Are these sharp ups and downs normal?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Mr. Kruger, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Thank you very much for that detailed summary!

    It's a shame that so many people still refuse to believe that a severe PMO addiction can lead to physiological problems and imbalances in the endocrine system. I've even seen so many members of this forum say that the physical symptoms of PMO abuse are all in people's heads. I suffered these symptoms for many years, and I know that it most certainly wasn't all in my head. Before I knew it was PMO causing this, I just came to the conclusion that I had some kind of adrenal imbalance and/or insufficiency after Googling my symptoms, but I had no idea how to go about fixing it. Most doctors have zero interest in discussing such things, so that was a dead end. It wasn't until 2019 that it occurred to me that my intense PMO sessions might be contributing to or causing these adrenal problems. It made perfect sense to me that getting myself all revved up with such unnatural levels of stimulation for hours on end could be burning out my adrenal function. That's when I started Googling things like "porn addiction adrenal problems" and found this forum.

    Back in 2015, I was experiencing all kinds of vague and mysterious health ailments that doctors couldn't seem to figure out. I didn't even know about NoFap at this point, and I was completely ignorant of the fact that it was my addiction causing these problems. My testosterone levels were one of the first things that they tested, and the doctor told me that my levels were slightly higher than average for somebody in my age range. So of course they figured at that point that it wasn't a testosterone problem. I'm no endocrinologist, but it makes sense to me that if you have a lower androgen receptor density, then your overall levels of free T would probably be higher because it isn't being efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body. At that point, it's basically floating around in your bloodstream with nowhere to go and showing seemingly higher T levels. Do you think I'm on the right track with this line of thought?

    One thing they did notice was that my cortisol levels were a little higher than they should be, but they didn't investigate that or even try to offer an explanation as to why they might be higher than they should be.

    Once I discovered NoFap and quit PMO in June 2019, I noticed that my health problems were gradually disappearing one by one as the months went by. And now, a little over two years on NoFap with only a handful of relapses, most of the problems that I used to suffer are completely gone, and the few that remain have diminished considerably and are continuously improving. My voice is deeper, my body hair and facial hair are much more dense and coarse, I can gain muscle mass rapidly, and my face looks more masculine. Back when I was constantly fapping, I kind of had a round baby face with very little definition, but my jawline and cheekbones are more pronounced now. Even my demeanour has changed; I now find myself acting a lot more mature and stoic than I used to.

    Oh, and if anybody is wondering what my symptoms were, I'll copy and paste them here from another thread if you'd like to compare:

    Physical:

    • Frequent nausea.
    • Various digestive problems (some quite severe).
    • Constant hunger pangs and stomach growling (even after recently eating a full meal).
    • Inexplicable pains all over my body.
    • Hot flashes and frequent sweating.
    • Extreme insomnia and sleep disturbances.
    • Rapid heartbeat that would never seem to slow down (even when relaxed and sedentary).
    • Shallow breathing and occasional hyperventilating.
    • Always low on energy, like I never felt rested or fully charged no matter how much sleep I got.
    • A constant wired-out and on-edge feeling. "Tired but wired," as people with adrenal problems describe it.
    • Very frequent urination (actually worsened during my initial withdrawal period, but 100% gone now).
    • Tinnitus (and a weird itchy feeling inside my ears).
    • Weak immune system and frequent infections.
    • Occasional vertigo and dizziness.
    • Vision problems.
    Mental:
    • Frequent depression.
    • Occasional anxiety and paranoia.
    • Night terrors and nightmares.
    • Occasional depersonalization and derealization.
    • Emotional numbness.
    • Anhedonia.
    • Brain fog and generally feeling dipshitty all the time.
    • Often feeling introverted and unsociable.
    • Lack of creativity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  2. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    Constant ejaculation gradually reduces the androgen receptor density, or causes the receptors to become de-sensitized. As a result, I would have expected your testosterone output to be lower rather than higher. Prolactin being kept too high because of a exhausted adrenal function, is what causes the androgen hormones to drop to such low levels of deficiency. Saying all this, I too had my testosterone tested a few months into my reboot, and while I never received the exact values, I was told my levels were healthy. My question would be; what were your actual testosterone values?

    • A testosterone level below 500 nd/gl means you are likely to experience post orgasm symptoms after ejaculation
    • 400-500 nd/gl you will likely go limp during sex and also experience post orgasm symptoms (after ejaculation/arousal)
    • 400 and below and you will likely experience complete impotency from your sexual encounters
    A testosterone level of 500 or below equates to that of a 75 year old man, with a 6-7 day refraction period. While according to calendar days we are between the ages of 20 and 40, our testicular and adrenal function have severely aged due to over-masturbation. 500-1000 nd/gl is the optimal testosterone level which would give us a healthy ejaculation frequency of at least 2-6 times a week. This is what we should be aiming for.

