This Book Makes Me Want To...

Submitted by vm22 on
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I've just read up to Chapter 6 of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and man am I horny. It's day 8 for me and I gotta say that everytime I the words orgasm, sex, or porn appear I get an image, an urge, a quick jolt of dopamine rushing through me. By the way, it's a great book as I'm sure we all know. And just to clarify, this was meant to be a joke. So I hope I didn't break any forum etiquette rules.

I do have one question for Marnia. Chapter 6 mentioned briefly that porn addicts can sometimes permananently alter their brain patterns. I always thought only drugs could permanently fry your circuitry. I am afraid that maybe I have done the same and it would be irreversible. Do you know if this is quite common amongst porn addicts? And what extent would one have to overstimulate to cause this damage? Could you elaborate just a bit? Thanks.

Im not Marnia but

i think i mustve been in grade 9 i thought i was over-doing it and base of the back of my head hurt like hell for like at least 5 minutes and i know theres a gland there that effects that sort of thing and it wasnt normal i thought it was related to over stimulating. i kinda feel like i stopped growing then too but it could be a feeling but that mustve been overstimulating i knew something was wrong and that was with years of activity before however i havent had a problem since with anything ive been in perfect health in my mind other than usual weakness and sometimes tiredness and hunger i eat soo much =/

permanent changes?

All good questions vm22.
The answer to your questions are not yet fully known.
First - all events change the brain, so yes porn has altered your brain. I have yet to see brain research on those with porn addiction.

Drugs: I don't use fry circuits, but permanent changes may in fact occur. What those changes entail probably depend on the drug. Huge amount of research is being done on figuring this out. Possible changes in reward circuitry: decrease in dopamine receptors, increase in proteins that help us remember; genetic changes that code for neurochemicals and their receptors, to name a few.

Bottom line for drugs and alcohol - if one crosses the line from abuse to addiction then I believe permanent changes have occurred. That's why when an addict goes back to their drug of choice, they tend to binge, and immediately enter the same level of abuse. it's what's behind being triggered into using again by cues that remind the addict of the substance.

The hotly debated question is - can behavioral addictions also alter the brain. I think they (porn, gambling, binge/purge on food) do alter the brain - without a doubt.
I also believe that healing of the brain can and does occur. It occurs with all addictions.

Time and abstinence from the offending substance/behavior leads to:
1) Rebalancing of the neurochemistry
2) Replacing addictive patterns (circuits in the brain) with new patterns (circuits in the brain)

My thoughts

are that the bottom line of any permanent changes may be "greater sensitivity to certain cues," simply because you've spent a lot of time and effort wiring the association between them and "valuable" sexual excitement. Smile Those particular pathways are like ruts, so if you start down one, it'll be very easy to continue. However, it should get easier and easier NOT to even go near those cues as your balance increases.

Some men here describe the healing process as feeling like the rational part of the brain can call the shots...even if the urges arise. This is different from the early stages of recovery, in which men often end up on "autopilot" with the limbic brain driving them right over the same cliff.

So be optimistic.