Brain Plasticity - Is it damaged permanently?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Depressed&Out, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    https://yourbrainonporn.com/garys-research-neuroplasticity-addiction-loss-of-plasticity

    "By comparing addict and non-addict animals at various time points during their history of drug taking, the teams of Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Olivier Manzoni have demonstrated that the animals which developed an addiction to cocaine exhibit a permanent loss of the capacity to produce a form of plasticity known as long term depression (or LTD). LTD refers to the ability of the synapses (the region of communication between neurons) to reduce their activity under the effect of certain stimulations. It plays a major role in the ability to develop new memory traces and, consequently, to demonstrate flexible behaviour."

    I know the above is an old article, but does the above quote say that if you've experienced addiction, your brain's plasticity is damaged.... probably forever???

    If so, what hope is there for people like us?? :( :( :(
     
  2. muted

    muted Fapstronaut

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    It’s about cocaine addiction. Drugs destroy the brain. Maybe this applies only to this. I know that it's written about stimulation, but maybe it's about drugs only.
     
  3. Mattew

    Mattew Fapstronaut

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    I try not to dwell too much in these ideas...

    Is it true? Is it not true?
    That doesn't make any difference, you should stop porn anyway, so, who cares, what is done is done anyway...
     
  4. Capt. U

    Capt. U Fapstronaut

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    I believe this mainly applies for actual drugs, Gary has also said that once one goes without porn for a while, the brain will go back to default just like if you quit a job and have not done it in years so you tend to forget how to do it efficiently like you used to.
     
    DeepSeaDiver, Drax07 and TantusJulius like this.
  5. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    Well I care because I want a sex life for once in my life!
     
  6. Mattew

    Mattew Fapstronaut

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    You're worried about ed?

    I think you shouldn't, there so many people who said they healed from that on nofap that i really think you shouldn't worry, just stay on nofap.
     
    Drax07 likes this.
  7. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I'm worried that I'm only currently getting 1 out of 10 erection strength, it's something that progressively kept getting worse over the past two years (when I started this whole journey) - but that was down to relapses rather than anything organic.
     
  8. SThompson4555

    SThompson4555 Fapstronaut

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    First of all, take a deep breath and relax.

    Your username, and even the emoji you chose blatantly communicate that you are, in fact, depressed. I am certain that anxiety is paired with it. Both of those issues can cause one to worry incessantly about little things about build them up in your own mind into something that they are not.

    Consider this quote by the famous Stoic philosopher Seneca:

    "We suffer more often in imagination than in reality"

    I can easily recognize that you are suffering from what is called a Cognitive Distortion.

    I recommend you see a therapist to deal with your depression and anxiety, and you should request they perform Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to fix your Cognitive Distortions.

    It is true that hard drugs can cause certain kinds of brain damage due to their neurotoxicity. Pornography is not a hard drug and has never been demonstrated to be neurotoxic, nor will it ever be, because it is a visual stimulus, not a chemical compound being ingested into the body. Pornography use causes brain changes, but these changes, due to neuroplasticity, can be reversed by abstaining from porn use.

    Continue on your path and you will heal. When you get to 90 days, I recommend masturbating twice (without pornography, obviously) to jumpstart your sexual system. I have been through it twice and it worked both times, I started getting rock hard, spontaneous erections. (If you don't use it, you lose it). Until then, focus on finishing out the next 20 days and be proud of yourself for finally slaying the dragon.
     
    Spender, md70, brilliantidiot and 2 others like this.
  9. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    Thanks. I have done CBT and I'm applying its principles as much as possible. I will be seeing a psychiatrist soon, as well.

    I'm definitely guilty of making this harder for myself over the years - but really, what could I have done? It was impossible not to - it's not as though I had anyone around me to support me and remind me that I'm not that person that I keep thinking I am. (like an affectionate GF will do!)

    I would love to be able to MO, but unfortunately this is not recommended for me. This is because:

    - MO is still hardwired with the Porn pathways - I know this because my last MO replicated effects of a PMO (Shrunk penis and reduced blood flow).
    - I can't get a full erection and therefore it's not recommended that I ejaculate.
    - I might start binge MO
    - I probably need to go at least a year without an orgasm.
    - I'm also currently not attempting to look or tough my penis - I need to eradicate the memory of how to masturbate.

    But thank you for your advice.
     
  10. SThompson4555

    SThompson4555 Fapstronaut

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    That's great that you are doing CBT. I can tell that you were catastrophizing your situation because I have done the same in my past.

