Collected withdrawal symptoms (THREAD CLOSED)

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on
Printer-friendly version

You may find this earlier discussion of withdrawal symptoms and the one below interesting, but please post yours at this new location.

The mainstream and sexologists seem to have a blind spot about the physical addictiveness of pornography for many people. People assume that only substances can be physically addictive. In fact, however, the brain is set up so that activities can produce an intense addictive dopamine cycle in the reward circuitry of the brain not unlike a drug does. Think of gambling.

One way to try to correct this mass misperception is to bring to light more examples of the physical withdrawal symptoms that accompany porn withdrawal. That makes it very clear that porn can, indeed, produce physical addiction, even though it isn't a substance.

My withdrawals: * Very hard

My withdrawals:
* Very hard to focus on my work
* Depressed
* Pains in my stomach
* Mood swings
* Headache
* Feelings like im going insane but that's normal cause my body is withdrawaling

Triggers:
* When i hear from my ex or if a girl likes me and flirts with me.
* When i watch TV and see a girl with not much clothes on. I can understand why in eastern cultures they cover up compare to western. No wonder we have so many porn/masturbation addicts. I try to avoid TV at present or anything that can be a turn on.
* Something goes wrong and i have a bad day. It's been a habit of most people like myself to block out the emotions. I've been doing it for years but it's time to grow up and face life no matter what it throws at me. You can't expect everday to be a good day, things can only get better if they are bad.

What helps:
* Meditation for 30 mins in the morning, 30 mins before bed or else i can't sleep. I did suffer from insomnia but i found this was the only way to get to sleep at nights.
* Exercise (about 1 hour or more a day). You store stress in your muscles and tension. Exercise releases endorphins which makes you happy in your brain.
* Healthy diet. I read a book on addictions and the first thing i was advise to do is continue your addiction but fix your diet up first before you give up your addiction.
* Multivitamins, Ginseng (for stress and more energy), Vit B (for stress)
* I'm avoiding any contact with woman at present. Anything that can trigger fantasies at present is very bad. You body reactions to what u think about so it's VERY important to stop fantasying. When you see yourself doing it. say STOP.
* Try to keep yourself busy on something constructive!

I was wondering how long the withdrawals go for? I've given up smoking which has the same kind of withdrawals where i notice if you make it to 1 month you are in the safe zone. How about giving up masturbation and porn? It's been a week for me now but i need to know if the withdrawals do go away and after what period of time? Can anyone outline a time frame of 1 year for me after you give it up? I really need it cause my mind is starting to play tricks on me.

Welcome!

Sorry you're having a tough time, and I'm glad you're figuring out which things help. I'm sure some of the men here can give you more specific advice than I can (feel free to send someone a private message if his post suggests he's been through something similar), but here's what I've heard from those in recovery:

Contact with others helps. So if you have a chance to socialize, do it, even if everyone is naked. Wink You'll feel better, despite temptation. Also visit family and friends, and play with your pets, if any.

Withdrawal symptoms linger different times for different people. The standard post-orgasm fallout period is two weeks, and I suspect the worst of the anguish ends then. *However* if you are very addicted, then you can have intense reactions to porn "cues," or even "helpful" flashbacks, for a good six weeks.

Stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue are very likely to trigger this phenomenon, because a part of your brain thinks orgasm is a cure for all those ills. (It doesn't understand that orgasm only offers fleeting relief and makes the overall problem worse.)

The good news is that the periodic misery becomes less frequent (even though it seems to feel just as bad), during your recovery. So bad days are followed by good days, and so forth. In other words, even if things are very, very tough one moment, you can feel much better the next. See this post: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1246

It seems like after 6 weeks, control gets even easier, but each person's experience may be somewhat different.

You're all set to blog if you like. Instructions: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Good luck, and thanks for making the effort to free yourself.

A big hug,
Marnia

My withdrawal symptoms

Some background:

8 years of internet porn addiction. Basically I started as an adolescent with a 56k connection and never stopped looking at porn. I started to collect my favorite scenes on CD first (more than 50, and I was on a 56k!). When fast, unlimited internet and recordable DVDs became available, I ended up with a collection of 250 DVDs containing a religiously-catalogued selection of porn scenes from (mainly european) movies, an average of 20 to 30 scenes per DVD.. do the math.

Starting my addiction in early adolescence was the ruin of my life, because that's the period in which you begin to form your character and preferences thanks to experiences, passions, and contact with real, tangible people. Instead, I ended up being a recluse.

Never had a relationship with a woman. Having porn starlets as reference point, of course all the women I encountered on the streets or everywhere else seemed pale and unsatisfying in comparison, plus I am from a part of the world where the dominant phenotype of women is dark hair/dark eyes, which is a far cry from the blonde/green I ended up to love thanks to porn movies. That's seriously f.... up thinking.

I went from being the first of my class to the very bottom, until I dropped out for good. I ended up working on the web, making good money and having my porn one click away.

Bored? Masturbation. Angry? Masturbation. Sad? Masturbation. Stressed? Masturbation.

This was my life, and I didn't recognize it as an addiction until I had a surgical operation in my penis (circumcision) and masturbation was out of the question for at least 15 days.

On day 3, I was literally shaking and I began to connect the dots. I was addicted to masturbation, although it seemed ridicolous. After researching the topic on the web, it didn't seem so anymore. It was real stuff, supported by science.

The first thing I did was to literally destroy all my DVDs. Then I cleaned my hard disk, my bookmarks, cancelled my accounts in erotic boards and forums, deleted all the related emails. I needed to create a supportive environment.

Of course this wasn't enough. I still remembered the URLs of many websites, and I relapsed a lot of times. I never was able to resist more than 3 days. I tried, and tried, and tried...

Today, I am on day 5. This is a milestone, for me... so, I may finally be on my way out. I hope.

My symptoms are:

- Irritability
- Inability to focus ("Staring at walls syndrome")
- Mood swings
- Headaches, sometimes quite strong.
- Sense of pressure in my lower parts
- Pictures of movies/starlets popping out in my mind
- Paranoia/self-defeating thinking
- Depression
- Sense of Hopelessness ("I lost so many years of my life..")
- Fear that I will never be able to have sex because I would relapse

So, that's it. Let's see how it goes..

Withdrawl symptoms

JKasali - i can really empathise with you here. I hope my story can help you.

As a young child i was bullied and taunted about girls by my older brother and he made me feel unattractive through his comments and behaviour towards me. It went on for so long that eventually i grew up believing i would never meet a girl (looking back i was subjected to sibling rivalry). When i reached the age of 15 i felt like i was on the outside of life looking in on everyone else having a good time. My friends met girls whilst i discovered porn and its benefits of achieving sexual gratification. Like you, my first experiences were porno models, but for me - in paper magazines. At the time i truly believed that this was the nearest i would ever get to bonding with a woman. I too became reclusive and the whole saga sapped my confidence and self esteem. I was 18 before i met my first girlfriend - or rather she met me. The relationship did'nt last and i put it down to me being unattractive which didn't help. Looking back it was probably down to the addiction cycle i was caught in by this time, but either way it just knocked my confidence even further. The girls i knew seemed unattractive compared to the girls in my magazine collection and for the most of my young life i was single throughout this bizzare cycle. (The brain is such a powerul instrument!) I thought i had ruined my life. As time has gone on (i have been addicted to porn for 25years!) i have secretly put up with my cravings as some sort of genetic fault within me. You can imagine what that has done to my self esteem too!

Hell ... i don't know how i've survived???

I have constantly told myself its bad, its bad... but when the cravings come i just havent been able to help myself and after a quick fix of porn i have felt worse and worse about it. Although i have tried to control my addiction i have never truly had the balls (excuse the pun) to scrub my life totally free of porn (up until now after reading your comments). Its just been so easy to say yes and give in to the cravings. My material has increased from a few paper mags in the early days to a catalogue of downloaded internet porn stored on disks more recently. Most of mine was collected through a 56k connection. The money i've spent??? When i signed up for fast internet connection i told myself not to look on porn sites and i lasted two weeks. Then, as i had dreaded - i let the porn flood in, faster than ever before and this has now brought me to finally seek help and bring an end to my dark personal secret.

This website is turning my life around!!!! Thank you so much.

Why do i need to seek help when the damned thing is so enjoyable? Over the long period of time that i have been using porn i have 'clicked' a lot of the symptoms that many people are describing on this site, especially after intense periods of masturbation.

Irritability (I can be fine, but after a quick porno fix i am a total horror)
Mood swings (elation followed by depression)
Severe anxiety (often for no real reason)
Headache
Tension (especially around the eyes and sinuses)
Fatigue (lack of energy - cant be bothered...)
depression
Lack of self esteem (Generally through believing there was something wrong with me)
unable to concentrate (even with simple functions)
guilt (No-one else does this - you're a sex freak!)

I have also realised more lately that it is not necessarily the content of the images that i find addictive. It is the 'buzz' of collecting them. Trawling the net for erotic images creates an incredible high. I have found that this extended high lasts for about three hours before it naturally begins to fade. Masturbation brings things to a 'peak' after which i find myself back to the rational me - slightly confused by my behaviour and bewildered that i have just spent half a day in a trance. Its like Jekyl and Hide! After that i suddenly have very little interest in the content that i have collected and the 'downer' is as far down as the high was up. Having to deal with this mental turmoil in secret has just become too much and learning about the brain chemistry has fitted all the jigsaw pieces together for me.

