Recovering porn addict

Submitted by iamclean on
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Hello. My name is ____ and I am a recovering porn addict. Throughout the years, I have developed many addictions. I spent hours (2-4) per day playing videogames. I eventually "Sobered up". I interacted with friends occassionally. I became better after I stopped the video game addiction (I still play, but at max n hour per day). I started masturbating at the age of 14. Some periods were... Interesting. I could masturbate 4 times a day at the "interesting" periods which could last for a week. Well. I masturbated at least once a day. Whenever I was abroad or not in the house, I did not masturbate. Those days were pain. I had erections all the time...

At the age of 18 I discovered free Internet porn sites. Haha, odd days. I masturbated for 3 hours per day watching porn during Summer, ejaculating several times (2-5 times). I decreased the porn-time when I had school but still watched it like 30-60 min per day with a few porn-free days. I think I went to hard on my brain and the little guy since I noticed two months ago I had ED when I tried to have intercourse with a girl for the first time. I was not the least bit aroused even though I wanted her... Sad. We broke up a month later. I did not care that much when I was with her, but I became depressed the day after the failed intercourse. But I suddenly realised: I had only been masturbating to porn for the last 18 months (I am 19, nearly 20). I read about recovery through abstinence and I have tried it. I have lasted for 32 days with no porn and no masturbation (They are going to the dump). :) My morning wood have started returning (Although they are not rock hard yet like they used to be).

I read about that my dopamine receptors may be injured. Could my earlier video game addiction have been damaging them while the mb/porn utterly destroyed them? Maybe I should abstain from videogaming too? I will try to post my progress as much as I can (I am a university student). I drink green tea every day in hope of speeding the recovery. I miss those days where I could get an erection by kissing a girl. But maybe they will return one day :) I have lasted for 32 days and I hope to last 'til the day I dare to have intercourse with a woman!

I will succeed.

Also:

I wonder if it is possible to fix the dopamine receptors completly. I also wonder what will happen if I get "Fixed" and start a relationship with a woman. Will not ED occur later in the relationship due to my weird dopamine receptors or will it be possible to actually become a fully normal man again? Give me hope! :)

You'll be fine

I can't tell you how long it will take, because everyone is slightly different, and NO RESEARCH is being done yet on how quickly heavy porn users' brains return to normal.

Gary was just digging up what research there is for restoration of dopamine regulation after an addiction. I think it's about 90 days for cocaine, for example, although there are two types of dopamine receptors and the balance between them seems to be a key factor in recovery from cocaine abuse. I don't think you can "damage" receptors, but it may take a while for your cells to restore their full count.

But even if it takes a while, I suspect you'll be just fine. You're doing all the right things, and already getting results. Could be time to start flirting. Female responsiveness is also often good for male erections I hear. Wink

Thanks for sharing your story. Start a blog if you like.

No studies that i know of

on the long term effects of behavioral addictions (masturbation, porn, gambling, shopping, food, etc.).
For cocaine addicts, the dopamine receptors return to normal, though there may be other abnormalities. Other drugs such as ecstasy and meth appear may have long-term effects on dopamine receptors. Of course, drugs can affect physiological mechanisms in ways that can lead to long-term effects.

For a true porn addict, I believe there are long-term changes in the brain, but that's simply an opinion. I say this because some report that they can be triggered back into a binge cycle, similar to a former alcoholic or former drug addict. This indicates plastic changes in the brain that may stay around for lifetime...or at least a long time.
So the advice is for addicts to refrain from their drug of choice - nothing wrong with that.

Thanks for the replies

@ Both: Thanks for the replies! I have been reading very much on this webpage and on other pages as well. I get hope from these sites (I was scared as hell before I started reading about neuroplasticity and dopamine). I learned quite a bit from reading your replies to others (I had no clue what dopamine, oxycontine and seratonine was before I started doing some research about my ED) and I (And probably the rest) are thankful of the help you are giving us :) Thanks!

