1 year - HOCD, ED, and other effects: I've learned a lot that I want to now share
Today is exactly a year since I realized that porn was having a huge, negative impact on my life. During the past year of struggling with porn addiction, alcohol addiction and nicotine addiction I learned hell of a lot about how these addictions work. In this article I will talk solely about porn addiction and its effects on a man. This will be one long article, but it will cover pretty much everything you need to know about porn.
Since you are reading this I guess you know about porn causing erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and sexual taste morphing since these are three main side effects of porn addiction, but there are a lot of indirect, or should I say secondary effects porn has on a person. These secondary effects are - depression, anxiety, acne, lack of motivation and bad impulse control.
The secondary effects I mentioned are quite controversial, because there are a lot of people that claim that they don't have these symptoms, and on the other hand are people who have sworn that along with removal of porn from their life these symptoms simply vanished.
First off, if you are addicted to porn which you probably are, you need to know how serious the situation is.
For example, I was a mild nicotine addict and quite an alcoholic and I managed to cut back on these addictions in about three months, and I am now completely clean for about two months - but as for porn, even though I know how much harm it is causing me, I simply can't achieve more than 25 days without porn.
By no means do I mean to demoralize you, but you have to leave behind "this will be easy" mindset.
Process of curing porn addiction is definitely not linear, there will be lots of ups and downs, one moment you are feeling like you won't need porn ever again, and fifteen minutes later you are going on a binge. Get used to it, only thing that can cure our addiction is lifestyle change, sheer willpower and time.
Now, lets get down to breaking down the symptoms!
Erectile dysfunction is something most, if not all of addicts report, but it seems that it is one of the symptoms that go away first. Most of people report hitting the "flatline" (lack of sexual urges and erections) that lasts for weeks, but I never got there, I had occasional bouts of erectile dysfunction, but 10 days without porn works for me.
There is an explanation on how and why does ED happen but I won't write about it because this post will be too long even without it, so I will just hit the bottom line - your brain is bored with real life girls (yeah, brain not penis, because erections come from the brain), why would your brain give an erection for an average looking real life girl that you need to work hard for if he is used to get any girl he wants to do anything he wants with a few clicks ?
Anyways, we are all different, I can't tell you how long will it take for you to get your erections back, but hold off the porn and you will get them back soon enough.
Changes in sexual taste, whoa, this was absolutely most distressing symptom for me. I developed severe HOCD (Homosexual obsessive compulsive disorder, DON'T google it if you think you suffer from it, trust me). I will talk about mine OCD history further down the article, for now we will talk about sexual taste morphing.
So, first off you started off with vanilla porn, then you moved on to some mild fetishes like stockings, certain hair color, ethnicity, then moved on to exclusively oral sex porn, or exclusively anal sex, than you wanted more than that, moved on to bondage, gangbangs, degradation, cruel sex, but damn it, even that wasn't enough to sate your addiction so you ended up watching some stuff you never thought will excite you, for example transsexual porn, midget porn, animal porn... Some people eventually get caught up in gay porn, I even heard of some cases when people ventured into child porn.
"Once you get on to porn train, you never know where it will take you."
I don't know how far down the line you went, but I can bet my life this kind of behavior sounds familiar to you, doesn't it?
Don't let it confuse you that porn is not a substance but it causes addiction like any other substance. Porn addiction is addiction like any other addiction; it is caused by chemicals your brain releases when you masturbate to porn. As it is the case with alcohol or any other drug, you will need stronger and stronger dosage to get the rush you felt the first time you were using it.
So, since you need stronger dosage, you won't be spending two hours instead of one hour daily watching the same genre of porn you were watching until then because it got boring, watching more of it will only get you even more bored. Instead you will move on to another, more shocking, more thrilling genre of porn.
This kind of behavior is a trademark of porn addiction and it is called escalation.
The cure? Lay off the porn!
I was/am addicted to transsexual porn, when I spend 20+ days without porn I seem to lose attraction for them and start to be aroused by more vanilla things, but once I get back to porn, it just comes back like it never went away.
