So I've been having some real trouble lately.
I went on a retreat two weeks ago, had my reconciliation and told myself that I would stop masturbating cold turkey and never do it again so that I could receive the Eucharist.
This last weekend has been SO tough for me and i feel like my hormones have just been raging OFF THE WALL. I literally could not stop thinking about it. I would sit there and my foot could not stop tapping and I couldn't stop biting my nails- it was bothering me that much.
I wouldn't know if I would call myself an addict, but from my crazy behavior this last weekend, I dont know what I'd call myself anymore. It was just strange- even for me!
So I'm wondering what to do. I actually caved and gave in with the mindset that I just need this release, just this once and that once it was out I would feel fine- but now I feel absolutely horrible! I feel so absolutely guilty and I honestly don't know why I thought that everything would be fine if I caved in just once- it wasn't like myself at all.
Does anyone have any advice? I'm also confused on when masturbation is considered a mortal sin and a venial sin (i've always considered it a mortal sin, but I've read that it can be considered a venial sin... what is it in my case??)
Only the Lord knows whether it is a mortal or venial sin. Just try to do the best you can, and try to receive reconciliation regularly. Sorry you’re having such a struggle. I had similar problems several years ago. I don’t really have a good solution, except to pray and try to involve yourself in good works. Like maybe volunteer for committee at church, or try to help the youth, or work part-time in a soup kitchen – something like that. Stay busy. When you have things to do that benefit other people and you can find some fulfillment in those activities, there is less time for your mind to “wander”. There may be less chance of starting down that dangerous road… Peace/blessings.
I completely identify with your struggles! until the last few months, i had the same problem. I don’t know what changed except God granted me some MAJOR grace, and i rarely struggle with this anymore. best suggestion, read a lot of good CATHOLIC BOOKS. i recommend anything by Fr. James Martin, SJ. keeps the mind toward God, and keeps it busy!!!
Well this is a tough one as sexual urges are hard to ignore sometimes especially at different stages of our development. according to the catechism of the church it would be considered a mortal sin as any act that would prevent the possibility of conception would be a grave act. Other acts besides masterbation would be oral sex to the point of ejaculation and other forms of sexual gratification other than between a man and woman that would allow the possibility of conception. I would advise a honest confession and you would be amazed how open to helping you your priest will be. Remember they have heard it ALL before so nothing shocking about masterbation believe me we have ALL been there. As to advice how to control this temptation depends on your state in life meaning married or single or for that matter age in general. As a man of 35 years old and married I remind myself as to the signifigance of intamacy above and beyond the pleasure of the act. I also pray the liturgy of the hours for each perscribed hour as they say a idle mind is a dangerous thing so my advice is do not remain idle immerse yourself in prayer or another healthy activity that takes your mind away from masterbation and believe me after you get past that initial hurdle it becomes easier every day. Good luck and God bless !!!
Dude, that’s how its gonna be for the first few weeks. Quitting sucks. I hate calling it an addiction too, but if you’re craving it and “jonesing” for it, then it’s probably an addiction. Sucks knowing that you might be addicted to it.
How it goes:
You will be turned on by everything you see. Your leg will shake, you will sweat in your seat, and it won’t be fun. However, it gets better. After a few weeks the cravings will leave and you will have some peace. Though know the cravings will still be there. I’ve been “clean” for almost 100 days now and i still crave it. But with experience you’ll get better at understanding the urges and dealing with them.
“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44“Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45“Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
The cravings just show you that you’re doing something right. Take solace in that. Also add more of the “Big Guy” into your life aka God. I started reading a chapter from the new testament ever night before I went to bed. I also tried to attend a few extra masses during the week.
My mentality was: You can either be with god or against him. So either you’re bad habit is going to win or your new good habits will. It’s up to you to decide.
Good Luck Brotha, PM if you need more anything…
-One more point. I am not married, but this was another mentality of mine: Do you want to give a future wife a man who is addicted to lust? I doubt it. Like it or not, masturbation is a sin against purity. So think of it in a sort of virginity kind of a way and what type of man you will be giving to your future wife.
I’ve had troubles in this area for several years - it’s not fun. My only advice is, keep your resolve up as best as possible. I can normally turn down a fairly nasty temptation on a good day, when I’m alert and clear-headed, but it’s extremely hard to fight when you’re tired or otherwise mentally exhausted and have nothing to do. That being said, keep yourself busy with something, and definitely things that aren’t going to let your mind wander into that particular subject.
This is the advice I give people with this problem, because it helped me quite a bit:
Think of yourself as being on a steady run out of this addiction. When a runner hits a passing branch, he takes it in stride and keeps going. When you cave, confess as soon as possible and keep going! And don’t wait until you’ve confessed to think of yourself as still going. NEVER think “well now it’s back to square one.” Don’t let ‘down’ periods be time-outs, run to God!
