Mental Health,  Not a Review

Not always a safe high: Masturbation & My Mental Illness

Did you know that an orgasm is the biggest non-drug blast of dopamine available? According to Gloria Brame, Ph.D., a brain scan of someone having an orgasm looks like a heroin addict’s- it’s a natural and safe high.    

But that’s what I want to touch on today. That word. “Safe.” Because, in certain cases, masturbation isn’t always safe.

I don’t mean you can get hairy palmsgo blind, or lose your sex. I mean that a person can masturbate too much, to a point where it becomes unsafe for them and can rock them mentally. This is a problem I deal with personally — the negative impact frequent masturbation can have on one’s psyche.

I research mental health and masturbation, and I always see the positive effects of it. But never the negative, and that’s not the full and honest picture, in my opinion. Because people will think “Hey! This is okay to do when I’m depressed. It’ll make me feel better!” And that’s just not true always. There have been many times I’ve masturbated and felt just as rotten as before, if not worse.  

Now, I’m not trying to bash masturbation or trump what Dr. Brame said. That’s not what I’m trying to do at all. I’m coming from a personal experience mindset, and these personal experiences may not apply to everyone. However, they may apply to some, and I want those people to know that they’re not alone.

For me, masturbation in moderation gives me that natural high that comes from the blast of dopamine, and it can even get me out of a slump that I’m in. It gives me a burst of energy!  

But sometimes, when I get in a bad mental state, I begin to masturbate too much. I try to make up for my lack of serotonin, and I try to “self-medicate” with the blasts of dopamine.  

It becomes a vicious cycle: become sad, whip out the vibrators, get dopamine blast, repeat.   

I will lose hours masturbating.    

I become so lost in the pursuit of the high and the need to feel good that it’s downright harmful.

It also becomes disruptive to my daily life. When you have a mental illness like mine, you can become fixated on certain actions, and I get fixated on masturbation. I will put off work, school. I’ll ignore friends. Hell, sometimes in the middle of conversations via text, I’ll whip out a vibrator and hold it to my clit to get that nice-floaty feeling after an orgasm. I won’t be able to get anything done because I’ll be too busy masturbating.

These are all unhealthy, unsafe things. Just because something makes you feel euphoric and it’s not drugs, doesn’t mean it’s something you should do. This was and is a hard lesson for me to learn.

I read somewhere that masturbation is a good coping mechanism, a key to helping cure mental illness. Not for me, not always. I think in healthy moderation, it’s great. But those keywords are healthy moderation. In no way is it healthy for me to masturbate solely to get that high. Contrary to what the internet might tell you, it’s unsafe and can lead to unsafe habits.

Actually, I like to watch the frequency of my masturbating to help me keep an eye on my mental health since it’s so easy for me to slip into unhealthy habits without realizing it. If I’m masturbating 1 time a day, then I’m okay. If I’m masturbating twice a day (let’s just say once when I wake up, and once before I go to bed), that’s okay. But if I start masturbating 3 or 4 times, it’s time to watch out.      

If you’re like me and you struggle with these things, there are other ways to cope with your mental illness other than masturbation. I, personally, like to collage, journal, and color. Those things to me are calming, and collaging actually helps me goal plan and give me things to look forward to. (I collage things like what I want in my future home, where I want to travel, mood boards, etc.)

Some other coping skills (even if you have low spoons) are:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Meditation.
  • Watching your favorite TV show.
  • Stretch.
  • Text or call someone.
  • Read a book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Write a letter- to yourself, to someone else, and throw it away, save it, or mail it.

There are so many healthy coping mechanisms out there and you can find some HERE and HERE.

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