I realise i am lucky because i have a wonderful wife, who knows nothing about my porn addiction, but has stood faithfully by me whilst i have inflicted my mood swings unwittingly her way. She deserves a medal and she is my anchor for quitting. Looking at our relationship in perspective i realise i have pushed our 'bonding' away through my irritability and selfish addictive behaviour. Excuse me - i've just started to cry uncontrollably.

WOW - that was powerful - but there i have said it.

Right now I have just deleted my porn collection. A week ago i began to address the messages in my brain that are connected to the reward cycle. The flashbacks are hard to deal with but i am finding focussing on something else eases them. Bonding back with my wife is working already and i can see she is immediately happier. I am feeling happier too. There is light filtering back into my world.

I really hope you succeed. You haven't lost any of your life. This has been a learning curve for you as it has me and everyone else in their situations. Learning is about gaining strength which in turn leads to wisdom. I am on day 4 at the moment and i am doing well so far.

Besides dealing with the issues of quitting my addiction i am finding the following helpful:

I am learning to love myself. I am not a 'bad person' in fact learning to get over this will make me an 'even better person' than i already was.
I am making efforts to exercise more
I am making efforts to socialise more
When i have flashbacks or catch sight of an erotic image (on tv etc) I tell myself over and over how much i want to quit this. It works!
Bonding is so helpful. If you are single, don't go chasing love just to help you fight your addiction. It will come to you when the time is right.

Beating this will not be an easy ride i am sure of that, but i feel like i have thrown away the key to my darker side of life. All i need to do now is find the key to my lighter side. Reading this website has switched on the light which will help me find that key.

Thats it

Welcome Maestro!

Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on starting the process of digging your way out from under a mountain of conditioning. Mark your calendar for two months from now, and meanwhile, don't let the ups and downs of life without "porn medication" fool you into discouragement...or at least, not for long. Smile

I'm sorry for all the pain you've been through. We all have "good" reasons for the choices we've made if we look deep enough, eh? And I'm very happy for you and your wife that you didn't give up. By the way, if your wife is open to a three week program of affectionate activities that can help you emphasize bonding behaviors, let me know, and I'll email them to you. They are from the new book, which isn't published yet. (Cupid's Poisoned Arrow) They're called the Exchanges: http://www.reuniting.info/science/ecstatic_exchanges_and_neurochemistry

You're all set to blog if you want to. Feel free to copy your post, or any part of it to your blog, if you like: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Thank you

Thank you so much Marnia for your support and the way you spend time answering everyone's comments.

I'm ready to take the ups and downs of life without porn medication. Partly because i want to be free of it so much and partly because - thanks to you :) Smile and everybody else here, I'm all set up to know what to expect. I've tried to quit on my own before but failed miserably because the cycle kept on going without me realising what was going on. Now i feel empowered to do this and i'm so determined to win.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks again:) Smile

Wow

Maestro, you are incredibly lucky to have a wife who is standing by you, and to have started turning yourself around before the "separation virus" took effect in your marriage. I suspect you weren't all that bad toward your wife during your mood swings.

Not all of us are so lucky to have a loving and supportive partner.

Please give your wife a *GIANT* hug from all of us at Reuniting! Smile

Welcome, and please keep us informed about your progress!

Thanks

Thank you so much for your support. Since i first posted i felt a huge mental release and i've spent the last few days quietly getting my mind around all this. I've also given my wife lots of big hugs and it feels great. Its wierd because when we hugged before it was like a sheet of glass was between us - i think this was mainly guilt with all the associated addiction effects piled on top. Now it feels like we are able to touch. I just wish the same benefits would come to you all right now.

I'm nearly on day seven and still holding strong. It doesn't sound like a long time but as everybody who visits here knows - seven days can be an eternity. Had some flashbacks and cravings but i'm keeping busy and managing to override the pictures and messages in my head.

My biggest inspiration is everybody here!

Welcome

Your honesty and integrity inspire me. I'm always inspired by people who are sincere about growing, overcoming something, or bettering themselves. Get ready for a wild ride as the withdrawals hit again and again for up to two months. Just stay strong and you WILL come out the other side.

Thanks

Thank you for your kind support here. I'm well prepared for the ride. Reading the info on this site and listening to what everyone else has to say is inspiration in itself. I see no point in denying anything if i am to move forward.

I really appreciate your comment and just the action of you posting it feels like a pat on the back.

Thanks Maestro for sharing this

You are clearly on your way. I am impressed by your determination, hang in there. Contact SAA or SLAA if you feel that doing this alone is to hard. It was for me. I need support from others in real life, twice a week.

/ Soulsearching

Your support is great!

Thanks so much. I will hang in there - i've wanted to reach this point for the last ten years! I can't say how much i want to succeed. I'm prepared for anything! Keeping busy, socialising and talking to people is helping enormously. So is returning to this site and reading other people's testimonies. In the scheme of things i do consider myself to be lucky. Being able to open up here has halved my burden already!

Welcome and thanks for telling your story

and cataloging your experience so clearly.

First, congratulations on your progress. You're doing all the right things (as far as we know), and the only way you can fail is if you let any setbacks stop you from continuing. It takes time for the mammalian brain to come (sorry...) into alignment with your higher will, or rational mind. Be patient, and don't let the "downs" fool you into thinking that you aren't progressing. You are, as you'll see the *next* day.

Second, I didn't think anything good could come out of circumcision, but you have proved me wrong! Still, it was clever of you to connect the dots. No matter how severe the fallout, our whole culture veils the truth from us. (I went through a similar mind warp when I realized that even conventional passionate sex had a hangover of sorts. Still, realizations like this make you feel like the only one at the party who took the hallucinogen, don't they? Smile )

I can understand your apprehension about your future relationships, but I have a very good feeling about this adventure of yours. Try not to project the discouraged feelings that are *normal* during withdrawal onto your future. I guarantee you, that like any addict, you will *absolutely* feel very different once you're back in balance. The world will look different, relationships will look different, those dark haired lovelies in your corner of the world will look different (keep in mind that men in the USA find dark-haired hotties so exotic that they import them as wives...ironic, eh?). So it's no good trying to imagine "what it will be like."

The biggest challenge for you now is to find ways to *socialize* with others...on any level. I know that you really don't feel like doing this...especially in the throes of withdrawal. But, briefly, the reward pathways that porn hijacked are there to connect us with others (and make those connections feel good). So the most natural (as opposed to artificial) way to start to feel better is to find healthy ways to connect. Even a relatively brief encounter with a buddy, or co-worker can help for a whole day, but you need to find a way to do that daily if at all possible. (And notice how you feel on days that you do - and days that you don't. You're a clever scientist. You'll see the truth for yourself.)

Cheer up. If you put even half the effort into your re-training goal as you obviously did into *training* your brain to seek relief via your "drug" of choice, you will be clear fairly quickly. You're obviously a very determined man.

One more thought...when you worry about those wasted years, just remind yourself how grateful you are that you don't have to spend the future in the same dark tunnel. Most all of us waste time in our lives. Just figure you got your wasted time out of the way early. Wink

Blog if you like.

And here's a big cyber hug, on behalf of humanity's women...who are very glad to see you are reviving! You have been missed.

Thank you, Marnia.

[quote=Marnia]and cataloging your experience so clearly.

First, congratulations on your progress. You're doing all the right things (as far as we know), and the only way you can fail is if you let any setbacks stop you from continuing. It takes time for the mammalian brain to come (sorry...) into alignment with your higher will, or rational mind. Be patient, and don't let the "downs" fool you into thinking that you aren't progressing. You are, as you'll see the *next* day.[/quote]

First of all, thank you for your quick and encouraging reply. I really appreciated that you took the time to do that. Cataloging my experience was kinda liberatory! And I am sure other people will find it helpful in some way. I am glad I did that.

[quote=Marnia]Second, I didn't think anything good could come out of circumcision, but you have proved me wrong! Still, it was clever of you to connect the dots. No matter how severe the fallout, our whole culture veils the truth from us. (I went through a similar mind warp when I realized that even conventional passionate sex had a hangover of sorts. Still, realizations like this make you feel like the only one at the party who took the hallucinogen, don't they? Smile [/quote]

Absolutely. I would add to my list of symptoms "Alienation" and "Feeling of loneliness". When I hear my friends talking about how great sex with their respective partners is, I cannot help but feel disconnected on the inside. It's like hearing an astronaut talking about how amazing the earth is when seen from space. You can somewhat imagine the feeling, but in reality you don't know what they are talking about! Of course, nobody knows about my addiction (Since I make my living with the web, they assume I am JUST working when I am in front of the computer.)

Oh, by the way.. I wouldn't recommend circumcision either I guess, but in my case was forced by another condition which would have gotten worse with time. On hindsight, I guess I should thank that condition!

