P.A.W.S. - what are they, cure, duration

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Fenix Rising, May 12, 2019.

  1. DerJogge

    DerJogge Fapstronaut

    I mean I'm not reducing myself to being a recovering drug addict. People know about it and some don't but I nowadays I get respected from most of the people that I am befriended with. Beside being into PAWS I still managed to provide an immense performance throughout the last year - mainly because there was no other option left. As I told before my father had a brain aneurysma that popped and I had to take many responsibilities for my sisters and mother. I had to do so much stuff to do concerning the financial and bureaucratic doings of my parents and I still have to manage those. All those forced experiences allowed me to grow tremendously as a person and other people are respecting that and even more appreciate it because I had to do all those things in the context of coming out ex-drug-addict background. The only thing that keeps me in that ex-drug-addict-background is my own mind which constantly reminds me of it and my own dreams that still processes things I did a few years ago. I think I wouldn't be involved with the past if my symptoms would be gone.

    My advice to you would be following: don't talk about your symptoms and your problems with people that aren't open to it. Some people don't want to hear about negative things. They want to live in their delusion that the world only consists of positive experiences and it's the best to leave them in that delusion. Often people feel awkward if another person talks about their addictions because that subconsciously points out to their own addictions. I noticed that you can't speak about PMO online especially on reddit as this instantly triggers the people. It's directly pointing out to the implication that masturbation is bad and that people should be feeling bad for doing it. I don't think everyone that masturbates is doing something bad but 90% of the people that are doing it are doing it out of compulsion and to manage their stress levels. In the end thats what an addiction basically is. Same for things like alcohol - people instantly get nervous and awkward when I tell them that I didn't drink alcohol for about two years. There is this heavy unbelief which collides with their own ideas and concept, this causes a subconscious bad reaction towards you. Most of the times I manage to unwind this bad reaction towards me by being positively minded and showing empathy towards their reaction.

    You don't have to live a double-life. You just have to understand that telling everyone about your circumstances isn't needed in order to interact with other people. If you are feeling bad or not so good mooded on a certain day then just let people know that you aren't feeling fine today but you are still trying to get the best out of it. I would recommend to be open about your problems towards the people you live with. For example your family. Don't make it harder for yourself then it actually is. This might take some effort to jump over your shadow but I am so happy that my whole family knows about my past and that I can talk openly about it. If your family doesn't understand your situation then you shouldn't take it personally. People have their own belief-systems and some things are difficult to grasp. Don't react with negativity towards them but just live your life as best you can do and give them examples of what this condition is causing to you. Explain them what is going on without justifying with. Ask them if they can imagine what you must feel like. Let them imagine that they have a constant headache and then you come around the corner and question their headache and act like it isn't real. A person that is loving you and that respects you wouldn't be reacting negatively towards you. Every "friend" or "family-member" that is mocking you for your condition doesn't respect you as a person and I myself wouldn't tolerate that. My self worth is no longer allowing me that people can simply disrespect me and I just continue the relationship with them because I need them in my life.
    Bomb squad likes this.
  2. humbleone

    humbleone Fapstronaut


    I have had bad gut for the last 5 years, used to be terrible after cocaine and drinking. Now the longer I abstain the better it gets.

    I eat pretty healthy anyway so I'm just putting all of my physiological and psychological issues down to PAWS - they at least seem to correlate.
  3. Masked-Debater

    Masked-Debater Fapstronaut

    That's encouraging if gut issues tend to resolve on their own. It's totally possible if your gut issues are mainly caused by anxiety signals from the brain. It makes sense to me.
  4. Anonymous86

    Anonymous86 Fapstronaut

    Are you saying that a relapse put you into a flatline?
  5. jayyad

    jayyad Fapstronaut

    either I relapsed during a flatline or yes a relapse put me into a flatline, either way I've slowly come out of the 3 months of depressive hell. I actually hooked up again with my ex yesterday because I needed to see of my dick was working after coming out of the flatline but it was a no go, still couldnt get hard from hooking up.
  6. DerJogge

    DerJogge Fapstronaut

    Just an honest recommendation from my side. Stop hooking up with your ex. You will notice when your PIED is gone and while you are rewiring sex can also be counterproductive. Most of the guys don’t wanna hear about that but doing noFap isn’t just leaving PMO behind and then hooking up with chicks constantly.
    DGZ likes this.
  7. Dave G 123

    Dave G 123 Fapstronaut

    Ha, I have no family to speak of - I mean I do have a family, but trust me, PMO is not something I could talk to any of them about. If I did it would open a big can of worms that I don't want to deal with, for good reason.

