Can BDSM be therapeutic?

Please note: while I work within the realm of mental health services as a Social Worker, I am by no means an expert. This is simply my opinion as someone who has personal experience with mental illness and childhood trauma and abuse.

I have mental health issues. Some of it stems from the trauma of childhood sexual and mental abuse. Some of it I’m sure is hereditary. Yes I have sought treatment. I have been to counselling and I have been on medication. Those things were helpful at the time but they were not a cure. There is no cure.

My depression and anxiety used to be worse. Way worse.

I would have frequent depressive episodes that would stay for long periods of time. Same with my anxiety, which would manifest in angry outbursts and impulsive behaviour. And nothing seemed to help. Nothing seemed able to keep the Darkness at bay. Once it invaded it would take over and Despair would follow. Nothing could stop the invasion.

Until I found BDSM….

At first BDSM was just something I thought was hot and intriguing. It turned me on to be tied up and spanked and controlled. But then I noticed something else. It also calmed me. My mind that was spiralling out of control, causing me to panic, would feel settled after.

I don’t exactly know the reasoning behind it. It could be the release of chemicals in the brain that happens during subspace,  brought on by an intense beating. Maybe those chemicals somehow act to block or overcome the chemicals released during a depressive/anxious episode? This is pure speculation on my part. I’m not a doctor and can’t validate the physiological responses that occur during subspace or a depressive episode.

It’s not just impact that can help stop my mental state from getting worse. Extreme humiliation/degradation, has the same effect. This I believe is more psychological.

Let’s say that my depression stems from the trauma I endured as a child, being made to feel worthless and dirty. Through the application of BDSM I can be brought back to that place safely. I may feel helpless and out of control but I know he’s going to protect me. I know that no matter what, I will come out of it and be held, cared for, loved and worthy.

It’s not about revisiting those dark places where I feel broken and used by abuse. It’s about allowing me to feel emotions I already have, but knowing there is someone there to keep me safe, someone to guide me out of the darkness and back to the light.

And in doing so a piece of me feels healed. I have the strength again to fight the Darkness, because I have gone down to its depths and been lifted out, whole.

That for me is what BDSM can do. I am not using it as a crutch… although if you were crippled and in need of a crutch would anyone argue that you shouldn’t have one? Ok so yes, maybe I do use BDSM as a crutch at times (not all the time.) However, I don’t use it as a cure. If I felt I truly needed to return to medication and therapy I would do so in a heartbeat. Obviously as Social Worker I know there is no shame in that.

But why, when I have a way that helps me and is much more enjoyable and sexy than popping a pill and talking about the bad stuff all over again?

I say that in jest….

But kinda not really….

12 thoughts on “Can BDSM be therapeutic?

  1. I absolutely find it cathartic! For different reasons, I guess…but mainly, because it allows me to release (through the experience of physical pain) all of my pent of feelings/emotions/stress, etc. I do believe it has a lot to do with the chemicals in the brain and the way we react to those physiological occurrences. For me, it also has a lot to do with the relief from needing to be in control. Thank you for sharing, loves! XOXO

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Finding the right partner(s) who understand your needs is essential. Some therapies are more effective than others.
    BDSM would both be therapeutic (helping to deal with, manage or overcome deeper emotional disturbances), as well as serve in a harm reduction capacity by providing safer and more connective ways of dealing with those same difficulties -Michael Aaron http://bit.ly/2Rh2QV0

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! These are things I’ve been wondering myself as I’ve been through similar. It makes so much sense to me. I’ve just found your blog and I’m enjoying it very much. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

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