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I used masturbation as an anti-depressant

GYE Corp. Monday, 14 May 2012

Today I would like to share with you the recovery story of a non-Jew, who saw our site and send us his story to help inspire others...


Dear Rabbi,

After several correspondences and having read much of your website I feel I can trust you.

At the age of 13 I accidentally discovered masturbation. At the time it was more curiosity than anything else and was not really lust or fueled by pornographic sexual fantasy. It was just a new sensation I found to be very pleasurable and as such I refused to give it up despite my conscience telling me something was wrong. Unfortunately, I was too embarrassed to talk to my parents and friends about my problem and instead practiced it in secret. In addition I hid any signs of sexuality from my parents and friends, pretending that I wasn't interested in girls (which would be normal in a teenager).

The habit quickly fastened itself on me and before long I was absolutely and heavily addicted. Without knowing the cause I plunged deeper and deeper into an abyss of misery, the cause of which I did not know. From being a bright, healthy, confident, enthusiastic and sociable boy I became nervous, listless, depressed and lacked confidence. Slowly, over the years I changed, with my health, looks, intelligence and friendships all fading. I used masturbation as an anti-depressant, to relieve boredom and stress and as a sexual outlet.

Inwardly, I was in turmoil, with my spirit telling me something was wrong with my life, yet I denied that I had a real problem and suppressed these feelings. My bad habit continued until the age of 21 when I was at University. After eight years of self-abuse I had become a complete physical wreck. My hair once thick, luxurious and abundant had become thin and dried without any natural shine. My eyes once bright and intelligent had become dull and shrunken. My back stooped, my heart palpitated and I had night sweats. I lost my appetite and became incontinent. I once wet myself after a walk. My heart hurt after any prolonged exertion and my entire chest felt like it had been hollowed out from the inside and was on the point of collapse. I also remember I had never ending phlegm in my throat. I also could not acquire an erection no matter what I saw or how hard I tried for 5 consecutive months! I felt exhausted all the time even when I had nothing all day and was just sitting at my desk. These were just the physical symptoms.

By this time my memory and concentration had become extremely weak. From being able to remember things by merely reading them once, I now could not even recall something somebody had told me to do a moment ago. I lacked all spontaneity and this had grave social consequences; I could not hold a conversation for more than 5 minutes and found it almost impossible to talk to people. I never had any ideas, and despite still attempting to read good books, I no longer appreciated the beauty and wisdom in them. It was as if I was a walking corpse with no life or spirit. My playing of the piano for some reason was completely wooden with no emotion or intelligence of interpretation. I was plagued by an extremely heavy depression and my outlook on life was dark and devoid of hope. I felt full of regret and I wanted to commit suicide. Masturbation had made me very lazy and I wasted so much time without guilt or fear of the consequences. Even when I tried to study it was if some invisible force was impeding my progress. I could not find information I was looking for in textbooks and felt as if I was plagued by confusion. All my efforts came to nothing; it did not matter how hard I tried everything I did failed. I believed that I was a total loser and was completely useless and that there was no hope for me. I really did want to die. Life held no attraction for me anymore- it seemed like never ending pain and suffering.

I changed from University course to the other and failed in both degrees. At school, I had originally planned to study medicine, but I changed my mind to study maths instead because I thought that it would be easy since there would be less to remember. It proved to be the wrong decision. My mind was overshadowed with confusion when I had to decide what career I should pursue. I feel that masturbation had caused me to make many wrong decisions in my life due to a lack of clarity of thought. I don't know why, but there were nice girls at uni who liked me but I was too shy to ever ask them out or to let them know I liked them as well. I never felt confident enough and was always worrying about my unsuccessful studies. Now, I could no longer deny that I had a HUGE problem. I told my mother that I had been secretly masturbating three time a week for 8 years since the age of 13. She was shocked to say the least! She told me I had to stop and consulted a relative who is a Chinese doctor.

I didn't want to at first but somehow, the force of circumstances impelled me to change. I just wanted what I thought was the easy way out- suicide. The thought of resurrecting my life after so much damage had been done, giving up masturbation and the uncertainty of the future despite my best efforts filled me with fear and despair. The task seemed too much and I did not want to recover if the price was further suffering. Death seemed an answer to my pain- I thought that when I was a dead it would be like I was asleep and I wouldn't have any more problems. However, ironically my very cowardice proved to be my salvation. I feared the pain of suicide so I realized I actually was not going to kill myself. I then had to accept that unless I stopped masturbating, even more suffering awaited me. I made up my mind to break my habit.

This is now the second year I have broken free from my addiction to masturbation. I have recovered my health, and without wanting to sound vain but just to be honest, my looks and intelligence have improved immensely. My local doctor did not even recognize me when I went to the surgery; he thought I was some stranger! I retook my failed year at University and passed and I am now in my final year of degree after having wasted two years due to failed exams. I am no longer filled with fear, confusion, depression and regret. Now I am confident about myself and know I can succeed. Unexpected good things seem to be happening to me which they never did before and all these people who I never thought I would see again seem to be coming back into my life (old friends, girls I liked, people I knew).

I hope I have not bored you with my story. I wrote it so that you could publish it on your site if you thought it might help other people.

Thank you for all your help. May your good work continue Rabbi and the truth spread.