[quote=Marnia] I can understand your apprehension about your future relationships, but I have a very good feeling about this adventure of yours. Try not to project the discouraged feelings that are *normal* during withdrawal onto your future. I guarantee you, that like any addict, you will *absolutely* feel very different once you're back in balance. The world will look different, relationships will look different, those dark haired lovelies in your corner of the world will look different (keep in mind that men in the USA find dark-haired hotties so exotic that they import them as wives...ironic, eh?). So it's no good trying to imagine "what it will be like." [/quote]

I will do that. Sure, my rational brain knows that it's just a chemical thing.. that helps, but the feeling remains. I will simply hang on - reading literature about addiction in general helped a lot, especially the experiences of drug addicts who have gone cold turkey.

[quote=Marnia]The biggest challenge for you now is to find ways to *socialize* with others...on any level. I know that you really don't feel like doing this...especially in the throes of withdrawal.[/quote]

Whoa, are you reading my mind? :) That's exactly how I feel. It's a challenge allright..

[quote=Marnia]But, briefly, the reward pathways that porn hijacked are there to connect us with others (and make those connections feel good). So the most natural (as opposed to artificial) way to start to feel better is to find healthy ways to connect. Even a relatively brief encounter with a buddy, or co-worker can help for a whole day, but you need to find a way to do that daily if at all possible. (And notice how you feel on days that you do - and days that you don't. You're a clever scientist. You'll see the truth for yourself.)[/quote]

Yes, I will definitely do that, thanks for the advice. Plus, if I am with someone else, the chances of relapsing are virtually zero!

[quote=Marnia]Cheer up. If you put even half the effort into your re-training goal as you obviously did into *training* your brain to seek relief via your "drug" of choice, you will be clear fairly quickly. You're obviously a very determined man.[/quote]

Oh, that's for sure.. if I put the effort I put in my "dates with myself" in other areas of my life, I would be a millionaire with a dream job Wink

[quote=Marnia]One more thought...when you worry about those wasted years, just remind yourself how grateful you are that you don't have to spend the future in the same dark tunnel. Most all of us waste time in our lives. Just figure you got your wasted time out of the way early. Wink

Blog if you like.

And here's a big cyber hug, on behalf of humanity's women...who are very glad to see you are reviving! You have been missed.[/quote]

Thanks again Marnia. I needed that. You can't imagine how helpful your comment was! My goal from today on is to never actually even watch porn or erotica again. I admit that during these 5 days, while I didn't touch myself, I briefly glimpsed at some pictures. My attention from now on should be toward real women I can actually speak with (if possible).

I will most certainly blog, please do enable my account for that if you already didn't. It will help me to get some load off my shoulders, and probably help others in my situation.

Blog away!

You're enabled. Let me know if for some reason something isn't working. Here are the instructions, in case you would find them helpful: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Glad you found my remarks helpful. I'll thank my husband for you, too. He's the one who showed me that recovered addicts can bloom into wonderful people. He also taught me all the brain chemistry. Hopefully, this information will soon be common knowledge, so people won't have to find themselves hip-deep in quicksand before they realize they have a problem. Wink

Just curious...have you come up with an automatic routine (jogging in place, meditating, something else?) that you can do when the urge strikes? Apparently that can help the most to rewire the brain. Otherwise you're very likely to "visit" your green-eyed goddesses...which is activating that *familiar* pathway, and slowing your progress.

Thanks, blog started!

I started my blog!

http://www.reuniting.info/node/1781

I hope this will become common knowledge as well, but.. I seriously doubt it. Most of mainstream thinking is highly flawed, and most of the "real" information almost always tends to end up into the fringe, because it is hard to accept and let it alone act upon it. Let's be optimistic though. :)

I haven't come up with an automatic routine yet... I guess I will start with a "neutral" one such as meditation (I started meditating in 2001 and I do it almost everyday, so no problem) and then I will see if I can substitute it with something productive.. imagine if the feeling of horniness would get anchored to a productive activity.. I would be unstoppable Wink

Marnia, I can see that you know your stuff (well, no surprise there!).. that's exactly what happened today. I visited a goddess, so to speak, this morning. It was only partly intentional, I fired up Firefox and it opened a previously saved browsing session.. one with an array of websites already opened. And it went downhill, although I didn't touch myself.

Damn. Well, one day at time. Wink

Long Road, Right Path

I'd been watching porn since I was 10 or 11, and I'm in my mid 20's now, been trying to quit since I was 19. The main problem is that part of me deeply enjoys pornography, the urge can get called up like a dark roar, and sitting in front of the monitor is like sliding into a jacuzzi. That's my only "symptom", I suppose, most of the time I feel great when I'm away from porn, and when I feel worst is immediately after using it. Not emotionally bad, just sickly, weak, and nauseous, especially after multiple orgasms.

For me, the triggers are:
~ Obviously, images of revealing women on the computer screen, especially unexpected ones.
~ Sleep disruption, deprivation.
~ Boredom, idle hands, "nothing else to do".
~ Anger, frustration. After something as simple as losing a game of online chess, I'll get a comfort urge.
~ Same comfort urge after physical overexertion, a hard day at work, an over-long walk, an overlong fasting session.
~ Sugar, starches, "unclean-feeling" food. Grates on my nerves, weakens my resolve.
~ Increases in testosterone, whether from weightlifting or seasonal sunlight.
~ An orgasm. Things "back up" after being left alone for a while, pressure builds until a "seed-dump" orgasm is pretty unavoidable. Even a calmly-gotten orgasm brings out the "roar" and puts me back at the screen like nothing else.

What helps are the opposites, eating clean food, sleeping well, being productive, not vegging out in front of the television or internet. I meditate an hour a day, and it helps to "see myself", see the urges, step back and see myself at the computer, see the women as real people. And, not to encourage the practice, but less-graphic pornography, nude images don't make me feel sickly after use.

It took me the better part of a decade to learn some of the things I just read today collected on this site, it's good to see that there's a resource out there that broadcasting it. I hope the site does well.

Welcome Mr. Beard

Sorry you've been struggling, but it's good to read that you're learning the same things the rest of us are, too. Did you see this post? http://www.reuniting.info/node/1561#comment-5597

Everything you're experiencing (intense highs, lows, mood changes, altered state, etc.) is consistent with what we've been learning about how sex affects the brain. Orgasm briefly raises dopamine, which "cures what ails you" and fixes your mood...for a bit. However, it's followed by low-dopamine and feeling low again, so you can easily end up in a cycle of addiction to whatever gets you going the fastest (porn is a "super-stimulant"). the cycle is a form of escalating self-medication, if you will. May want to check out: http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_in_the_brain

You're enabled to blog, should you have the desire. http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Withdrawal symptoms change over time

After a binge, that first night where I have to go without is the hardest. The victory on that night, plus the way I did it (compassion, or sheer will, or distraction, whatever works at the time) makes the night of day 2 easier. Days 3-6 can go quite well if I remain diligent. Until...

Days 7---? Symptoms vary. Can alternate between: Anguish, overwhelming lusty desire that I can't reason my way out of, physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, sadness, crying spells, grief, depression and darkness in the mind...this last one is dangerous and can lead me back to porn for some 'light relief'...a trick on the part of PB since it was porn that helped bring this darkness about in the first place! But PB doesn't know that, does he? He's just doing the job that Nature alloted for him. (PB=Primitive Brain.)

Yes, until you restore equilibrium

"sneak attacks" by the PB are par for the course. Try not to take them too seriously. Keeping a journal can help create some much needed detachment. You are "watching the silly PB in the lab," so to speak. Think white-coated scientist peering through spectacles. Wink

I feel like the 'rat' in this experiment is me,

though I know that it is only the primitive, animal part of 'me'. As for the white coat(s), I hope the men wearing them don't come and take me away! But it's ok, I only gamble with as much sanity as I can afford to lose. And I don't go over my limit.

day 5 or 6 anger

Have to point this out again after a few cycles of non-orgasming. Longest one was 48 days which was possible because I was with my sweetheart (we have a very long distance relationship). So the last cycle was about 25 days and since trying it, I have "failed" say about 10 times. Which means I had the nice (:-)) possibility to observe my symptoms around 10 times...

Day 5 or 6 has been the "break-up" day. Strong anger about something that sweetheart did or said. (by the way he IS doing and saying quite nasty things sometimes, but usually it does not trigger me that much) If we had any contact, I did break up that day! If we did not have any contact, I at least was planning to do it.

Except the last time. I warned him, do not be nasty in any way to me today. He did not and I got over those days without breaking up again.
We do not have a classical relationship because of a huge age-gap of 20 years, it is more a friendship now with dearly loving feelings for each other and an underlying sexual attraction.

What I did observe, too, are the reasons of "failing". It is when I am lonely for a long time with no human touch. It becomes the more and more appealing to masturbate and orgasm. Why? ...I found out that it feels consoling. AND that it is such a good possibility to imagine vividly there is somebody with me!!

Just touching myself sexually is quite dangerous, that's something I found out, too. So ... I avoid it. Keep the fingers away, as they say. Because after a few days of touching I cannot resist anymore. Which does not mean that I am uncomfortable with my body. I really like it.

