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Messages - romm

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Has your anxiety been reduced when you've had longer bouts of sobriety (60+ days)?

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Porn Addiction / Re: With no sex partner, what's my alternative?
« on: October 25, 2015, 11:32:45 AM »
Totally makes sense. That's a tough situation.

I'd be optimistic, though. One way of thinking about it: Lots of people say that recovering 'hard mode' leads to faster recovery anyhow. Maybe if you focused on simply recovering, then as you heal, the answers will be clearer to you. Porn can have a way of distorting our thoughts: Imagine looking at the world, but through sunglasses. You see the same things, but everything just looks darker, duller.

Anyhow, I'd bet money that as you reboot, then over time a lot of stuff will start looking and feeling better, whatever that means for you.

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Porn Addiction / Re: If I rebooted successfuly?
« on: October 23, 2015, 01:42:35 AM »
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If i rebooted successfuly will i be able to enjoy the activities i loved again or used to love

If your use of porn has created addiction-related brain changes, then yes, rebooting holds the promise to bring some color back into your life.

If you are addicted, you have experienced sensitization and desensitization.

Sensitization occurs when the dopamine released via pmo results in the accumulation of DeltaFosB, which then triggers a variety of brain changes, resulting in sensitization. The relevant effects I'm aware of:
 - Your brain remembers the hit extremely well, and encourages you to pmo often.
 - You think - a lot - about porn.

Desensitization occurs when the dopamine released via pmo results in the shutting down of dopamine receptors. The effects:
- Less interest in other activities.
- Less pleasure gathered from other activities.
- Less pleasure gathered from pmo, which is why many users experience tolerance and escalation. (The same old things stop turning you on, and your tastes change with time.)

If your tastes have changed over time, or if you simply use porn much more than you used to, odds are good that you have experienced some brain changes, and that you could experience the benefits you're looking for by rebooting.

Frankly, if you're even asking the question, the odds are good.

I would encourage you to read this if you haven't already, and then go from there: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do. It's not a 2-minute read, but if you can understand some of the basic ideas behind this, it could be very empowering to you. Not everyone is a big reader, but it is worth it to understand what you are dealing with.

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and can i reboot successfully without someone intervention.

Again, I'd start with the article I listed. You didn't share the specifics of your situation, and everybody is different in terms of the support they find most helpful, but there are a lot of resources available, including information on the basis of addiction, communities like this one, and  free workshops that can guide recovery. There's even a list of tools useful to change: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/tools-for-change.

More than anything, I want to convey to you that your life can still be totally awesome. There is all the reason to be full of hope, and to start walking down the path of recovery. There are lots of people and resources to help you on your journey. Keep asking the questions.

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Depending how off your off is, you may either be suffering from real anxiety, or merely experiencing the thrills of romance. If your thrills are vomit-inducing, though, my money is on the former.

How long have you been sober? This sounds like a chronic issue for you, and while no one here is qualified and authorized to diagnose, I would encourage you to look at focusing on your anxiety as its own issue.

You can take a simple but good anxiety test here: http://www.connections-therapy-center.com/upload/burns_anxiety_inventory.pdf.

If you decide that is relevant to you, I would recommend checking out Feeling Good by David Burns from your library. If you don't feel like plodding through the whole book, you could cherry pick his chapter on cognitive distortions and then his chapter on love addiction. Then you can check out a second book, The Feeling Good Handbook which will have some sections more specific to anxiety.

Hopefully this wasn't too off-topic to porn addiction. It does appear that porn usage can affect social anxiety, though I understand that's not precisely what you are talking about (http://yourbrainonporn.com/porn-making-my-social-anxietyconfidencedepressionocd-worse. Also, could be good to listen to the podcast: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/porn-and-social-anxiety-interview-social-anxiety-solutions). My thought would be to continue abstaining from pmo, and to look at your anxiety independently as well.

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Porn Addiction / Re: With no sex partner, what's my alternative?
« on: October 23, 2015, 01:01:33 AM »
Okay, so the first thing to know is that the people who see porn as potentially addictive, do not hold that view because they are unaware of David Ley. Check out Gary Wilson's links here: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=17058.0.

Probably the reason you haven't had any responses yet (or at least the reason I'm hesitant to respond) is because it's tricky business commenting on someone's marriage. Without knowing all the details of what's going on, here are some obvious options you have available to you:
  • receiving sexual stimulation from your wife
  • receiving sexual stimulation via porn and masturbation
  • receiving sexual stimulation via masturbation without porn
  • forgoing sexual stimulation

There are obviously other options, but we're not really saying anything shocking here, right? I sense that your question isn't really about what possible options are open to you, but what option should you take. That is a moral question, and nobody here knows your worldview or knows your values.

