Can Masturbation Help with Depression?

person alone

The endorphins released from masturbation can improve your mood and promote relaxation. Self-pleasuring is not a cure for clinical depression, but the release of dopamine and oxytocin that result from the orgasm do more to alleviate depression and anxiety than to cause it.

Negative feelings surrounding masturbation often have more to do with cultural influences of guilt and shame than any negative effect of masturbation.

  • Not only can masturbation make you feel relaxed, it can help you connect with your mind and body. Meditative breathing and mindfulness can be incorporated, and connecting with your body enhance self-awareness and confidence that can improve chemistry with your partner.
  • A sex therapist can help if negative feelings are preventing you from exploring masturbation, the safest sex there is!

Masturbation is healthy in moderation

  • As with anything, pleasuring yourself too frequently can be too much of a good thing. If time spent masturbating starts to pull you away from work commitments, family, friends and appointments, it might be time to address the pattern of anxiety and compulsion involved in your habit.
  • Masturbation is healthy and normal even for people in a committed relationship. It can become a point of contention if one partner doesn’t like the other person doing it, or if they feel neglected because of the masturbation.

Some people turn to masturbation as an alternative to being intimate with their partner, because it can be less emotionally complicated. Sex within a relationship, if that relationship is suffering from unresolved issues and resentment, can seem like more work than taking care of yourself.

A couples therapist can help you address any of these issues so that both parties are comfortable with sex, alone and together.