Not Safe For Work

Not Safe For Work

lunedì 29 ottobre 2018

BDSM and Mental Health: When Kink Clears Your Head


“My head is jumbled. My skin feels too tight. I think I’m going crazy.”
“What can I do?” he asked.
“Please spank me until I cry.”

Before I was diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder, I didn’t have the language to express what was going on in my head, but I’d figured out that spankings, discipline, and a few of my other kinks helped me calm down, allowed me to think more clearly, and for a moment, silenced the noise in my head. I’m not alone in my experience. While there’s a documented link between good mental health and BDSM, kink can help our mental health too.


BDSM and Mental Health
The idea that BDSM could be good for our health, mental or physical, is a fairly recent development. Ask a non-kinkster what they think about BDSM - assuming they view it unfavorably - and they’ll talk about sexual abuse, perverts, compensation for other sexual “problems,” among other accusations. As disheartening as it may be to hear, it’s not surprising. BDSM activities, in general, were classified as paraphilias and disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) until the 2013 version was published. Liking kink in any form could be used as a cudgel against you with your doctor and in a courtroom. Sometimes, it still is.

Imagine everyone’s surprise when studies began coming out showing that kinksters aren’t mentally ill any more than the general populationis . In fact, they may be happier. A 2006 study shows that those who practice BDSM tend to have lower levels of depression, anxiety and PTSD. A 2013 study that compared non-kinksters to kinksters showed that kinksters tended to be open to new experiences (no surprise there), more conscientious and self-disciplined.

This isn’t to say that kinksters don’t have mental illnesses. Go into any online forum where kinksters gather, and a big topic is there mental health - how to deal with it, what it means and whether kink can help.

How Kink Can Help
From my own perspective, some kinky activities can help me let go of anxiety or slow roiling, bubbling, or non-stop thoughts in my mind. This may be more common than we realize, though. A study from 2015 showed that kinksters - both tops and bottoms - enter an altered state of consciousness after we scene.

What is sometimes called “top space” - the feel-good place a top goes during and after a scene - is called “flow.” It’s characterized by focused attention, optimal performance and a loss of self-consciousness. My own Dominant partner often marvels at his focus at the peak of a scene. He says that the entire room falls away and there’s only us and the scene. It’s a high he enjoys.

The alternative state most people know about is “sub space” - the floaty feeling submissives or bottoms feel after a scene. In this study it’s known as “transient hypofrontality,” which results in a reduction in pain, feelings of floating, peacefulness and time distortion. This accurately describes my experience with sub space.

These altered states could be the reason that those of who have mental health problems like anxiety or depression may feel better or calmer after a scene.

Many kinksters, myself included, use one particular kink specifically for therapeutic purposes - spankings. This isn’t new information to most people who enjoy spankings. When we discuss spankings, therapy spankings are almost always mentioned.

Whether the pain allows you to focus on something other than your racing thoughts or it creates a method for an emotional release (like tears), it can be an effective temporary fix. From personal experience, spankings calm me down or let me cry, depending on what’s going in my head and what I need at the time. Others may even benefit from the “punishment” aspect of a spanking - as if they’re being taken to ask for even having the thoughts or doing things that aren’t good for them.

Kink Isn’t a Replacement for Medical Help
I began to suspect that I was bipolar more than a decade ago when I was still in my 20s. I noticed that I had emotional energetic highs for about a week and then I fell into the dumps for a few days in a repeating cycle. Yet my depression never seemed as bad as other people’s experiences, so I figured I was just “weird” and “moody.”

My anxiety snuck up on me once I hit my 30s. While I’ve always had some anxious tendencies - planning for any problem, triple-checking myself, worrying (a lot) - it didn’t interfere with my life until around age 35. It wasn’t until I dropped a ringing phone like a hot potato (thank you, social anxiety) that I thought something might be seriously wrong.

Before I was ready to look for a kink-friendly therapist, I tried to “self-medicate” with my kink. I relied on my Dominant partner’s discipline. I asked for spankings. I gave up as much control over my life as my partner would accept (which wasn’t a lot because he’s no Master and I’m no slave). I felt out of control and jumbled. I assumed our 24/7 D/s life could fix it, especially once we threw in a few spankings.

While spankings, floggings, rough sex, and even humiliation play can be a balm to my anxious mind, it’s no substitute for therapy and, if needed, medication. If you suspect you may have a mental health problem or if you just know something doesn’t feel right in your mind, seek medical help. Stigmas over mental health are slowly but surely receding, and you will only prolong the problem if you don’t get the help you need.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you’d get treatment for a broken bone, why not get treatment for a wonky brain?

Even now, after months of therapy, I still ask for a spanking when I get that tight feeling in my skin. And a whispered word about my anxiety is often enough for a really rough session of bruising, pounding kinky sex. It’s a temporary fix, and sometimes, it’s all I need. For the big stuff that a spanking can’t erase, I call my therapist.



https://www.kinkly.com/bdsm-and-mental-health-when-kink-clears-your-head/2/14463

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