- Sexual imagery and information is readily available on the internet and easily accessible for anyone.
- Hormones and brain chemistry can also affect sexual behavior.
- Masturbation is something you will do in private therefore addiction can be easily hidden or denied.
- Not everyone is ready to listen when it comes to sexual topics. Following this, the patient may struggle alone, which allows the condition to worsen eventually.
An increased risk of masturbation addiction is more common in people who:
- Have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse
- Have problems with alcohol or drug abuse
- Live with family members who already had problems with addiction
- Are suffering from other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety or even gambling addiction
Engaging in excessive masturbation too frequently may result in reduced self-esteem and isolation as compulsive sexual habits interfere with your interaction with other people and lower sexual satisfaction. If not diagnosed and treated early, masturbation addiction may lead to:
- Developing other mental health conditions
- Struggling with feelings of guilt and shame
- Loss of interest in engaging sexually with other people and search for pornography instead
- Neglecting and lying to your partner or family
- Drinking excessively and engaging in substance use
- Arrest for sexual offenses
Diagnosis and Treatment
Common disorders that are related to sexuality is usually a difficult topic to share with others, and may be difficult for others to notice. The awareness must start with the patient himself or herself. Compulsive masturbation habits can escalate quickly so it is better to recognize its early signs and symptoms. If you notice that you may need professional help, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I manage my sexual urges?
- Does my sexual behavior make me feel distressed?
- Is my sexual habit keeping me isolated and ruining my relationships, my job, and can potentially lead to extreme consequences such as getting arrested?
- Do I try to hide my sexual habits?
The treatment for masturbation addiction includes medication, individual therapy, support groups, and other research-based methods. Support groups and group therapy in particular can lessen the patient’s isolation and shame by encouraging them to interact with people who also struggle with compulsive sexual habits.
With the help of therapy, patients are taught to identify their personal triggers and what coping strategies they can use to manage the excessive urge to masturbate. Hopefully, with appropriate medication and treatment, the patient can prevent the urges of masturbation addiction.
The first step in achieving sobriety and getting help is to admit you need help. If you think you need to seek treatment, try to open up and set aside the feelings of embarrassment and shame. Keep in mind that what you will share with your doctor will be kept confidential. Remember that many people struggle with masturbation addiction and you are not alone.
Learn more about addiction here.