    I agree that our modern day doctors have no clue as to what is happening, and for those of us that understand that the symptoms we are experiencing are somewhat 'non-standard' it is frustrating. Until then, the best we can do is share our own accounts, experiment where we can and continue to do our own research!
     
  3. Redemptionisrequired

    Redemptionisrequired Fapstronaut

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    Last year where I basically crashed, I had anxiety all the time and panic attacks. I finally quit back in Nov 2020, and I went through an initial drastic hit of withdrawals. It was insane. I went to get my T levels tested. 291 d/dl. I'm not fat at all and had kept active before the "crash" I mentioned. The biggest shock to me was that my idiot doctor said "it's healthy". I freaked out because he wanted to put my on Anti-depressants for the anxiety and failed to even say anything helpful about my T levels. Obviously I have not taken the SSRIs. To this day I can't believe my doctor had the guts to call that healthy T for a 29 year old and I'm thankful I chose to go to a clinic where I would also get the results. I'm going to be getting my blood test again this year in November to see the difference.

    I just remember, the withdrawals at first hit me so hard that I could not even do 30 seconds on a stationary bike without experience a huge panic attack. This is coming from a guy who could deadlift 300+ lbs, do 20 wide grip pulls ups..and feel fine after. PMO is destructive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  4. Redemptionisrequired

    Redemptionisrequired Fapstronaut

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    Definitely, I'm experiencing the same thing here. This last bit was 2 weeks of relatively good days. Today is my first bad day, I haven't had in a while. As i've been on my journey the stretches of good have increased quite a bit and I can do a bit more each time with workouts. I'm still vigilant of course, I can't do anything near what I use to in the past with regards to working out and I don't want to. Because I don't want to stress my system any further.

    For reference, I'm 204 days free of MO. 276 days free of porn. I had 1 MO relapse on day 72 of that first streak. No binge and it wasn't to porn.

    Prior to those two weeks I went through another phase of insomnia, where 1 day i'd sleep, the next day I would get about 2-3 hours.

    I'm glad you listed the symptoms that you had, I had many of the same. The hot flashes I experienced paired with the anxiety , really sucked. The low stress tolerance to was really something else. Also, I would never feel full, even though I had eaten a full meal. And I eat healthy food, unprocessed, no added sugars. Thankfully, many of those symptoms reoccur less and less. My symptoms typically would hit me hardest in the morning. It can't believe how much our gut health relates to PMO.

    I'm suspecting the bad day I feel today, stems from insanely high heat and humidity. It adds a stressor on the body. Our bodies are already beaten up, so the added stressor doesn't help. I notice that on days where it's like this, I'm thrown off. Have you noticed this with the heat?

    The ideal thing to do during to assist your reboot is to meditate multiple times a day, to teach your body to remain calm as well as to tackle the anxiety on the bad days. Also, stay clear of intense media (super jam packed action movies/news/politics) Try to consume positive and uplifting material, but don't stay on screens too long.

    I really can't wait to be done with this thing so I can live my day to day normally again. I do believe that we're on the right track though man.
     
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  5. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    She never did tell me the actual values; she just told me that I was slightly above average for my age range.
    I just hope that medical science catches up with all this eventually. Not only do too many people go on living like this too long, but too many fall into this trap in the first place. The general public should have a fair warning as to the devastating long-term effects that excessive pornography use can have on a person's body and mind.
     
  6. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've heard from so many other guys with testosterone levels in the lower range that doctors are renowned for being reluctant to put people on testosterone-replacement therapy. It's weird to me that they are willing to treat other hormonal deficiencies without delay, but there's so much red tape when it comes to testosterone. I've never heard an explanation as to why this is.

