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Norman M.'s Registered Psychotherapist was verified on or about November 2009 by a leading third-party verification service.View the Terms of Service section on verifications
I have been a compulsive masturbator for as long as I can remember, and it seems to me that I've always had self esteem issues as well, and I can't figure out what the underlying cause is. I am an 18 year old male. Even as a really young boy I have memories of feeling I was out of place and abnormal, and I was extremely angry a lot, possibly due to this feeling. I would get angry at other children who would tease and bully me, and I would get angry at adults because many of them came off as very critical, and I always felt like I had to protect myself. As I got older I controlled my anger, and just kept to myself a lot more because in social situations I felt forced and uncomfortable. The compulsive masturbation led to frequently viewing pornography as well, and it has continued since then and I've had little success in my efforts to stop. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 11 and recently (a couple weeks ago) started taking medication (adderall) and it does help to make my mind feel clearer and less chaotic. It also significantly reduced my desire to masturbate and view pornography while the drug is in effect, which was surprising to me as I have never been able to abstain for very long. But I've noticed that it hasn't helped me as much as I'd hoped. For the past 2 years I have felt pretty depressed and unmotivated, I barely passed senior year and my freshman year in college I failed miserably. I wanted badly to kill myself and probably would have if I had more immediate opportunities. But any plans I started to make would end up having to be too complicated so I just kept going on pretending I was fine. As far as the medication I am also taking Wellbutrin, and it has helped take the edge off of the intense feelings of depression and anger, but I feel that the underlying cause of this is still there, and I'm just prolonging my suffering without really fixing anything. I just don't know what to do, I've seen therapists and so far haven't had much success. Most of them haven't seemed to consider why I feel this way, they just focus on treating the effects. It seems to me that I have just never felt happy because I always felt like I was pretending to be something I'm not, and that I'd never live up to anyone's expectations or be truly accepted by them. I have especially always wanted to have a girlfriend because I want to have someone I can talk to about these things and who actually likes me, not just the way I act and what I pretend to be. But one girl I really felt strongly about ended up leading me on for a year, and then basically telling me that she liked me but that I would never be good enough for her, i was too immature and she didn't like certain things about me. She made it seem as though she really did want to date me but I had flaws in my personality that she couldn't take. I tearfully responded, begging her to tell me what they were so I could fix them but she wouldn't tell me. She would only say I couldn't and that I wasn't ever going to be good enough for her. That's about when the depression really started setting in and becoming an acute problem, though I feel it was always just sort of there. I always have doubted myself and I feel like i run things through over and over in my head hoping to get to this moment where suddenly it all makes sense but it never happens. I just feel really out of place everywhere I go and I feel like i don't truly belong with anybody, including friends and family. I tell myself the only reason they even like me is because I pretend to be something I'm not, and if they really knew everything that they would totally reject me, like that girl who I had told so much to hoping to find understanding. Instead my fears and doubts about myself were confirmed and I can't shake the feeling that I'll never truly be happy.