First, I needed proof that it's a problem.

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by approachingrelevance, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. approachingrelevance

    approachingrelevance Fapstronaut

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    I told my therapist that I need to stop masturbating, and she tried to tell me it was fine. I tried to explain how it was porn auction and is negatively affecting my life, and she said something to the effect of "you have enough things to worry about then stressing out about masturbation." I kind of felt ignored by the only real life prison I've told about it, but for a second I thought about taking her words seriously.

    What if all this isn't that big of a deal? Put aside the brain scans and testimonials shared here for a moment. What if all the PMO was as harmless as sipping a latte from Starbucks.

    If it was harmless, it wouldn't be all that pleasurable, certainly not pleasurable enough to be habit forming. Unfortunately that's not the case for me. On the other hand, it's possible to have some pleasurable things in life that always are good. Good music or classic movies for instance. This isn't the case here. This gets pleasure until of gets terrible. Until it becomes obvious that it's making your life here, which is why it is a problem, and why we're all here. At some point the pleasure gives out and doesn't deliver, leaving us with bad choices. Fit me the choice has all to often to go deeper, consume harder and weirder stuff. This path ends on levels of perversion that alternate you from society at best and approach the sexual offender list at worst. Louis CK comes to mind. The other option when the pleasure fades is to stop. That's what we're doing. We've realized the pleasure isn't worth it.

    I realize this, and yet my relapse log is full of more restarts than me trying to get my pixel 3 to work. The pleasure wanes, until I have a bad day and cave. A couple days after I came I realize that the pleasure is a bunch of lies and to pursue more is a path to nowhere. And I'm good until I have a sleepless night, and suddenly they pleasure seems harmless and magical. So I go back and forth. Around and around.

    If what my therapist says was right, then this wouldn't be a cycle. If be good at managing this back and forth of relapse and withdrawal. But the fact that I know in my gut that she is wrong, and that is why I'm here on this site returning on this, and that my phone is full of so many porn blockers that it makes it run wonky. It's actually good that she responded the way she did, because had I used get approval as an excuse, it would mean do down I didn't really want to stop. Now I realize I do, which means I need to stop something else.

    In my actual life, my response to hard days and sleepless night can no longer be to search for pleasure. I shouldn't aim to escape. I should be able to handle to momentary, inevitable suffering with pride and calmness, but a shaky-handed trip to an incognito window. I relapsed this morning, and the thing to look at isn't that hour, but the other 23. Am I doing the best in those times to set my self up to withstand what's coming without needing to cave? Are you?

    Let me know in the comments or whatever.
     
    AversioN likes this.
  2. Robinthehood

    Robinthehood Fapstronaut

    Perhaps she's right, compared to a porn addiction m isn't so bad. Maybe she thinks to tackle one problem at a time. Unassociate m from porn. It isn't going to be easy either way
    Escaping from hard situations is OK, just depends what you escape to. If you can't sleep try some exercise or read a book. Make use of the time. Being bored or at a loose end doesn't mean it's pmo time.
    Look for what qualifies as a porn addiction, do you fit ? If so then discount what your therapist says, not everyone believes that porn addiction is real despite tons of evidence. - Go with your gut, sounds like you know it already. Quit that shit, let's go!
     
  3. ImASinnerWhoJesusSaved

    ImASinnerWhoJesusSaved Fapstronaut

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    Sounds like your therapist is a poor listener and is more interested in preserving her own beliefs about "sex-positivity" or whatever twisted ideas she has than actually helping and encouraging you to get better. I wouldn't let her opinion undermine your own conviction.

    I would say that if you are tempted to watch porn and you know you're not in the frame of mind to resist entirely, then M without any P, and don't make it last more than 5-10 minutes if possible. If you do this a couple times in a row, the porn part of the addiction will be a little further away, and it might be easier to start from there. Just my experience.
     
    Overforme likes this.
  4. First off, I think you should get a male therapist. Second of all, separating masturbation from pornography is a useful thing to do.
     
  5. modernstore99

    modernstore99 Fapstronaut

    1. Sometimes you really have to let your therapist know the gravity of your situation. Instead of telling her "I'm having trouble with masturbating a lot", tell her "I masturbate for 8 hours a day", "I have blisters on my penis from masturbating but I cannot stop", "I masturbate at work", "I masturbate in public restrooms". You don't need to tell her exactly those things, but tell her exactly what is going on. If you tell her that MO is your primary drive in life, you go to work, make money, and eat food so you can MO more, she will begin to understand it's a problem. Tell her your use keeps escalating and you're getting to a point where your entire life is unsustainable. Don't be embarrassed or hold anything back. Really explain to her how PMO is ruining your life.

    2. Ask her to check out YBOP, especially these three pages Educating your therapist, There are no scientific studies that say porn is addictive, right?, Evolution has not prepared your brain for today’s porn.

