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Masochistic Personality Disorder

Masochistic Woman with Handcuffs
Masochistic personality disorder, also called self-defeating personality disorder, can be defined as a pattern of self-defeating and self-distracting behavior which generally begins in the early stages of adulthood and is present in various stages. Masochists are persons who get excited when they feel pain and like to get humiliated and they often submit to their partner. The submission is for example through the use of shackles, whips, collars and punishment instruments. The counterpart of masochism is sadism. There exists the desire to torment and humiliate others.

Even though sadism and masochism are counterparts, they belong always together. But one form usually prevails, either the passive form of masochism or the active form of sadism.

Who thought men suffer more from Masochistic Personality Disorder?
Most masochists are women, but still numerous men have the desire of oppression and infliction of pain. The only goal is pleasure through pain.

While women are from nature more submissive and therefore more likely to enjoy masochism and sadism, men on the other hand show a contradiction. There are many male masochists with leading professional positions of high power structure and occupy their free time by taking into masochistic acts, exactly the opposite. They want to feel suppressed, helpless and small.

What are the causes of this desire?
Psychologists haven’t found any triggers of this sexual preference yet. They suspect that a genetic predisposition and the personality of the masochists are an important part of this desire. But the origin is not sufficiently clarified, and there is also the theory that the desire to feel pain or to inflict pain may also lie in childhood experiences.

But does every person with a masochistic character like pain?Man in Pain
According to psychoanalyst Lowen, you cannot say that masochism is synonymous with the desire to suffer. People with a masochistic personality disorder don’t necessarily need to be persons with masochistic perversions like the common idea of masochists as described above, people who need to be defeated in order to feel sexual pleasure. But still they actually suffer, because they are not able to change their situation. People with a masochistic character structure can also refer to people who suffer and complain, but remain submissive. Obsequiousness is the dominant masochistic tendency.

A person with masochistic character shows a submissive attitude outwardly but is entirely contradictory internally. The emotions are mostly hate, pessimism, hostility and feelings of superiority. But these feelings are blocked by the fear that they might erupt into violent behavior. Therefore, you will mostly only hear lawsuits or complaints.

What are some typical characters of masochists?
Because of the strong curb, the aggression is reduced considerably. The self-enforcement is restricted similarly. In place of self-enforcement actions, wailing occurs. Instead of aggressiveness, a challenging behavior that is expected to stimulate the partner or opposite a strong reaction is observed, which allows the masochist to react violently and explosively in turn. This applies to sexual as for other situations.

Typical for the masochistic behavior are a submissive, coquettish attitude. On the conscious level, the masochist attempts to please others, on the unconscious level he or she denies this attitude. However, the person does this by rebelling, negativism and hostility. These suppressed feelings must be unloaded before the masochistic person can fully and freely respond to situations of daily life.

Here is a summary of typical behaviors and characteristics:

  • They tend to avoid pleasurable experiences.
  • Masochists like relationships where he or she is suffering.
  • Respond to positive events with depression, and a feeling of guilt.
  • They reject people who treat them well.
  • Find love, care and other affections unattractive.
  • Reject great opportunities for pleasure.
  • They refuse to be helped.
  • They provoke anger and reject responses from others and then feel rejected and hurt.

Does “masochist” lose its negativism?Masochistic Personality Disorder
While people with masochistic characters are to be seen as people with a disorder, psychologists and doctors start to see it not as a disorder anymore as long as the masochist can control it and doesn’t harm any other persons.

A therapy is also mostly unsuccessful, not only because of the fact that most masochists don’t want to get help, but also because it is a sexual desire which can’t get changed. And it is up to each person to decide how he or she wants to live out the sexual desire.

Legally speaking, there is also nothing against masochism if it is done voluntarily and not under duress. But the situation changes if the masochist is injured.

But exactly because masochists are subject to the risk of serious injuries such as bruises, burns, broken bones and as this desire still not socially accepted, in such cases it can also be a legal problem. Thus, most masochists are unlikely to be open with their special preference in public.

13 responses to Masochistic Personality Disorder

  1. Hello. I am a masochist,but now, I am looking for help. I like to be financially humiliated by woman. I like to give my money away to ladys just for the pleasure of oing it. I enjoy loosing money. I use too go to restaurants,ask for a lady waitress,I ask her for beer. I can”t say no to her when she comes and ask me if i want another beer, and at the end I give the lady waitress too much money as tip.
    THis is bringing me pleasure,but also many probles. WHAT CAN I DO? I just want some tips.