And another one comes to my mind:
Strong headache the day after.

Thanks for sharing this information

Long-distance relationships are tough. As one clever woman on this forum said, "I think that because trusted companionship and touch are so important to our survival, it's very hard to create stable harmony when we are far apart. Our system wants us to find someone closer to home." (Or something along those lines.)

On the other hand, I'm amazed that this relationship is still going! This is the same guy you tried the Exchanges with, right Fleur? How are things between you?

It's nice to know when the roughest days are, because a partner seldom minds accommodating you when he (or she) knows it's a temporary thing, and that you haven't transformed into a witch (or a jerk) permanently. Smile

Someone else just reported headaches, too. And flu-like symptoms. Interesting.

vaginal inflammation, too

...but this is not a withdrawal symptom... is it? It is a post orgasmic symptom. (Like the headache, too.)
This occurs day 1 and may last to day 6. It even occured after just stimulating myself without orgasm.

Maybe we should differ withdrawal and post orgasmic symptoms...

Yes it is the same guy, you are so nice, Marnia, that you remember and ask! We do not meet very often, last time was September, but we skype very regularly. We are helping each other with working through traumatic left-overs and inspiring each other in the research on healing. This is a real gem! I am so grateful for that. We are on the same track in this research, there's nobody I can talk to like him, there's nobody he can talk to like me. Very honest and quite clear and accepting, if we are triggering stuff in each other. Usually not taking it personally.

I'd be a bit jealous if he'd be with a "more appropriate" woman of his age, but it wouldn't tear me apart. He's kind of jealous about potential partners in my life, too. I guess we both are afraid of losing this very special and helpful harbor.
It's 8 months now and I am quite sure that the non-orgasmic approach helped in developping this! Even if he is still orgasm-addicted (less than before, but still) and somehow stubbornly holding on to it. But there is another part in him that admits that orgasm might be harmful.

So let's see what time may bring...

15 days up, thanks.

Well, it's been a little anti-climactic - pun intended. The time passed much easier than any other time I've tried a long-term abstinence, and the cravings seemed very much further away. It seems that understanding the prolactin/dopamine cycle was the last link.

For symptoms, I've noticed that I've become much more sociable and happy, coming out of the strong/silent persona. My tongue's been much nimbler, voice stronger. Researching prolactin, I saw that weightlifters had an interest in reducing it too, and I can see why - exercise has been so easy that I have to remind myself that I just ran stairs and lifted weights. There also doesn't seem to be any soreness the day after workouts. Studying, there's an easy awareness, easy motivation to learn. That's been the key word for everything - "easy". It seems I've been like a bird flying with a weight attached, and now the weight's gone.

For the others trying to kick it, as an anti-trigger, I used rubbing my hands over my skin, usually my face, then stomach; that seemed to help. I also meditate for an hour a day using a meditation you can download at fhu.com/meditation.html. Other than that, the only difference I can think of is that I've added a ton of iodine to my diet through kelp, and I've since read that iodine regulates hormonal function and plays a part in dopamine synthesis. I've also added GLA to my diet, a fatty acid that was mentioned played a part in reducing prolactin. It seemed to have the desired effect, but, since I started eating it late in the cycle, it probably didn't contribute much.

Hope something in there helps. Good job, Marnia.

Thanks for the cheerful post

And informative, too! Thanks for all your tips.

I know what you mean about feeling like you're "flying without that weight attached." And the greater ease of concentration. I've always been fairly social, so I didn't notice that change so much myself.

I hope that some of our recovering porn guys get to experience these benefits again soon, too. I honestly think that as they clear that DeltaFosB out of their systems, they will rediscover these same good feelings. I know it will be a grim eight weeks (max), but it won't *all* be grim. C'mon guys!

Any cute goddesses chasing your around yet, Master Redbeard? Wink

Quitting... Again

How many times i have already been down this road. I go a couple days without masturbating or looking at porn but that pain, that feeling finally over takes me and i go back. I made it my new years resolution to stop. lol, how many times i have made this same resolution.

I feel like a zombie when im looking at porn. All i want to do is look. I want that feel good feeling all the time. hmm, how far down i have fallen to this sickness...

I started masturbating when i was very young. I can remember all the way back to kindergarten. I remember touching myself in the class room under the desk. I wasn't always this messed up though. You can say i was a product of my environment... Weird; The one thing that messed me up in life is one of the things i love to look at. Ironic right...

A usual day for me would consist of waking up. Masturbating. Take the kids to school. Fantasize about the teacher. Take wife to work. Fantasize about what i want to do with her. Go home. Look at porn and masturbate. (Do this till its time to pick up my kids.) Pick up the kids. Go home. Go to the bathroom and masturbate. Pick up wife. Go home. Put everyone to sleep. Make sure wife is a sleep and go look at porn and masturbate.

A lot huh? Every single time i hate it. Seems my addiction has taken me to the depths of hell. I'm hanging out with nothing but sinners. The images that i have to look at now just to get me off. Just to give me my fix for the next 10 minutes... The evil thoughts that barricade my head and force me to masturbate. How far will it go? What if one day i wake up and rape my wife? What if i give in to my thoughts and go voyeur my mother in law, or the neighbor? Every time i think about this i want to rip my head off. Give me a fucking pill or a shot to take this away. With my luck, it would increase my appetite for porn...

2 days. So far I'm at my record. 2 days without a single look. Without a single orgasm. I keep telling myself i have to do this. I don't have an option this time. I love my wife and family. I don't want to be this bad guy anymore. I'm going to do it this time, but i don't know if i can take this pain...

Anxious, nervous, headaches, shaking, anger, no clear thoughts... This sucks. I have never done a single drug in my life but yet i have been addicted for most of my life. Addicted to a different drug. A drug a lot of people say isn't a drug. Its all in my head. If they only knew...

I contacted a local SSA group here to see when i can go. No reply yet but i hope its soon. I think it would help if i talked to others who have gone through this. Its mixed though. I don't know if i can do that. I want to clear my mind, not think about what i would want to do to the females in the meeting. But i have to get clean...

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm proud of myself for going 2 days so far without looking at porn or masturbating. 30-40 times a day down to 0. this isn't going to be easy...

Welcome!

Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on your progress. At least here we will totally agree with you that you are dealing with an addiction--a brain chemical matter.

I will not agree that you are a bad person, though! In fact, that thought can be a big part of the self-talk that "justifies" consoling yourself, so you might want to drop-kick that one right out of your consciousness. Wink

If you would like me to send you the chapter that explains how the brain chemistry of compulsion works, and why it's not much different whether you're hooked on porn, drugs or alcohol, let me know. This chapter will appear in our new book, out in June. Many men seem to find the material very comforting. It helps them separate the issue of "character" from the physical reality of what their brains are doing.

All that being said, it looks more and more like compulsion is, in a sense, a search for the comfort that can be found in closer connections with others. Obviously, you're very wise to take such good care of your family. But a 12-step group would offer a whole new level of intimacy, because you could talk openly about this need to retrain your brain. So reach out. It's only the first meeting that's hard. You need some people you can laugh with about the ugly aspects of this trick that a primitive part of your brain has played on you. And celebrate with, as you make progress.

I'm really proud of you for taking this step. No matter how many tries it takes, you can do it. There are also other things that can help soothe you while you're waiting for your brain to reorient. You probably know what these are. Things like exercise, meditation, time with pets, doing something nice for someone, cooking something healthy, time in nature. Make a list, and do them all. And if you can't do them, *visualize* yourself doing them, in great detail.

Let us know how you get on, and don't let setbacks discourage you. It takes a good two months to clear out the brain. Start your own blog if you like: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

*a big hug*

thank you

[quote=Marnia]Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on your progress. At least here we will totally agree with you that you are dealing with an addiction--a brain chemical matter.

I will not agree that you are a bad person, though! In fact, that thought can be a big part of the self-talk that "justifies" consoling yourself, so you might want to drop-kick that one right out of your consciousness. Wink

If you would like me to send you the chapter that explains how the brain chemistry of compulsion works, and why it's not much different whether you're hooked on porn, drugs or alcohol, let me know. This chapter will appear in our new book, out in June. Many men seem to find the material very comforting. It helps them separate the issue of "character" from the physical reality of what their brains are doing.

All that being said, it looks more and more like compulsion is, in a sense, a search for the comfort that can be found in closer connections with others. Obviously, you're very wise to take such good care of your family. But a 12-step group would offer a whole new level of intimacy, because you could talk openly about this need to retrain your brain. So reach out. It's only the first meeting that's hard. You need some people you can laugh with about the ugly aspects of this trick that a primitive part of your brain has played on you. And celebrate with, as you make progress.

I'm really proud of you for taking this step. No matter how many tries it takes, you can do it. There are also other things that can help soothe you while you're waiting for your brain to reorient. You probably know what these are. Things like exercise, meditation, time with pets, doing something nice for someone, cooking something healthy, time in nature. Make a list, and do them all. And if you can't do them, *visualize* yourself doing them, in great detail.

Let us know how you get on, and don't let setbacks discourage you. It takes a good two months to clear out the brain. Start your own blog if you like: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

*a big hug*[/quote]

Thank you for your support.

