What started as a way to self-soothe has become a habit you can no longer control, even if you try. Seeking treatment for masturbation addiction may feel shameful or overwhelming, but you know you need help and can’t continue trying to deal with it alone.
Knowing what treatment options are available can help you make the right choice for yourself and your recovery.
What is Masturbation Addiction?
Masturbation addiction is a form of hypersexuality disorder that focuses on masturbation. It’s when a person loses control of their sexual impulses and actions, and masturbation becomes something they want to do all the time.
It consumes their thoughts and spills over into their daily responsibilities and relationships.
Unresolved trauma is often the root cause of sex addiction. You begin to rely on sexual outlets to cope with adverse feelings and conflict. In other words, you use it to make you feel better emotionally. Soon your brain becomes wired to need sex to regulate your nervous system and deal with negative or stressful feelings.
Signs of masturbation addiction include:
- Spending excessive time masturbating
- Relationships suffering as a result of masturbation habits
- Masturbation urges interrupt your daily life, preventing you from fulfilling your responsibilities
- Masturbating in high-risk situations, like in public or at work
- Masturbating even when you don’t want to
- Feeling anxiety, guilt, or shame as a result of your behaviors
- Attempting to stop these behaviors but experiencing withdrawal and intense anxiety
Effects of Masturbation Addiction
Addiction makes you feel out of control of your life because you can’t control your behaviors. The ever-reaching need for self-pleasure may cause noticeable changes in your mind, body, and relationships.
What once was a healthy release becomes a way to cope with stress and anxiety. Using masturbation as a coping technique causes you to develop a dependence.
Once your masturbation habits become compulsive, your well-being will likely suffer.
Effects of masturbation addiction include:
- Abnormal sleep patterns
- Premature ejaculation, either during masturbation or when with a partner
- Erectile dysfunction when engaging in partnered sexual activities or when you masturbate
- Testicular pain
- Suffering from low self-esteem, which seems to dip lower after masturbating
- Anxiety and depression
- Harm to the important relationships in your life
It may be time to consider treatment if you’re attempting to deal with the harmful effects of masturbation addiction.
Treatment for Masturbation Addiction
Deciding to seek treatment for any sexual addiction is challenging and brave, but you deserve the help you need to recover. There are many treatment options for masturbation addiction, but most involve one-on-one therapy and group support.
Because trauma is often the root cause of masturbation addiction, you’ll need to work through traumatic experiences with a therapist who can help you heal.
Once you understand how your addiction likely started as a coping mechanism to a traumatic event, or series of events, a qualified therapist can help you develop the skills for healthier coping strategies that will help you regain control of your life.
Ed Tilton, Chief Operating Officer at Begin Again Institute, agreed that therapy helps a person deal with the connection between past emotional wounds and self-destructive behaviors.
“If the person seeking treatment can go to an intensive or retreat to get a jump start in trauma-focused work, that is always the best way to establish an uninterrupted foundation of recovery,” he said.
Starting with an intensive or residential program can help you get a jump start on healing and move into recovery more quickly.
Addiction is isolating, but you don’t have to be alone in your recovery. Emotional support from others helps motivate change. A way to fulfill this need for connection is with an addiction support group.
“People in treatment need connection,” Ed said. “At the root of all treatment for masturbation addiction is the need for community, connection, and safety. It’s only then that someone who’s struggling can start to develop an understanding of intimacy and the ability to ask for and receive help from others.”
You’ll find empathy, understanding, and support in these groups. Having others with similar experiences can also be a source of inspiration and accountability. It’s nice to know that you aren’t alone in your challenges.
Coping with Masturbation Addiction
While seeking treatment for masturbation addiction, you also can work on your recovery at home. Like with many things, the more work you’re willing to put into your recovery, the quicker you can begin feeling better.
Ways to cope with masturbation addiction include:
- Recognize and avoid hypersexuality triggers from your environment
- Divert your mind from societal stigmas around masturbation
- Strengthen your relationships with those who love and support you
- Develop good habits and coping techniques
- Get help from counseling services
“It’s unlikely that people can recover from masturbation addiction alone,” Ed said. “So much of treatment is related to reestablishing healthy coping skills and understanding intimacy and relationships. It’s always best done by a professional who can see patterns, traumas, and behaviors for what they are.”
How Begin Again Institute Can Help
Recovering from masturbation addiction isn’t something you likely can do alone. The good news is you can get treatment for masturbation addiction that will help launch you into a life of recovery.
Begin Again Institute specializes in treating sexual addictions and intimacy disorders. We offer a 14-Day Men’s Intensive near Boulder, Colorado, to give you a jump start on your recovery. During the two weeks, you have 24-hour support with one-on-one therapy and group sessions.
During the intensive, your partner can attend our virtual Partner Support Program. This program ensures you both get the healing and understanding you deserve. This program will also give them the tools they need to help support you when you’ve finished the intensive.
After completing the intensive, you can opt into our monthly Continuing Care membership for ongoing support with a community of people who share similar goals for recovery.
Contact Begin Again Institute today if you’re ready to start your recovery with the help you deserve.