Compulsive Masturbation Disorder: signs, symptoms & treatments


Today, we will explore a topic that is often veiled in silence: Compulsive Masturbation Disorder. 

Now, masturbation is supposed to be a natural part of human sexuality. However, with societal taboos and secrecy revolving around this topic, it is often difficult to understand when the line blurs and a natural process turns into a compulsive habit!

In fact, compulsive masturbation is a growing concern affecting many. Yet understanding this underlying issue or asking for help becomes a challenge. Half of the people don’t even know what it is that they are going through!

So, today, we will move beyond the stigma surrounding this compulsive behavior. Understand what masturbation addiction is, explore its signs and symptoms, and how you can deal with it. 

Let’s get started. 

What is Compulsive Masturbation Disorder?

Compulsive Masturbation Disorder is also known as chronic masturbation or excessive masturbation. 

It is a type of compulsive sexual behaviour that is generally categorized under the umbrella term hypersexuality disorder or sexual addiction.

But what is it?

Well, unlike the occasional self-pleasure, compulsive masturbating disorder involves a constant indulgence in excessive masturbation—either for extended durations or with alarming frequency.

Basically, typical indulgence turns into compulsive sexual behaviour, wherein those who are struggling find it extremely difficult to quit.

compulsive masturbation

Binge masturbators find themselves constantly occupied with sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviours. 

These facets become so all-encompassing that they start overshadowing their life, making it difficult to control their sexual urges and focus on daily tasks. 

We can safely say that compulsive masturbation disorder comes with wider repercussions, including:

  • Getting stuck in a never-ending loop of constant focus and indulgence in compulsive sexual urges, sexual fantasies, desires, and behaviours.
  • Masturbation addiction is becoming a driving force, taking precedence over personal well-being.

Is Compulsive Masturbation Disorder Real?

Well, now you know what compulsive masturbating disorder is, this does bring a common question to most minds.

Is compulsive masturbation disorder a genuine condition? Or is it just compulsive sexual behavior gone out of control?

Well, honestly, the topic is still open to debate and research in the scientific world. The thoughts on chronic masturbation are quite in splits. 

Let me explain.

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association, hypersexuality disorder, including masturbation addiction, is not officially recognized. 

However, the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) takes a different stance. In their latest revision, they acknowledge compulsive sexual behavior disorder, which encompasses compulsive masturbation disorder, as a mental health condition.

Adding to this debate and solidifying the grounds that compulsive masturbation disorder is indeed a serious problem was another study drawing parallels between behavioral addiction and substance addiction. 

It was found that in the case of compulsive masturbation, chemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine are triggered, leading to a sense of pleasure that is similar to the high experience with substance use. 

Therefore, long-term indulgence in masturbation can rewire neural activity, creating dependency.  

In simpler terms, just like substances can alter brain chemistry, prolonged compulsive masturbation may also reshape neural pathways, emphasizing the real, tangible consequences of this behavior.

Signs of Compulsive Masturbation Disorder

Compulsive Masturbation Disorder can bring massive changes to your life. It can impact your mental, social as well as physical well-being. Therefore, it is essential to recognize when the line between healthy masturbation and compulsive indulgence is blurred. 

Signs of Compulsive Masturbation Disorder

Here are signs of binge masturbators you need to watch out for:

  • A persistent feeling of shame or guilt sets in post-masturbation.
  • You find yourself using masturbation as a default coping mechanism for negative emotions like stress, anxiety, or sadness.
  • Masturbation consumes a significant amount of your time and energy as well as interferes with your daily life. 
  • Insatiable urgency to fulfil sexual release. This leads you to change plans to accommodate masturbation habits, affecting work or personal commitments.
  • Taking massive risks and indulging in public or inappropriate masturbation due to impatience and just to fulfil that compulsive urge. 
  • Masturbating even when you are not aroused.
  • Experiencing physical and cognitive Symptoms such as loss of sensitivity and lack of impulse control of your sexual self. 
  • According to several research and sex therapists, it is believed that chronic masturbation can lead to sexual dysfunctions like premature ejaculation. 
  • Additionally, a compulsive masturbation habit, in combination with porn use, can contribute to a dopamine overload in the brain. This, in turn, can lead to porn-induced erectile dysfunction. 

It is absolutely important to understand and recognize these signs of compulsive masturbating disorder. This helps you understand when the line gets blurred and a normal healthy habit has crossed its way to becoming a sex addict, which can affect your overall well-being.

What Causes Compulsive Masturbation?

Well, we know masturbation is supposed to be a natural behavior, but it hardly remains so, with the growing addictive dependency. 