The great cruelty of lust is that it hijacks the mind; sometimes you can never get away from it. So squeeze it out: fill your head with wonderful Catholic things until there is little room left over. I find reading Scripture to be of great help when my imagination feels out of control.
Also, whenever possible, don’t try to fight temptation - run like hell from it! If it is external, kill the source. If it is internal, don’t directly attack the thought but rather replace it with something else. Remember: God is on your side! He will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself!
When I quit, it was very difficult for the first month or so. Wet dreams at night were very common and my sex drive was quite elevated. The feeling that you are going to burst unless you masturbate is one of Satan’s many tricks to weaken your resolve against sin. There’s that misconception going around that your body needs to expell excess semen and it’s simply not true. Since I have stopped, I have gone months without even having wet dreams so I know the body can re-absorb excess semen just like it does every other fluid.
During that first month after I resolved to stop masturbating, satan was definitely pulling out all the stops to get me to fall back into the habit. I had consistently been fighting against an increased sex drive for most of the month, but there was this one morning where I woke up and the sex drive was totally gone and I wasn’t experiencing any temptations, whatsoever. Unfortunately, at the time, I decided to “test myself out” to make sure I was “alright”… this resulted in me falling back into sin. So just be aware that Satan is going to try the unexpected to get you to fall back into the habit.
If I had been praying a daily rosary at the time this happened I don’t think I would have fallen into sin. I have been praying the rosary everyday for over a year now and I have not masturbated since I started. The rosary is an absolutely powerful prayer with tremendous promises attached to it if you pray it every day. I just can’t recommend it enough:
I feel distressed that people are experiencing such anguish as a result of what I consider normal behavior. But it is impressive to see how committed people are to attempting to live out their faith. I hope one day the Church will free people of the suffering they experience as a result of this teaching.
It’s hard. I’ve been struggling as well. And it makes me so mad, because once you “give in” and fail, you realize, why did I just do that? It’s hard for me to get to confession, because I’m 16 and I can’t drive, but I make sure that I pray about it ALL THE TIME and make sure the Lord knows that I plan on confessing it when I get the chance and am able to get there!! Yes, it is possible that they may not be “mortal sins” in our cases, when we suffer with ‘addiction’, but it’s best to be safe and repent it if you are able! Good luck. I wish I had some advice to give, but I’m going through the same thing currently.
Your religion is described as Hmmmmmmmm so I’m not sure how to speak with you on this subject.
But…Catholics believe “blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God”.
We believe what Jesus said, “A man who looks after a woman with lust in his heart has already committed the sin of adultery in his heart.” Adultery is breaking one the commandments. This sin is also referred to in the letters of the new testament in a number of places.
Jesus said that it isn’t what goes into man that makes him bad, but what comes out of him, for that comes from his heart. What kind of thoughts come out of a man in all sins of sex?
Sex acts release a natural drug made by the body called seratonin. Giving into this drug only will make one more addicted to it. It is the withdrawal that is the hardest part. Once past this, which any one can do if determined, especially determined by praying to be virtuous, then it becomes managable. This type of sin is the very opposite of what Jesus says our life should be. And he did not say it would be easy, “Pick up you cross and follow me daily.”
Nicotine is also captivating, and damaging. Should we say to the smoker, I hope one day the Church will free people of the suffering they experience as a result of this teaching.
My suggestion to anyone caught in this is to pray to carry out what Jesus wants. He is truth itself. His advice out weighs anyone else’s.
Fred that was worded great !!! That is absolutely true never did Jesus say follow me it’s easy but to pick up your crosses and to follow. I love the fact that I gave up the act of masterbation t weighed on me heavily and there was a lot of shame involved as well. The realization that it is addiction warrants deep prayer to God and the blessed Virgin Mary to intercede on your behalf for the strength to overcome this addiction and it can be beaten trust me. Again good luck and God bless !!
As someone who has gone through this anguish, I can tell you that it’s well worth the effort.
To the OP, I can identify with what other people have said about this being an addiction. For me it was very reminiscent of when I quit smoking, though it was less tricky. I’d say in terms of difficulty, the first month or so are just as hard, but in my case the urge to smoke never fully leaves, while the urge to masturbate has (it has been almost a year now, so this is still pretty recent for me).
I’ll get a few temptations every now and then but it’s nothing in comparison with the urges of the first month. It just feels like a bad idea.
Learning more about and practicing the faith will be a solid weapons for fighting against this.
Yes! I quit smoking after a pilgrimage to Lourdes this July! I believe that it had to do with the intercession of Mary. In any case I’m certain that God shed some grace on me. I feel pretty blessed for that. Saying Three Hail Marys when struggling with something is always a good idea.
