21 years old social anxiety, ED, lack of confidence ect.

Submitted by needhops on
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Growing up, up to age 11-12, I really could not have been any happier. I had a great family and lived in a good neighborhood. I was good at sports and excelled in school. Socially, trying not to brag here, I was waaay ahead of any of the other students my age. I was well liked among boys and girls alike. I had great leadership qualities. I felt responsible in a way because I felt a lot of my friends looked up to me for direction. My 4th grade teacher even made note during my parent teacher conference that she had really never seen a boy my age get along with girls so well. To me, it really didn't seem like a big deal. It all felt so natural. I knew that I had a great family to fall back on, and my focus during school was learning and getting good grades. Socializing was something that I did not even think about. While I write this blog now in the middle of my reboot, those days were by far the best days of my life.


Around ages 12-13 my world seemed to crumble right before my eyes. My parents got divorced because my dad was apparently having an affair. He was given an ultimatum by my mom to stop or move out and he chose to move out. To make matters worse, my siblings, who were much older than I, also moved out to go to college. The foundation for my seemingly perfect life had been taken away. This was very traumatic for me. I truly felt lost. At this point, given my age, I guess it was natural for me to start masturbating. I doubt that I will ever forget my first time. I really did not even know what masturbating was. I heard that a kid in my school did it but it kind of sounded gross. Anyway, I was fantasizing before bed, and the fantasy became way to real. I essentially began to dryhump my pillow. It felt awesome. Then all of a sudden...boom. The release was unbelievable. I was so confused at first. I thought something went wrong. I immediately went to bed and tried to forget what happend. However, I could not escape the feeling. Before long, I was doing this every night before I went to bed.

Hindsight incerpt: Growing up I was truly scared of drugs. I knew that kids apparently took drugs to escape their problems, but I knew that was not the answer for me. I was a really good kid and I knew better. Little did I know that my daily masturbation turned from adolescent innocence to a full blown addiction. At the age of 21, I stumbled upon this website after having failed sex with a girl. It was a weird realization. I was addicted and I truly never knew. Also I remember i got my first glimpse of porn in an email when I was in 6th grade. Looking back with the knowledge I have gained from the ybop creators (THANK YOU BY THE WAY!!!) it seems sooooo fucked up. If you are sending out pornographic emails, at least make sure the user is 18. They might as well have shipped me some crack and a pipe. The public really needs to be aware of the dangers of porn. The internet is really a great thing because it communities like these to develope.

Problems continued: Around this time I noticed a lot of changes in my social behavior. I was not talking to girls anymore. I also became as much of a follower as anyone could become. I desperately needed other peoples approval. I can remember some of the girls that I would talk to in elementary school would come up to me and begin a conversation out of the blue. It is so painful looking back because they were not talking to the same kid they knew in elementary school. They would always be nice, but I could tell they would leave wondering "wtf happend to him". Problems continued into high school. I became a little more confident and started to become liked by my classmates again, but it wasnt the same as in elementary school. The best way to put it was, I felt like a beta male, not an alpha male. I'm sure that some of you know exactly what im talking about. It's like no matter what you say or do, you are still just "second rate" to put it bluntly. In college my social anxiety got BAD. I mean just terrible. I knew there was no chance that I could approach a girl unless I was drunk as shit. But unfortunately drunk to the point where success will never happen. I also had depression for 1-2 months. I began to see a psychiatrist and a psychologist about my problems. Obviously, the whole porn addiction thing is so ridiculously under studied that they never even asked about it. I never brought up that it was normal for me to jack off 1-4 times before bed on my iphone because it did not seem relevant, and that is something I generally didn't want to tell anyone. I did however, learn to control my anxiety and depression. The thing though, was that it took mental micromanagement. It was not really natural. I also changed the way I think about a lot of things, which really boosted my confidence. Still something was missing...


I attemped a reboot in December but failed after 2 weeks. I binged hard one night after being drunk. I used the lame excuse that relapses are part of the process, but really, it was just my addict's voice rationalizing pmo. As I write this now, I am on day 32. I am going to go at this for as long as I have to... years if need be. After reading other accounts and articles on ybop, I feel like quitting this addiction might be the last peice to the puzzle.

A couple observations about my process so far...

After a relapse, I think the brain takes longer to chemically realize that pmo is gone. What I mean is, after I relapsed after two weeks, I think it takes a little longer for the brain to really go into withdrawal because it thinks "well weve had a time period before where it went away but then it came back so maybe it will happen again". My advice is ridiculously obvious but it is something you just have to do...DO NOT RELAPSE if you want to recover quickly. Just DONT... do what ever you have to do not to.