    • Just a thought, try to limit going to dinner only with friends & have a ‘rule’ that they pay the actual check and you pay them your portion therefore they can help you to control your spending or try to limit eating out to charity fundraiser events, that way you don’t go out as often and the money you do spend you know is going to a worthy cause. If going to a bar, prepay your waitress/bartender..give them x amount and tell them that’s your limit and when you’ve reached x amount in spending keep the rest for their tip and bring ONLY the budgeted amount with you so you can’t go over it. Where I’m a person who relies on tips to pay my bills, I also try to keep in mind that my customers work hard for their money too so when someone over tips me without what I consider to be ‘ good cause ‘ ie, not a special occasion like they’re a regular who just got a big bonus and is making up for those times they ran short, or my birthday or a holiday, etc. I’ve gone so far as to tell them company rules state I can’t accept over x% as a tip ( which I admit at times can be painful to say, but sometimes that’s the right thing to do) so maybe get a trusted waitress/bartender/etc and ak for their assistance in helping to to keep reasonable limits. I wish you the best

  2. I am a heavy sadomasochist and the only thing I like is pain. I get good grades in school, I play a multitude of instruments, I am nice, I am usually calm but I love pain immensly. I burn myself for the pleasure of it. Most masochists I know are quite nice people, never depressed, they aren’t angry or jealous. They just like pain. So you are wrong in assuming you know what a masochist is. I love helping others and I respond well to almost any positive thing. So I don’t know what the hell you are talking about, but it certainly isn’t the masochism that I and thousands of others have.

    • i completely agree, im the same way. ive always been someone to enjoy helping others. its funny, maybe thats because in a relationship, i like the guy to command and dominate, and i gladly am a servant. i may enjoy pain, but it doesnt make me depressed or pessimistic in the slightest.

  3. I agree with Hunter. I also am am a masochist, but I don’t agree with the symptoms listed above. I enjoy pain, humiliation, and shame, but I am not incapable of expressing or recieving love or care. I also have a high desire to succeed.
    Most people who call themselves masochists are nothing like what is described above. I even read one description that said that masochists don’t desire pain, but supression of excitement. This is ludicrous. The desire for excitement is very much like a desire for pain, I believe.

  4. You all should go get some help, some even say this as something to be proud of.

  5. LJ said on August 6, 2011

    It certainly isn’t something to be ashamed of. As long as it’s not carried too far and it’s consentual, to each their own. I’ve known I was different since I was a young child but didn’t know I wasn’t ‘crazy’ until I found a definition for what I needed to feel. We don’t need help, we are just wired a little differently. It’s the neurons that spark when the pain occurs. Athletes get the same feeling, are they crazy? Look at football players. I’m sure some of the defenders are this way. There are many more of us out there than you can imagine. The only help we might need would be someone to inflict the pain so we don’t carry it too far. That’s why BDSM has 3 simple rules, SAFE, SANE, CONSENTUAL. It’s not abuse. Just a different style of life. Some do fit into those 4 catagories or a combination of them. It’s just like most things, if you haven’t walked in the shoes, don’t judge.

  6. u can say that agn! there’s nothing to be ashamed of for being a masochist. it’s just another catergory of ppl, like how we classified people as jokers, emo, cool, hot… stuff like that.

  7. Do you think there is a difference between enjoying pain and having a personality disorder? I think there is. I have just begun to look at information about self-defeating/masochistic personality disorder today so I’m no expert but what I do know is that there is a difference. There is an issue when an activity begins to effect your general ability to function in life, i.e. save money, marriage or occupation. This is when a person turns from doing an activity that is enjoyable to becoming a slave to it. Those of you who enjoy the thrill of pain are perhaps not enslaved to a personality disorder which is what this article is about. However, those who are struggling as a slave to this disorder should seek help as there is help available and there is hope for the future.

  8. Help me. Wolftts has suffered from this preversion all my life. AND I LIKE IT, LIKE IT…

  9. i really dont know what i am. i am young and still trying to figure myself out. i play softball and if theres a bad call while im up to bat i will step out of the box and swing as hard as i can and hit myself in the side and it will make me feel better and calm down. also i feel if i dont do something well or if i do it wrong or its just bad, then i need to be either physically punished(which i would perfer) or be yelled at repeatedly and be mentally put down. does that mean im masochistic? and if not then what am i? i would really like some help and if you know any websites that might help i would love that. thank you! :)

  10. Hello. Maddy I don’t know much about this, but I think you may be a masochist. From what I’ve read above, you have some of the same ‘symptoms’ if you could call them that; I wouldn’t but I couldn’t come up with anything else; the people above have. I don’t think you need help, I think you need a way to feed your masochism without getting seriously hurt. I’m not a masochist but I think I understand in some level. You guys are just different, even if its neurological, psychological, what ever you want to call it, you guys are just different and there is nothing wrong with it. Some people like adrenaline, others like pain and shame, it’s perfectly fine. You guys don’t need to change, just prevent serious injuries or risking your life. BDSM is actually a good way to do this.

  11. cod said on July 23, 2012

    This article is a bit off… SDPD and sexual masochism are very different things, but do not exclude the others. SDPD suffers do not enjoy non-sexual pain and humiliation more than anyone else but will actively seek it out as they believe pain is inevitable. Rather than wait they will induce it, draw it out of others, in a way to validate their beliefs and make the pain something within their control. Which is exactly the same reasoning its counterpart disorder, SADPD (sadistic personality disorder) operates on, but rather than directing the hurt at themselves, they direct it others.
    Personally BDSM is not at all appealing to me. SDPD isn’t either, but it gets in the way of things. Fail school, fail relationships. Failing health.
    An SDPD’s worth and identity is based on the pain they feel and without suffering, they feel lost, and nonexistent. Worthless and pointless. We don’t enjoy pain, but we have a dependency on it.

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