Author Topic: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO  (Read 2547 times)

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« on: April 06, 2017, 05:10:57 PM »
Greetings.

Like many of you, I'm here to talk about and catalogue my indifference with pornography,  the effects it has had on my health and wellbeing, and just how much it has changed/altered my perception on the state of my own mental prestige (Sit tight, grab the popcorn, and see if you can tie the parallels).

I'm 32 years old, and since the age of 12, I've always had a bit of a pornography addiction. I started out on pretty vanilla stuff, mainly Playboys and the like. It wasn't until 18-20 that I began the process of moving on to internet porn. Initially, the video clip masturbating was achieved on dial up, so a couple of you older gents might remember having to let videos load a while before you could make an effort at masturbating. This, as I remember it, would always happen in order to get myself to climax, as is the usual purpose of porn. You live for the orgasm, and you love to do it while some chick is riding another dude.

In my twenties, I was pretty busy with my social life. Met and hooked up with many girls, traveled to many states, and held many jobs. I was at the pinnacle of my social construct, and I never felt the slightest twinge or pinprick of "anxiety". I never even thought it was a real thing. I thought it was just people being afraid of things that aren't dangerous. I would always think, "why can't these people just get over it." I really was misinformed.

So, as it were, I met my future wife in 2006, and began the process of living with her/adjusting to simple work/family/sleeping life. It was at this point that I started on high speed porn, and really, that's when I noticed the trouble beginning.

In 2008, I had my first panic attack. I was terrified out of my mind to say the least, but afterwards, I felt ok enough, and for a while didn't really question what it was (at the time, I didn't even know it was a panic attack, just thought I had some weird heart thing that spontaneously resolved.) The high speed porn ramped up, and so did the PMO.

Years pass, the wife and I have children, and the family begins to blossom. It's a wonderful life. I love my kids and wife, never had any issues with them whatsoever. Such a perfect life. On the flip side, however, I was starting to notice some odd things beginning to happen at the end of 2015. For starters, we moved in August to a new town, and for a bit I was going through what I would then call "foggy" days. I started getting more instances of derealization, and after a few months started to not feel right in places away from home. I began to get shaky when I would take my kids to the mall, and wonder, "why am I sighing so much?"

I would also like to mention that at this point, I was really starting to struggle with no motivation. By the beginning of 2016, I didn't really ever feel like doing anything, and nothing seemed fun anymore. It was like I had no drive at all to start/stick to anything. I was getting trademark symptoms of ADHD...except when it came to PMO. When I was on a PMO high, I felt perfectly fine.

Fast forward again to Summer of 2016. The weird oddness began to escalate, and at the beginning of July I experienced my second panic attack. MUCH, much worse than my first one, I went to the ER where they told me my previous year of oddness was, indeed, anxiety. For the next year up until this past week, I would say I've been the most emotionally unstable in my entire 32 years of life. I tried everything to get over this thing, having panic attacks pretty much every week with no improvement in symptoms. I tried quitting caffeine for 4 months. That was a whole different hell in itself, and after those 4 months I was finally over caffeine.

BUT, I was still having this weird anxiety, and occasional panic attacks, and I began to develop panic disorder with agoraphobia. I had much worse anxiety when I would leave my house, and it was getting to the point where I would wonder when I would ever feel like my old self again, like I did in my twenties, and before that panic attack last July. I was truly at the lowest of lows in my life.

Yet, somehow, I felt fine when I would PMO. I started noticing this around Christmas, and at the beginning of this year, finally, came across Gary Wilson's life changing videos about the dangers of high speed internet porn addiction. Let me explain my own findings that quite similarly parallel Mr. Wilson's information.

At the beginning of this year, I began to realize that I could never really go 3-4 days without PMO. After a nightly binge, I would have RIDICULOUS anxiety for 1-4 days, and by day 4, I'd start feeling great again. What would I do? PMO binge. This hellacious cycle repeated itself for at least the last two years. Maybe it was aging? Maybe I started getting older? Why did I start getting symptoms now, in my 30's?