    And yeah, there have been numerous times that doctors have tried to put me on SSRI antidepressants. I objected and flat-out refused every single time. SSRIs are overprescribed to so many people who don't even need them these days, and I know that I don't need them because clinical depression doesn't run on either side of my family. There are some people out there who genuinely do need them because they are born with a hereditary chemical imbalance, but I'm not one of them. I think that hereditary chemical imbalance is probably quite rare, and pharmaceutical companies convince doctors that more people require them than actually do because it wouldn't be very cost effective to produce such a complex drug for such a small segment of the population. That might sound kind of conspiracy-ish, but it makes perfect sense when you look at it from a marketing point of view.
    I also had the intolerance to intense physical activity back when I was frequently PMOing, and I had it for the first year of abstinence too. If I engaged in too much physical activity in one day, I would get the hot flashes, sweats, and anxiety. I would also be guaranteed to suffer from debilitating insomnia that night because my body couldn't gradually wind down after exertion; it was almost as though my body was stuck in a perpetual state of overdrive afterwards. Even if I did manage to get to sleep, I would feel absolutely drained the next day. This has since improved immensely though; I can now exercise and generally exert myself much more throughout the day without experiencing any of these negative effects later on.
    Did you also find that you weren't digesting food properly, and that it would pass through you way too quickly? Back when I was an intense PMO addict and during the first six months of abstinence, I would eat something, and it would pretty much drop through me in under ten hours and look like it had only been partially digested. I thought for years that I had something majorly wrong with my digestive system, but it was caused by my PMO addiction all along.
    The heat actually doesn't bother me at all. It's 31°C/88°F right now, and I've felt fine despite being outdoors most of the day. My city went through a heat dome last month where it was 44°C/111°F for a few days. That really cocked me over, but I think anybody would have difficulty with that regardless of their current health situation. I find that the winters where I live (Canada) actually do a lot more damage to me. Once the temperature drops to -25°C/-13°F or lower, that seems to really aggravate any of the physical withdrawal symptoms I'm still experiencing. I guess we all react to things differently, but extreme temperatures in general do exacerbate withdrawal symptoms for sure.
    I know exactly how you feel. I've put two years of time and effort into this; I just want to feel normal! It's a very gradual, non-linear process though. As cliché as it sounds in regard to recovering from addictions, it really is true that all you can do is take it one day at a time. But yeah, we definitely are on the right track. Most of my physical withdrawal symptoms are gone, and I'm noticing that my overall ratio of good days to bad days is beginning to shift over to more good days than bad days.

    One thing I noticed is that recovery from addictions has a lot in common with healing from a physical injury in the sense that the healing process is exponential. Every time I notice improvements, they are always much more abundant than any prior phases of improvements that I experienced, and the gaps between improvement phases seem to get narrower each time too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  7. Redemptionisrequired

    Redemptionisrequired Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I've heard that as well. Personally I didn't want to be prescribed T pills either, I just realize that all the abuse I put myself through messed up my T levels as well as my brain chemistry.

    The thing is, going through withdrawal doesn't just play on dopamine but also Serotonin deficiency. The SSRI may help, but the question is do we still go through healing during the time we would be on the SSRI and the issue is the side effects in relation to those SSRIs. I'm not one to gamble on that. Just as you, I don't have family history with regards to any form of mental illness. It really is situational in this case. In terms of conspiracy, my beliefs goes even further down the rabbit hole so don't worry. I definitely think there is an agenda behind pushing SSRIs.



    I think it's probably due to the fact that our cortisol levels are so elevated that working out just cranks them up even more without the natural endorphin relief after exercise. So if we are similar in that regard I still have a few more months to go before I can feel more comfortable exercising without worry of setting myself back. When I first went through my withdrawal, I literally could not even do my full morning stretch routine. I started with 1 rep of stretch, and daily increased either the amount of stretches or reps. I'm at 12 mins on the stationary bike now, with 10 mins of yoga. I also do extremely light weights, essentially body weight exercises. I don't feel the resistance from the weight. No more than 10 mins at this point. It's not a drastic change, but its better than not being capable of doing even 20 seconds or walking a block. I had tried time under tension but that proved to be too trigger for the central nervous system, even with low weights. I'm hopeful that in a few months I can have less restraint(not oblivious restraint, but not being on edge either) with regards to workouts.

    As for digestion, the first few months it was horrible. I had so many intolerances to foods I use to eat. The stomach ache would occur shortly after I ate, followed by anxiety, followed by a trip to the washroom. Yes PMO is the culprit. I think MO weakens our digestive system with time. 90% of serotonin is made in the digestive tract, so that explains the link between PMO and a faulty digestive system.



    Interesting, I also live in Canada. For me it's the opposite, I much prefer the fall/spring type weather, even winter, with regards to exercise and just over all well-being. This past week has been harsh with heat, 40 degree+ each day. It finally got to me yesterday and today with my symptoms coming forward again. Thankfully as of tomorrow things will start to go back to regular 20 low 30s.


    You're right, it's training absolute patience. It's quite difficult not to be impatient, especially when you feel that you're finally breaking wind, only to have another wave of PAWs symptoms return. Glad you're experiencing more good than bad. I have a theory that my growth within the months of July to November will be exponential. Reason for that is, July 2020 to November 2020 was when I was most addicted.

    Let's hold our ground, at least we can all check in with one another on the forums. There is some comfort in knowing we're not truly alone on this path.
     
  8. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, I think all addictions have a major impact on the digestive system. I have a close friend who is a recovering alcoholic, and he says that not only was his digestion always dysfunctional when he was drinking all the time, but it got even worse for a while when he went through his initial phases of withdrawal. Medical science tells us that the brain and gut are inextricably linked, yet doctors often overlook this.
    You must be in BC too if you're getting bombarded with these temperatures lol.
    The first year definitely is the most difficult; it's an uphill climb the whole way. I wouldn't say the second year is easy, but the withdrawal symptoms are nowhere near as severe as the first year.

