Hello all! I have been reading blogs and message board posts on this forum for a couple of months now, and have finally decided to start sharing my journey.
I am a 24 year old male who has been addicted to porn and masturbation since I was at least 12 years old. I used to masturbate just about every day, and sometimes several times a day. I started off masturbating to soft core porn, and progressed to straight up sex videos. I also have masturbated in the shower to images of women I have known in my head.
About a year and a half ago my health started dramatically declining. My anxiety increased immensely, I became very sore, I was fatigued all the time, had digestion issues, got depressed and lonely, and a rapid heart beat whenever I would exercise or get nervous. I went to a doctor and got checked out, ruled out all other possibilities. I even went to a naturopathic doctor and tried to fix my woes. He did find early signs of adrenal fatigue (my cortisol was a little lower than normal in the morning), but things were not getting better, even with supplements and rest.
Blindingly, this whole time, I did not realize that my PMO was the root of my woes. After all, doctors ask me lots of health questions, and I thought I was not doing anything wrong: no drinking, no drugs, and I am not sexually active with a partner. Unfortunately, they did not ask about masturbation (even the naturopath). Upon scanning the internet I initially found that masturbating was healthy as long as it was not overdoing it. I did not think I was overdoing it because many guys I know did it more than I even did.
Anyways, during this time it got to a point where I got so ill that I couldn't work, and came back to live with my parents. After finally improving my health a little I went off for a seasonal job. During this period I severely limited my PMO and even went a whole month without any PMO. Coincidentally, I noticed a slight improvement in my health.
Fast forward a few more months and I am here. Having found this website, things have gotten a lot more clearer. I no longer am worried about whether my illness is sparked by a food allergy or environmental toxin or some mystery illness. It all makes sense! I have relapsed countless times in my life, but his time, however is very different. It has been much easier to hold strong to no PMO because of all of the wonderful science posts and first-hand accounts of the experience on this website. I feel incredibly supported, even though I have not posted on this website until now.
My main concern is my adrenal fatigue issues. Going through bouts of depression and anxiety, I took to the advice of exercising to feel better. Upon doing so (be it a few sprints, or core strengthening), I get quite the high--a high way higher than anything I ever got from PMO. Unfortunately, the high only lasts a couple of hours and then I get severely anxious and depressed. This I have come to know of as adrenal crashes. Basically, when I get my heart rate over 120 or so, negatively side effects exponentially arise in relation to my adrenals.
At this point I am going to aim to keep my heart rate low enough to prevent adrenal crashes. I will still take walks and do other low impact exercises. This seems right, yes?
Are there others who have had trouble with exercise or adrenals on this website? This would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you all for inspiring me with your courage to tackle addiction!