I started to realize that I wasn't after the orgasm anymore, rather the dopamine high from endless clicking and viewing high speed porn videos. I would get the shakes from time to time just watching, and as the videos over the years got more HD, my dopamine spikes would get even more intense, and that would start to signal more intense withdrawal symptoms.

Over the years, my addiction to PMO and its intensifying subject matter was starting to train my brain to develop an altered stress response. The anxiety was my withdrawal phase, and after 4-7 days I was entering into the build up phase. This would lead me to PMO hard late at night, which would signal the binge phase, and the following day would put me right back in the withdrawal phase with anxiety and lack of confidence.

I tested this most recently. Up until last night, I had abstained from PMO for 7 days, my longest since the new year. What did I do yesterday? I built a gate for my deck, apparently, because I felt like building something. I NEVER do stuff like that, at least I wouldn't have for the previous 2 years, and never spur of the moment. Why now? Why yesterday? Well, I basically had no anxiety and no withdrawal symptoms. I was feeling normal, just like I had in my 20's, and definitely like I did before the anxiety started back in the fall of 2015. So what I did last night? Binge.

But why? Well, I had to be sure it was the PMO causing this, but also because I'm not a perfect person. I was justifying PMO again, because I was feeling great. I was telling myself, "I'm fine, you'll be good. We'll use this as a test to see if it's the PMO". Well, it is, and now I'm having raging anxiety. I had a near panic attack this morning around 9:45, and I'm still on edge at 6pm which is when I'm writing this currently.

My stint with this horrible anxiety started last summer on July 4th. Calculating forward from today, it's exactly 89 days until the next July 4th. Guess what would be a great anniversary for the worst year of my life?

90 days. 90 struggles. A whole lifetime to live the rest of my life PMO free. Documented right here. Let's go. This is day 1.

Tomorrow I will go over how I will be forcing myself to abstain. It will practically be impossible for me to PMO, and you'll see what I mean.

Thanks for reading!

a_better_tomorrow

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 10:55:00 PM »
Very interesting read.  I've reflected on what you said here and I am not sure that I can identify a pattern in my past.  Some of the puzzle pieces that you describe were definitely present though.  I never thought to seek a pattern, but I did have some fairly long sessions every once in a while.  Looking back, I didn't plan them but long sessions would happen.  Perhaps there may have been a more subtle cycle present.  My anxiety is more mild than you describe yours to be but still something I recognize to be in my life.

I look forward to seeing the plan you will roll out.  Thanks for sharing!  Let's beat this thing!

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 11:09:41 PM »
Very interesting read.  I've reflected on what you said here and I am not sure that I can identify a pattern in my past.  Some of the puzzle pieces that you describe were definitely present though.  I never thought to seek a pattern, but I did have some fairly long sessions every once in a while.  Looking back, I didn't plan them but long sessions would happen.  Perhaps there may have been a more subtle cycle present.  My anxiety is more mild than you describe yours to be but still something I recognize to be in my life.

I look forward to seeing the plan you will roll out.  Thanks for sharing!  Let's beat this thing!

Thanks my friend. Looking back on it all, when you take into account all the cycles and anxiety symptoms, it almost reads like Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome, or POIS. When I feel better a week after orgasm, it almost seems to make sense. That coupled with the premature ejaculation, which is supposed to be hallmark of POIS. I have no issues whatsoever with ED, which also seems to push me more toward the cognitive and physiological symptoms inherent with POIS. Still, though, getting off porn is good for anyone!

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 07:58:00 AM »
Day 2.

Yesterday was hell. My anxiety was around a 8/10 most of the day. I felt like I had a very bad cold. My throats still hurts today. Headache is much better than yesterday. As usual, I would like to PMO, but the knowledge of symptoms the day to week after keep me from succumbing. So what do I do? Here's my system:

K9 Blocker set on my computer with the password randomly generated and emailed to myself to send at 6 months from now through FutureMe website. The Mobicip browser is set on my iPhone with restrictions password sent to my future self through FutureMe as well. All other computers have been password protected by my wife, and I got rid of all charging/lighting cables so I can't reset my iPhone (using iHomes for charging).

