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Masturbating becoming a problem

Hi Sam, I am currently going through puberty. I am 11 years old and I think I'm addicted to masturbation. I can't stop and it kind of gets on the way of stuff like my sleeping and homework. Is this dangerous and what should I do about it?
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Sam

Hi there

Masturbation is completely normal for both boys and girls and isn’t dangerous. You don't have to be ashamed about it either. Lots of people do it and it’s okay to do as much or as little of it as you want to.

But when we do something so much that it affects other parts of our life like school, homework, sleeping or seeing friends, it can start to become a problem.

If you’re finding that it’s affecting other things then it might be time for a change. We've got some advice about this on our puberty pages.

Being addicted to doing something is tough because if we enjoy that activity then it makes it a lot harder to give up. This can apply to anything that you find yourself spending lots of time on. The first step to changing is to recognise that this is a problem.

Masturbation is especially difficult because it can feel good. But you can still masturbate and lessen the effect it has on your life by setting up some rules for yourself. For example you might only let yourself masturbate after you’ve done your homework. Some planning about when you do your homework can really help with this too, especially if you do it when you first get home from school. You might even want to think about doing your homework at school before going home.

If you’re still finding it difficult to stop and it’s really taking over your time, then you could get some outside help. It may be an embarrassing thing to talk about but whoever looks after you at home should understand and want to help you. If you don’t have someone like that at home then maybe there are other adults who you trust that could help you make sure masturbating doesn’t affect anything else for you.

I hope this helps. Remember that you can talk to our counsellors about this too – they won’t judge you and it’s a safe place to talk.

Take care.

Sam

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