The only way to put a stop to the gravely sinful act of masturbation is to stop cold turkey. A helpful way of doing this is to literally scare the hell out of yourself by looking at the damaging effects of masturbation - spiritual and physical.
From the spiritual standpoint, you need to understand that pornography and masturbation are one of the easiest pathways to demonic possession. Sex addicts are most definitely demonically obsessed and if they become hardened sex addicts they are at risk of demonic possession. When you look at pornography and masturbate you are effectively practicing what Aleister Crowley called “sex magic.” This is dangerous stuff. One of the worst side effects of sins of the flesh is the resulting denial of immortality that accompanies them. Is it any wonder then that our hedonistic culture is also one of the most atheistic. The two sins go hand-in-hand.
From the physical standpoint,studies have shown that porn addiction is more dangerous and addictive than drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. Here is great article by neurosurgeon Donald L. Hilton, Jr that will help you to understand how Porn Addiction will literally destroy your brain: “Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain” found here (drjudithreisman.com/archi…master_ho.html).
Contrary to what the popular, secular media and health professionals will tell you, masturbation is dangerous to your health. For one thing, it lowers your stamina and lowers your drive to accomplish things. Excessive masturbation (every day, or reguarly) puts a high amount of stress on your prostate. It’s also not good for your brain due to the feel-good chemicals (norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, & serotonin among others) constantly being released. It’s basically like a drug that your brain gets hooked on and part of the reason why masturbation is so hard to stop. Again, see the above article by Dr. Hilton. If you ever tried to stop then you no doubt are familiar with the strong urge to masturbate again after a few days to a week. After this amount of time the effects of the feel-good chemicals wear off and you start going thru withdrawal symptoms. Frequent masturbation also weakens your immune system thus making you more succeptible to diseases, especially to colds and flus during the winter season. Frequent masturbation also weakens your tendons and ligaments, making it easier to strain a muscle or sprain a joint. Furthermore, you will start to get lower back pain if you continue to masturbate regularly. However you will most likely not experience this particular symptom until after you are past your teen years. Others will start to experience thinning hair on their heads as well. This is due to too much of your testosterone being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which overloads your body. You also lose several miligrams of zinc every time you ejaculate. Zinc plays an important role in cell division and growth. It is essential for protein and DNA synthesis and helps in liver function and proper insulin activity and is essential for proper functioning of the sexual organs. Zinc is found in abundance in semen and the prostrate gland. Sexually active men require more zinc than women for the health of the reproductive organs and fertility Zinc is a component of many enzymes that help in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins and helps in wound healing.
So as you can see, masturbation is extremely bad, not only for your soul but also for your health. Masturbation is NOT the same as having sex because when a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, certain trace minerals and prostaglandins are absorbed from the female vaginal secretions which balance the zinc-loss effect and also there is a sort of natural suction during normal sex that helps drain all the semen during an ejaculation. Contrast this with masturbation, where a small portion of semen does not drain and ends up remaining in your system, which is not good.
Don’t expect to get the truth from the popular, secular media or medicine. The Porn Industry is one of the biggest businesses in our country and in the world. They have a vested interest in the consumers of their products staying ignorant of the damage that their products cause.
Find a good Catholic therapist if you feel that you are a sex addict. But first of all, get to confession and keep in mind that the only way you will defeat a sex addiction is going to be by first turning to and utilizing the Sacraments - on a daily basis if possible.
Next time you “feel the urge,” instead of searching Google images for porn, get on to Google images and do a search for pictures of people who have committed suicide. This is what happens to those with a sex-addiction (which is really just another form of drug addiction): they end up dead or in a mental institution. It will give your psyche the needed jolt to reconsider looking at porn or masturbating. You could also consider the pains of hell, as this is the much more important consideration than mere physical death and injury. And also remember, when we engage in intrinsically evil acts, even when they are done in private, we are increasing and emboldening the total evil in the world. Innocent people that we may never meet will be harmed through our private sins. Society always gets damaged in some way by personal private sin. Just another thing to keep in mind when tempted to these sins of the flesh.
I’ve honestly had the masturbation habit for about 10 years since I was in the 9th grade in my freshmen year and I wasn’t aware that it was sinful then, that it damages us and others spiritually, or that it is known to cause damage physically unexpectedly. But, what got me into the process of quitting this disgusting habit was that I found out that masturbation is or can be a possible risk of prostate cancer after doing some research on Google. I don’t care if the risk factor of prostate cancer is a 1% or not, it’s not worth it. I know God still wants me around because He loves me and the rest of us very much and He wants me and all of us to live and not having to go through cancer at all. I may sound a little harsh mentioning cancer, but it’s best that people knew the truth and what the risks and dangers are upon masturbation and God has a very good reason why we should avoid masturbation and pornography at all costs.