Friday, 1 October 2010

spanking and depression

I have written about depression and submission before here.

However I have received an email about spanking and depression which I have published on the Uncle Agony blog here. I hope some of you may visit and add helpful comments.

However it got me thinking about another aspect. I wondered if the act of receiving a spanking - or even a different kind of beating or serious BDSM pain - could act as an antidote to depression? Can the endorphins released in such activities act relieve depression? Is it better than prescription medication? Does the closeness inherrent in such activity provide an effective emotional support that can help alleviate depression?

I would be interested in the views of subs and Doms about this.

19 comments:

DauntlessVitality said...

From personal experience, I will say yes...at least for a person who likes and needs that. I once dealt with a submissive that had depression and migraine issues. Regular play and spankings seemed to keep her more balanced and happier. Even alleviated a lot of her migraines. I attributed it to the release of chemicals in the brain (endorphins?) leading her to a better mental state of being. Just my experience, but yes i think it can be medically beneficial for the right person.

DV

KellyRed said...

YES!!! Yes, it does help. Everything Dauntless Vitality said, along with the increased closeness to your partner. I have struggled with depression all my life, even at times being under the care of doctors for it. I wish we had known about this years ago...The minute i start showing signs, W takes the belt ot me, and all the crap immediately disippates. It is , literally, like magic. The results are stunning. That result has done more than anything else, to help my husband overcome his initial reluctance toward hitting me.

Pygar said...

Thank you very much DauntlessVitality and KellyRed.

How fascinating that you should each respond in the same way separately from a Dom and a sub perspective.

I often wondered with a sub friend who experiences severe depressive episodes whether a hard BDSM scene or a beating might help her through it ... a change in focus perhaps as much as the other things I have mentioned.

Your responses seem to imply that it might have been a possibility.

Does anyone else have similar experiences?

SubRosaNoMore said...

I've had some issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and anxiety in my past. I wondered how much of it had to do with the supression of my submissive tendencies and trying to wear a more dominant hat at work and at home for so many years.

Last evening, I actually said that I think I need a spanking. This was a first for me. I'd had a wicked day at work, my energy was low and I was feeling very restless inside, almost agitated. My partner was kind enough to oblige right before bed, alternating slaps with a hand, strokes with the crop and light massage.

I felt so much better aftewards and slept like a baby. What I find wonderful is that the body has the ability to actually respond this way with the right "help." So much better than taking more pills and fewer unwanted side effects.

Surrendering is so blissful, even when the act of surrender involves some pain. Of course the pain stimulates endorphins. I don't find adrenaline helpful at times like this so I don't like too many "surprises" (i.e. sudden changes in the stimulation). If I'm anxious, adrenaline will make this worse.

The touch, endorphins and surrender are a powerful combination uniting body, mind and spirit. It is little wonder that those of us "out of balance" are driven to seek this out.

Pygar said...

Thank you very much SubRosaNoMore. You articulate very well from your own personal experience ways in which surrendering and being spanked can help lift the mind and spirit. Like you I agree it is good to find effective alternatives to medication.

nilla said...

i have issues with depression, most likely a form of SAD...but since outing myself submissively, and finding a Dom, and receiving spankings....i've felt a massive internal shift toward the positive.

i'd have to reason that it's that well applied spanking that helps.

I do not live with my Dom, and see Him irregularly...still, the spanking clears up space in my head that was swimming with regrets, guilt, anger, etc...and left me free to release it all.

And the bruised i carried for 2 weeks afterwards, were a constant reminder...i would look at them whenever i felt stressed or sad, and even the *memory* soothed me.

nilla

Pygar said...

Than you nilla for your very personal response. It is interesting that even the memory of the spanking soothed you a couple of weeks later.

loverofhoney000 said...

A few years ago I became interested in submission. At that time I had the kind of depression that leaves you emotionally disconnected - I wasn't unhappy...I wasn't anything. I had a lover I didn't even like. I never once used his name when I was with him. But I desperately wanted to feel something and the only thing that came to mind was pain. Combining that with a need for male attention lead me to the concept of being submissive and taking part in discipline. I tried to go there with my lover but because I was so new, i hardly knew what to ask for. And he was just in it for fun so he had no chance of making that psychological connection I craved. All I wanted was to feel enough pain that it would reduce me to tears- I needed to cry ; I needed someone to drag that emotion out of me kicking and screaming! It never happened and I always carry that need within me. I thought I wanted to be Submissive for all the wrong reasons but after reading some of the comments here I wonder if , maybe, there was rational logic my needs? could it be like a food craving, when your body is trying to tell you you are lacking in certain vitamins, which explains weird cravings for broccoli :). I no longer feel emotionally disconnected but I still crave discipline as I consider it a path to happiness in my life.

