Withdrawal symptoms

John was commenting in another post that when a ‘red-blooded male’ goes for some time without masturbating, he gets very tempted to masturbate, and it becomes hard to think and focus clearly. He would much rather jerk off and get on with life than to endure until he gets a wet dream.

I used to experience the same thing in the past. I would often tell myself that not masturbating makes it hard for me to think clearly and to focus, so I would go for a “quickie”, which is what I called a masturbation for the main purpose of getting a quick fix, and then get back to work.

But now that I look at it, and even though I denied it back then, it’s quite apparent that there was certainly an addiction to masturbation. Like other addictions, for example, to smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc, addicts experience similar withdrawal symptoms when they are off their substance of abuse. They might experience shivers, difficulty in concentrating, etc, and all this would be quickly fixed (and justified) with a “quickie” of their substance of abuse.

You know you’re addicted to something when you can’t function normally without it. This is one good way of checking whether or not you’re addicted to something. If you’re not addicted, you can easily go without it for a period of at least three to six months.

A common lie that addicts tell themselves is, “I’m not addicted. I just choose to do it because I like it.”

Of course you like it, otherwise you wouldn’t be addicted to it. But to really prove it to yourself and to others, that you’re not addicted, go ahead and do without it. It is not enough to not go back to doing it; there should also not be any withdrawal symptoms.

Of course as mentioned above, another common lie we tell ourselves is that, “I’m only doing it so that I can concentrate better.” That, if anything, is stronger evidence of addiction.

Speaking of addiction, I’m just going to make a sidenote here. If you miss Mass, rosary, charismatic prayer session or the devotion of your choice, and you spend the rest of the time feeling down, depressed, guilty, it’s a possibility that you might be addicted to religion. I won’t write too much on this now, because it’s a whole post on its own.

Bottomline is that many of us are addicts without realising it. Some of us know it deep down in our hearts, but we deny it so forcefully that we react strongly whenever anyone even suggests that we’re addicted to something.

One clear way of telling whether or not we’re addicted to something is to check for withdrawal symptoms over a period of time.

For some of us, our substance of abuse causes us shame, and we purposely shy away from any discussion of it. For others, we talk about it in a completely detached way, such as not associating ourselves with it at all.

For still others, we are not ashamed of it at all, because we are able to fully justify our reasons for doing it. We embrace our addictions. We then go around trying to convince others to see things our way, because the more people who see things our way, the more “normal” we will feel about our addiction. We want others to justify our behaviour because it is not enough for us to justify our own behaviour.

As always, check for withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and craving. They are good indications of an addiction.

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