It is called the secret vice, solitary vice and self-abuse. Ellen White affirms that the mind and the body are weakened by this habit. She says it diminishes the energy of the brain and as a result the brilliance of the young mind is clouded.
She states that if a person continues this habit they will eventually develop dementia.
Some Adventists have made fun of Ellen White’s counsel on this matter saying that masturbation can actually be a good thing to relieve stress.
Notice Ellen White’s counsel:
“Their [some students at Battle Creek College] thoughts were upon demoralizing matters, and both mind and body were
enfeebled through the habit of self-abuse. It was this vile practice, not over-study that caused the frequent illness of these children and prevented them from making the advancement which the parents desired.” Testimonies to the Church, volume 5, p. 91
“Your children have practiced self-abuse until the draft upon the brain has been so great, especially in the case of your eldest son, that their minds have been seriously injured. The brilliancy of youthful intellect is dimmed. The moral and intellectual powers have become weakened, while the baser part of their nature has been gaining the ascendancy. For this reason your son turns with loathing from religious things. He has been losing his power of self-restraint, and has less and less reverence for sacred things, and less respect for anything of a spiritual character.” Testimonies to the Church,
volume 2, p. 392
“What little intellect he has left is of a low order. If he continues in this vicious practice he will eventually become idiotic. Every indulgence of children who have attained their growth is a terrible evil and will produce terrible results, enervating the system and weakening the intellect. But in those who indulge this corrupting vice before attaining their growth, the evil effects are more plainly marked, and recovery from its effects is more nearly hopeless. The frame is weak and stunted; the muscles are flabby; the eyes become small, and appear at times swollen; the memory is treacherous, and
becomes sievelike; and inability to concentrate the thoughts upon study increases.” Testimonies to the Church, volume 2, p. 402
Was Ellen White right when she said that masturbation affects the mental powers even to the point of leading someone to be idiotic? Let’s see what two prominent physicians say:
Oxford University teacher, Dr. David Horrobin, M. D., Ph. D., Zinc, Vitabooks, Inc., 1981, p. 8: “The effect of zinc deficiency has particularly profound effects on the male, because extraordinary amounts of zinc are found in the testicles and the prostate gland. . . The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day.”
“In humans, among the most consistent effects of zinc deficiency are changes in mood and behavior. There is depression, extreme irritability, apathy and even in some circumstances, behavior which looks like schizophrenia. . . It is even possible, given the importance of zinc to the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad! Similarly, the high livers were also correct when they said that a diet rich in oysters was necessary to compensate for excessive sexual indulgence.”
Dr. Carl Pfeiffer of Harvard University: “We hate to say it but in a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity.” Carl Pfeiffer, Ph. D., M. D., Zinc and other Micro-Nutrients, Keats Publishing, Inc. 1978, p. 45.