Case in point is the latest post on A Kind Dom at http://xpygarx.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html
The post asks whether BDSM pain, spankings in particular, might be helpful in relieving symptoms of depression. The comments posted thus far in response certainly suggest there may something to the idea. One Dominant described his experience with a submissive who suffered from depression and migraines and how BDSM pain seemed to help. A submissive suffering from bi-polar disorder talked about the almost "magical" relief she experiences when her husband straps her with his belt.
This was so very timely. Just last night I asked to be spanked for the very first time.
Now, in my past I've had issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder and anxiety. To be honest, I attributed these difficulties, at least in part, to the many years I struggled to wear a "dominant" hat at work and at home while suppressing my own submissive traits. While I don't consider myself to be much of a masochist, I do seem to want a certain level of pain and am very drawn to spankings. I had not considered that perhaps the attraction may be in part related to the imbalance brought on by stress or other mental health issues.
Getting back to last night, I'd had a wicked day at work, my energy was low and I was feeling very restless inside, almost agitated. Thiswas particularly disturbing for me as these feelings have been much less frequent since my partner and I have begun to embrace a kinkier lifestyle. My partner was kind enough to oblige right before bed, alternating slaps with a hand, strokes with the crop and light massage. I felt so much better afterwards and slept like a baby. What I find wonderful is that the body has the ability to actually respond this way with the right "help." So much better than taking more pills and fewer unwanted side effects.
Surrendering is so blissful, even when the act of surrender involves some pain. Of course the pain stimulates endorphins. I don't find adrenaline helpful at times like this so I don't like too many "surprises" (i.e. sudden changes in the stimulation). If I'm anxious, adrenaline will make this worse. But the tender loving care I received both during and after last night's spanking was very powerful. It was not at all sexual in nature for either of us, but was instead very intimate and moving, in a gentle way.
The touch, endorphins and surrender are a powerful combination uniting body, mind and spirit. It is little wonder that those of us "out of balance" are driven to seek this out.