Part one of what will be an ongoing series – how my mental health improved with exploring my kinks..
Firstly, A Warning
This bit is IMPORTANT – I will be tackling some difficult areas, namely those involving mental illness in a few different forms, as well as tackling some issues surrounding my mental breakdowns, and also making some repeated mentions of suicide.
If you are easily triggered by these things, then feel free not to read this. You have been warned.
I come at this in the interests that being open and honest about the difficulties I’ve faced over the years will hopefully help inform and encourage others. So with that out of the way…
In this article, I’m really going to be giving a lot of background information. It’s useful to understand that:
- I’m not talking bullshit. I’ve struggled with things all my life.
- None of this is by any means exclusive to me – some parts may hit hard for you.
- This is really how I’ve worked out how to cope, manage, get a diagnosis in a health system that is woefully underfunded and understaffed, coupled with unrealistic expectations of ‘progress’ by managers who know fuck all.
- This background is important because it shaped who I am today in many ways, amongst other influential factors.
- I will detail some of the kinky ideas I’ve repressed since my childhood.
Let’s Start At A Beginning
Okay, I need to get some things out of the way. I’ve struggled with mental health issues practically my entire life – at least since the age of 10 at my earliest recollection. I’m 47 now, so a long time struggling with these issues.
Mostly this has revolved around a seemingly random cycle of depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and numerous other issues related to these. I could never put a “trigger” on what caused these episodes, and so they would continue. Going through bleak, hopeless episodes of major depression two or three times a year took it’s toll on my mind.
Inevitably, some of these episodes would lead to me considering, and even coming close to, suicide. I tried to go and drown myself in the sea (I can’t swim) whilst on holiday with my parents at the age of 13. I sat on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump off – whilst on my way to a friends 18th birthday party. I stockpiled drugs to take in one fell swoop – only for the depression to lift. I held various knives against my wrists – one notable time in wretched tears in the workplace’s kitchen, curled up in the corner not wanting to fucking live.
I would also self-harm, but stupid me didn’t even consider it self-harm at the time… I always thought self-harm=cutting, but here I was, being so full of hate and frustration at myself I would beat myself. Slamming my head into things, punching things and myself – typically aiming for my head. At the worst point, I would be doing this 2-3 times a month.
And then there were the breakdowns. During my mid-30s to mid-40s I had around 5 breakdowns. Two caused me to have to take time off work, and the following three I just powered through in a state of catatonic despair. I knew these were a result of not being able to cope or process or deal with stress, depression, anxiety and even expressing my own personality – something I’ll touch on later.
I tried numerous drugs, went to repeated therapy sessions, quit therapy sessions, quit drugs, tried to reform my life, failed to reform said life, all whilst not knowing what was causing this. I knew something deeper was fundamentally screwing me up, but I could never pin it down.
A few years ago, someone I know (who had experience in the field) suggested Autism/Asperger’s could be a contender for the cause. I looked into it. It seemed to fit. I took tests, I showed it to my GP, got the referral to the Autism unit, and waited.
They rejected it. However, they also made a rather interesting comment – that I presented “the symptoms of Autism but having a different cause.” Interesting. Unfortunately I could not get any further detail, and was referred to a mental health unit for psychiatric evaluation. This would be a complete waste of time as I was told “We don’t make any diagnoses, rather we want to look at what support you need.”. I was referred on the grounds of needing a diagnosis in order to make sense of my life.
In the meantime, I looked at ADHD. I’d rejected it before, as I was stuck with the classic perception of the hyperactive little boy who always got in trouble. I read the criteria, and it suddenly hit. Poor performance at school was the most powerful part. I still had School & College reports, and I re-read them. Oh shit. They all had this mediocre and average performance, moments of improvement, but it was mostly “could do better”, “needs to pay attention”, “always late with homework” (or just forgetting it for weeks at a time).
My NHS health board (I’m in the UK) doesn’t have adult ADHD diagnostic staff (yet), so my wife and I had to look at going private. My wife was convinced I had this, my friend who had suggested Asperger’s had also come round to the idea and supported it as the most likely. We took a huge financial risk – Covid had struck, our business was bottoming out although we survived on Govt support – but found a reputable clinic, signed up and we got an assessment done.