    It's OK to have made mistakes over the years with porn use, the important thing is that you clearly are addressing it and have already accomplished a great deal.

    I'm curious, is this your first time attempting nofap? If not, how many days have you completed in the past?

    I have completed 30 days and 40 days in the past and both returned my erections to nearly normal.

    How can you be so certain that you need to go an entire year without masturbation? You must do what you feel is right for you, but it is surprising to hear that you think you will need that long to return to normal.
     
  11. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    Hello,

    I don't know, I must be a really severe case, then. Which is no surprise considering I'm a virgin. :(

    I started this journey on January 2017 (cut out the PMO but not MO)
    I PMO relapsed in June and August 2017.
    Because the August relapse caused my penis to shrink and reduce the blood flow, I decided to do Hardmode and my temptation for porn vanished instantly as the discovery of shrunk penis really shocked me.
    I managed to do Hardmode until Nov-Dec 2017 where I MOed
    I think I went on to another hardmode which only lasted until Feb 2018 where I MOed again
    So I went to another hardmode and lasted until June/July 2018 where I MOed
    So again I went to Hardmode until October 2018 where I MOed again - unfortunately October's MO relapse replicated a PMO relapse as it caused my penis to shrink further and reduced the erection strength - hence why I'm attempting to go without MO for at least a year (or if I get a GF).

    So, to sum up, even though for two years I've been rebooting, my erection's have actually gotten worse! It's so frustrating and disheartening. :(
     
  12. SThompson4555

    SThompson4555 Fapstronaut

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    Have you seen a urologist? If so, did you get a second opinion?

    Do you have any lower-back pain or in your spine? Do you have loss of sensation or nerve function? How old are you and when did you begin masturbating to porn?
     
  13. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    I saw a doctor and endocrinologist. Various blood tests have come back as 'normal' but my testosterone is not necessarily converting to free testosterone. (or whichever part of the testosterones responsible for libido and stuff)

    My cortisol were sometimes elevated, but nothing too drastic. Basically the blood test are saying it's all normal enough.

    I've had a back problem since 2010 but that because of musculoskeletal disorder. I didn't have a strong enough core and I was basically training wrong at the gym. I'm now in a better shape and stronger in my core and so I don't get much pain at all now.

    I'm not sure I experience loss of nerve sensation - however, my pain threshold is lower (ie, i exeprience more pain), but sometimes, if I knock my elbow against something, I don't feel the pain. I think it's down to PTSD - I sort of have slight symptoms of PTSD.

    I was about 12-13 (1996) when I first started to masturbate to porn, but it was very much an irregular thing and all to pictures. I also always had access to slow internet, even at around 2006, and so it wasn't quite a fast acting process at the time. Plus it was on and off as back then I was religious.

    However, at around 2010, I did a catastrophic thing of collecting multiple pictures and running a slideshow to masturbate in front of. Each picture would change every 7 seconds! I believe my problem started there when I implemented the sideshow to my PMO ritual. Then at early 2014, I started getting the softer erections. (at first I put it down to depression as things were really bad back then, having just ended a stressful 7 years spell looking for a job!!.)
     
  14. SThompson4555

    SThompson4555 Fapstronaut

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    Your story reminds me of Gabe Deem's. Are you familiar with him?
     
  15. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Fapstronaut

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    Prepare mentally for a two year and onwards journey if you feel you are severe. Gabe took 15 months to get a libido back.
     
  16. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    Yeah I’m aware of Gabe. But I don’t feel we have the same issue exactly.

    He was not a virgin and had a partner to reboot with.

    I’m a virgin who doesn’t have a partner or any real support network to maintain any relational pathways. Plus I’ve had severe depression for many years now. Also my brain is not as malable as it used to be.

    I think the stress and depression over the last 9 years in particular has had a bad outcome on my biology. I haven’t felt horny since 2010 or 2011. Whenever I’ve PMO or MOed, it always been the urge to experience the pleasure of orgasm and not because it was driven by libido.

    Basically, my current state is all one big and long mess.
     
  17. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    It been two years now but things have only gotten worse. There are plenty of people who have not recovered within those two years.
     
  18. SThompson4555

    SThompson4555 Fapstronaut

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    Very personal question:

    Any history of sexual abuse?
     
  19. IAmLegion

    IAmLegion Fapstronaut

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    No. You will heal fully.
     
  20. Depressed&Out

    Depressed&Out Fapstronaut

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    No, normal and happy childhood. I would say I was sexually healthy until about 2010. But I can’t really be sure as I never really spent any time with a woman intimately.
     

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