Will stopping porn solve my problems?

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Porn addiction hijacks the brain's ability to enjoy typical stimuliPorn is actually a synthetic substitute for the daily pleasures that naturally gave your ancestors a sense of wellbeing—such as companionship. This means that stopping porn is not enough. You need to rediscover those natural sources of wellbeing.

Thread of guys comparing notes - What did you think was wrong with you, before you realised it was porn?

Unfortunately, one of the highest costs of addiction is that it hijacks (overstimulates and then numbs) the very brain circuitry that you rely on to find connections with others rewarding and soothing. When you’re not able to feel subtle pleasures due to blunted brain sensitivity, conversation and affection seem pointless. Instead of tenderness, you are likely to feel that you just want “space,” and extreme stimuli.

If this is how you are feeling, do your best to ignore your gut feelings and reach out anyway. When you force your attention away from your habitual “relief,” the reward circuitry in your brain looks around for other sources of pleasure. Make it easy for your brain to benefit from those sources of pleasure that it evolved to find: friendly interaction, real mates, time in nature, exercise, accomplishment, and so forth.

Over and over, porn users report that as they leave porn behind, they find it easier and easier to socialize, joke around, flirt and so forth. Speed the process by making it a point to connect with others—even before you feel up to it. Here's a list of ideas for ways to do just that. Try as many as you need to in order to find some satisfying connections—and remember that it gets easier, because socializing improves brain balance. A sense of connection is great insurance against relapse. Get additional support or counseling if you sense you need it.

White-knuckling will not be enough to stabilize your recovery. The fact is, humans cannot regulate their moods well on their own, at least not for long. Prisoners in solitary confinement often go insane. In other words, it’s normal to feel anxious or depressed when isolated. As the saying goes, “Attachment is not just a good idea; it’s the law.” It’s also some of the best health insurance the planet offers.

Why connection is vital

Did you know that under normal circumstances, humans are driven more by a need for attachment than by other sources of pleasure? (See Addiction as an Attachment Disorder by Philip J. Flores) We need this interdependence, not just at key points of our childhood, as Freud postulated, but throughout our lives.

This is because we are wired to be tribal, pair-bonding primate—not self-sufficient loners. When in balance, you thrive on close, trusted companionship and warm affection (as well as exercise, accomplishment, and so forth). Companionship releases healthy levels of dopamine and other “feel good” neurochemicals, such as oxytocin, which help keep you in balance.

The gains from connection with others show up in very real terms. For example, connection helps reduce cortisol (the "stress hormone"), which can otherwise weaken your immune system under stress. “It’s much less wear and tear on us if we have someone there to help regulate us,” explains psychologist/neuroscientist James A. Coan.

Not surprisingly, HIV patients with a partner live longer and develop AIDS less rapidly. Wounds heal twice as fast with companionship, as compared with isolation. Warm touch between couples reduces various measures of stress. Frequent affection is normally very soothing and rewarding for a pair bonded species—with or without sex.

Yet the most profound gifts of close connection may be psychological. Close emotional connections are associated with lower rates of addiction and depression. They change your neural patterns and brain chemistry when you engage in them, bolstering your sense of self and making empathy and socialization possible.

Will leaving porn behind solve your problems?

Overcoming an addiction certainly makes it easier to address other challenges in your life. Without demanding cravings, your brain is more balanced and your thinking becomes more flexible. You can see nuances better and subtler pleasures register as enjoyable again, which makes life more interesting. Here are comments of two recovering users:

  • Life was more "dull" when I was heavily into the p/m thing. I just thought that's how life was, and p/m was a temporarily relief from how life was. Now I'm getting more pleasure out of the reality of life: a good conversation, a good song, a nice workout, a feeling of accomplishment after doing schoolwork.
  • PMO reins in a lot of your natural personality. As I have discovered over the last 8 weeks, healthy, sexually-fuelled guys don't need to try to be confident. Confidence is just something that flows from my natural state of being (if I'm not PMOing all my sexual spirit away). This "mojo" permeates much more than just sexuality - it reaches into all other areas - optimism, enthusiasm, love and caring, competitiveness and so on.I now find myself saying things and acting in ways, and wondering where it came from, because I didn't have to think it first; it just came out of me. Eventually I realized that this is the way that people normally are! Just flowing.... In contrast, I have been micromanaging my thoughts for a long time, because I needed to. My spirit was so absent that I had to consciously take control of my behaviors to look normal - faking confidence so that people wouldn't spot that I wasn't confident.Over time, you will find that you are more riding a horse that has a mind of its own and takes you to where you need to go, rather than it just being you by yourself calling the shots. It's a little unnerving at first, but it's the real road. Plus, you may find it misfiring a little at times during recovery, or coming and going in confusing ways ("Why don't I feel massively confident like I did yesterday?"). Don't sweat it - it calibrates quite quickly and it's all part of the process.

