Hello y’all. I hope your day has been splendid
It’s one of those days…brace yourselves 🙂 This is a long one!
Q:Good Day, Dr Ketch. Thanks a lot for advice you offer daily on this page. I’m a 25 year old graduate. I have a problem that I would like you to kindly discuss or treat. I’ve been suffering from Depression since 2010, after 2years of gaining admission into university. I later went to a NeuroPyschiatric Hospital in Lagos, where the diagnosis was confirmed. But I’m now on Medications, Antidepressants and Mood stabilizers. I’m taking the Drugs: Zoloft or Sertraline, Risperidone and Vitamin B Complex.
So, I’m feeling a lot better now that I’m on these meds. But sometimes I do feel so sad, even with taking those drugs. Another problem is that I was addicted to Masturbation right from my teenage years, so after each time that I masturbated, I will start feeling sad, guilty, withdrawn and bad. So I’m having this feeling that the masturbation led to me being depressed and all that. I’m still a virgin, because I’m always shy around girls and also due to my addiction to Masturbation, which I still practice sometimes, when the urges are too much. Also, I have a very strict dad, who doesn’t want me and my siblings to socialize with peers right from our childhood with the fear that we will get “corrupted”. We are always indoors and rarely play with kids of my age then. I think that resulted to my being shy, withdrawn and being an introvert. So, please I will be so grateful if you can advise me on what to do in order to overcome this illness.
Thank you Ma’am.
A: Hmm, three issues: depression, masturbation and strict parenting. Wow! Where do I start?
Let’s start with depression. Depression is a mood disorder that is beyond the ordinary ups and downs experienced daily. It is a serious health concern. Some people have described depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. Can you imagine how that feels? Surprisingly though, some depressed people actually don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic; men are more likely to feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Depressed people usually lose interest in daily activities. They have no interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. This person clearly loses the ability to feel joy and pleasure.
There is a bleak outlook on life. It appears that everything is bad, getting worse and will never get better. There is an increasing feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
There is a change in weight or appetite. This could be in either direction as a result of differing effects in people: it could lead to increased appetite and subsequent weight gain in some and reduction in appetite and subsequent weight loss in others.
Depression again affects different people differently here and thus could lead to inability to sleep or over-sleeping.
Tolerance level of depressed people is usually low and so they tend to snap at little issues, feel irritable, restless, angry and oftentimes, violent.
Some issues that can lead to this black hole of depression include conflict, death or a loss of a loved one, genetics (Studies have not been able to conclusively show how this contributes to the disease, but a family history of depression may increase the risk), major events like losing a job, starting a new job, getting divorced, getting married or retiring.
Other personal problems can lead to depression and they include, the feeling of social isolation for whatever reason
In the case above, any number of the issues above may be the issue. However, I will focus on the personal problems…having a very strict dad who was/is very strict with you because he doesn’t want you mixing with the wrong crowd. Your feeling towards your controlling dad and shyness as a result could actually be contributory to your excessive masturbation…as you seek to escape from the pressures of your everyday life. This leads to feelings of guilt which now further exacerbates the ‘black hole’ symptoms. There’s just no winning 😦
I’m glad that you feel much better with the drugs that you’re taking. However, if masturbating evokes depressive feelings, then no amount of drugs can help. We need to handle the root of the matter.
In our environment, in Africa, especially, it is difficult to find appropriate people and avenues to discuss some of the deep and oftentimes embarrassing issues we want to discuss. We are worried the world will judge us, shout us down, send us for deliverance or just ostracize us…none of which solve the problem. Indeed, it just makes the people involved retreat into their shells and do more of what they are afraid to talk about, talk to their friends (especially teenagers) who will give them the wrong advice or just become anti-social.
And so, this is a great opportunity to talk to parents…I am one too. Just like you, I would like to have the perfect child who is a show piece at prize giving days and does everything he’s told while loving it. Unfortunately, the journey to that perfection is not by screaming them down and not allowing them to have a voice or to have friends., no matter how much we want to shield our children from bad influence, we are very limited. In this jet age, unless you are going to migrate to the mountains and live there, our children are going to mix up with all sorts of children. They will hear all sorts of things and perhaps, witness even more. How can we be sure they are safe? By constantly communicating with them. Hear their opinions and learn what they feel about different situations. Help them understand what’s right and what’s wrong by giving practical examples and whatever you do, don’t be judgmental or compare them with other children. If you do, they stop telling you things and end up in the exact place you don’t want them.
Excessively curtailing their social interactions just makes them pine for that which looks ‘unattainable’ and so at the slightest chance of freedom, they go really crazy or they become anti-social.
We can’t fight our children’s life battles for them, no matter how much we want to. We can only trust that we have brought them up right and that they will make the right decisions…while we maintain watch from a respectful distance at the appropriate time.
Now, away from parents/guardians to the person in this situation: please speak with your doctor and find out if there is any support group you could join.
Find out your triggers and try to avoid them, stick to your treatment plan and find healthier outlets for your sexual ‘energy’. Developing a strong social and spiritual support system could be very helpful. Join activities in clubs, churches, art centers etc.
Other coping mechanisms include exercising regularly and reducing your stress. If the latter is not readily viable, improve on your stress coping mechanisms.
Get treatment for alcohol and drug abuse if this is a problem for you. Eat healthy and get the necessary amount of sleep daily (7 – 8 hours daily)
Remember, the world is waiting for that special ‘something’ that only you can bring to the table. You are an original with loads of great ideas to unleash So, focus on the future. The past is…past. You can change what happens today and tomorrow. Focus on dealing with the drivers of your depression and masturbation and deal with them as noted above. You can rise above these.
Please write in from time to time and let me know how it’s going. I will make enquiries as to what support groups are available and let you know.
Have a good night y’all 🙂 As the second case of Ebola in Lagos is announced, remember that this virus cannot do more than what we allow. Stay off raw bush meat and body fluids and then: keep your hands clean and keep them to yourself!
I think that will become my new sign-off mantra: Keep your hands clean and keep them to yourself 🙂
Sleep tight and don’t let the bed-bugs bite ;D