Are you familiar with Recovery Nation? I would highly recommend beginning their workshop (http://recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_contents.php). The first seven lessons will guide you through the process of identifying and prioritizing your values. I may be wrong, but it sounds like that is really what you're struggling with right now. Just my two cents.

Are you currently using pornography? If you are saying that masturbation is difficult for you without pornography, that may be because you need to abstain in order to reboot.

A few articles that may be helpful:
http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/how-do-i-know-when-im-back-to-normal
http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/when-do-i-test
http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/how-do-i-masturbate-without-porn



Sorry to throw a bunch of articles at you, but hopefully they're helpful!

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Great work man!! Keep on keepin on, brother!

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Porn Addiction / Re: Started watching porn since I was 7...
« on: October 23, 2015, 12:31:29 AM »
Congrats on your progress! Don't minimize that.

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I've been porn free for about 70-80 days and have yet to experience any benefits.
How about having wanted to socialize, having increased confidence, random boners (which I'm assuming you didn't have before?), and feeling happy? Do those count as benefits? :)

I get what you're saying though: you aren't experiencing all those moments right now. Still, you have experienced them, and it seems from reading your post that you started abstaining. Don't minimize that.

"Recovery is non-linear (repeat this several times)
"You must have long range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short range failures." — Charles C. Noble
"When you begin the reboot you may feel rotten...for weeks. Cravings and anxiety about all kinds of things may be intense, or paradoxically, your libido could "flatline" for a while, and it may be a couple of months before it bounces back.... That said, people usually start experiencing good days, too, after a couple of weeks—especially if they use the other Tools to produce good feelings in new ways. But progress is not linear, and good days can be followed by miserable days. Miserable days can also precede excellent days. It's almost as if there's a pendulum deep in the brain, which frequent, intense stimulation has anchored at one extreme. When you stop using Internet porn, the pendulum swings back and forth before settling in the middle. The process is disconcerting because the neurochemical fluctuations affect your mood, your perception of your life, your ability to socialize with others and even, possibly, your sexual responsiveness. Be patient and the situation will stabilize."

http://yourbrainonporn.com/reboot_your_brain

Also read GABE's post here: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=10271.0.

You're doing great. Just have confidence to keep moving in the direction you're headed. I don't hear any reason to think you're driving down the wrong road. It just sounds like you haven't gotten there yet. Keep driving is all.

Also, if you're facing constant depression, it might be dealing with that as its own issue as well. You can take a common and reliable quiz here: http://healingheartscc.com/docs/first_steps/FS_DepressionQuiz.pdf and go from there if it seems relevant to you.

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Porn Addiction / Re: Behavioral addiction, DeltaFosB question
« on: October 22, 2015, 11:56:23 PM »
Yeah, maybe I'm a bit overly-cerebral here, and undervaluing personal experience. It's just that our minds are really good at being wrong, haha. Especially at intuiting things like causality.

I also worry that we have the tendency to be circular in our logic. How do we know that something releases a lot of dopamine? We become addicted. What determines whether a thing has the capability for addiction? It releases dopamine. It that's the extent of the conversation, then there's no real information in that, and no predictability or falsifiability.

Your posting of that video was helpful - there's probably a lot of information I'm just ignorant of at this point. I probably just need to get deeper into this stuff if I want to really understand what's up, or the extent to which we know what's up.

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releasing my locked up belief system is one of the beauties of this rehab er healing process. I hope this is the correlation between deltaFosB and the behavioral addiction..

From what I currently understand, addiction-related DeltaFosB should be depleted within ~6-8 weeks of abstinence. DeltaFosB creates sensitization, and those sensitized pathways will still exist for some unknown period of time afterwards, but the most severe cravings should pass with the DeltaFosB:

"Delta-FosB is a brain chemical (transcription factor) important in the formation of addictions. It builds up in "natural addictions," such as high consumption of fatty/sugary foods, and high levels of aerobic exercise and sexual activity (and no doubt, porn addiction). Some sources suggest that it declines around the 6-8th week of abstinence. We suspect this decline in Delta FosB is behind the big improvements people see once they get to the 8 week mark."
http://yourbrainonporn.com/book/export/html/122


Q: DeltaFosB is about cravings, right? Without DeltaFosB we wouldn't want more of the addictive substance, right? Am I right about this?
A (via Gary Wilson): Yes. Although it may be involved with more than that.

http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=16041.0


"DeltaFosB slowly degrades, and is back to normal levels about 2 months after an addict last uses. Even though DeltaFosB is no longer present, the sensitized pathways remain, perhaps for a lifetime. Remember, the purpose of DeltaFosB is to promote the rewiring of the brain, so that you will experience a bigger blast from whatever you have been overconsuming. This memory, or deeply ingrained learning, lingers long after the event. Addiction isn't damage - it's pathological learning."
http://yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do

Anyhow, point is, looks you're on the right track, alexstroil. Keep it going brother!