I would love for you to send me that chapter. Not only for myself, but my wife wants to learn as much as she can also. She is being very supportive, but she doesn't fully understand why I'm addicted.

Thank you again!

BTW - i also made my first blog entry. :)

Cycling

I'm seeing a 2-3 day high after orgasm making love with my wife....then a steep dive down where I am needy, demanding, blaming, depressed and start thinking our 30 year marriage really sucks. Usually she gives in with a mercy fuck and we restart the cycle. I'm at 5 days post coitus and so thankful for the help I've found here and in PeaceBTS. I'm trying to not make any demands and be kind at every opportunity. From my initial success I see there is hope at the end of 14 days.
Blessings on us all

Keep us posted

That has been our experience.

Meanwhile,are you engaging in any daily bonding behaviors? Even 5 minutes a day of generous touch can make a big difference in severity of crankiness. Wink

I am thankful to hear of

I am thankful to hear of Fleur-rare's symptoms of anger and conflict in a long distance relationship. And the possibility of sidestepping them. I stopped viewing porn in any form nearly a year ago. And I have been in, an on and off relationship with my partner for about 6 years. While we can choose to have lovely times together that aren't sexual, our meetings usually include sex. It seems to me that there is very little on here about withdrawl symptoms within the dynamic of the relationship. I suppose it's maybe more risky to air something about US than about ME. Particularly when we are talking about our weaknesses or failings. I guess there's risk of rocking the relational boat.

So in our relationship,
I don't know if the withdrawl is more extreme if we have more orgasms- Like daily for a few days. I would guess that it is. However once we have had one we're most of the way there and might as well continue for the duration of the visit. It's been like that lately. It would be a huge change for us to see each other and not have sex. We did avoid orgasm for one visit and that produced lovely feelings. Though the sex was quite active. We have not experimented with non active, penetrative sex. She doesn't want to. We have a destructive dynamic that I think is orgasm driven. Call it seperation behavior escalating. Basicly she picks a fight, by accusing and blaming in a generalised way, that is not about the here and now. (There is some current issue that provides a reason to start into it. Often minor and blown out of proportion.) I can often see it coming but am unable to avert it. She gets a big emotive rush while creating the drama. She threatens to leave. I say why are you doing this? I talk reason and sanity till the storm has passed, though I often get triggered as well, and that seems to be her desired result at this stage in the proceedings. Sometimes she does it in a public place or while we are entertaining friends. This really amps the drama. Our path out of the drama often includes me reaffirming my love and devotion in a theatrically overstated way. I feel as though it's been wrung out of me. Sometimes there is a period of seperation before the resolution. And then at some stage,hours or even days later there is powerful reconnecting sex. I would say that this dynamic is symptomatic of orgasm withdrawl in some couples. It is also highly addictive and I am struggling with that . Did I, or we instigate this addiction by having orgasms? we could break it down into stages and attribute various parts of it to personal symptoms. I don't have the patience, and I'm too raw, to drag that anylisis out right now. She can see that this is the pattern and feels horrible about engaging in it. She would leave the relationship to stop it. However she is somewhat doubtful about leaving orgasm out of the relationship to see if that helps to stop it. Wink

So if I want to work on stopping this, I might try to avert the conflict,or leave it unresolved,or not engage in the reconnective sex\orgasm. My partner says that she couldn't be just friends. Because, I might connect with someone else in the interim. And that would be too painful to see. So what if I contract to be her nonsexual partner\lover? Is that like a nonsexual marrige? Bugger that! It might be a phase to move thru though ,in breaking down the addiction. I am feeling like it's that or I'll have to sign off of the relationship again. I have chosen to sacrifice social contact over the past few months while working on my transition projects,and feel quite isolated.which I'm sure exagerates my post orgasm neediness.Particularly in the light of this sort of separation drama. I have been unable to focus and have spells of feeling pariliysed about moving forward in my life. It would be a real help to be more actively suported in moving thru these destablised days. The message of keep your hands off yourself -one day at a time is a lot easier to dispense than exploring and clarifying the dynamics of orgasm withdrawl in couples. Instead I seem to get a response something like -Well that's what you get if you have orgasms with your partner. Sort of like being consigned to the scrap heap.

I'd like to have a little outburst here and say that there seems to be a lot of airtime on this site in support of lone wankers and spiritual celebates. (which I have also been) but not so much willing self exposure or mutual support among those engaged in actual relationships. AArgh! Are the stakes too high in our relationships to risk exposing these extremes? How can we support sexual healing at the coal face? Don't people in relationships read and contribute to this site from time to time? I remember Marnia that you once sent me a collection of contributions from couples who had improved their relationships via your suggestions. That type of content seems to be a rarity on here. Is there a way that you could make these folks contributions show up more consistantly and tangibly. Even if it's only a small percentage of the traffic here ,is it worthwhile to evidence the possible journey in all it's unedited glory details? (wordplay intended)

It might also help some of the folks here to move beyond being single if they were to see evidence of unworkable orgasm driven relational dynamics resolved thru this work. I sure hope and pray that We might be able to make a contribution along these lines. I feel that I'm likely overreacting and maybe just not looking in the right place, but on the other hand maybe I'm an idiot and your site could use some idiot proofing to make it a bit more user friendly. In any case I am thankful for the sincerity of your efforts . Peace and blessings to all of you here.

P.S. I'm sorry about being wrapped up in the pain of my own situation and apparently discounting the meaningful contributions of others simply because they are not exactly like mine. Isn't the variety of creation a wonderful thing? Wink

Sorry for your pain

I, too, wish more couples wrote here. I do know some couples practicing this, but I have not been successful in getting many of them to post. First of all, they truly tend to get on with their lives in productive ways that don't include time for hanging around on the forum. Second, most are not entirely consistent, so they still experience the occasional experience of separating behavior. So they don't feel they are models for others. They're being too humble in my opinion. This isn't about perfection, it's about experiencing whatever benefits people experience...and as you point out, that is very comforting for other experimenters.

In the new book, I'm trying to include more comments from people practicing some version of karezza or other. I haven't been keeping up with posting all of these bits on the site this past year because I have been so busy writing.

I think you're right about the drama-passionate-make-up phenomenon among couples. It's very typical. And it's not easy to ease your way out of, especially when you don't live together.

Would your sweetheart be willing to try a "once a month" orgasm program? (And then no more even during that visit?) It sounds to me like if you're considering breaking up, or having a nonsexual relationship, you really have nothing to lose at this point.

Have a look at this post:http://www.reuniting.info/node/1714#comment-5608

And feel to write to Luke. I think he would be happy to support you.

*a big hug*

No model here.

I think that being a model isn't what it's about ,and if it ever feels appropriate you can pass it on. Certainly those seeking to change from porn addiction on this site exhibit the courage to share the painful steps of their process. I wonder if we feel more divorced from our place of personal strength when there is somrone else there with us and we are both being out of control. It's a part of the human condition that we are lothe to admit our participation in , either before or after the fact. There is a fear of being branded, and no chance of being heralded as an Alpha. Male or Female. It wouldn't hurt to share being older and wiser though. Even if it is sometimes messy. Thanks for the link.

my withdrawal symptoms

my withdrawal symptoms:

don't want to talk to anyone
extreme feelings of depression (and all inclusive, well-known symptoms)
excessive sleeping (up to 12 hours some nights)
extreme irritability
nightmares
dreams where i am viewing or engaged in acts i have viewed (porn)
extreme mood swings
can't think of much else-- i think most of everything falls under the "extreme depression" category

my symptoms

As requested, here are my withdrawal symptoms (experienced on day 2):

--Mood swings like a pregnant 13-year-old girl.
--Severe, unbearable loneliness.
--Tension: headaches, mild muscle aches, stiffness all over, a feeling like pressure on my teeth.
--Social paralysis.
--Anxiety about nothing in particular.
--Panic attacks (rare, but it's happened)
--Always feeling cold, even in front of the fireplace.
--Intense fear of anything and everything.
--Crying about everything...I'll see a neat-looking tree and then cry about it.
--Intense, insatiable desire for human contact...yet a terrible fear of actually getting it!
--Fear of rejection.
--No desire for sex...until I catch a glimpse of porn again (or wait long enough of a time without looking)
--Insatiable food cravings...Almost ate an entire pan of brownies in 24 hours.
--I'm a composer...and I can't compose.
--I have a VERY SHORT FUSE you idiot! LOL...treating people like crap when I feel like this! This is the worst symptom!

I bet some of these are not "symptoms" so much as problems that I used the porn addiction to cover up in the first place. There are more, but I don't want to take up the whole page in your browser...