    Yep, people in general get super-defensive if you talk about PMO, and I've also noticed a similar response when people talk about the dangers of alcohol - most people are in to both of these things, and are maybe vaguely aware that they might have a problem, but can't handle it.
  8. DGZ

    DGZ Fapstronaut

    Had another good day today. My libido was the highest it's ever been, and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on a bench and watching the sunset! Hopeful about the future :)
  9. Master Chips

    Master Chips Fapstronaut

    Guys did anyone try Magnesium supplement? I read that it improves anxiety symptoms.
    DC1234 likes this.
  10. Dave G 123

    Dave G 123 Fapstronaut

    Yeah, in the past I've tried all sorts of MG supplements, up to injecting it regularly. I had blood tests to show that I had low levels of MG in my blood, but none of the supplementation really touched my symptoms; it may have had a mild effect, but nothing more. Vit B3 (Niacin) had more of an effect for me.
  11. That's the longest thread about PAWS. I wonder how the OP is doing...?
  12. Shuffledude88

    Shuffledude88 Fapstronaut

    Hey guys! Have been doing some reading here in the thread and I feel quite comforted from y'alls experiences. I think this is what I'm going through right now, and probably will for a while. Who knows. From what I've read anxiety and other symptoms work cyclical for a time, before they hopefully cease. I have been struggling with quite serious anxiety and feeling low for over a month on a daily basis. I have done a lot of soul searching, working with myself, seeing a psychologist, talking to friends and family. Through this I have identified some things in my life which I have worked with and sorted out. The thing which then have been worrying me has been that the hole in my stomach, and the anxiety have still been around. It's always easier to relate to a problem when you can link it to something.

    I feel quite embarrased almost that I haven't considered my PMO recovery to be related to this. I guess it's normal when the days keep ticking by, and you feel better overall, that you forget that this still is a long term thing. I'm slowly approaching a year porn free, and I'm feeling proud about that. It's one of my biggest wins in my life. During this ride a lot of great things have happened in my life. Things I never thought would happen. And I know that a lot more is yet to come if I keep it up.

    In a weird way I hope that this last month of agony have to do with my recovery. Then I finally have something to link it too, and can move forward. For the first 200 days or so on this streak I lived a quite restricted life. I was single, I had my routines, I worked out, I worked, I slept. That was it almost. And I think I had some of what I have experienced lately then too. But I had it all in my own space, and in some way it wasn't as present. Then the best thing in my life happened. I met a girl. And we have been spending a lot of time since then and are together. She is the love of my life and it feels great. But it has also changed my life completely in terms of routines and other stuff. Along with all that this anxiety came up more and more. I have then been afraid that it had something to do with us. Something I deep inside knew wasn't the case.

    Long story short. Thank you for this thread. I truly now understand that PAWS, or whatever you label it, have to do with my situation aswell. I hope that it will cease soon, and I will hang in there. This is a fight for our lives, and all the effort will be worth it in the end. Every day is a day closer guys
    Brain Fog likes this.
  13. So I've been forced to come back to clarify a few things.

    I have stayed in contact with a couple of people from this forum that i have built a good friendship with over the last 3 years and i was contacted recently by one of these people, they told me androgenic beast is claiming to be me/ was claiming to be me all along as a way of trolling you all, i can tell you now 100% this is complete bullshit , i am more than happy to Skype any of you to prove this.

    If he has done this then please ignore it, i deleted my account 3 weeks ago because i was continously being messaged by people asking for advice and i just couldn't cope with the volume of replies and questions from people, it started to effect me mentally as i was absorbing alot of people's negative emotions and it started to take me back to my past negative mental state where I would spend hours on this forum aswell as reddit every day.

    The reason i felt the need to make a new account and explain all this is because i do not want my theories and recovery to be discounted because people believe it is just androgenic beast trolling, i built up a really good relationship with a few people but in particular Don quiote, I spoke to him at length and do not want him to think it was all bullshit.

    So yeah, im happy to Skype any of you to reveal myself (im sure most people don't even care tbh), i think alot of the info i added to this discussion was valuable and I do not want it discounted.
  14. gangstaLjos

    gangstaLjos Fapstronaut

    Currently in the cycle where the symptoms are at its worst. In my history with it, they usually last about a week or two. During this I am so fatigued its unbelievable. Sitting at school for 30 minutes is almost impossible and I find everything so fucking difficult. Despite this I have managed to run 5km today, which is something I do three times a week.

    But yeah, the symptoms are at its fucking peak during this cycle, if that is what I can call it. Who knows tho, maybe its a come-down as a result of over-training? I do, like mentioned, run three times a week, plus lift weights three times a week. Maybe now I am punished for doing too much whilst my brain is busy recovering? Or maybe its just a cycle that will indefinitely come and go,
    who the fuck knows, man.

    Its funny tho, because every Sunday I feel very good. This is because I usually go out drinking on Saturdays, and instead of a hangover, I actually have some dopamine in my brain the day after. Man, the Sundays I have... I laugh with my boys, I am confident and aggressive (in a good way) around them, music sounds so good, fuck I even dance around the house. Yeah, my Sundays are dope.

    Alcohol slowing down my recovery? Probably. That said, living in an apartment with four college buddies, I find it necessary, and in all honesty, its a pleasure I allow myself during this. When healed, I shall definitely reevaluate my relationship with such external pleasures, but now, as a student going through hell, I shall enjoy my Saturdays (and the great follow-up Sundays)

    Hopefully these intense symptoms only last a week, and I return back to the ''normal'' PAWS next week

    I hope you're all doing the best you can to make the best out of the day, no matter the current situation you find yourself in, and hopefully you see more good days than bad.

