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masturbation addiction

Masturbation is natural, safe, and can help you release built-up tension. But, for some, the temptation turns into an addiction, making them wonder, “Why am I addicted to masturbating?”

If you’ve noticed that you feel a frequent, uncontrollable urge to pleasure yourself, you may be addicted to masturbating.

Education is the first step toward separating yourself from your compulsive sexual behaviors

What is Masturbation Addiction?

Masturbation addiction is when you self-pleasure excessively and compulsively. You rely on masturbation to calm yourself during moments of strong emotions. Your desire to masturbate begins to negatively impact your daily life. And, even when you try to quit, you find you can’t. 

Why Am I Addicted to Masturbating?

Masturbation is overall a healthy practice. It allows you to explore your pleasure, body, and sexuality. But, for some people, it becomes an addiction. Two factors influence whether you become addicted to masturbation: trauma and dopamine dependence.

Trauma is an emotional response to a traumatic happening or happenings such as a natural disaster, assault, abuse, neglect, or accident. When you experience trauma, your brain goes into fight-or-flight mode. It can be challenging to calm down once the threat disappears. Your mind will even revert to this place if you don’t process the trauma. 

Dopamine helps you feel safe and get your emotional processing center back on track. For those addicted to masturbation, you learn to turn to self-pleasure for dopamine. You turn to sexual pleasure as a coping mechanism to deal with the unresolved trauma.

Your brain takes note of dopamine and creates a neural pathway. This pathway creates a bond between adverse experiences and sexual pleasure. Every time something negative happens to you, you crave masturbation.  

Risk Factors for Masturbation Addiction

If masturbation is normal and healthy, why are you addicted to it? Unresolved trauma and the need to feel better probably are the reason. But many other factors can put you at risk for masturbation addiction.

Factors that make someone more likely to be addicted to masturbation:

  • Easy access to porn 
  • Privacy or isolation
  • Drug use 
  • Mental health disorders
  • Family relationship problems
  • Physical abuse or neglect

While one person may live with these factors and not become addicted to masturbation, another might. It isn’t only about your environment but how you cope with it. 

If you’re addicted to masturbating, you don’t have to be forever. You can stop your compulsive sexual behavior. Start by learning about your addiction and putting yourself in a healthier environment. 

masturbation addiction

How to Tell If You’re Addicted to Masturbating

You may be uncertain about whether you’re addicted to masturbating. After all, how much is too much? Especially if you aren’t hurting anyone else. But you may be harming yourself. 

Signs you’re addicted to masturbating include:

  • You masturbate in risky places like in public or at work
  • You masturbate so much that it takes time away from other things
  • You feel guilty or ashamed after doing it
  • It lowers your self-esteem
  • You’ve tried to masturbate less, but you can’t
  • You masturbate to deal with stress, anger, or sadness

There are many signs that you’ve become addicted to masturbation. Not all of them need to apply to you. But if you aren’t happy with your behavior and can’t stop on your own, that’s a sign that you need help. 

It may feel isolating and overwhelming to be addicted to masturbation. But you’re not alone. 

Stopping Masturbation Addiction

Stopping your masturbation addiction will take time and effort. To succeed in masturbation sobriety is to seek education, get support, and to prepare. There are steps you can take to help support your journey to recovery.

To stop your masturbation addiction:

  • Remove Access. Remove anything from your computer, phone, or environment that inspires you to self-pleasure. Delete apps like social media, porn subscriptions, and anything that may trigger you.
  • Socialize More. Getting out and being around other people helps your brain produce dopamine naturally. It can also help you find a supportive network of friends who care about your well-being. 
  • Embrace Your Interests. Do other things that interest you. Running, walking, biking, or any physical hobby will cause your brain to produce dopamine. Finding new interests means you’ll have less time for masturbation and more things to turn to for stress relief.
  • Join a Support Group. One of the common denominators of successful recovery is being in a support group. It helps you unite with other people with common goals who understand what you’re experiencing.
  • Get Treatment. Masturbation addiction is all-consuming. It can easily take over your life. When you’re ready to put a stop to your masturbation habits once and for all, get support. 

How Begin Again Institute Can Help

At Begin Again Institute, our focus is on helping men recover from problematic sexual behaviors and addictions. Our trauma-focused treatment program aims to address the root cause of the addiction and create a clear path forward. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Category: Pornography Addiction
  • By John Squires
  • May 9, 2022

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