Help Me In My Struggle

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
Hello brothers and sisters of the faith.
I have a problem, or rather many, that is plaguing and troubling me greatly.
I had an addiction with masturbation and lust beginning at a young age. From this masturbation, I felt ashamed and not worthy to go to church, thus I stopped going for a very long time (many years). However, I do make a concientouss effort to not masturbate, and have been succeeding. Actually, I have been clean for a very long time now. The problem is, however, after a while of not doing this, my mind becomes plagued with evil thoughts and insecurities. I become so severely depressed to the point where I don't feel like speaking, or acting, but just feel like sitting down and breaking. I have been going to church recently, and praying everyday from my heart for God to help me through my problems. But it seems, that no matte rhow well I act, or how good of a Christian I am, I am always meant to be hurt.

This depression is not new; I was depressed for a long time each of the last couple of years. I am wondering if this depression is caused due to lack of masturbation; because I really can't think of a reason why I am just so depressed?


  • Dear liftmyheart,

    Do not despair! Christ is risen and with His grace you will rise out of any sadness. So rejoice!

    The worst thing that can happen as a result of masturbation (or any sin) is to disconnect from the church and the sacraments. This is the aim of the devil in any sin he tempts us with. Do not let him win! But he will win if you struggle on your own.

    If it makes you feel any better you are not in this boat alone. Many struggle with lust and masturbation - as I have. You are not an extraordinary sinner - many have fallen.

    The remedy is simple: Increase spiritual activity daily. Pray, read the bible, confess, take communion, sing hymns, and always be with good friends. It is a struggle between spirit and flesh. If you do not feed your spirit you will lose the battle.

    But it seems you are not struggling with masturbation any more but with evil thoughts. I am not sure exactly what you mean... However, take this as a positive sign - evil thoughts do not plague evil people, they plague the righteous. One who is evil is not disturbed by evil thoughts for they are his thoughts. So know that you are not evil but rather the son of Light.

    With any addiction that you stop there are withdrawal effects. I am no psychologist so I am not sure how long they last. That said - I am not a big believer in science as an explanation for depression.

    Increase prayer, activity in church, and fellowship.

    May the Lord, who is the source of all joy, give you joy.
  • Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

    Whenever the devil tries to lead me to despair because of my sins, I find comfort in this verse"
    "For a righteous man may fall seven times
          And rise again, " Proverbs 24:16

    Also, keep in mind that when God judges us, He will not ask us why we sinned. He will only ask us why we did not rise from our fall. God doesn't necessarily judge us by our end result, but by the effort we put into the struggle against sin. As long as you are trying, this is the will of God.

    In keeping with the holy days we've just experienced, let me remind you of this verse:
    "But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
          And He who formed you, O Israel:

          “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
          I have called you by your name;
          You are Mine."

    Also, remember this verse: "As far as the east is from the west,
            So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12

    Do not despair! You're on the right track! Just keep moving forward and cling to the church and the sacraments. You are on the path to heaven. You are beaming with hope.

    One last verse I will leave you with, which proves that God notices the small light we have, or the little good we produce, and He does not overlook it:
    "A bruised reed He will not break,
          And smoking flax He will not quench; "
    I didn't get what this verse means at first-- but it basically means that even if we're so fragile and beaten up by sins, God sees hope in us. Even if we're like a candle that's barely lit and doesn't want to shine, God is able and willing to make us shine.

    God bless you!
  • Beautiful verses user00 - very edifying :)
  • Thanks for your responses guys. Maybe I was unclear when I brought up the "evil thoughts" thing. To be honest, I feel so disconnected with the world, and myself. During these phases I lose sight of who I truly am, and become less social and fearful of basically everything. I wake up crying, with a horrible feeling in my stomache and it's really chilling. I pray everyday, for very long times, and I pray for God to snap me out of this state, but at times it just feels helpless.
  • St. Abba Serapion - Desert Father

    A grace filled Elder of the Desert once wrote: ..."Joy comes from one's relationship and union with God. Mankind has been created to be joyful, not sad. When you enjoy the wrong things, you wil inevitably pay back for all this pleasure you have had. But God's joy demands no repayment. For instance I, who own nothing in this world, cannot pay for the happiness I have. I am not the only one proclaiming this truth. My brother monks, who also have nothing else besides God, are filled with joy. I have emptied myself for Christ's sake. I have nothing but my Lord - and joy. Poverty is beautiful for it sets you free. One should empty himself to make room for Christ to enter his heart. When the Lord is with me, there is my happiness also. In each ascetic cave you will find spiritual joy."

    Elder Sche-Abbot Anthony of Optina instructed one woman: "Here God is sending you temptation — so that your passion will perish. ...The Lord sees all your deeds quite clearly, attentively, into your very soul, like we view a person’s face. Observes and tests, to see how you reveal yourself in grief. If you endure it, then you will be His beloved. And if you do not sustain it and complain, but then repent — you will still be His beloved...Only God decrees when and who receives sorrows, whether at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of their lives... do everything according to your capacity; do not value your own achievements and do not enumerate your good deeds; but notice your own weaknesses and sins and the Lord will never abandon you... That you are living incorrectly — do not despair, but abase yourself and the Lord will accept your humility, more than great deeds that are not humble...Exert yourself according to your strength; render with humility and contrition; you will grow accustomed and will get to love prayer so much that they will not be able to forcibly tear you away from it. Because it is sweet and joy-creating."

    What a great number of demons there are and how multitudinous are their traps! Even after we have repented and attempt to avoid evil acts, they do not leave us alone but continue to tempt us with despairing effort, knowing their destiny has been conclusively determined and because of their extreme wickedness and rejection of God, that their inheritance is hell. May the Lord open your inner eyes so that you may see the many demons’ snares and how much evil they inflict upon us daily — may He grant you a bold heart and a judicious spirit so that you may bring yourself as a chaste and living sacrifice to God. - St Anthony the great
  • exuse me for my bad english
    try to say something about it,when i read medicin books doctors advised to do the masturbation in the  youth to be sexually developed in future marriage,sounds terrible.A lot of people passed through this evil if they didn't recieve orthodox religious.There is practical thing dont love phisical pleasure don't give for your body tasty food  eat very simple food when you have this thought it nessary to make metanias with the Jesuse pray  it's advise of saints
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