In this article we will discuss if self-pleasuring can cause depression. We will also look at the health benefits of self-pleasuring and its side effects too in addition to a few biological perspectives.


No, self-pleasuring does not cause depression. It is rather normal for a 13 year old to believe that too much self-pleasuring will make them go blind but the reasons are mostly religious or cultural for adults.

The fact that one keeps thinking about it and sometimes looks it up on the internet to find evidence can cause feelings of anxiousness or depression because of worry. Self-pleasuring is stigmatised in many cultures, this can make a person feel guilty for indulging and enjoying the act which in turn can lead to feelings of depression.

There is no medical evidence that states self-pleasuring causes depression, moreover it is denied.

However, there are people who feel post-nut depression.


Self-pleasuring is often inversely associated with mental health because one lacks satisfaction that results from intimacy. It’s more of an individualistic satisfaction, which is short-lived and frequently followed by guilt.

A person can experience unhappiness, mental health problems or even physical problems but self-pleasuring is not what is causing these problems. Compared to a person who practices regular and safe sex, anyone who does not and primarily self-pleasures will report a higher rate of depression or unhappiness. It’s because society condemns it, this can put pressure on the individual and lead him to depression.

One more reason for this can be lack of affection. Sometimes what a person needs is physical touch and affection rather than sex. Loneliness is a real problem that people with depression face and often confuse it with lack of sexual activity.

If people stop seeing self-pleasuring as a sin and realise that it’s healthy for one to practice this, these results or feelings can easily be reversed. A person could become happier, more satisfied and less depressed.  Numerous religions and cultures around the world believe that anything other than traditional sex between man and woman is seriously shameful, and this includes self-pleasures.

PVI can help you build trust and intimacy with your partner. It also affects the confidence of a person and their self-esteem immensely. They feel assured or positive about expressing their emotional state and feelings

PVI more or less helps build better intimate relationships and feel less lonely. It is important to express one’s sexuality and sexual orientation, PVI plays a great role in helping a person realise their standing and what they enjoy. Being comfortable with the partner during sex is vital to enjoy the whole experience and this can only happen if one is comfortable with themselves, which stems from the act of self-pleasuring truly.


Self-pleasuring can help relieve stress or anxiety that can result in feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. It can also help one in getting a good night’s sleep as it often relaxes the body. These feelings of gratification and pleasure also help elevate the mood.

One major benefit of self-pleasuring is a better connection to your body and greater understanding of your sexual preferences.  If you don’t know what you want, how will your partner know? Maturation helps one to explore various aspects of their body and the acts that result in pleasure.

In women, self-pleasure can help improve sensitivity and desire for sexual acts. Using a vibrator has been associated with improved and increased arousal and sexual function. It is also beneficial for pregnant women as it helps release that hormone induced sexual desire in a safe way. It can also help with labour because having a climactic experience can induce labour.

Frequent discharge can lower the risk of prostate cancer. It flushes out any germs or virus from the prostate that could lead to the risk of cancer. It also lowers the build-up of sperm, which if not done can be harmful.


One reason people feel that self-pleasuring can cause issues with “getting it up” is because the feeling that they are engaging in a sinful act is so strong that it causes high levels of stress and anxiety. This leads to escalated flow of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood; it chokes the arteries including those that ensure blood supply to the penis. Limited blood supply due to this constriction can cause problems in erection.


There aren’t a lot of side effects of self-pleasuring but there are a few that can be counted.

Chafing can be caused due to frequent self-pleasuring. Putting too much pressure on the penis or too tight a grip can also cause harm by damaging the nerves resulting in loss of sensation of erectile dysfunction.

Depression has a higher chance of affecting the sex drive rather than self-pleasuring leading to depression. Depression, stress, and anxiety can lead to Erectile Dysfunction in men. ED is a condition in which a man faces the inability to either get or keep the erection firm enough to perform intercourse.

Chronic self-pleasuring is harmful. It can affect your relationships, work, and academics as it can significantly lower productivity. If you’re missing work/school, cancelling plans too often or self-pleasuring multiple times a day on a regular basis, it might be time to seek some help.

There are organizations on the internet that promote abstinence from male self-pleasuring, such as NoFap.


In this article we discussed if self-pleasure can lead to depression. We also looked at the health benefits of self-pleasuring and its side effects in addition to a few biological perspectives.

There is no shame in self-pleasuring. It is a need that occurs in people of all ages and gender across all cultures and ethnic groups.

Self-pleasuring is probably doing more good than harm. This practice can be a form of self-care if you let it be.

FAQs: Self-pleasuring and depression

Does self-pleasure help ease depression?

Self-pleasure can make a person feel good but this feel-good emotion doesn’t stay for long. Self-pleasuring will secrete dopamine, the “happy hormone” and you will feel better but as soon as these levels of dopamine go down and return to their normal state, you will feel like your old self again.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, talk to someone who knows how to help you.

There is a strong probability that the feelings of sadness come back stronger after self-pleasure and push you deeper in depression.

What is chronic self-pleasuring disorder?

Compulsive self-pleasuring is a real disorder. It’s listed as a disorder in International Classification of Diseases (ICT). It comes under Compulsive Sexual Disorders. It can be characterised by the lack of impulse control to engage in the said act. If it’s interfering with your work life and social life or resulting in physical harm, it’s a problem. Chronic self-pleasure can also interfere with your intimate or romantic relationships. A need to pleasure oneself even after one has engaged in the act of sexual intercourse can be a strong indicator that a problem exists.

Why does discharge relieve stress?

Discharge causes the release of dopamine which in turn makes you feel happy and pleasured and lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is what’s causing all that stress. Having a climactic experience will lower the levels of cortisol and increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin. So you’re literally letting the stress out of your body when you’re discharging.

Is “Sadsturbation” a thing?

Yes, sadsturbation or mastursobbing is a real thing. It’s also a behaviour made legit by urban dictionary. It’s the act of self-pleasure followed by crying. The idea here is to let the emotions or hormones go crazy as a result of self-pleasure and indulge in a good crying session to relieve all the stress.

Side effects of daily self-pleasure in males?

There isn’t any high risk in self-pleasuring daily but it can cause chafing and swelling of the penis.

Too much pressure on the penis when self-pleasuring can damage the nerves and lead to erectile dysfunction.

Does female self-pleasuring cause infertility?

No, self-pleasure does not cause infertility in females. On the contrary, muscular contraction due to climactic experience can help in conception. Climactic experiences also increases the chances of going into labour for pregnant women. Women who pleasure themselves have higher rates of success during PVI than those who don’t. Using a vibrator has been associated with improved and increased arousal and sexual function

Does self-pleasure count as cheating?

No, self-pleasuring is not cheating. It is possible that you are not able to get a climactic experience with your partner and as a result of that you turn to pleasure yourself. It’s only because you know your body better and are able to do the needful. If such a problem persists, communication with your partner is the best solution. It will help them understand your needs better.

Does self-pleasure cause erectile dysfunction?

No, self-pleasure does not cause erectile dysfunction. Though, if too much pressure is used or if one pleasures themselves frequently lying face down on their stomach can cause damage to the nerves resulting in Erectile dysfunction.

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