    Sorry for the late reply. I had a wet dream a few days ago, and it seems to have set me back a little bit. While it might be much less severe than a PMO relapse, it still leaves you feeling noticeably drained for about a week.
     
  9. Redemptionisrequired

    Redemptionisrequired Fapstronaut

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    You're right man, it's wild how doctors ignore this crucial fact. They go directly to prescribe medication that may otherwise be unnecessary, especially in regards to addiction. Kudos to your friend for going through it, I've hard alcohol withdrawal is brutal!

    I'm actually in QC! I wish I was in BC to be honest, avoiding the harsh winter snow haha. But I did hear you guys got smacked with some pretty intense heat too.

    I don't want to jinx it man, but this last month has been exponentially better than the last 8 months. We shall see, I'll wait to see if the consistency remains in the next 2-3 months before I judge it.

    Don't worry about the late response, I understand we all have our own life out of this forum!

    Oh wow, it has that much of an impact? Brain fog and the like? I'll pay more close attention to the next one that happens to me, I know at the beginning it would be destabilizing.
     
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  10. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    It saddens me to think of how many teenagers, guys in their twenties, and even adolescents are out there who were put on prescriptions for depression, anxiety, and ADHD when these problems were actually caused by PMO and other things that cause imbalances in the reward system like excessive gaming. I hope that society eventually catches up with technology and learns how to mitigate its downsides, because I feel that it's gotten to a point now where technology has run amok and begun to enslave us.
    That's great to hear! Just don't be discouraged if you fall back into a slump, because it does happen from time to time. I'm currently going through another slump right now, but I have a feeling that I'm on the cusp of a significant breakthrough. I've been having a lot of strange, vivid dreams lately, and I've read from multiple sources that having dreams like this is indicative of your brain doing some deep, intensive rewiring in your sleep.
    I wouldn't say that the brain fog is too debilitating after a wet dream, but there are some other negative effects like feeling fatigued and listless, mild depression, and loss of motivation. But these effects usually taper off after about a week and are nowhere near as severe as a PMO relapse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
  11. Redemptionisrequired

    Redemptionisrequired Fapstronaut

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    I agree with you, actually video games had an effect on me earlier on in my life (teens/early twenties), only after what happened now, do I realize what happened back then is very similar to what is currently occurring. Both are an excess of artificial dopamine chase that really messes with your brain chemistry. In terms of conspiracy..well I worry that all this tech is done on purpose to sedate many of us, to run for pills. Kind of like a vicious cycle. (I truly hope I'm wrong about that)


    Thank you friend! The heat/humid mass has returned and it will be here for about 5 days and like clock work some symptoms returned but they're no where near as bad as before. I hope your slump is short and I'm happy to hear you're nearing a significant breakthrough! Yes, vivid dreams are definitely a sign of brain rewire and recovery. It's escalated in the last 2 months for me. Unfortunately, sometimes those vivid dreams are nightmares. I had 2 last night lol.

    Oh okay, yeah..the fatigue really is the worst part. I have feeling drained, especially because I remember feeling so energetic in the past! Well, i'm glad it'll only last a week man. Hang tight and I'm really glad you're keeping well with your recovery!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
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  12. HelperX

    HelperX Fapstronaut

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    It's true, addiction is connected to the digestive system. The effects of PMO made me have stomach ache sometimes, I was surprised by it.
     
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  13. UWSDave

    UWSDave Fapstronaut

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    Mr. Kruger, can you say a bit more about what vision problems you had and how they’ve improved?
     
  14. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I used to get a lot of eye floaters. My eyes would feel very strained and sore, almost like there was a pressure behind them that's difficult to accurately describe (kind of like that feeling when you've been reading small text for too long). They would also get dry sometimes, and I would feel an irritating burning sensation when they got dry. Those problems have completely vanished since starting NoFap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  15. HelperX

    HelperX Fapstronaut

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    Hey, I had those sensations too on my eyes whic are lessening thanks to NoFap.
     
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  16. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, it's really difficult to explain isn't it? It feels like there's air pressure in the sockets behind your eyes, and the extraocular muscles feel stiff or swollen when you move your eyes. That's the only way I can describe it.
     
  17. HelperX

    HelperX Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, and in particular I feel the eyes starting to burn. I hate that sensation.
     
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  18. clapas

    clapas Fapstronaut

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    Many of them, if not all, are familiar to me. Definitely PAWS from PMO.
     
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  19. UWSDave

    UWSDave Fapstronaut

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    That’s really great to hear. I have floaters pretty bad but I’ve had them for years so I find it hard to believe they’ll go away even with time and abstinence.
     
  20. fellowBrother

    fellowBrother Fapstronaut

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    Watch this.
     

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