Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
 Can Masturbating Relieve Depression?

Dear Angelo,

My gay brother messes with the guys I meet right at the moment I'm begining to feel something for them. He does this on purpose to build up his ego or something. He's told me. This really hurts me and it seems unfair for me to just sit down and watch this happen. The worse thing is that my mother always protects him and is not really helping me out.

My gay brother is an alcoholic and he is only 20 years old. He also has unprotected sex with A LOT of men. All of his porn is bareback porn. I've spoken to him a number of times and he tells me not to mess with his life. He is also bulimic. I think he really needs to go to a therapist and AA meetings. But my mom opposes this. She just lets him do what he wants. It's destroying me to see my brother kill himself slowly like this and it really breaks my heart that he has to sleep with my potential dates. It's also destroying me emotionally to become distant with my mother because she doesn't discipline him nevertheless help him. This is a very complicated situation and I really don't know where else to look for help.

Angelo, what do I do? Anything will help.

Signed, Drama

Dear Drama,

I am sorry you're going through such a hard and confusing time. I understand you don't know where to turn. Thank you for the trust and confidence you're placing in me with your situation.

Unfortunately, you can't force someone to change even if it's for their own good. They have to choose to help themselves.If I was an addict and you locked me up in rehab for 90 days, I would be angry as hell with you and I'd go right back to drugs when I got out - because getting help and changing wasn't my choice. Unless someone's willing to help themselves, they'll make you intothe bad guy for making them. All you can do is try your best to lovingly guide them like you have. The rest is up to them.

I think it would be wise for you to seek professional counseling. Not because something is wrong with you, but to get the support you need from professionals so you're not dealing with this big situation all alone. We consult experts everyday. When you need your car fixed you see a mechanic.When you're sick you go to the doctor. It doesn't mean you're crazy, weak or dumb. It makes good sense to get the help you need from the person who knows best how to help.Therapists arerelationship specialists and experts in "life."

There are many low cost counseling places in cities like L.A., including the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Also check with your local PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter. They are a great resource / support for you and your family. It woud be great if your whole family went to therapy, but avoid playing the role of parent in your family. It's not your responsibility. You're the son/brother. If your mom and brother are not willing to go to family counseling with you, then you have to focus on yourself.

Sometimes the hardest thing is to watch someone we love not live up to their potential. But protect yourself from being hurt in the process. Set strong boundaries, take good care of yourself and get professional support.

All The Best, Angelo


Dear Angelo,

Yesterday I got very depressed; crying for no reason at all, didnt want to do anything. I told everyone to leave me alone and I stayed in my bedroom trying to deal with everything.I felt lost. Suddenly, I just wanted to have a wank. After I was done, I seemed to loose my depression. Is this possible?I hope this makes it to your Ask Angelo board as I have no where else to turn.


Depressed and Confused

Dear Depressed and Confused,

Masturbating is pleasurable and releases "feel good" chemicals so it can temporarily take the blues away. Itcan replace all the bad feelings withgood ones for a little while. While masturbating isn't a long term cure for a depressed mood by any means, it can certainly boost your mood for a bitand give you a reprieve now and then.Sex becomes a positively reinforcing escape.

But there is a danger. Many men can become sexually compulsive because the "high" doesn't last. This can lead to sexual addiction.

Also, there are some Eastern philosophiesthat teach that masturbationactually dampens mood. They say it's more draining because it depletes men oftheir vital life energy.

But whatever works! The best thing, however,is to consult a psychiatrist to help you with your depression.

All The Best, Angelo.

Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

The Gay Man's Therapist


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