    3. Tell her that despite what she thinks, your feelings are the reality for you, and you do not see a way in which increasing your PMO or keeping it the same will help out.

    4. Instead of focusing more on MO, focus on porn and your habits with that. Humans have been masturbating for thousands of years with no issues; porn is causing your problems. Explain that porn is your issue, and quitting masturbation is your way of solving it. Explain to her how the two are linked in your mind. Show her the basics of rebooting and what it is supposed to do see rebooting basics page. You're a team, so get her in on the game plan
     
    Reborn16 and Psalm27:1my light like this.
  6. approachingrelevance

    approachingrelevance Fapstronaut

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    Thanks everybody for reading my thread. I actual did talk to my therapist about the whole situation and tried to get her in on the big picture, but not to the degree that modernstore99 described. I guess that will be for next time. I did mention that I joined this online help group and explained what these forums were and she seemed to realize that this is serious. For anyone thinking about therapy, is say just the act of talking about it na way that someone else can understand was valuable on it's own. The fact that I've talked for hours about porn across multiple sessions and this person still only grasps a small chunk displays just how much a part of me this has become. I was sitting there unpacking on or two videos for a while session, trying to get at what it is and why I would have been interested in it. Meanwhile, I know that I have consumed literally thousands of other things that are now float around in my subconscious like little landmines, ready to push me towards another relapse. I wasn't aware the full extent of the problem until I could try to let someone else in. Anyways, thanks everyone.
     
  7. todolist

    todolist Fapstronaut

    Interesting post.

    Firstly I would say don't be afraid to change therapists if she really isn't getting it. There are a lot out there and at the end of the day they are people with their own biases and life experiences. I was with one therapist for several years before I realized he was doing nothing for my addictions and depression which were only getting worse. Finding a therapist with a specialization in addiction and sexuality is pretty key. Sounds like from your last post she is starting to 'get it' which is good, but don't feel obliged to stay with her.

    In regards to your other words, I would say 'getting your house in order' before you tackle something like porn addiction is both true and false. Everything needs to be done in tandem and starts with a conscious decision to change and, more importantly, sacrifice. The same attitude that's needed to go each day without porn is also the one that should be applied to every moment you're awake. Unfortunately, that's really difficult. I would not have been able to get back on the waggon again if it wasn't for changing jobs as my last job was killing me and only left just enough time each day to indulge in something that could relax me. I don't blame anyone who struggles, as 'making sure everything is correct for you to quit porn' is very much dependent on what's going on in your life. What I'm saying is your therapist may be somewhat right when she says things like 'don't focus on quitting porn right now', as the other things in your life may be making it impossible for you to do it. In fact mine was saying similar things a few months ago ("don't be ashamed for not keeping with it", "you're under a huge amount of stress", "you can always come back to trying to beat porn" etc. etc.). Really, it sounds like you need a dramatic change in your life for the pieces to fit together, but most importantly you are aware porn is a problem you'd like to overcome, and its no longer the 'norm' but the 'exception'.
     
    modernstore99 and MindfulWarrior like this.
  8. SickSicko

    SickSicko Fapstronaut

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    I know this is going to come across as sexist but just as I read "she" I knew the advice following was going to be rubbish.
    As I do strongly believe, that, dopaminergic pathways aside, porn and masturbation is much more harmful for men than for women, and that a female therapist will struggle to fully grasp how bad it can really get and can dismiss it as not being so big a deal.

    That said, I think @modernstore99 gave you the best feedback possible and very little can be added to it.

    Also I think therapists are too overated, but that's likely my personal bias against therapists in general slipping through.
     
  9. approachingrelevance

    approachingrelevance Fapstronaut

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    thanks todolist for responding. I have other stuff going on that is worth having a therapist where if I were to drop it all together and start a new one it would take a while to get them up to speed.

    Wrapping my brain around quitting this whole thing does seem really hard, but I think breaking it apart into what are the moment I need to focus on so I can get through this day, or this evening are easier to digest. I think feeling bad that you haven't reached the larger ultimate success while you're still in the middle of it is hard because you're zooming out and focusing on this larger defeat, instead of zooming in and focusing on a small win right now for this moment. Thanks for that.
     
  10. todolist

    todolist Fapstronaut


    That's fair. As long as your therapist is with you in regards to quitting porn.

    I absolutely agree and couldn't put it better myself. focus on little improvements and most importantly don't shy away from communities like nofap. That was the biggest mistake I made when the stress was starting to overwhelm me. Even if you are failing to stay away from porn, having a support network around you is vital and keeps your mind from spiraling in on itself. Best of luck!
     
  11. TheGr8Mattsby

    TheGr8Mattsby Fapstronaut

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    I think she probably has a different perspective because she is a woman.

    With PMO you are literally cheating on arguably your sole reason for being here and most intense biological drive.

    I’m the same way why would you ever work if someone gave you millions of dollars.
     
