ADHD/Concentration Problems and Porn Adxn?

Submitted by konst on
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From the amount of info I've read and what I've personally experienced, porn/sex addiction is one of the many causes of ADHD. I think it's the most single profound cause of ADD-Primarily Inattentive. After additionally reading about all the problems people here on this site have with concentration, these publications and studies I've read (which haven't proved a direct correlation, but circled about it) seem to make sense. The hormones you're releasing are the most powerful hormones known to exist on earth and you're using them to isolate yourself, cause yourself anxiety (fear of being apprehended with porn), and cause yourself issues with motivation and fantasy in addition to memory/concentration -- in other words, you're programming your brain to learn these behaviours, and you keep building upon it.

From personal experience, I know that I felt best on day ~20 of withdrawal and though I didn't entirely feel 'free of ADHD' I didn't have as many problems with concentration or sustained attention. That was before I relapsed...how many times?

Ah well, I'm determined to make it this time. I've made it periods of 20+ days but when I fail, it's like the cycle starts all over again. But that's a little besides the point.

Does anyone else here have ADHD or has had much difficulty staying motivated and concentrated PRE-withdrawal (and maybe could compare post-withdrawal)?

The difference is night and

The difference is night and day for me. Im a student, so its easy to know when my attention is high and where its having problems. My attention is much better after a couple of weeks of no orgasm. Between that time, it fluctuates, but is mostly down.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

A guy here by the

username of "Curious Fellow" has said some things about his experience with ADHD and avoiding orgasm here. You can PM him here: http://www.reuniting.info/user/907

My intuition says you're exactly right about your observation, but I doubt any experts are saying this (yet). That's why some brain research on the neurochemical shifts after orgasm would be so helpful. The link to ADHD may be quite plausible once we have a few more puzzle pieces.

Marnia, I've done research

Marnia, I've done research on ADHD for over a year gathering all I can find. I have books worth of notes and so many puzzle pieces it's mind boggling. One thing we'll know for sure though if a few months from now when I've completely withdrawn, I'm still having ADHD-like symptoms, then I think I'll be able to draw a conclusion from what's left because I've really researched everything I could find on the condition. But I'm predicting porn is largely responsible. I even have mechanisms drawn out. All we can do is wait and see.

Thanks for your response and thanks so much for organising this community for people like us. You're here every minute checking new posts, huh?

I've been blogging

on Psychology Today and ScienceBlog about some of the insights the men here have been uncovering about porn's effects. See: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow

If you feel clear about your conclusions at some point, maybe we should do a post about ADHD and porn. I'm happy to name you as a co-author, but most men prefer not to have their names attached to the concept of porn addiction for some reason. Wink

I think it's really important to get these insights into circulation, even before we're 100% sure we're on the right track. The post I did on porn and erectile dysfunction has received more reads (so far, 18,000) than most of my posts that the Psychology Today editor features. (Too bad that one wasn't featured.) This tells me there are a lot of men looking for answers and not finding them in the mainstream advice.

ADHD has certainly grown more common. True, it's often diagnosed in kids we think of as too young to be using porn. But more and more kids are getting hold of porn sooner than we'd think, too. Anyway, it's a question worth asking, because men do seem to notice improvements in concentration fairly consistently as they re-balance their brains.

You'll be glad to know I'm off to the theater, and not *always* checking posts. Smile

My ADD experience

I have Inattentive type ADD. I see symptoms going back to at least first grade, so I don't think porn caused it. Smile

Abstaining from orgasm seems to help with the ADD, as I wrote at http://www.reuniting.info/node/1505 .

My recently improved relationship with my wife seems to be helping a lot too. As I say at http://www.reuniting.info/node/4000, "I think because the relationship is no longer a major source of stress, my ADD has gotten better. I am making good progress in some moonlighting projects. That's why I haven't been posting much here lately - I'm busy with other projects." (See http://www.reuniting.info/node/1376 and some of my other posts for a description of what it was like before.)

I have taken ADD meds only about two or three times in the last 2 1/2 years, and I'm doing better now (in the last three months), ADD-wise, than I can ever remember.

I don't think porn, masturbation, orgasms, or relationship problems caused my ADD, but I think the neurochemical roller-coaster (particularly the cravings) caused by orgasm, and the stress caused by a bad relationship caused a lot of distractions that really exacerbated my ADD.

I agree, the neurochemical rollercoaster makes it worse.

I wouldn't say that porn and masturbation cause ADHD/ADD itself. What I will say is that p/m can cause ADD symptoms. I have ADHD (The Inattentive type as well). I always feel worse after a relapse, I can't focus and sometimes I'm so lethargic I need to lean on something. The lack of motivation can be crippling. There are days I go to work and I wish I could just go home. Then there are days where I'm "fine" and I have a lil' more drive to get things done. These days, I'm struggling with bringing out my outgoing side, a few years ago it came naturally. (maybe because I worked on it?) But maybe because, I have so much going on in life, I'm rather reserved. There are times when I can bring it out and I can be social. Then there are times I don't want to be bothered. I have a speech problem as well, sometimes my voice is too low or I can't enunciate words properly, which I know is due to habit and also social anxiety. Sometimes I have no problem communicating at all, its really bugging me.

"I wouldn't say that porn

"I wouldn't say that porn and masturbation cause ADHD/ADD itself. "
-And how do you know that? And what do you think does?

What I will say is that p/m can cause ADD symptoms. I have ADHD (The Inattentive type as well). I always feel worse after a relapse, I can't focus and sometimes I'm so lethargic I need to lean on something.

Makes sense.