Chris

thanks for posting

I just caught your post, and -WOW- it's amazing how exactly alike your symptoms match mine, sorry if this is the wrong place to post but I just wanna add I've tried to break free of the orgasm dependence for several months, I don't really crave the orgasm per se anymore but my problem remain: I get this withdrawal after 7 days or so of abstinence and while it somewhat gets better after 3 weeks, it just doesn't make alife for me. I'm seriously thinking of getting back to a weekly orgasm. Because then I become grounded again, it seems. PLUS I get rid of teh symptoms which are definitely reducing my quality of life (serious): major weight gain, NO interest in reaching out, they can all just mind their own business, even my decent salary have gone out the window, lost sense of humour, severe procrastination etc. etc.
The only reason I'm avoiding orgasm is because I don't enjoy jerking off to huge collages of unnatural photos/images, as I'm getting older I crave more the actual connection with a 'soulmate' but what's a bit puzzling to me is that I seem to NEED to ejaculate every once in a while to open up for other people. The REAL 'solution', it seems, is actually getting close to another person, period. I could care less about ejaculation then.
Can't think of anything else (Well yeah one thing: stop producing hormones etc. in healthy levels but that I'm not interestet in after all)

It's fine to post here

Yes...alas...this is a two part cure, gentlemen. There's regaining control...and there's reaching out to connect with others. The first one can be helpful as a foundation for the second...at least for a while.

If a schedule works best for you, go for it. What about three weeks? That way you could see the whole cycle better.

In any case, the purpose of the material here is to encourage you to find balance...whatever that means for you. It's not to set world records for rigid abstinence. As I've said before, an affectionate partner is a key element in achieving a workable balance.

*hugs*

what's this now??

I'm day 24 and I experience bizarre things for about a week now:

- muscle aches the day after training and horseback riding (This is so uncommon to me)
- weak muscles
- strong back- and neck-aches
- feeling very lonely
- tired all the time
- unmotivated and not much desire to move

Could be something else but lets just mention it.
(there are positive aspects, too: - just eating when hungry, - peacefullness even when attacked)

Detox?

It might be your body flushing out toxins that it couldn't before and stored away. This takes energy, so there might be less energy going to the muscles and stuff like that. I know I was really, really tired too, but in my case it could've also been that I was recovering from some extra exertions I did. I think that was part of it, but it was also just either detox or simply that the body was adjusting and redirected energy to do it. That's my theory anyway.

porn/sex addiction ruined marriage

I am saddened to say porn/sex addiction has stolen my beloved husband from me. He told me after I was already in love with him he was a sex addict ( as was my first husband ), and yet it wasnt until I was carrying our child I actually found out how addicted he was. I worked in the adult industry when I was much younger and obviously had some sexual addixtion issues myself as these are the men I attract. I feel it is my karma catching up to me as I truly didnt know then what I do know now.....porn/sex is a drug.....it's crack cocaine and it lies and distorts. It takes beauty and love and twists and distorts, and internet porn is the devils playground....make no mistake it is evil, it destroys families, it has taken my husband away from me his wife, it has taken my baby's father, and it has taken his own soul...nothing gives him the passion as much as porn/lust, and it never fills that hole in his spirit.
He had so much potential to do great things, help other's, be an asset to the world..now he sits in jail for abusing me, taking out his hate and anger and shame on his wife who adored him and I tried to stay and help him but trying to help made him angry cause I was in the way of his drug. Now Im sure he's going through big time withdrawal and I pray he will someday be able to overcome this demon, only Jesus can help him now but he has to ask, and then he has to do the work....one day at a time, one hour at a time, every second counts...
Please dont do this to yourselves or your loved ones..it cause anger, dishonesty, disloyalty, shame, perversion, and it never is enough...one sinks deeper and deeper into isolation, everyone you see becomes a "sex fantasy", it turns lust for women into, lust for anything men, children...etc. whatever will get you higher as an adrenaline/testosterone junkie....
Put a picture of Jesus Christ over your computor with his eyes looking at you......and please stop

My marriage

was ruined by porn addiction. She will never forgive me now. I'm so sad about it. I didn't know how terribly selfish I was. I've a long way to go. Porn and masturbation are pain killers so are very attractive when one is suffering but I don't use them any more. Unfortunately, I feel it's too late for me (I'm 52) I am young at heart though! I'm so sad that you've suffered so much. I will pray that God will make you happy and contented in the future.

love

jerry

help with withdrawal

Keep in mind, "idleness is the devils playground" and addictions tend to be very selfish in nature. After all, you are only concerned with your own pleasure and needs, and rarely are able to plan for the future when getting your fix NOW is the need...and it never ends, ...the devil will always be trying to get in your head as he knows your weakness....so you must
#1. Start with the right thinking. You need to rewire your brain, and this will take time, so relax, you only have today as tomorrow is not promised. Start reading about your sex addiction, start reading about spiritual awareness, read the Bible, fill yourself up with postive information that will make you stronger, richer, more peaceful and loving. Heal the child inside which may have been broken or mistreated by another broken person...remember "Hurt people hurt", learn forgiveness, of yourself and other's and love yourself as God loves you unconditionally no matter what you have done, God forgives you, just ask him...pray. This will heal your heart which will start to change your brain chemistry. You will eventually not want to get "dirty" inside. Asif you are on a diet and eliminate toxins, your body starts to feel energized, clean, healthy and alive and will get stronger and more resiliant each day...but stay focused. Learn meditation and relaxation techniques to put you in control of your body, instead of the other way around...get good sleep and take a nap during the day when you become overwhelmed as this will also recharge you and you will dream. Tell yourself every night before you sleep and after you pray, "everyday I am getting better and better"...
#2. Eat healthy and execise. Eat foods that are alive and grow naturally in the earth, from the sun. Start cooking and preparing your meals and trying different spices. Balance your diet to get carbs which will help with serotonin reuptake and make you feel happier...have some dark chocolate and savor every morsel on your tongue sensuously as there are literally people starving in this world that will never even have access to what you do. Be thankful. Join a gym or start running. Stretch your body stretch your mind. There is meditation in repetitive movement..swim, swimming will work wonders on so many levels....go rock climbing, have fun, play paint ball, ski, horseback riding...
#3. Serve others. You would be amazed at how healing it is to stop thinking about yourself (even though you are very important and wonderful) and start helping other's. You will begin to feel not only fulfillment but rich and needed and appreciated, and useful. Look into yourself to see what you have to offer the world and your fellow mankind, and USE IT. It was given to you to share and so think about your experiences and how maybe you can benefit another human being, all of us suffering some heartache on this planet...all just trying to find peace and oneness. Maybe someday you will be able to help someone else who is just like you. That will be incredibly fullfilling as you start to realize how we are all connected and need to raise our consciousness above the flesh and desire
and start serving truly loving the spirit as the flesh will someday turn to dust. which leads me into...
#4. Get connected with people. This will happen easier if you are away from the computor..start connecting, talking, sharing, loving, listening, laughing with other's. Find your similarities with people, dont be afraid to be humble, to ask for help when you need it, to tell a secret...what you have a secret? So what, you are human, we all do crazy things and only the people that judge are the ones afraid of being judged, and they too have secrets...come clean, take a chance, take a risk, make a move, dont stand still, create something with someone, make a movie, make a painting, make music, start a band, start a fundraiser, join a club where meet up regularly. Be accountable to people, show up, be present, be available, pick up the phone and say hello...do something...keep busy...keep moving. Play with your children, be a child, learn to be innocent again as you have been robbed of that for too long. Take out your wife and get to know her again. Take out a girl if all you know is porn and get to know her, make a friend, be a friend. Find the humor in life and laugh out loud. Dont be afraid to take a risk to be happy..it's ok for you to be happy, but you have to have reverance for others as well..and you have to create healthy boundaries...learn what your are, discover yourself with other's as well as alone...and above all else LOSE YOUR EGO as it will destroy you so keep it in check..

....and remember 'NOT BY MIGHT,NOT BY POWER, BUT BY SPIRIT SAYS THE LORD"...not to get all religious on you, but religion has nothing to do with it, it's about giving yourself over to God and asking Him what He wants for your life...God's will be done. Trust Him, repent, ask him to forgive you and wash away your sins..in fact a baptism soon would be so beneficial and you will truly have a new a life. If you dont believe in Him, just put it out there in your prayers/meditation and ask to Him, keep seeking and the door will open but you have to try that door or you will never know if it is locked or unlocked so knock and keep knocking...never give up. Even if you slip, get back on and learn from the experience, ask yourself why? Get to know all about you, wonderful you, and love yourself...always.

Peace

you are already there...

Jerry..It is never too late. You are alive and breathing and although you may not be able to change anyone else's mind, you have all the power in the world over your own.
You are now self aware.... you are clearly not in denial about the addiction, or the harm it can/has caused. You are grieving the loss of your marriage...God I pray for you. Know this, you are already healing, it is clear from your words. Will it be easy? Is it easy to say for smokers to quit smoking? No, they have a patch or gum to help and dammit it if they still want a smoke at times, right? There is a quote from Khalil Gibran that says " the human takes to addiction like nursing from the breast, only coming to the day of weaning when his soul is put to rest"........but do not despair, everyone has some obstacle to overcome and this is yours......feel the love and understanding growing in your heart, get connected with Jesus cause people will disappoint as they too have their own issues. When the time is right, love will find it's way back to you....people do get remarried all the time, or someone new and original will come to love and be loved by you...dont give up and dont give in. You are not alone...today is a new day and Spring is coming.
By the way, praying for yourself as well as others helps and these prayers for some reason are stronger when we have other's really pray for us...please pray for me and I will pray for you. I wish my husband was feeling the way you do now and getting help/treatment cause it cant be dealt with alone...As angry and hopeless as I feel at times, I still pray for healing and forgiveness to come to all of us so we can start fresh at some point if it is God's will find the love we once shared with our spouses, only this time it will be pure, untainted, holy, beautiful...this time the Angels will surely sing as this is exactly what the devil hates is what God joined together in love so we must keep praying and remember...."If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it"... Peace, Love, and happiness

Withdrawal Symptoms

Been abstaining for two weeks now, and here's what i'm dealing with:
- irritability
- fatigue
- inability to sleep (even sleep aids don't help much)
- trembling/shaking
- lack of focus
- shortness of breath
- depression
these are most of them i think. It's especially gotten worse this week as opposed to last week.