  12. LessieBurna

    LessieBurna Fapstronaut

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    There has been an approach by a Dutch psychologist called "Van Zessen". In short in his opinion we seek for dopamine rushes because we have low self-esteem. He says 2 things.
    1. Watching porn is in general OK and masturbating is OK too. BUT: under restriction you work on the low self-esteem .
    2. How do you fix low self-esteem. He proposes to do small chores (5 minutes push ups / cleaning desktop / vacuum cleaning your room etc etc) but also mainly chores for other people like doing groceries for elderly or helping someone lift a heavy suitcase.

    So what is going to be the result: the empty space filled with dopamine seeking behaviour and low self esteem is getting filled with chores and other things to do. Its not cold turkey its over time. I guess for some people this works. But i think one of the main things is to channeling the dopamine seeking cooping mechanism. Learn stress reducent cooping mechanisms and learn how to coop with them by not watching porn.
     
  13. Overforme

    Overforme Fapstronaut

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    The therapist needs to come to this forum to get educated and realize that porn, masturbation and orgasm to excess is harmful to one's health. Do not be fooled OP and second guess your issues. You are here for a reason. You are sick of what porn does to you.
     
  14. ImASinnerWhoJesusSaved

    ImASinnerWhoJesusSaved Fapstronaut

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    Your points are all good, but no one should have to convince their therapist that this is a problem. Any therapist who is biased against the NoFap community is not going to be helpful unless they change their mind on their own. They are already brainwashed into the whole "yay for sex in all parts of life" thing. Stay far away is my opinion.
     
  15. modernstore99

    modernstore99 Fapstronaut

    I agree if you tell your therapist your porn use is out of control, compulsive, taking away time from things you'd rather be doing, and overall messing up your life, and they don't try to help you create solutions to stop using porn, then you should find another. From my friends who have taken therapy for other issues, they advised me to try out different ones before finding one that clicked; they said your therapist should almost feel like a friend who's just really smart.

    I have a feeling that most guys on NoFap who go to therapy don't really tell their therapists everything they're going through. No reasonable human could hear someone say

    "I masturbate for 8 hours a day until my penis bleeds from the scars and blisters that have formed, but if I don't masturbate I am unable to function at all, I want to stop but I can't"

    and tell them it's normal and they shouldn't beat themselves up. My advise is to tell your therapist all the horrible, gross, nitty gritty details of your MO habits (maybe not the porn you watch though, save that for later), and if you see the MO habits themselves are screwing with your life but the therapist says they're ok, move on and try to find someone else.
     
  16. WelcomeToReality

    WelcomeToReality Fapstronaut

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    Just simply don't waist time talking with her about porn. There is no official diagnosis at American Psychiatric Association for Porn addiction. She is simply clueless about it. Don't waist time. Best advices you can get from people who is practically dealing with that. And still we hardly understand why we are doing, do you expect woman to understand which never experienced that and where she learned that porn addiction is not exist and not even to understand to help you with that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  17. approachingrelevance

    approachingrelevance Fapstronaut

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    This sounds cool, is this in english anywhere?
     
  18. E31

    E31 Fapstronaut

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    I'm with you that it might be more devastating for men, but your point doesn't really make sense regardless.
    A good therapist is not someone who has gone through anything one could ever go through, like having childhood abuse ptsd, schizophrenia, an eating disorder and drug problem, just to be able to help someone going through any of those. Rather they need to understand the mechanisms of our psychology and how to work with that.

    And besides, as a man you should know how most man react when you tell them you have a pmo problem, some shady male therapists probably included so...

    Sorry, got a little defensive here because I have a great therapist and she totally gets the problem and is a big help ;)
     
  19. ElderStatesman

    ElderStatesman Fapstronaut

    I have two thoughts:

    1. Find a different therapist.
    2. Don’t bother with therapy.

    Not trying to be a simplistic jerk here. Here’s a fact however: The mental health industry has failed to solve addiction.

    I’ve written about that, along with a bunch of other rants, in my journal 25 Years Gone so I won’t get into it all here.

    Another question would be why you’re seeing a therapist. In addition to not having the answers to addiction, or even - apparently in the case of the possibly lame worker you’re throwing good money at - not understanding porn addiction, the mental health industry’s real success has been through medications for depression and anxiety.

    Having seen therapists for years for work stress, depression, anxiety, life and relationship issues and, yes, porn addiction, I recommend, instead, consulting a psychiatrist and actually getting treated. You may already be doing this, and bear in mind that there is no pill for porn addiction, but you might get help for whatever issues led you to see a therapist.

    Disclaimer: I am neither a member of the mental health industry nor successful at quitting porn forever. Just my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  20. WelcomeToReality

    WelcomeToReality Fapstronaut

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    Why you posting Van Zassen opinion? Do you believe Porn is okey in general?
     

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