First Post - 26 Days In, Adrenal Fatigue

Submitted by Bob The Builder on
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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!


Thanks for your post

I have a friend who said the exact same thing about vigorous exercise. That's why I chose the title Vigorous and Not-So-Vigorous Exercise for the exercise page on YBOP.

My hope is that the severe swings will level out for you over time, now that you're cutting out the intense overstimulation. Since you understand your problem better, what about asking your TCM doctor again? Perhaps he could recommend something that would speed your progress...or at least give you an idea of how long it would take to heal.

Have you noticed any benefits from dropping the porn?

To be honest I do not really

To be honest I do not really have a desire to go to another doctor right now (I no longer live in the same region as the previous doctors). I have spent thousands of dollars and have not had much success. If things do not improve over the next couple of months I will certainly reconsider, but I figure I will see if things smoothen up a bit from dropping PMO. Right now I really need to get back out of this chronic fight/flight state, though. It is really consuming.

The most current crash that I have had was brought on by exercising while having a really bad cold. It is the worst crash I have had for several months at least (I had not tried sprinting during these times), and I was not as good at "stopping the bleeding" so to speak by resting and making wise nutritional/lifestyle decisions (Too many carbs, playing video games, overeating in general). I have since dropped gaming, and am back to a lower/moderate carb approach with few grains (mostly paleo).

It is hard to notice benefits from dropping porn in my current state. However, I have been experiencing morning wood again sporadically and increasingly over the past week and a half. There is lots of healing still to come. I think my body has just been really confused with its reward circuitry since I have cut out PMO. I seem to be more sensitive to other dopamine-triggering activities, especially with eating. Do you think this increased sensitivity makes any sense? I read that weird things like this might be more pronounced the first six weeks?

many men with porn-induced ED

believe they have sexual exhaustion. I say according to Western medicine, there's no such thing as sexual exhaustion. But I let them know that adrenal exhaustion exists (which is also poo-pooed by Most MD's). I doubt that doctors ever check guys for cortisol levels - especially four times during the day (morning, noon, 4pm, and evening). It will be interesting to see what rebooting does.


Before I went to the naturapath, I went to my regular family doctor that I have had all my life. He had some tests done and basically said there was nothing wrong with me and then suggested to drink more gatorade and consider antidepressants. I am surprised big pharma has not gotten on the adrenal fatigue bandwagon yet, I already see lots of fibromyalgia-related advertisements...

In any event, drugs and me have not gotten along. I used to take Advil all my life, then a couple of years ago, when all of my other health issues started up I became allergic to it and ended up in the ER. I try to stick with the more natural stuff now.

I figure if I can keep my heart rate moderate to low, eat moderate carbs (not high) and not binge eat, and stay PMO-free, then hopefully things will improve.

adrenal supplement

Hey man, I don't know what you've tried but I've had success with this supplement in the past:

It helps replenish your adrenals after lots of stress. I think it's pretty safe for most people (it's not prescription), but you should obviously check it out with your doctor and not do anything dumb. You could also maybe think about Vit-D3 supplementation (another thing I've felt has really helped me out).

Good luck.