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Masochism Addiction - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2023

What is Masochism Addiction?

Masochism Addiction is the addiction to sexual arousal or excitement arising from receiving pain and suffering. The pain and suffering can be physical, mental or psychological in nature. A person with this diagnosis of pleasure from pain is called a Masochist.

Masochism is characterized by being bound, humiliated and having that feeling to obtain satisfaction through abusive substances which primarily includes beating and made to punish. Apart from sexual arousal and excitement arising from receiving pain and suffering, a person with masochism addiction experiences significant distress in his daily work-life balance. The phenomenon can be caused due to some deep-rooted abuse in the childhood days or upon the early arrival of adulthood.

A person with the masochistic addiction may practice acts such as being physically restrained through the use of chains, ropes or handkerchiefs. Other means of acts related to masochistic behavior may be by receiving pain and suffering through paddling, spanking, beating, shocks, rape, and mutilation. One such grave practice involves for a person to restrict the breathing of another person in order to attain that pleasure of sluggish breathing but when this being is being exercised in an unforced environment this could probably lead to accidental deaths.

Psychological humiliation can also be a means of receiving masochistic pleasure. The people who receive such an experience may further be imposed by self-guilt, obsessive thoughts and shame for getting hitched in such sadistic pleasures.

Causes of Masochism Addiction.

There is no established concept describing the origin of sexual masochistic behavior.

However, some theories exist which try to explain the presence of sexual paraphilia.

One theory is based on a learning theory that paraphilia exists because unacceptable sexual arousals are suppressed. Because they are not addressed initially, the whims and fancies for of the fantasies increase and when they are finally acted on, a person is in a situation of significant distress.

Many researchers also believe that people associated with masochistic addiction have strong desire to be in dominating positions. This leads them to become conflicted and then get submissive towards other people.

Another theory contends that people show masochistic behavior as a means to escape from realistic situations. They get a chance to act new fantasies and become different.

What is the symptoms of Masochism Addiction?

People with sexual masochistic addiction get sexual excitement and arousal from receiving physical, mental or psychological pain, humiliation or suffering.

These people may be receiving the pain, humiliation or suffering at the hands of other people, or they may be inflicting pain, humiliation or suffering themselves.

They experience impaired functioning or distress because of their masochism addiction, behavior, and fantasies. Their impaired functioning or state of distress can impact their social and professional functioning capability.

Treatment of Masochism Addiction.

The objective of Psychotherapy is to diagnose the cause of underlying stress and various medications are prescribed to suppress the levels of testosterone resulting in a decrease in the frequency of arousals. Behavior therapy is a popular technique used to treat paraphilia. This technique comprises of conditioning of arousal patterns and trends. Therapies like cognitive re-emphasizing and social skills training are also used as a popular component of this technique.

Medication is also increasingly being used to control fantasies and behavior indicating paraphilia. This is specially used for people who exhibit dangerous masochistic behavior patterns.

Treatment procedures may also get complex because of health issues relating to sexual behavior. When masochistic addiction involves the release of blood, sexually transmitted diseases can also get induced.

People participating in dangerous behaviors such as hypoxyphilia are also exposed to extreme pain and it can even lead to death.


Prevention to avoid Masochism Addiction.

Prevention of masochistic addiction can sometimes become a tricky issue since it is mostly not clear whether such behavior comes within the realm of normal experimentation or sexual masochistic act.

Prevention refers to managing addiction for masochism, so it mainly involves only the simulation of severe pain and suffering and it can also involve the partners being cognitive with one another's limitations.

One aspect of masochistic addiction is that the fantasies originating during childhood or teenage may form the basis for masochistic behavior in adulthood, prevention can become a bit difficult. People with this addiction may not be comfortable to express their fantasies and discuss their masochistic fantasies as part of the treatment procedure.

Withdrawal symptoms of Masochism Addiction.

A masochism addicted individual may feel depression and anxiety on withdrawal indication of masochism addiction. They may feel physical, emotional and psychological distress, which may have an impact on the individual personal and professional daily life. The withdrawal symptoms after a prolonged state of masochistic addictive behavior, can have an adverse influence on the affected person’s emotional behavior. So, it is important that the affected person should seek the help of a psychological counselor, so that he has the emotional support of an expert who can guide and support him in recovering from this state.

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Content Details
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Written ByMs. Shilpa Venkatesh MA Psychology & Traning Counselling,Certificate in Hypnotherapy (CH)Psychology
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Reviewed ByMS Anjali KanojiaMA Applied PsychologyPsychology
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