Also, I think that fantasizing about things in general gives a serious dopamine rush that coincides with the pmo addiction. This has been said, but i think this even applies to fantasizing about non sexual things. It is all artificial stimulation, and during a reboot, I think that ridding yourself of anything that is not real is a good idea. Ever since I stopped fantasizing PERIOD I have noticed better results. It might have been a coincidence, but 2 days after I stopped all types of fantasy i went into the flatline period. I know flatline is not something to be excited about, because it kinda sucks, but I take it as good progress. Also I had NASTY blue balls during the time before my flatline. Like all day blue balls. fantasy made these A LOT worse.

Quick wet dream side note...I had on on day 23 I believe...the dream was sick (sex with kim kardashian haha) but the after effects were terrible. I had to meet up with a girl that I sometimes drink with on the weekends who is really hot. I really just had to give her something but she say down and took of her jacket and was wearing a reavealing top. shes got a long distance bf but I feel like we were kinda hitting if of the last couple times we hung out so I felt like she wanted to talk to me. However, I felt like I was back in my PMO days, awkward, unconfortable, tight ect. Thankfully because of my "micromanagement abilities" I was able to come of as confident (at least I think I did) so that was good but overall the conversation was boring. i felt she was a little disappointed. In reality our personalities arent really compatible, but I still felt that had I been in a better state of mind I could have had a great conversation. In the past I would have felt like such shit becuase I blew a good opportunity, but I knew that this was largely out of my control because of the wet dream. I feel like in a way this is good progress because my attitude is starting to even out a bit.

People always say when they quit an addiction that they have a ton of spare time all of a sudden. You should use your addiction as an advantage here. since your brain really isn't excited by anything other than pmo, you have the ability to choose what you expose your brain to. what you expose it to is what it will begin to produce dopamine for. For example, if I could choose between exposing my brain to videogames, tv and facebook, or working out and reading, which do you think would be more beneficial? I have been doing this, and the other day after classes, I felt myself saying man I really wanna go to the gym and read after my shower back home. It made me laugh to myself when I realized what I was thinking. This is coming from a kid who was pmoing multiple times a day and like to mix pot/alcohol/cigarettes to make the pmo more intense. Also, excersising really does help with addictions. Plus it will make you look and feel better. If you want to get with real girls, then excersising won't hurt. Think of all the times you probably said, man that girls got a pretty nice body ( not in a fucked up pmo type of way) Well imagine, you have the power to make a girl say that about you...

So all in all, some of the positives i have gotten out are...

1.) social anxiety is gone...confidnece is not really back yet but at least im not nervous. I also don't have to micromanage my anxiety.
2.) Motivation is through the roof. Doing really well in school and am reading for pleasure. I have been actively working out also.
3.)mood swings are definately going away. Im never really that pissed unless theres good reason to be.
4.)Sex is not on my mind 24/7. Also, it is not the most important thing to me anymore. This in turn has allowed me to let go of any jealousy I felt towards people who were sexually active with real girls.
5.) this isn't all the way back but im getting to the point where im becoming naturally social again. No longer having to think about what im going to say.

*This will be a continuing list as I keep blogging*

About my flatline. When people say they feel like their dick is dead, they arent exaggerating. it literally feels lifeless. It feels like a burden to have to carry it around. I have had like 1 half boner after a nap but thats it for the past 3-5 days. For someone with a sexual addiction, that is ridiculous. Also during the flatline, I have had a ton of confidnce swings. One minute I can feel like I can talk to anyone, and the next I'll wanna curl up in a ball back in my appartment. I don't even wanna PMO, it's almost like a saddness where I start to feel bad for myself. Anyone else have this? One reason I really jumped into this whole PMO thing was because I wanted to regain what I had when I was younger (confidence sociability ect). I know this is a long process, and maybe im a little impatient, but I read a lot of accounts of ybop about people having their confidence back in 2 weeks. Anyone else have a confidence boost late into their reboot? I feel like maybe the lack of libido might be the cause. I don't really feel manly, I feel very asexual, which to me is pretty gross. At least during the PMO days i had desire, now I don't really want to do anything. Someone else wrote that the flatline phase is when you start to give up the pmo, but your brain isn't really wired to find anything else appealing yet either. I feel this makes a lot of sense and would describe how im feeling. Also one day I woke up and was being brutally honest with myself... i'm flatlining so I don't really wanna masturbate, but I felt the urge to do something that gave me the same rush the pmo did. There are times when there is literally nothing that is appealing to me. Really can't wait for my flatline to be over. Looking forward to these spontaneous erections and feeling attracted to girls again...for the first time in like 10 years.