For more: Porn, Masturbation and Mojo: A Neuroscience Perspective

Comments

I made this Pro/Con list for myself as a motivator, I will share it here.

Pro – No PMO

• Better Sleep
• Happy and excited to see people / Less likely to be irritated with others
• More energy and motivation to exercise
• More likely to enter into a healthy relationship
• Very motivated and not lazy
• Stable mood, always at least good if not great
• More self esteem and personality in a crowd
• Better at being social / Not shying away from social situations
• Better able to help others and less likely to hurt others
• More peace of mind
• Get sick less / Does not get sick easily
• More energy when you need it
• Always happy to see others
• Not objectifying woman / Looking more at their faces
• Seeing how women should really be treated
• Opportunities will open you would have never expected
• Relationships and friendships will be effortless and flourish easily
• You will be motivated to learn how to be around real girls
• Balanced brain chemistry, not always craving for a quick fix to give you a good feeling

Con – PMO

• Lazy
• Hurts yourself and others
• More likely to hurt others
• Less likely to think about others
• Bad sleep quality
• Less likely to enter into a healthy relationship
• Easily irritated
• Irregular mood swings
• Low self esteem
• Shying away from social situations
• Get sick easily
• Less energy when you need it
• Not always happy to see others
• Objectifying women
• Watching porn makes you become accustom to thinking this is how they like to or should be treated, being used like toys
• Your relationships and friendships will suffer greatly
• You will lose your motivation to find real girls as friends
• 1’s too many, and 1000 not enough

I've had magical confidence with women in the past because I was FORCED to stop fapping, (read my story http://yourbrainonporn.com/age-19-forcibly-rebooted-iraq-now-i-understan...) Anyway, if you problem is related to lack of relationship or confidence, this will in fact solve it, no matter if you NEVER had any success with women in the past. I've read countless books and articles on psychology and how the brain works, this website was the only one that made PERFECT sense to me.

I know everything about the brain, I understand the infinite powers of our subconscious mind, all this reading was because I tried to get a girl. I struggled and struggled. Why was I not getting a girl. I used the law of attraction to bring me women in my life, and yes it did that multiple times. BUT... there was a blockage in me. An emotional barrier that prevented me from grabbing that woman. I then finally asked my mind to please give me an answer to this BLOCKAGE, and thus it did, this website. I can see clearly that this is why the blockage exists: PORN AND MASTURBATION.

Your subconscious (inner mind) that controls your actions and behaviors was conflicting with my conscious goal (Getting a girl). Now I FINALLY know that this is because, and this marvelous website has shown me, the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what you imagine and what you actually experience. Thus to the inner mind, watching porn IS my girl, many girls. My mind was tricked into thinking that I already had women. Despite my rational brain saying otherwise.

No matter how much I consciously tried getting a gf, my inner mind blocked my actions. As you may or may not know, our conscious minds only controls about 3% of your behaviors and actions, the rest comes from within. Therefore I and we all must condition our inner mind to see porn as LESS pleasurable and real people(women) as more pleasurable. This will motivate your inner mind to get you up and seek relationships and friends.

One warning though: stopping only porn will NOT bring change. Because if you still masturbate, you are using your imagination to bring about pleasure, to your inner mind it is the same as watching porn. Fantasizing about women while masturbation still gives your inner mind the sense that you are with a women. Therefore cease ALL imagined pleasure. If you do need to fap, think about something UNRELATED. Like a sexy car or getting a sexy body.

To all the people who made and contributed to this website, I can't thank you enough in providing me the vital information I needed. I've spent my entire life trying to find an answer, as simple as it was, I either didn't realize it, or chose not to believe it. I should be happy though.

"your subconscious (inner mind) will do everything in its power to prevent change. It will come up with excuses, procrastinate and make excuses for not using these ideas (in this website), even if its good for you. The reason why you'll do that to yourself is because the old you is comfortable. It has a built in survival mechanism to protect the status quo, that's why change is so difficult.... going directly into the subconscious, and rewiring how your think about yourself and your future is the key to permanent and lasting change"
----Dane Spotts

ralph