The lack of motivation can be crippling. There are days I go to work and I wish I could just go home. Then there are days where I'm "fine" and I have a lil' more drive to get things done. These days, I'm struggling with bringing out my outgoing side, a few years ago it came naturally. (maybe because I worked on it?) But maybe because, I have so much going on in life, I'm rather reserved. There are times when I can bring it out and I can be social. Then there are times I don't want to be bothered. I have a speech problem as well, sometimes my voice is too low or I can't enunciate words properly, which I know is due to habit and also social anxiety. Sometimes I have no problem communicating at all, its really bugging me.

-What are you talking about here? You're not very clear. Is the lack of motivation from porn is the lack of motivation from ADHD? And are you saying your motivation fluctuates? And is that with or without porn? And why are you struggling bringing out your outgoing side? Is it due to lack of motivation or is it due to porn or something entirely unrelated? You're not making sense to me. And what does being reserved have to do with anything? You can be reserved but still be outgoing. And are you relating speech problems to being reserved? Because the two can be completely different.

So far what I've gotten from reading your post is 'it fluctuates'. But you can probably see now why I have a lot of question. What is 'it' and where is it used? Please be specific.

I've been feeling "off" as of late.

I've been feeling "off" as of late. So, I may be coming off the wrong way. If so, I do apologize. As I was saying, after I have a relapse I have days where I am motivated to get things done. And then I have other days where I don't feel like doing anything. However, that could also be due to my ADD. As a child I had problems getting things done, I'd procrastinate. In terms of being social, I'm usually talkative and lively with others. However, after a relapse I tend to be withdrawn from others. There are times when I don't want to be bothered or I'm just not in the mood to deal with people. I then feel nervous, anxious which makes it hard for me to communicate with people. As I make it through recovery, I notice that I become more social with those around me. I feel a bit more calm, and I can speak clearly and think coherently. Some days I feel like talking, some days I keep to myself, it fluctuates. In my previous post, I wasn't saying that you're theory, about porn use causes ADD was wrong, or inconclusive. From my own personal experience, I do believe that porn can cause a person to have ADD symptoms. But, I don't feel that my ADD in particular, was caused by porn use. I was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, before I discovered porn in my teens. Now I'm not saying that a person out there, who's been addicted to porn can't develop ADD due to porn use. There are so many views about the root cause of ADD out there. I found these theories about the cause and origins of ADD to be interesting: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/449
The theory about dopamine receptors playing a role in the cause of ADD may support your theory. We know that the neurochemical roller coaster ride has an impact on the brain. It effects our dopamine (lowers it), which would explain why we have these symptoms. However, I feel that genetics may play a role in ADD. An individual born with a low amount of dopamine may develop ADD. But those are my thoughts, I don't know the root cause of ADD. The topic is interesting nonetheless.

ADHD and Porn

HI,

According to researchers like Charles Barkley who have studied ADHD (both inattentive, hyperactive, and combined types) for 20-30 years, ADHD is a frontal lobe dysfunction; and is a Developmental Disorder of Self-Regulation or a Self Regulation Control Disorder. This means that self-control in largely neuro-genetic, rather than a learned process. The point is, porn addiction does not cause ADHD. It is currently widely accepted in terms of the the latest research that a primary factor in the development of ADHD is the status of the monoamine system to include serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Those with ADHD might, for instance, be deficient in proteins that are precursors to dopamine production, and, hence, have low levels of dopamine in the frontal cortex. Those that are in a state of porn addiction have desensitized their d2 receptors, and thus, also have low levels of dopamine. If you are addicted to porn, and stop viewing it, your reward pathway will slowly, but surely, go back to a normal state and you will have normal levels of dopamine in terms of the levels lost from the addicted state. Logic tells me that this would greatly benefit one with ADHD and porn addiction together. The state of active porn addiction, based on the reported side effects being quite similar to ADHD traits, must surely magnify one's ADHD symptoms and problems. Either way, the take-home for me is that being in "recovery" from porn addiction is a huge win-win for anyone, but especially those with ADHD. If you have ADHD and are addicted to porn, it will be impossible to tell what problems are purely from ADHD until porn use has stopped for a period of 2-4 months. If all of your ADHD symptoms disappear with porn addiction recovery, and you are not on ADHD meds, then I would assume you don't have ADHD! I wish the best to all who are struggling with this, and those who are in the process of recovery!!

Personal experience: ADHD & Porn

Yes, thanks for asking. I have personal experience with both ADHD and compulsive behavior with daily porn viewing. I have ADHD (inattentive type). Not to go into detail about my life history, I, based on research and personal experience, believe that the condition of ADHD predisposes one to addictive behavior that gives "dopamine hits". ADHD is a condition of low dopamine, hence, motivation in general is a problem. I used masturbation to self-soothe (I'm guessing) as a kid and continued to use it and porn as an adult. I have stopped using porn completely, and yes, I still have ADHD. However, I feel way better about myself. My confidence, in terms of feeling much more in control over my decisions in life, has improved substantially. Now, I can address my ADHD more directly. On a personal note, I stopped using porn because, once I really understood how impacting it was in my life and that I absolutely, without a doubt, could not be the kind of person I wanted to be in my biased state of addiction, I was really motivated to stop. When I realized that my brain was actually altered both chemically, anatomically, and pathologically, due to a repetitive compulsive cycle of behavior, it created huge incentive for me to return my brain's reward pathways to a "normal state". It's an ongoing path, and now I'm working on changing all my ingrained behaviors that go along with any addictive cycle. But, once again, I feel better about myself, and that is huge.

That's a very inspiring story

This issue comes up a lot. We've been amazed at how many guys report improved concentration as they reboot. But there's a lot more to learn about ADHD itself vs. brain fog brought on by dopamine dysregulation in connection with an addiction. It's great to have your input.

Why not start your own blog? I'd like to hear more about the ADHD symptoms you still have, and whether you've seen any improvement in your concentration.