Of course, it was via Skype, and after all the pre-session questionnaires, the video call, the chap on the other end said I was demonstrating ADHD in many ways. Of course, the effects on each person varies – so for me the hyperactivity part was more a mental state than a physical state. Although I did also fidget a lot, I also suffered through hundreds of hobbies (getting bored easily), easily distracted, unable to retain batches of information (probably around 30-40% less than that of ‘normal’ people), and so on.
I was prescribed meds. We titrated them, and they made a huge difference. I’ve managed to get some of my life back on track and now living on a path of personal self-improvement. It’s not perfect, some days the meds just won’t work, some days are harder than others, and even those executive functioning problems will just decide “fuck this guy in particular – we’re gonna make him forget everything today”.
But I had a reason. I had something to point at and say – “That’s why my life was so fucking hard.”. Finally having something that I could work with, process things in the proper context. That’s why things improved step by step as I was able to learn to undo all the coping shit to cover it up.
What’s This Got To Do With Chastity?
Ah. Well. I’ll get to that mostly in the next part. For now, seeing as you, the dear reader now know most of my mental health history, right up to the present day, you’ll also need to learn something else about me. I’m a kinky bastard. But I have problems here too – because of my upbringing, the social withdrawal and intense shyness I suffered from in my youth, I never really got to explore them in a fuller sense until very recently. But even this newfound chance at expressing my kinks, having the chance to enact them with a partner has been fraught and difficult. My wife doesn’t like kink – or at least that has been lessened not only with how much fun she gets out of teasing, denial and the like, but also that learning to understand that kinks are natural, we all have them to varying degrees. Even she has some she has been forced to admit.
Bondage – My First Ever Kink.
I used to read boys action comics from a very young age. One of the notable features of some of the stories I would read would involve some form of what I would call ‘predicament bondage’, where the bad guys tie up the good guys (or gals, swap as you feel), leaving them in a predicament that should surely lead to their demise. Will they survive? Find out in the next issue of <insert comic here>!!! Tintin was a particular favourite for his predicaments, the fact I was reading these from a very young age, and had every single book. Some examples are shown below:
I was fascinated by the idea of this happening. How would it feel? What would it be like to be in the position of peril that the heroes of my comics found themselves in? I would never know until one day I managed to persuade a cousin who was visiting on school holiday to do the exact thing after an afternoon of reading the aforementioned comics.
We did it to each other. Progressively making knots and bindings tighter, it was great. I loved it. But it would not last. They would only do it a handful of other times, and eventually return back ‘up north’ after the holiday ended. I would develop self-bondage at a stupidly young age (I must have been around 8-9 years old at the time, given my memory of where I was living at the time).
I got caught doing it too. I’d managed to tie myself up for bed, going to sleep many nights like it. One night I did the routine, and when I woke the next morning, it was all gone. Unbound, the things I’d used returned to wherever they came from (typically belts from my dressing gowns, etc). My parents never mentioned anything.
It got suppressed after that. I would still dabble in it from time to time, wishing that the scenarios I would see on the internet (when it finally came around) would happen to me. But alas, my poor social skills and non-existent social circles, lack of self-confidence, and more would conspire against me achieving it. I had to resort to dreaming the fantasy in my head, practising little bits of self-bondage from time to time.
I expanded it into penile bondage too. This was great because it didn’t need to involve anyone else, and I could practice it as a way to enhance masturbation. Heck, I discovered I could tie my balls off (pretty much like ball-stretching) and leave it as long as I was careful about the blood flow.
So that was another little thing, and upon reflection, probably was what lead to the appeal of chastity devices when I chanced upon them online at Lovehoney.
This kink was something I had unsuccessfully tried with my wife years ago, who denounced it as a ‘bad’ thing, it was ‘wrong’ in her mind. I was gutted. However, years later, it would be revisited and now we have some rope, cuffs, and she’s used both to some good effect so far.
I love the experience, there’s almost a zen-like subspace I drop into when bound.
It’s ironic really, that for someone like me with ADHD being bound and forced into a position where I only have my thoughts is actually enjoyable. I’d been punished by my wife and we’d looked at standing in the corner/against the wall – I’d not had my meds at that time and it was pure, utter hell. My ADHD is very much a mental hyperactivity so unmedicated I’ve usually got 2-3 trains of thought chugging along at best. My sense of time is distorted, so 10 minutes can seem either like 10 seconds or 10 hours. A slight exaggeration, but it’s what it feels like at the time.
