I suffered with HOCD for basically ten years of my life. It started when I was 17 (that was in 2001 before Google handed you everything on a silver platter). Having no idea what it was I quickly spiraled out of control and reached an extremely disparate time in my life. After 8 years of painful soul-searching I finally learned that I wasn’t gay, but that I was in an obsessive cycle of questioning and trying in vain to determine my orientation.
Once I discovered what hocd was it took me a few months to accept the idea that it might be a description of my own behaviour. I sought cbt treatment and through lots of self talk and support from my family I emerged. Now looking back it is crystal clear that I my story was 100% hocd. Even though I did experiment with porn in my teenage years, which led to some gay porn, I wouldn’t call it porn-induced hocd, but porn was undoubtedly one factor of my initial questioning.
Flash forward to last year and I was noticing that while my hocd tendencies had faded I was still experiencing the familiar social anxiety (it was actually worsening, which was surprising because I was able to say/do whatever I wanted in social settings without analyzing it for signs of homosexuality) and I had a general anxiety and rumination that was taking a negative toll on my day to day life.
That’s when I realized that while hocd was the predominant force, a bunch of other ocd and generalized anxiety issues had set in over time which I never noticed. I tried to isolate most of the symptoms through self talk and mindfulness/cbt, but they were hard to define and therefore difficult to fight against.
Now, here’s where this long winded story gets interesting: for those entire 10 years, without fail, I was fapping 1-3 times a day. I never saw it being a problem, especially after my hocd epiphany when I stopped forcing my self to think of dudes because it “matched” my “true” orientation. Instead I went wild fantasizing about girls and looking at “straight” porn because I finally could without a voice in my head telling me I was incorrect. I thought this was harmless because I was now mentally healthy. I fapped and fapped, continuing to think I had moved beyond all my past issues.
Yet the general anxiety was still there.
The entire time I knew there was a quiet voice telling me “this fapping is wrong, it’s not even pleasurable, it’s self abuse, you don’t have control” etc etc. But as I’m sure you all know, your conscience can be dangerously easy to block out in the throes of addiction. So finally, after some heavily disappointing DE with a girl, I reached a breaking point and decided to join NoFap.
That’s when the superpowers kicked in.
I know everyone reports their own results differently, but in addition to the immediate boost in self confidence, the positive outlook and the magnetism toward women, I experienced a ton of qualities that indicated my general anxiety had diminished SIGNIFICANTLY. I have become 100x more social and outgoing, have less fear of failure, I ruminate less (past/present thinking), I have focus and clarity, brain fog decreased by 70%, I am physically motivated, I eat better, I eat MORE, I crave social interaction instead of hiding from it, and I take control of situations that aren’t working for me as a person.
Essentially, I’m every bit the man I was at 17, only a lot wiser, more self-assured, and more capable to handle ANYTHING life throws at me.
TL;DR: I didn’t think PMO was contributing to my anxiety until I joined NoFap. Now, based on the improvements I’ve experienced, I know with certainty it was the single biggest contributor.
BY – zaquells