It takes a problematic turn when it transforms into a compulsive habit. Therefore, understanding the causes behind it can help you better understand such compulsive sexual behaviors:

1. Psychological Factors:

  • Depression and Anxiety: Compulsive masturbation may stem from an attempt to cope with underlying depression or anxiety. Seeking solace in temporary pleasure, this compulsive behavior often becomes a way to lift one’s mood or alleviate stress.
  • Neurobiological Predisposition: as I mentioned above, research suggests a neurobiological connection, showing similarities between brain structures involved in compulsive sexual behavior and drug reward circuits. This inclination toward addiction might contribute to excessive masturbation.

2. Emotional Escapism:

  • Most people, trying not to confront their emotional pain, negative emotions, or situations, are often found turning to such obsessive compulsive disorder just to push away the negative feelings and thoughts and change their focus.  
  • Furthermore, the dopamine rushes during orgasm add to this habit, providing momentary gratification. 

3. Varied Triggers and Influences:

  • Personal Variability: Masturbation addiction’s causes and triggers vary widely among people. Factors such as an imbalance in brain chemicals, changes in brain pathways, pre-existing mental health conditions, and profound adult emotional trauma. 
  • Social and Environmental Influences: External factors, including easy access to sexual content, alcohol or drug abuse, family conflicts, or a history of abuse, can heighten susceptibility to compulsive sexual behavior.
  • Porn addiction: Now,  porn addiction and masturbation addiction are two different conditions. However, techniques such as neuroimaging and neurochemical investigations have shown a link between addictive porn use and masturbation addiction. 

How to Deal with Compulsive Masturbation Disorder?

Getting over any compulsive habit is always tricky. This is especially true in the case of obsessive compulsive disorder. So, here are some practical tips to help you Deal with Compulsive Masturbation Disorder 

Find a Support System

Finding someone who understands your struggle, even if it’s a different compulsion, can provide valuable support. So, find a reliable friend, partner or parent to talk to, share your experiences and ask them to help you keep accountable, keeping a check on you as you work on getting out of your compulsive masturbating disorder.

Avoid masturbation

Change Your Routine

Breaking habits involves more than sheer willpower. Instead of going cold turkey, replace the activity. Spend your time engaged in other activities, like physical alternatives, including exercise, walking, or crafting. Redirecting energy into different outlets proves more successful than attempting to quit outright.

Stay Busy and Engaged

Idle hands often lead to problematic behaviors, if you know what I mean! 

So, deal with the urge, explore new hobbies, grab a coffee, visit a library or join a social club. Keeping yourself busy with activities you enjoy, be it sports or gaming, helps in diverting attention from compulsive tendencies.

Identify and Keep the Triggers out

Understanding when compulsions strike is essential. Adjusting your environment, like placing the phone across the room, can disrupt the routine. Additionally, if porn acts as a common trigger, use a reliable porn blocker extension to keep out the temptation and control the sexual urges.

Tap into Support Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of shared experiences. Local or online support groups offer a safe space to discuss challenges without judgment. Anonymous options provide comfort, ensuring you don’t face unfamiliar faces. You can join sexual health platform communities like NoFap, BlockerX community or a 12-step recovery program like Sex Addicts Anonymous.

Create a safe environmental 

It’s just like keeping out the trigger, however, with a little more planning. You need to consider changing your surroundings to break the cycle, whether it includes installing blocking software, creating no-device zones, such as bedroom and dining tables, or using an app to provide focus sessions. 

Prioritize Personal Relationships

Strengthening bonds with friends, family, or a partner offers a constructive outlet. Planning enjoyable activities creates alternatives to compulsive behaviors and fosters a healthier mindset. Be present in these relationships to diminish the pull of compulsions.

Seek Professional Help

When personal efforts fall short, seeking professional help and consulting a therapist can provide valuable insights. Therapists help identify triggers and provide coping strategies, complementing other healthy behaviours designed for your specific needs. 


Well, as we go, just remember compulsive behaviour is more common than we might realize, and there’s no need for embarrassment. What you really need to do is recognize when it’s becoming unhealthy. Working on a planned sexual addiction treatment or seeking help from a mental health professional can help you deal with this obsessive-compulsive disorder and break free from its clutches. 

So, stop overthinking and get working. Remember, change is not only possible but also a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle.


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Morgan Schmidt

Morgan Schmidt, LPC, a Yale University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, specializes in addiction treatment and is a licensed professional counselor. His practice as a therapist is informed by both his academic background and hands-on experience in the field. In addition to his therapeutic work, Morgan is also an active writer, sharing his knowledge on psychological and addiction topics, thereby reaching and educating a broader audience.