiety or to avoid the occurrence of something unfortunate. They may repeat this behavior multiple times during the day. These are some of the various side effects of compulsive masturbation disorder:
- Struggling with feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-respect
- Increased likelihood of developing various other mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, personality disorder, and even suicidal behavior
- Neglecting your family or partner, lying to them, or damaging meaningful relationships
- Searching for pornography on the internet or masturbating at work despite the risk to your job and career
- Substance abuse, such as drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or recreational drugs
Best ways to stop masturbation
Wondering how to stop masturbation? Treatment for compulsive masturbation disorder typically involves psychotherapy, self-help groups, and/or medication. The primary aim of any type of therapy is to help manage the compulsion and reduce the frequency of masturbation. During treatment to stop masturbating, other mental health issues may need to be addressed, such as anxiety, depression, or problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can be helpful as treatment for compulsive masturbation disorder. These are the types of psychotherapy most commonly used for compulsive masturbation disorder:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps you identify negative, unhealthy behaviors and beliefs. Once they’ve been identified, they can be replaced with more positive ones.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy: This is a kind of CBT, which focuses on accepting your urges and thoughts and committing to choose actions which are more in agreement with the values that are important to you.
Apart from psychotherapy, certain medication is sometimes prescribed to help stop masturbating because it affects the brain chemicals that are associated with obsessive behaviors and thoughts, reducing the neurochemical rewards masturbation may provide. Which medication is prescribed depends on the specific situation and mental health of the patient.
Some of the medications that are prescribed to treat compulsive masturbation disorder include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and naltrexone (a medicine also used in the treatment of alcohol dependence).
Various support and self-help groups may prove helpful for individuals with compulsive masturbation disorder. These groups can be helpful for dealing with the issues related to the disorder.
Curious about how to get rid of masturbation habits? Here are some tips that may make it easier to stop masturbation now:
- Don’t watch pornography. Instead, try choosing non-sexual content.
- Try to be around people, as being alone increases your chances of masturbating.
- Devote your energy to hobbies. Join a sports team, club, band, or social group: this will help you focus your attention elsewhere.
- Replace masturbation with other activities, like going for a short walk, writing in a journal, or spending time with relatives and friends.
Talk to people you can trust. If you feel that it’s becoming difficult for you to stop masturbating, talk to someone you trust who may be able to help you. The person can be a friend, a relative, therapist, or other medical professional. You may initially feel embarrassed to discuss your situation, but it’s important to get help if you need it.
The takeaway on how to get rid of a masturbation habit
Masturbation is a normal part of every person’s sexuality. But, sometimes excessive masturbation may harm everyday life and relationships. If you want to know how to quit masturbating, there are various methods to stop excessive masturbation, including avoiding pornography, surrounding yourself with people, developing hobbies, going for a walk, and talking to people you can trust.