Depression and anxiety. These two bastards are strengthened by porn addiction, and in turn porn addiction is strengthened by them. What a team, eh? Anyways, I suffer quite a lot from these two conditions, but when I spend a few days without porn these conditions diminish by at least 80%. It is not a placebo effect, trust me.
So, I promised I will talk about my OCD history earlier in this text, here we go-
For years I have been suffering with OCD, and I had just about every type of this condition, relationship OCD, health OCD, philosophical OCD, but none of them have been so awful as sexual orientation OCD (HOCD). Now, I am certain that these were caused by porn because since I dropped the porn I am getting only minor occasional OCD spikes. But don't get fooled, it ain't so easy. The worst case of OCD I ever had (HOCD) was caused by porn withdrawal, and it lasted for three months during which mine life was absolute hell, I even thought about suicide a few times.
HOCD is quite often in people who got into porn which doesn't match their sexual orientation, like me. It is an obsessive pattern which forces a person into thinking over and over about their sexual orientation, it causes an unbelievable amount of anxiety, if you never suffered from it there is no way you could ever possibly understand this.
If you are suffering from HOCD, I won't even try to convince you that you are not gay or bisexual, because I know that few months back when I was suffering from it even if the God himself came down from heaven and told me that I am straight it still wouldn't stop mine obsessive thinking pattern. My advice is - get professional help, ASAP! For me, it didn't stop until I got on alprazolam. If anyone asks how bad are the porn withdrawals, tell them you know a guy who had to take medications in order to get through it.
Let's get down to depression, for me it was never much of a problem, I get depressive only when I binge on porn and it lasts for a few days and go away on its own. But for people which already have this condition it can get really bad. So if you wonder if you addiction makes you addiction worse - it does.
Lack of motivation. Definitely caused by porn. I can't explain this without getting into talking about dopamine. I propose that you google a bit about dopamine so you can understand the mechanisms behind addictions.
Porn addiction, as any other addiction is run by dopamine, a neurotransmitter which basically controls our reward system. When doing addictive activities our body releases dopamine, the bigger the dopamine squirt, the bigger the pleasure. With time, our brain develops tolerance to dopamine and then the addiction gets into escalation phase which I mentioned before.
So, since you developed tolerance for dopamine and only thing that can get you running is sating your addiction, will you be motivated to do other important things in your life that bring you almost no pleasure compared to porn, the answer is of course not.
Good news is that dopamine tolerance disappears if you stop your addiction, and so your motivation to do other things that are not addiction related will get back up.
Acne - Again, masturbation-acne link is solely individual thing, if you don't suffer from acne you can skip this part, if you do suffer from acne I propose that you read this because I know how distressing acne can be and some of this stuff helped me a lot.
I was never sure if masturbation caused acne outbreaks so, one day when I relapsed I decided to go on a porn binge for the sake of finding answer to this question. I went on a binge unlike any other during the past years - the results were horrific!
Huge outbreaks all over jawline and back, I didn't have outbreak like this for years. Coincidence? I don't think so, I made sure that during this experiment I remove all other things that could cause acne. So, another reason I should give up masturbation.
If you are an acne sufferer, this is the list of things that causes acne for me, maybe we could have something in common -
dairy, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, masturbation, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, wearing a backpack, not changing clothes after sweating, yeah it is a long list, my skin obviously hates me for some reason.
That was some basic info on things you probably cope with if you are in the same boat as I were a year ago.
I already told you that if you decide to get rid of porn, it will be a bumpy road you heading down, but believe me it is worth it.
You probably want to know what has changed in my life in the previous year.
Sincerely, everything - world is so much different since I dropped alcohol and nicotine and started doing something productive for a change. Sadly, I can't say I dropped porn, but anyways I reduced the amount of porn I watch for like 90%. Amount of porn I watched this year is probably equivalent to amount of porn I would watch for a month two years ago.
Regardless of not being able to kick it out completely, I am happy that I managed to make such a great progress, and I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to say that I am completely free of it.
Hope that this article was of use, and that we will both be cured one day.
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BY - killrat