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Thomas Jonesell wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am an adult Catholic man in his mid-30s. I have had a tough situation this year because of a lifestyle change. I have tried changing for the better. I have given up masturbating and temptation through prayer, mediation, and guidance.

I am very satisfied with not doing these actions however, the side effects from not doing it are just as frustrating and difficult for me. I have woken up in the middle of the night with nocturnal emissions. These make me feel extremely uncomfortable and unsettled with distress and anxiety. I am disgusted and repulsed with masturbating but also have the same feelings with wet dreams. I feel very stuck in this situation. I do not want either to happen. I have checked into medication to attempt to stop it but nothing seems to be foolproof.

  • What should I do?
  • How should I go about this?

It would be wonderful to move past all of this and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life.

Thank you for any advice or suggestions you may offer.


  { How do I handle the side effects of giving up masturbation via prayer, mediation, and counsel? }

Mike replied:

Dear Thomas,

Your situation is not unlike most visitors who visit our site, as many struggle with the sins of the flesh (the consequences of concupiscence which remained after our Baptism.) That said, our bodies were created so we could naturally procreate and bring new life into the world so aspects of your struggles are not unnatural but normal and healthy.

I can only suggest you look for a faithful Catholic priest in your diocese who can offer the proper spiritual and pastoral counseling.

Sorry, that's the best I can do. My colleagues may be able to offer you more advice.


Bob replied:


This may be simply your body's way of dealing with the excess material it is producing, since it may be more than reabsorption permits. In time it should decrease, but don't despair, just offer it up. Every physical inconvenience we have is an opportunity for sacrifice. Think of those who lost the ability to reproduce through accident or warfare. They carry a great burden, so offer it for them. Sometimes the burden we bear is the loss of another.

We have to learn to make our lives a living sacrifice and reorient things for God's holy purpose. Things we can control, and can't control, are both able to be given to our Lord.

Some couples who suffer fertility issues, adopt, and can still encounter great challenges.

Nevertheless, people can make sacrifices for them and help them those who are going through hard times. As the body of Christ we impact each other so, reframe it for now, and in due time you will have greater peace.


Bob Kirby

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