Time for hard mode.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:17:58 AM by ReturnOfTheZealousHydra »

rebooter96

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 10:43:48 AM »
I resonate with allot you shared. I also feel anxious and unable to concentrate at work after 4 to 5 days, its a cycle, and after binging it goes away for a few days. That is one of the main reasons I need to kill this addiction, I need to suffocate it, even if it drives me crazy. Those things we are feeling are withdrawl symptoms, but we need to face them, we need to face hell if we are going to get over this. Im doing the lessons from Recovery Nation http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_contents.php , and they have helped me. Check them out, maybe they will be helpful to you. They attack the addiction from a more holistic way.
Im on day 12 today, so there is hope. It gets crazy. Panic attacks, urges, anxiety... you name it. But we have to do it. You are not alone.

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 09:13:20 AM »
I resonate with allot you shared. I also feel anxious and unable to concentrate at work after 4 to 5 days, its a cycle, and after binging it goes away for a few days. That is one of the main reasons I need to kill this addiction, I need to suffocate it, even if it drives me crazy. Those things we are feeling are withdrawl symptoms, but we need to face them, we need to face hell if we are going to get over this. Im doing the lessons from Recovery Nation http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_contents.php , and they have helped me. Check them out, maybe they will be helpful to you. They attack the addiction from a more holistic way.
Im on day 12 today, so there is hope. It gets crazy. Panic attacks, urges, anxiety... you name it. But we have to do it. You are not alone.

Thanks man. See, the difference with me and everyone else seems to be that I feel utterly dreadful the day after orgasm, continue to feel bad for 4-7 days, and after the initial week, I feel normal again. Wouldn't addiction withdrawal from porn make me feel worse after one week? This leads me to believe I have more of a Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome. I suppose going past one week and seeing what happens will give me that answer, heh. Thanks for commenting!

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 09:17:31 AM »
Day 3.

A little better today, still same anxiety as yesterday, but the brain fog is a bit lifted. I went to the movies yesterday with my wife and kids to see the Smurf movie, had some anxiety attacks there but nothing to get me up and leave. My head feels worlds better, no ache at all, thank goodness. I'm visiting my parents today out of town, so it's another busy day with family. No signs of life at all for my libido, I actually prefer this over wanting the PMO. We'll see if the anxiety lessens over the course of the week. Cheers!

ReturnOfTheZealousHydra

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 08:08:28 PM »
Day 4.

Finally some relief. Yesterday at my parents went horribly, had anxiety close to panic attacks for nearly 2 hours. Went for a run last night despite the discomfort, felt a lot more at ease after burning off that excess adrenaline. Today was the closest I've been back to myself since PMO last Wednesday, anxiety was at a 4/10 most of the day. Got some gardening done and took the kids out. No pining for porn whatsoever, just so glad to get some relief from the anxiety. I suspect I'll be back to normal come day 7, like always. This has to be Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome. I get better by the end of the week while you all get worse. I also have severe Premature Ejaculation, and never once had Erectile Dysfunction. If anything I wish I COULDNT get it up. Atleast then I wouldn't have to ejaculate and get these symptoms. Regardless, porn is a detriment, and I'll continue this journal to 90 days to try and find the benefit.

a_better_tomorrow

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 10:43:45 PM »
Day 4.

 I get better by the end of the week while you all get worse. I also have severe Premature Ejaculation, and never once had Erectile Dysfunction. If anything I wish I COULDNT get it up.

I have the opposite problem that you have.  From what you have been saying, I think "not getting it up" might be the easier road.

Exercising is a good call during the vulnerable times.  Good job on staying busy.  It will be a long road.  Let's get to that 90!

rebooter96

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 02:59:00 AM »
going for a run sounds wise. I need to do that, but I struggle with being active.
Keep it up man, dont give up.

POISDisaster

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Re: Anxiety, addiction, and PMO
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2017, 06:00:31 AM »
Why did you stop the days? Did you give up? I run a POIS Facebook group if you want to join. Definitely sounds like you have it