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Porn Addiction / Re: Behavioral addiction, DeltaFosB question
« on: October 21, 2015, 08:36:54 PM »
Cool. I'll have to watch the full video. Realistically, I'll probably have to review all of this a few times for it to really settle in my mind.

A couple of follow-up questions:

1) What do you mean by psychological addictions? What would be the difference between a psychological addiction and an addiction with measurable effects on the brain? Another angle to ask the question - Can something be an addiction in any meaningful sense without accompanying brain changes (sensitization, desensitization, etc.)?

2) I've seen more data along the lines in the video here: http://www.reuniting.info/node/8504 (which pulls from http://www.slideshare.net/eltonjohns/what-i-learned-in-malibu, which doesn't list where it gets its data). All the measurements have been done on animals, so porn is an estimate, though it makes sense that it would be pretty similar to sex, but with a longer peak due to the ease access to novelty.

If we take this at face value, then Gary is right that sex stimulates more dopamine release than any other natural rewards and even some drugs, though not all. However, though eating doesn't appear to result in as much release of dopamine, food addiction is even more well established than porn addiction, right? I'm not sure if there is data behind this or if he's just making a point, but at 23:27 he lists a few behaviors/experiences with relatively low amounts of dopamine release, in the context of explaining how these other activies don't do enough to create addiction. However, he lists email as the lowest of the rewards, and internet addiction is well established. There are a number of stimuli that trigger less of a response than sex: nicotine, the internet, eating. All of them are addictive. What then is the difference between them and golfing or listening to music? Is it that there is a lower threshold of dopamine required to begin the accumulation of DeltaFosB, or is there some other factor I'm not taking into account? If it isn't simply about the size of the hit, then what is it?

Thanks for the response. I'm not trying to be a contrarian. I'm really just trying to wrap my mind behind behavioral addiction, and some things just aren't clicking just yet for me.

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Porn Addiction / Behavioral addiction, DeltaFosB question
« on: October 20, 2015, 10:16:25 PM »
Hey, everyone! First-time poster here. Be gentle.  :)

I'm trying to understand some of the concepts on yourbrainonporn, and have a few questions I haven't been able to resolve on my own. (For reference, my questions stem from what I've read here: http://yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do.) I'm not sure if this is the best site for this type of discussion - if not, could someone PM me a more appropriate forum? Thanks!

I am struggling with the concept of behavioral addiction - not so much whether it exists, but what exactly makes some behaviors / natural rewards potentially addictive, and others not.

Three statements Gary Wilson makes do a good job collectively of introducing my confusion. The first two are in the context of what makes the pleasure associated with watching a sunrise, for instance, different than the pleasure associated with pornography. The third comes as he is explaining some parallels between drug and behavioral addictions.

1) "Sexual stimulation and addictive drugs activate the exact same reward circuit nerve cells."
2) "In addition, both sex and drug use lead to the accumulation of DeltaFosB, a protein that activates genes involved with addiction."
3) "All drugs and behaviors that can potentially cause addiction share one important mechanism of action: elevation of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (also called the reward center)."

Here is my flow of thoughts:
- (Reading 1) Porn and drugs may activate the same nerve cells, but if that were necessary for addiction, then other behavioral addictions that don't share those same    nerve cells would not be addictions.
- (Reading 3) So, maybe the specific nerve cells aren't relevant. What ultimately matters is elevating dopamine in the nucleus accumbens.
- But other sources of pleasure, like listening to music, also elevate dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. So why isn't music addictive? Or would some say it is?
- (Reading 2) Maybe elevating dopamine is necessary but not sufficient. It is about accumulating DeltaFosB, which essentially causes addiction.
- But isn't the elevation of dopamine the exact thing that leads to the accumulation of DeltaFosB?

So, after all that, what exactly is the difference between, say, listening to music and watching pornography? Do some activities that stimulate the release of dopamine build up DeltaFosB, but not others? If so, why? Is it about the amount of dopamine released? Am I wrong in my interpretation of Wilson's information? What am I missing here?

I'm not trying to be controversial, and I think there is a clear experiential difference between watching porn and listening to music. Some behaviors are commonly described as potentially addictive (eating, porn, gambling, video games, internet surfing, exercise) and some aren't (listening to music, socializing, being out in nature, reading books). I just don't understand the differences in the brain that lead to addiction in one case but not the other. In some cases, when people talk about behavior (exercise for instance) I'm not even sure which category that belongs in, and why.

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