Would you recommend me to eat foods which are good for producing dopamine such as avacado, nuts, bananas, milk, cheese, seeds, beans, meat, fish and such (If I have misenterpreted anything, please tell me). I have read on a few sites that they are good for that :) I believe they all produce tyrosine which is vital for producing dopamine... Might foods containing vitamine B6, vitamine B12 and magnesium be a good idea? Or will my body one day build resistance against the positive effects of these foods and vitamines?

@ Marnia: I should start a blog. Just give me some time to figure out how to start it Wink I am strongly optimistic and I will do my best to make a change. I noticed that my attention have grown. I listen to the teachers more than in a long time. Perhaps this will help me study faster :)

@ Gary: Sad, but enlightening. I will never go back to porn ever again. I will try to change back although there may be long-term (perhaps permanent) changes. No big deal, I have realized porn and masturbation have changed me and I am determined to never go back again and do my best to not relapse :)

Sorry if I wrote something in an odd way, I hail from Sweden! :)

We appreciate your taking

the time and effort to express yourself in another language. Your English is very good, by the way. One slight correction. It's "oxytocin" (bonding hormone) not "oxycontin" (a pain medicine). But both are good for pain in their own way. Smile

Some people swear by fish oil, so enjoy your herring!

Diet comes up here all the time, but my thought is that everyone probably benefits from a slightly different mix. And the key thing may be to avoid junk foods that discourage the reward circuitry from returning to balance. Here's a typical, rambling discussion on diet: http://www.reuniting.info/node/3352

That said, I need to make a page on the new site for diet as a "tool for change," so I wish any of you with suggestions would also add them to this thread, even if you've posted elsewhere. I may just list everyone's tips separately, so later visitors can try the things they think will help most.

Thanks!

I am happy to hear my English still is working! :) I'll remember oxytocin! Wink I will try to read a bit about food and experiment a little, I started eating cashews today (Which contains magnesium, iron, zinc and chalium, proteins and fibres) and almond. I will work a bit with this and try to vary my diet. I consider switching to fish oil and perhaps ginseng after 2-3 weeks :) I decided to give up alcohol and I will try to avoid fat food too. I like my body better when I eat healthy food anyway and hopefully this will help to speed up the process of restoring my dopamine and other substances tp normal levels :) I feel a bit like I am my own guinea pig, but in a humorous way Wink

I've been amazed

at how sensitive I am to some foods...like sugar. I definitely notice a feeling that I'm "missing something" (sugary) the next day, so it must do something to my brain.

But, honestly, I think you're recovering very quickly. I bet that you'll be right back to normal in 2-3 weeks (if not less) even if you eat chocolate mousse at every meal. (Not recommended, but you get the point. Wink )

Your self-discipline is quite impressive. Bravo!

I guess food will correct me.

I realized today that I have been treating my body in a bad way pretty much my entire life. At first when I was very young, I played videogames all day long. When I finally was able to regulate my gaming I instead turned to masturbation. I have been drinking alcohol nearly all the weekends the past 30 months. I have been eating fat foods my entire life (I used to be kind of fat, but I am right now only a slight bit round-ish), I have barely slept properly for 2 years (I studied like a maniac, sometimes I skipped sleep in favour of school), I used to drink 2-4 cups of coffee every day, periodically used a bunch of energy drinks and the porn use for the last 18 months was the final nail in the coffin. I think all the stimulation of my dopamine receptors may have made me a bit weak to the effects of porn. I know some who have watched porn for decades and still seems to have no ED. Well, parhaps it has nothing to do with the receptors, perhaps I just was weak to porn. Either way, I used to be more awake and clear in the head when I was younger.

I was always kind of sluggish, feeling like I had a mist in my head, I have had problems with my attention the last few years. I think it is due to all the over-stimulation of the dopamine receptors (and all other substances in the body and brain). I will from now on live healthy and hopefully my libido will return. It has to :P It is time to break out of the coffin.

Thanks for the supporting words, I will do my best and hopefully I will be able to bring news of success one day! I'm off to the gym, guys! :)

Thanks :)

Well, I better tell about how I have lived and possible contributions to my ED and my "sluggishness" Wink I did it in order to remember everything which was bad that I've done for these years. It is about undoing something which already has been done. Either way, optimism is definitely the way to go! :) You are wonderful too! :)