Historically, masturbation has often been linked to madness. This is for a number of reasons
- People who have mental illness or who have learning disability or handicap can sometimes exhibit disinhibited sexual behavior.
- Masturbation in public or excessive masturbation is socially unacceptable.
- Excessive masturbation, increased or decreased sex drive, can be a symptom of a psychological problem such as depression and occasionally psychosis. But masturbation does not cause mental illness.
Many religious and cultural practices across the globe have a history of linking masturbation to immorality, sin and a lack of personal discipline. The guilt and stress this causes can result in great feelings of shame and stress. All of which does people a great disservice if you believe that masturbation is a perfectly natural expression of sexuality.