Starting over

Well, it's back into this cycle. At day 15, a recent personal best, I fell. I masturbated this morning. I have remained porn-free, though the pressure is still on to do so. I know I'm not alone, but it sure feels that way right now. Starting over hurts, and it can usually lead to binging. I pray I have the strength not to fall so far.

Well that seems like

something to be rather proud of if you ask me. It's a major step toward regaining your balance. Well done.

Are you ready to change your name to something a bit more optimistic yet? Wink

Remember that you can blog, if you like.

Good luck with your next phase.

Wishing you well,
Marnia

my name

my name has nothing to do with me being incomplete or damaged. it is not a pessimistic name, though it may seem so. i chose that one because it captures the pain that i realize my addiction has caused to others and to myself. i am therefore broken (sad and moved) that i have continued in bondage for so long. so i think i'd like to keep the name because the second i am not broken about it will preceed the second i return to it. and yes, i do hope to blog some.

It's a fine name

and you should keep it. I was just being encouraging in my own lame way.;-)

You are definitely not alone in this struggle. In fact, I suspect you're at the vanguard of a hoard of men who will be getting more and more fed up with being hooked on manipulative two-dimensional images. Good for you!

a great observation

I love the "two-dimensional" line. I've never really thought like that, but seriously, that's awesome. 2D indeed. There's no reality. We've based our fantasies and desires on something with no depth, no connection to reality. thanks for that thought to chew on1

Nice job!

My first few tries, I could only go 3 days. You're off to a great start! Stick around here, we're all rooting for your success.

Chris

actually, i've been dealing

actually, i've been dealing with this for years. i've had some measure of success in the past, but seem to always return. but, in the past two years or so, i would say this definitely is a record for me.
thank you for your encouragement. it's always good to remember you're not alone in the war

I'm right there with you

I'm right there with you. Been battling for some years now but never had the mechanism to channel the energy through a blog and never had the support of others (anonymously via the Internet or otherwise). Glad to be fighting the war with you! We will succeed.

Depression is a state of mind.

Let me tell you, there is no way to win the fight against orgasm if you constantly think that your symptoms are due to lack of orgasm. Rather, I believe that these "withdrawal symptoms" are 70% psychological and 30% biological. Please understand: biological withdrawal still exists in this instance.

To dampen the feelings of biological withdrawal, please consider some Omega-3s in the morning and perhaps some 5-HTP. These substances, unlike the dopamine from orgasm, have almost zero susceptibility to dependency.

Moderate exercise is good, but vigorous exercise (40 minute run) makes me feel jittery.

I would say

that we can choose thoughts and behaviors that shift our physiology, and therefore support changes in feelings (for either better or worse). But actually, every change in feeling or state of mind is reflected in/due to your physiology. There's a circular relationship at work, rather than a tidy proportional split. Smile

welcome to you

hope you'll get the possibility to blog to tell us your story
Sorry for the pain you are experiencing, and courageous that you took the challenge to wanting to heal, and admit what has been going wrong in your life!

For the record

day 6 and symptoms so far:

- headaches (getting worse today)
- really tense shoulders/neck
- fatigue
- brain fog
- desire to over-eat (although I have this a lot anyway)
- a bit irritable
- hard time concentrating
- sensitive to a lot of noise

On the plus side, I'm more self aware, and even at this early stage, when I look back to my past behaviour it seems almost silly, like "why would I waste so much time on that?"

I have been clear for about

I have been clear for about a month.
I am experiencing, nausea, floaters in the eye, depression, lack of motivation. I've also been experiencing candida, which may not be related at all, so I'm really having trouble discerning what are trult withdrawal symptoms.

How long do withdrawal symptoms typcially last?

The basic

cycle seems to be about two weeks, but depending upon one's degree of addiction, there can be intense cravings for about two months.

Constant depression sounds awful. I know it's very hard to get motivated when you feel depressed, but are you doing anything you like to do that would make you feel better? Making an effort to socialize? Have a pet? Getting exercise? Group activities?

Your brain was built for tribal life. So the isolation of addiction (and low dopamine) is one of the highest costs of a habit like porn. What can you do to recreate a tribe? (Writing here is a good start, and I've enabled you to blog. Lol

*a big hug*

Never ending process?

I was wondering from last weeks what was wrong with my mood recently, that came to have all withdrawn symptoms. I realized not so long ago – this year, I have two weeks cycle. Amazing for me is, how universal that experience occurred for people, wherever they come from. It was very difficult for me to connect two things in my mind – first, activity we are talking here, and post withdrawal swings, after couple of days, or weeks. I was aware of very low mood just after, but did not realized how powerful mistake it is for next days, weeks…years.
I do not know if that is possible to give something instead to make that balance equal, when you 30 years old, probably HUGE, passionate love from a person, or people. My bad imprinting started when I was about 14 years old, when I got secretly porn magazine. The experience was so strong for me that it changed my all emotional, behavioral patterns, everyone realized that, but didn’t know what happened and I didn’t say anything, and stayed wordless for weeks.

Extreme anger lead me to hate everyone around, with the attitude – they have love, I don’t, they are better I am not good. Whenever I tried to change my pattern, I got rejection and withdrawn again. I look at porn less frequently, symptoms from today lead me to this site. I think it is about 3-4 weeks now without watching porn, and I pray you will be with me and remind me what should I not do never again. I predict next down I will have this weekend, next week, an so on, but I am not sure. I think I am getting better after starting a gym 3 months ago and now it is only one thing I enjoy. I wanted to change something, ANYTHING in my life for better that I could be sure to handle.

I know any regular activity is keeping me out of depression. And one of the most important things here is to be motivated by other people.

Hello and welcome!

Thank you for making the effort to share your thoughts in English. I know it can be challenging.

I have enabled you to start your own blog, if you would like to. Here are the instructions, if you need them: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

It is amazing how strongly those initial sexual experiences can wire the brain...instantly. From then on, it is "cued" to seek that thrilling stimulation over and over. Unfortunately, if you let it push you around, it desensitizes you to life's other pleasures, and ultimately even to porn...and you have to seek more and more intense stimulation. At that point it's easy to justify continuing due to the belief that everyone else is having a great sex life with wonderful orgasms all the time. (Not, in fact, the case for most people, after the honeymoon period of each new romance.)

Anyway, I'm glad you have realized what had hold of you. I'm also happy to hear that you found the benefits of exercise...and that you found us. I also hope you will find a sweetheart soon.:-) Regular, affectionate touch can really help stabilize mood, too.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that it is fascinating that there seems to be a two-week cycle...possibly inherited from some early mammalian ancestors. At least, my husband turned up some research that showed evidence of a two-week cycle in male and female rats.

Again, welcome!