Pygar said...

Thank you loverofhoney000. What an interesting contribution.

I have another sub friend who cannot cry for herself. She can cry for others and for injustices in the world but not for herself. She feels the need to cry like you.

"All I wanted was to feel enough pain that it would reduce me to tears- I needed to cry ; I needed someone to drag that emotion out of me kicking and screaming!"

She has often said she would like someone to beat her hard enough to make her cry.

Your distinction between the effect of endorphins and adrenaline is also interesting. It shows how important is good communications and understanding between Doms and subs.

Whatever path you take I hope it brings you happiness.

Florida Dom said...

From the replies, I think you are onto something. The intensity of the spankings may have a positive effect on the subs because they want them in the first place.

It probably wouldn't work for somebody who isn't s sub.

FD

Pygar said...

Thanks FD

Yes - I guess suggesting to a woman suffering from depression who was not a sub that she just needed a good spanking might not go down too well. I don't plan to try it anyway - even if it might work!

But more seriously - I suppose that spanking as a way to create endorphins in a positive way is only going to work for those predisposed to accept them positively.

NewToThisLife07 said...

i say YES yes yes to all comments above! As I have already said before, I am bipolar. On days when I have felt low or apathetic this has helped -although sometimes one just isn't receptive to it. But on days when I have started to feel down pain can certainly help- depression (not those caused by a defining moment in our life) is a cause of hormonal imbalance (just like i wrote about in a comment to sub-drop in another post)with a lack of endorphines (and again chocolate as well as pain gives this, when I was at my worse place in my depression i more or less ONLY ate chocolate, and I don't even eat sweets normally. Pain has also worked for me when I am all riled up, it grounds me again, I find. And no I don't think either that it would work for someone that is not favorable to pain. The enjoyment of it contributes just as much as the chemical side -and more so, I don't think you actually even get the chemical effect without the enjoyment of it, as it is pleasure that gives endorphine release.

Hmm my verification word is belly, my cue to do my daily exercize task maybe? :P

DaddyDom said...

Thanks for this thread, helped me out a lot, I've been trying to work out why my submissive is depressed as she doesn't know for herself. After reading this I've got a good idea. Thanks again :)

Pygar said...

I am pleased it has helped DaddyDom. Good luck to you both.

- P

Unknown said...

I am diagnosed with depression and have been struggling with the symptoms for years. I am also, as of very recently, a sub. I cannot believe the weight that has been lifted from my shoulders. I carry far less physical tension and anxiety than I did even being medicated for it. The closeness and trust that willingly receiving pain involves, is something I cannot live without now that I have seen what it can do. I went from feeling like I wanted to die most days, to feeling like I have something to live for. Play, pain, power exchange, you name it, they can all be so very theraputic.

Pygar said...

Thank you Unknown for describing how pain can be so theraputic. As well as the endorphin rush it seems that for you the closeness and trust involved is all part of what helps. I am pleased it is working so well for you.

Good luck

P xx

Pygar said...

I have just found another very interesting article about this topic here.

- P

Anonymous said...

Very interesting reading, the article and all the comments. I'm new to submission, but have a very patient and lovely Dom guiding me. Recently I have found my depression symptoms returning, and agree that the responsibilities I have to my Dom help me keep the focus and have so far prevented me from drifting deeper into depression.

As for pain, I agree it also helps. For me it brings clarity and reminds me I'm alive. Seeing the bruises form and heal reminds me how amazing my body is. All this helps!

However, one thing I do wonder about, is I used to self-harm, and the general consensus seems to be that self-harm is detrimental and bad ... to what extent is allowing myself to be beaten a form of self-harm, does it have the same connotations... I don't have answers, but find it interesting to think about.

Pygar said...

I am pleased you have found the discussion interesting Anonymous. I have too!

Yes, I wonder too whether for someone to move from self-harm to BDSM submission could be a form of self-harm. part of me thinks it could be a positive move but I do not know enough about the psychology of self-harm to offer an informed opinion. I am interested though to read your comment from someone who used to self-harm. I wonder if you feel yourself that it may have the same connotations? You seem ambivalent about whether self-harm itself is detrimental. There are clearly many in society who would also perceive allowing oneself to be beaten to be detrimental and bad.

Thank you for your interesting comment.

Good luck

P xx