So, unmedicated, she punishes me by making me stand in the corner for 10 minutes. I’m struggling after a few seconds. My mind is racing, thoughts building, the absence of time or distraction is hell.
When I was tied up – she hogtied me a while back – I noticed something. I was calm. I was at peace. Yes, I struggled from time to time, I wriggled, I writhed. However, the most noticeable element was the quiet. This was late in an evening, and I’d been hogtied and left blindfolded too. My meds would have been wearing off. My mind should have been racing, my thoughts jumbled, my sense of time was the only thing was was still screwed – even meds don’t help there!
I cannot believe how amazing it felt to be in this position – calmed by 4 leather cuffs and a couple of connectors. Examining my predicament mentally, yes, I could have worked it to escape and that did break my immersion into it somewhat, but I didn’t want to get out. I was too busy enjoying the moment.
Since then, I have been tied to the bed, and I really need to put my thoughts on it into the shared journal I have (it’s basically titled “My deep dark sexy secret thoughts” and I’m either asked or I voluntarily write my thoughts in there because it’s easier to share that me talking – which can be a mess at times). I need to tell my wife that the experience of simply being bound and forced to wait is quite amazing to my mental state.
Here’s to the next time.
A Conclusion At This Point.
Obviously there’s a lot of mental health thoughts, issues, considerations and effects that have had an impact on my life. It’s not exclusive to me, I’m sure there’s plenty of other people out there who experience the same. I could write for days about other things, and I’ll be getting to my other things in subsequent parts. Things like how I explored many other kinks and fetishes throughout my teens, early adult life, how I had to repress practically all of them, how I was able to use writing to explain them where my words out of my mouth had failed and so much more.
The next part will detail the other kinks, repression and the effect that had on me mentally and how chastity became the floodgates that started a slow trickle and gradually opened up into other areas. Then the final part (I hope) will detail my current mental health state, and how the combination of my treatment, acceptance of the kinks and ultimately living with chastity as well as ADHD.
Just to note, I don’t want to imply that ADHD can be helped with kinky activities, nor do I advocate that it somehow cures it in any way. It’s just my personal experience, and I know some other people with ADHD have found the “novelty” factor of kinky sex play has helped manage their ADHD – submissive people who find the micromanaged structure put onto their lives helped them, or a Dom/me who relishes the creative thoughts that ADHD can flood the mind with…
It’s still fucking crippling at times. Times even while medicated that I forget my work schedule, or stuff I need for work, or to phone x client, or just end up procrastinating and distracted instead of trimming my hair or doing x important thing that’s already 2 weeks late. There are days the meds, for whatever reason, just don’t work. Those days suck. My mind goes into overdrive – mentally playing music, musing on 2-3 different things, trying to focus on work, my handwriting goes to shit with errors constantly.
The positive for me is when I’m focused, I’m focused. Just don’t disturb me, I can’t guarantee that I can return to that focus!
Anyway, I’m going to sign it off there. My coffee cup is empty (decaf, can’t cope with caffeine and my meds) and I’m desperate for the taste of it.
Some Useful Articles.
A couple of articles that prompted me to begin writing this, and were inspirational for me in helping understand my own kink desires in the context of my brain:
BDSM helps me manage my ADHD – https://www.chronicsex.org/2018/09/bdsm-adhd/
This is the first article I chanced upon when looking up ADHD and kink specifically. At least one that wasn’t some health website talking about ADHD and sexual dysfunction, or how fucking hard it is to fuck with ADHD lol. It also briefly touches on the effect ADHD has on Executive Function of the brain, which is probably the biggest element people miss when looking at the symptoms of ADHD.
“Kink Helped My Mental Health”. The Healing Benefits Of BDSM – https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/12/10201340/kink-bdsm-positive-impact-mental-health
A great overview of mental health in the context of BDSM.
Being a Submissive with ADHD by Redridingbrat – https://coffeeandkink.me/2021/12/24/submissive-adhd-redridingbrat/
I must confess, I’m the sort of person who didn’t label themselves as ADHD until the diagnosis was official, and some people can’t (or won’t) get that done. This writer is not diagnosed, but they do demonstrate how ADHD affects a person to a tee – and in the context of being submissive too.