Withdrawl sysmptoms I think or temporal brain damage

I just put under a lot of pressure from when I was about 7, I had people coming in and out of my room, constantly, while I was trying to sleep in the morning. They would come in during the day and night and I never had any peace. This made me feel incredibly small and insecure, naturally my parents just thought I was quiet and I didn't understand what was happening to me. Because I had a sega master system, instead of dealing with the problem and asking everyone to leave me alone, which whenever I did I got yelled at, I became addicted to the sega, playing it night and day. At school I wouldn't socialize I would sit in the library by myself reading book, from 8 or 9 years of age. I didn't develop social skills and I didn't understand why other people were so outgoing and talkative when I just sat there. I though something was wrong with the people that were social. Then when my parents bought a computer I became addicted to that and while this was happening the pressure they were putting on me began to manfest in a physical way. I had xma as a child but because of the pressure they put on me, it made it worse, I would scratch my skin at the ankles until blood would be gushing out continually and I would pass out from the amount of blood loss, but again my parents didn't know as I was incredibly antisocial and would talk to anyone, my parents would just yell. I would play the computer hours on end, and scratch my xma and sit by myself at school. I would also get very angry to the point were I would throw things. Naturally my parents thought I was just going through a phase, but didn't realise the pressure they were putting on me, by not having any privacy or any space. Then when I was about 9 i got so angry that I smashed a tennis racket on the concere and it snapped and at that time, I also felt something snap in my head as well. After that I had trouble with spelling and forming words and problems in problem solving skills, (this is why I think I have brain damage to the temporal left hand lobe). After this i discovered masturbation and found that when I did it I did it constantly I didn't get angry, I wanted to control my anger cause I thought it was bad and my parents were acting up. Everyone continued to walk into and out of my room and however instead of dealing with the problem I would continually masturbate. In the morning at night and during the day at school, I couldn't go a day without masturbating. As a result my xma eventually went away because I wasn't stressed enough to sractch my skin almost to the bone. Again my parents knew nothing because I was so anti-social. I continued sitting in the library, never had many friends through primary school or highschool. Never had a girlfriend though highschool, I would sit by myself. This pattern continued to years. I was addicted to playing computer games, reading books and masturbating and watch tv. Somehow I got through highschool. After which I would sit in my room and read, masturbate and watch tv. I basically lived in my room, only leaving for to go to the bathroom, or to get food. Naturally my parents thought I was just anti-social because that was my personality and I had been acting this way since I was 8 or 9. As a result of being locked in my room, I hated the outside and and had all these ideas of the way the world should be and I would get incredbily angry when I would see things in the world and did things in the world and they wouldn't work the way I wanted them to. I would get so angry that I would scream and yell when no one was around and I would feel pain in my head. I dealt with this pain in my head by masturbating constantly which made it go away, temporarily unitl I masturbated again. At this point i was masturbating at least 6 to 7 times a day, even when I wasn't aroused I would simply decide to masturabate. As a result I could never remeber peoples names, only there faces. I would have trouble remembering anything verbal, I would only remember something after writing it down about 5 times and I would be incredbily angry when I found a problem such as maths which the answer to wasn't completely obvious. The people have recently stopped coming in and out of my room. and I went out with a friend who invited me to a youth church group, I went and I was amazed at how nice the people were. Naturally i was pissed off all the time when I was growing up because things didn't work in the would the way I though they should be. Again I was amazed a how nice people were. I have know looked back on everything and realised what has happend. As you can understand I have had a very sheltered life and probably have the maturity of a 15 year old, I am now 22. I have decided to stop masturbating as I believe this has affected my memory and I may have gotten so angry that I have given myself brain damage in the left temporal lobe (see link http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/btemporl.shtml ). This may have initially been caused by me getting so angry I snapped the tennis racket on the concrete and have only gotten worse from there whenever I got angry. Now since I have stopped masturabating for 1 day so far. The left side of my temple feels like it is on fire, it feels like my head is in a vice and the only way I can get rid of it is by masturbating, but I have not, I have decided to stop and only do it once a week, maybe twice a week. After stopping masturbation:

My body is all shaky.
I feel incredibly different.
The left side of my head feels like its in a vice.
I put my left hand (i am left handed) to my left temple to rub it cause it feels so bad.
When I was walking down the street yesturday I almost collapsed on the side walk, I felt like passing out cause of the pain and pressure on the left side of my head.
I have thought about shotting myself in the left side of my head just to make the pain go away, however after researching all of this on the internet I just keep telling myself I am going through massive withdrawal.
I am incredbily sensitive to sound and noise of any kind, the birds swacking outside in the morning hurts the left side of my head.
I wake up with it and I go to sleep with it.
When I go to sleep I purposely lie my right hand side of my head on the pillow so I don't put any pressure on the left side so it doesn't hurt even more. Lying on the right side makes it hurt less, this I think is because of gravity and the blood flows away from the left side.
By body it incredibly shaky and when I look around now everything feels different.

I have thrown out all the books and removed lots of furniture from my room to make it more spacious. As this could also be the result of being incredibly introverted by being in a room filled with furniture and removing it and having more space. I took a physological test and it said I was the strongest type of interovert there was, so that is some indication of how intorverted I was, I would run home from school so I could sit in my room and be alone and masturbate.

After researching this topic it says that constant masturbation causes massive changes to brain chemistry and I am hoping that I am just going through withdrawal and the pain on the left side of my head at the temple is just my brain chemistry changing and the brain rewiring itself and eventually I will have normal brain chemistry and the pain will go away and I will have normal memory skills and problem solving skills. Oh and I was very short for my age and my parents took me to a doctor and they gave me Human growth hormone from when I was about 15 to 18, which I have found doing research on the internet is one of the chemicals the brain and body is low on due to constant masturbation. I am hoping that I don't have brain damage or swollen veins due to my anger ( I have an appointment this friday for a CT scan to see if I have brain damage, will a CT scan detect broken blood vessels and swollen parts of the brain). I have constant pain at the left temple which is corresponds to the temporal lobe (see link above). Bottom line, can anyone help?

Is this pain just massive withdrawl.
Will my brain chemistry go to that of a normal person (since I probably haven't had normal brain chemistry since I was 9).
If so how long will it take, weeks, months, years.
Has constant masturbation affected my memory and probably solving skills, most likely
If so will it return to that of a normal person.
How do i know the extent of the memory damage, how to I know if my memory is normal or impaired.
If impaired will my memory become normal once my brain chemistry balances out, I hope so.
It feels like the left side of my head is in a vice, will it eventually go away, if so how long.
I am super sensitive to sound, I go to sleep with mowing ear muffs just to drown out the sound of the birds chirping in the morning.

Please help, I don't want to have to shoot myself in the left temple just to make it stop. How long before withdrawal from this is over. My body is completely shaky and I keep having small muscle spasms all over my body. Help

Hi Hades,

First, just to clarify, exactly who was coming in and out of your room all the time, and why?

Unfortunately, we are by no means experts on the medical side of these things here. Most of what we know is from listening carefully to people's experiences are connecting those with related scientific articles we can dig up. I don't think we have ever encountered anyone before who had persistent massive head pain as a withdrawal symptom. It's quite possible that the masturbation addiction is not your only problem, so if I were you I think I'd definitely want to see a doctor as well. If a Western doctor is not much help, you could also try an acupuncturist, naturopath/herbalist, or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, as these types seem to be more aware of the possible effects of over-masturbation. My thinking is that you probably need all the support you can get, so it's worth trying every possible route to see what works best for you. In the mean time, maybe painkillers or hot or cold packs will help the pain some. If you've been masturbating 6+ times per day to the point where you get actual tremors if you stop, it might be the case that you can't move immediately to no masturbation at all. Normally it's easier to do the withdrawal all at once, but if your symptoms are too severe for you to function at all, you might try going to once a day first and decreasing from there.

In addition to getting your physical problems ironed out, be aware that you're eventually going to have to do a lot of gradual reworking of the way you interact with people and cope with life and everyday stress. I think joining a youth group is probably a great idea. People have also found help from recovery groups like SAA, or therapists. This website is great for being able to get out your thoughts and getting support, but there's a limit to what we can do, so success depends a lot on what other types of help you can find.

Keep us posted! You've already taken the most important step.

Welcome

Sorry you're in such pain, and I wish you success in your detective work to figure out what combination of things helps. I'm glad you're headed for the scan, because it makes sense to rule out physical issues first.

A lot of people self-medicate for a lot of kinds of pain, anger and anxiety with masturbation (and other dopamine raising substances/activities, such as alcohol, gambling, video games, porn, etc.). Your habits make perfect sense. You were trying to ease your discomfort the only ways you knew how. It's too bad that too much of your chosen "medicines" have a hidden tendency to increase the discomfort of withdrawal. Who knew?

It will take time to figure out which symptoms are related to withdrawal, and which are arising from some other condition. However, withdrawal *can* cause shakes, anger, headaches, etc. That's good news, because you can do something about withdrawal symptoms. But be very gentle and patient with yourself as you experiment. There's no quick fix here.

I'm very sorry that your childhood did not feel safe. It will take time, but you can do a lot to build a safe support system of your own now, as an adult. You are not a prisoner of that childhood, even though you will have to respect the experience and realize which old patterns don't help, so you can counter them.

Reaching out to a nice group of people was an incredibly healthy first step. Bravo! Even introverts need friendly connections with others. By the way, I find that introverts often make the *best* friends, because once they trust you, they listen well and are less superficial. At least that's my impression. I'm right on the line between introvert and extrovert, so maybe I have a different perspective.

Anyway, good to have you here. I enabled you to blog. Here are the instructions if you need them: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

*a big warm hug*

my symptoms

I have been getting headaches, sweating, irritablity, and some anxiety accompanying giving up porn and masturbating.
I have been at it almost a week now and i am going to try to break my cold turkey record of 2 weeks 2 days!
A lot of random sexual thoughts come into my brain and sometimes porn movies (like a saw them) start playing in my head until i turn them off.
Man the headaches hurt. Right on the temples.
I congratulate myself with going to a link from this site and i avoided clicking the porn pic links.
God is helping me.
I also want to overeat and use food to cope with withdrawl symptoms.
I also get random erections because of the body's desire to replenish the overabundance of testosterone and other hormones.
I'm going to brace for week 2 and bear it.
If i can push past 3 weeks i should be out of it.

Sorry you're having such a struggle

It's not abnormal, though, as you can see from others' posts.

What things are you doing besides eating too much Wink to make yourself feel better? Pets? Someone to hug? Can you trade foot massages with a friend? Singing, exercise? Meditation?

Please post your reply on this thread: http://www.reuniting.info/node/2242

Thanks...and a big hug for you. What you're doing if very challenging...and very worthwhile, despite the struggle.

Pages