191107 help please
Generally there is no physically harmful side effects even if it is practiced regularly, says a psychologist. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dear psychologist,

I am embarrassed to talk about it, but I need help, so I am writing to you. I am 19-years old and since the last couple of months, I have a constant urge to masturbate. I masturbate at least 3 to 4 times in a day. I am always wanting to do it. In fact, my main focus is just that and the pleasure I derive out of it.

Please help me get out of this habit. 
I don't want my name to be published. Thanks.

Dr Dhanesh Gopalan, Clinical Psychologist, Openminds Psychiatry, Counseling and Neuroscience Center, answers:

Dr Dhanesh Gopalan

Masturbation is regarded as a healthy, normative behavior in all age groups, which is prevalent especially in adolescents and young adults.

No physically harmful side effects

Some people may feel guilt and associated anxiety about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual or religious beliefs, but the fact is that generally there is no physically harmful side effects even if it is practiced regularly.


On the other hand, some people may develop a sort of addiction to masturbation. When the act or thought of masturbation affect your day to day activities such as cancelling the plans with friends or family, missing other social activities etc may arise a concern for you.

Shift attention

Shifting your attention to other pleasurable activities of life would help you to manage the issue to an extent. Identify any activities like jogging with friends, involving in any other active sports or learning a completely new skills etc will be helpful. If negative feelings still persists, talk to a psychologist and he/she would help you to find a remedy without judging and keeping heights of confidentiality.

If you have questions that you would like answered by a mental health professional in the UAE, please write in to readers@gulfnews.com. Also, please let us know if you'd rather stay anonymous.

Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.