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Intactivism is a Mental Disorder

May 7, 2019

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Intactivism is a Mental Disorder

May 7, 2019

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Jonathon Conte, a leader of Bay Area Intactivists, tragically took his own life on May 9, 2016.

 

Five years earlier Conte wrote about his motivations as an intactivist. He grew up feeling normal and whole. As a teenager he learned about circumcision, and he blamed his own infant circumcision for his genital soreness and discomfort. [1] He expressed "a feeling of incompleteness, both physically and sexually.” [2] He spoke about being broken, sexually deficient, and irreparably harmed, and he battled depression. [1]

 

Conte’s friends could have helped him. They could have lifted him him up. They could have assured him that a 34 year-old man is more than just his foreskin. They could have encouraged him to see a physician about his soreness and discomfort. They could have advised him to see a psychologist about his mental health. Instead they reinforced his melancholic view of himself as a victim, physically and sexually crippled. They unintentionally encouraged and fed his low self-esteem and self-pity.

 

Many others have associated their intactivism with destructive emotions or behaviors.


•  A Florida man revealed that he was treated by a leading North American trauma specialist for “intactivism-related stress.” [3]
•  A California mother reported that several friends have been diagnosed with depression, OCD, or another disorder caused by their "abnormal obsession." [4]

•  The Pennsylvania director of Your Whole Baby confided that many self-identified “regret moms” were so distraught that they considered suicide. [5]

•  Several intactivists say that they have feelings of anxiety and stress whenever they learn that parents are expecting a boy. [6]

•  An author in Alaska admitted that her own obsession led to an emotional breakdown. [7] When a publisher rejected her anti-circumcision book, she punched her fist through a glass window. [8]

•  A mental health therapist warned a patient that intactivism might be the cause of her frequent nightmares and flashbacks. [9]

•  Others associate their intactivism-related activities with nightmares, depression, and feelings of anger and anxiety. [10]

•  A British intactivist vandalized his parents' house and threatened to kill his mother. His lawyer said that the man suffers from body dysmorphia. [11]
•  The DelMarVa Area Intactivists founder described her typical reaction whenever a friend or loved one resists her manipulative “gentle education” and chooses circumcision. Her friends confirmed that her description reflects the ways they suffer.

 

“I react by, sometimes not sleeping well for months, not eating well, feeling stressed, depressed and I harbor a deep seated sorrow that just refuses to go away. It's a looming feeling that oppresses my entire being, my very life force. I shrink and I retreat into oblivion.” [12]

 

•  A customer service representative in Ohio - creator of the Facebook page The Bitchy Intactivist - confided that her circumcision obsession “is starting to affect my mental health and cause serious depression.” [13]

•  The Lyft ride-sharing service released a driver - the creator of the Next Level Intactivism Facebook page - following repeated passenger complaints that he used the Lyft platform to discuss his genitals. [14] 

•  An Indiana man suffers constant anxiety and has sabotaged romantic relationships. The members of his immediate family have cut ties with him, with his sister explaining that his anti-circumcision obsession is a mental illness. [15]

•  A student at Western Kentucky University conceives vivid images of screaming babies, causing herself to suffer daily emotional breakdowns and nightly insomnia. [16]

 

This is not projection or gaslighting. These examples are actual posts and comments by leaders and other prominent figures in the movement.

 

• • • • •

 

Despite what intactivists may have come to believe, a fixation on foreskin is not normal behavior. A fixation on circumcision is not healthy behavior. A fixation on a parent’s medical decision is not normal or healthy.

 

A mental disorder is a neurosis in which obsessive thoughts, compulsive acts, and feelings of anxiety dominate one’s personality. [17] Dysmorphia is a mental disorder characterized by preoccupation with a minor or imagined body defect. [18] You should seek professional counseling if some of these circumstances apply to you.

 

•    You constantly think about circumcision.
•    Thinking about circumcision makes you depressed, anxious, irritable, or apathetic.
•    You justify behaviors that you previously would have considered unethical (harassing mothers, threatening doctors, body-shaming women and circumcised men). 
•    Your activism is interfering with your social relationships.
•    Your activism is threatening your marriage or family life.
•    Your activism is threatening your career.


You don’t have to suffer. Help is available.

 

 

If you feel that you're in a crisis or know someone who is, please reach out for help. In the United States call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. In Canada call 911 or your local Crisis Centre. In other countries call the local emergency number.

 

 

[1] “In Memory of Jonathon Conte”; Your Whole Baby
[2] Jonathon Conte, “Motivations of an Intactivist”; Intact News; July 2011
[3] Jason Fairfield, Facebook post; May 25, 2017 (Facebook.com/jason.fairfield.100)
[4] Ibid, comment posted by Vee Savage; May 25, 2017
[5] Cassie Waldeck, comment on Shelley Wright Facebook post: "What is the best part of having an intact son?"; July 25, 2016 (Facebook.com/ms.shelldubz)

[6] For example, see Michelle Brandt Facebook post and comments; August 3, 2015 (Facebook.com/brandtml)

[7] Rosemary Romberg, Facebook post; July 7, 2017 (Facebook.com/rosemary.romberg)

[8] Rosemary Romberg Facebook post; April 18, 2018

[9] Intactivists Stop Circumcision post, circa 2014
[10] James Ketter Facebook post, November 18, 2016; (Facebook.com/james.ketter.73); 
Intactivists Stop Circumcision posts and comments, October 2015

[11] Adrian Troughton, "Man threatens to kill mum in text message because he was circumcised"; Leicestershire Live; Jun 8, 2018
[12] Shelley Wright, Facebook note: "My personal struggle"; November 23, 2014

[13] Taylor McCarty, Facebook private message; December 18, 2018

[14] Daniel Rold, Facebook post; February 13, 2019 (Facebook.com/PaleoAthletics)

[15] Steven Barendregt, Facebook posts; September 2017 - December 2018 (Facebook.com/steven.barendregt)

[16] Kalei Cherise Valery; Friends of Bloodstained Men Facebook post; November 15, 2019 
[17] Longman Dictionary of Psychology and Psychiatry
[18] Mayo Clinic Staff, “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”; Mayo Clinic


#Conte #JonathonConte #RIPJonathon #RIPJonathonConte #RememberingJonathon #RememberingJonathonConte #MissingJonathon #SomeoneInHeaven #BayAreaIntactivists #BloodStainedMen #BSMen #MenstrualMen #YourWholeBaby #RegretMom #RegretMoms #Depression #Suicide #SuicidePrevention #Intactivism #Intactivists #Dysmorphia #MentalDisorder #MentalDisorders #IntactivismIsAMentalDisorder


 

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