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Masturbation and Depression: Is There a Connection?

Tickle.Life Editorial Team  |  Jul 27

Masturbation and Depression: Is There a Connection?

Is there a connection between masturbation and depression?

People of different age groups and demographics are trying to figure this out. They are searching on the Internet to find out an answer to this question. Here, we will be exploring if there is a relationship between depression and masturbation or not.

Whether you are single or committed, exploring yourself is your choice. Recently, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) conducted a survey. They found that 78% of Americans above 14 years have masturbated at least once.

It is a known fact that there are many benefits associated with masturbation. But, most people get trapped by the myths and taboos associated with self-pleasure. These myths range from condemning masturbation as a sin to stating that it can cause memory loss. 

Besides that, beliefs related to masturbation have a close relationship with Freudian psychoanalytical studies. Sigmund Freud is an Austrian Neurologist, who presented masturbation as the first primal addiction. Along with that, he stated it could have adverse health impacts. Yet, there is no evidence showing masturbation as a cause of psychological disorders.

Is There a Relation Between Masturbation and Depression?

No scientific studies present the effects of masturbation on mental health. Even though there is no direct relation, many face problems due to their "fear of masturbation." It can result in guilt and anxiety issues, which happen due to the prevalence of different taboos. These cultural myths can lead to Dhat Syndrome and masturbatory guilt. 

Dhat Syndrome is a culture-bound condition. Here, one of the beliefs is losing semen while urinating. As per a study, people with masturbatory guilt often depict anxiety and depression symptoms. It occurs due to the demonization of masturbation. This makes people believe that masturbation can affect mental health. Many consider it can even pave the way for erectile problems. But, these assumptions don't have ample proof to confirm their legitimacy.

In most cases, the preoccupied thoughts of guilt and shame of masturbation come into play. These factors would affect a person's peace of mind. In turn, it would cause masturbation guilt or fear of masturbation. Coupled with that, it would result in symptoms related to depression and anxiety.

Can Depression Affect Your Sexual Life?

The relationship between masturbation and depression
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

As we have discussed, masturbation cannot lead to depression. Nonetheless, let us have a look at if there are any impacts of depression in sexual life. 

Recently, a study was published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, where 914 women participated. These women belonged to the age group of 42 to 52. As part of the research, they created a self-report assessment. Here, the focus was on their sexual behavior, arousal, and satisfaction. The study had three groups of women, including those with Major Depression Disorder.

Women with Major Depression Disorder attained physical pleasure at lower frequencies. Besides that, their emotional and physical satisfaction rates were also low. For them, depression affected the sex drive in partnered sexual activities. But, it didn't have much impact on the pleasure gained through self-stimulation or masturbation.

Besides that, studies show that anti-depressant medications can interfere with reaching climax. There are other researches considering the effect of depression on reducing libido and sex drive. As per John Hopkin's Women's Mood Disorder Centre, reduced sex drive can act as a symptom of depression. 

Final Thoughts

To date, there are no scientific studies directly connecting masturbation and depression. But, the fear of masturbation created by our religious and cultural beliefs can result in the symptoms of depression. Nonetheless, it is high time to move beyond these myths and focus on exploring yourself.

Cover Photo by Unsplash


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