Couple other questions if anyone has answers...

I used to smoke cigs before and during my pmo sessions...I really don't smoke, I find it kinda gross, but when im drunk things tend to happen. does anyone have any idea whether smoking a cig would in anyway hinder my progess since the brain probably associates nicotine and pmo together? I had one last night and felt weird this morning but im still flatlining so i don't think I really lost any progress. Also the feeling was completly gone by the end of the day.

Also for a late bloomer like myself when it comes to girls, I had another concern. I read most of the articles on ybop but I dont think it really covered this. if I have not really had any real successful sexual partners, would I need real sex to snap out of the flatline phase? Or will my brain just help me out and find itself being attracted to girls? I was once attracted to girls so I know what that feels like so it is not completely foreign to my brain. I knoww i have to just be patient, and iwill be, but just wondering...

For now thats all, but I will definately keep updating this blog. Thanks for reading and good luck to those out there. I have not even gotten out what I really wanted to during the reboot yet, but I have seen other positive changes that I really did not expect. I look forward to updating this blog with more positive changes. Btw please comment with any questions or comments, it would be great to actully talk to someone about this. No PMO has constantly been on my mind for the past 32 and theres no one I can talk to about it...some company would be great.


Sorry for what you went through as a kid

You made an obvious choice to seek comfort. Little did you know...

I should think your brain will find real girls an obvious option thanks to your early effortless connections with girls (pre PMO). It just needs time to return to normal sensitivity. And it needs you to stay off those sensitized pathways. You've read this right? Why Do I Find Porn More Exciting Than A Partner?

Ciggies aren't a good idea because they constrict blood vessels and if you want to see action in your penis, you want to make it easy for blood to flow there. But who knows how big the effect would be for the occasional cig.

Congratulations on your progress. Well done.

Here's to the end of the flatline!yes

Hi Marnia,

Hi Marnia,

Thanks for the reply...I guess i really never read that because I have not really had a partner recently so I did not think it applied. I'll definitely check it out tho.

A good read needhops, and

A good read needhops, and good to see another one fighting the PMO!

Interesting idea you wrote there which i am wondering as well, is if the stopping of PMO as a bad habit but Dopamine giver, will mean that the next activity will give you the dopamine. I wonder if that is true, i mean, will anything you'll do just give dopamine? like wash dishes? or does it have to be something which fits your character/ personality... what activities would fill the void so to say?

I myself already am a bit older (33) and besides PMO i always got alot of dopamine from games (and reading i think?), and i think for me it would take longer rewiring my brain to get dopamine from different things.

Nevertheless i've stopped PMO, games and any fantasy. And i have started dancing and learning a language. I hope to make my life more... normal, that i get dopamine from more healthy activities, the same as you say you want. I hope you're right and it will work :)

Honestly im completely

Honestly im completely speculating in regards to my little theory. However, it logically makes sense to me. If your brain is looking for things to excite it, it can only choose between the things you expose it to. So if you always wash dishes during this time, then there might be a time when you feel that washing the dishes is somewhat therapeutic. As for choosing things based on your personality, I feel like if there is something that you want to do more of in your life, then that thing probably coincides with your personality anyway, so if you expose your brain to it, it will release dopamine eventually

again, im 21 years old, have no idea whether any of this is true, but after reading some articles and thinking about it, it seems like a logical conclusion. Thanks for replying, hope this helped

Really a lot of food for

Really a lot of food for thought in your post; you have a point about social anxiety, I don't know if it is caused by PMO or if this is one of the reason you land in PMO territory in the first place, but it is definitely a major problem everyone seems to have to solve while recovering. I'm even thinking that the recovery is first and foremost about that, about connecting with others in a more general way.
Anyways, I wish you a speedy recovery, keep the faith :)

thanks...personally I believe

thanks...personally I believe that the pmo causes the social anxiety because Im pretty sure I pmoed first and the social anxiety kinda crept up on me after sometime. might be the otherway around for others tho. Either way I feel like quitting pmo will improve anyones social anxiety even if they still have some work to do after.

Makes sense

This article talks about how if you pick up a new healthy habit, within three weeks or so your brain starts to "like" it. Might not give you a porn rush, of course.wink

But there's also evidence that exercise registers as rewarding in its own right rather quickly, so some activities may be more "rewarding" than others.

From what we see, PMO definitely causes social anxiety in some people. But it's also likely that if you have it from earlier causes, it makes you more prone to PMO.