    Heres to healing, guys!
  15. jayyad

    jayyad Fapstronaut

    20 years old here, I noticed when I drink I’m super happy the night of drinking and very happy the day after aswell. I feel like this slows down my healing though as you mentioned so I decided to cut it out over the past couple of weeks. How’s your libido? I feel less that we’re going through PAWS and more of a just extended flatline. Or maybe they’re the same thing lol who knows. Btw how many days of no lmk are you on?
    wfcasdvwervdsv likes this.
  16. gangstaLjos

    gangstaLjos Fapstronaut

    Libido is non-existent here, bro. Couple of mild morning woods here and there, but no desire or attraction for girls AT ALL. Nah, this is definitely a case of PAWS bro.. Ive been through this for a long time. The time I got really serious with quitting PMO was 25th of March last year, in which I have relapsed about three times in total since then.
    Im 23, so we're in a pretty similar situation.
    Ive had periods on this streak where I felt absolutely horrible, in which I didn't drink for months, so I cant really blame alcohol in that way. But yeah, only natural that it will slow down the progress. I see some folks saying to remove all external stimuli as then one will never heal, but honestly, is one not to experience any pleasure at all for months and possibly years? Is recovering from PAWS all about doing a full dopamine fast for months and years? Im all for dopamine fasts, and fasting in general, but surely such decisions are to be made when in good health, and not whilst suffering? I believe external stimuli like alcohol will slow down progress; but not KILL it.
    Brain Fog and wfcasdvwervdsv like this.
  17. wfcasdvwervdsv

    wfcasdvwervdsv Fapstronaut

    I'm also interested in how external stimuli like excessive internet and drinking can affect PAWS. Loads of people will preach that its essential to stay away from that stuff to heal, yet a lot of the PAWS recovery stories I hear claim that it didn't have any impact on their recovery, and that the only healing component is time and abstinence.

    I've stayed away from alcohol for almost 2 years now as my PAWS symptoms have been so intense that alcohol would no longer give me any sort of buzz. Now that I'm beginning to feel a little better I'd probably like to start drinking with my friends again and would welcome any insights from people who have had experience with drinking and PAWS recovery...
    Brain Fog and gangstaLjos like this.
  18. DerJogge

    DerJogge Fapstronaut

    I think there is a certain limit to what exercise is fruitful and beneficial and there comes a point where it starts to makes symptoms worse. From my experience and all those PAWS guides I read I would conclude that the importance is not the total amount of trainings you do a week but the intensity of each training. There was a time where I was running 3 times a week, half an hour each but I was running around my lake trail as nothing could stop me. I got that runners high but I was left with a body and brain that lacks of energy the next days as the intensity of my run was too high. Preferably you are doing longer runs but with a way lower intensity. Everyone has its own tempo but I wouldn't run more then 6-9km in about an hour. At least thats the experiences I made. I also had a time where I was weightlifting 4-5 times a week which was too much as well. But take that with a grain of salt as I did a tight exercise regime. I still wouldn't recommend loading up the maximum amount of weights you can lift for the whole time. Rather do longer trainings but less intensity. Strong intensities ultimately cause stress in brain and body and this is something you wanna avoid while going through PAWS.

    Considering alcohol I can just only give you my honest and own experience from years of living a weekend party lifestyle as this is pretty normal from where I'm coming from. I also had this phenomena of having no hangovers on the day after drinking while going through the early stages of PAWS without knowing that I'm in PAWS back then. I was wondering so much why I am feeling so good the day after drinking. I did no PMO, videogaming or anything addiction wise the rest of the week and was only drinking one day on the weekend. I felt this calmness, relaxtion and kind of flow/happiness state the day after drinking. The second day after drinking I noticed that the state is leaving already and that the dullness of PAWS was crawling back to me. I lived in this state for several months until those happy days after drinking faded and all I was left with was the urge to drink on the weekends and I ultimately realized that alcohol is just another addiction that I have to leave behind in order to feel relieved the whole week and not just for 1,2 days a week. I'm not going to tell you stop drinking on the weekend as everyone learns best from his own mistakes and I wouldn't be able to go through a whole two year process if I wouldn't have learned that no evasion, no drinking on the weekend, no self-improvement, no weed, NOTHING will help you to get out of PAWS or make it more bearable in the longterm. You might feel in control over alcohol at the moment but that is barely and illusion as you are already pointing out to the fact that this is a necessity. You're setting up a trap for yourself and you are feeling good the day after because your brain is extremely deprived from dopamine and GABA-related transmitters the whole week and you are pouring a short time reliever inside yourself. I also noticed this phenomena with coffeine. I was in greek with my ex-girlfriend back in 2019 and on they day of our depart back to home we had to get up extremely early like 4AM and as I was getting ready I prepared myself a medium to strong matcha tea (kind of green tea if I'm right) in order to be awake and capable of managing all the things. This was a time where I went through my first 2-3 months of pure hardmode and pure abstinence of every substance and I already had that PAWS dullness and symptoms. I was reading a fantasy book while we were waiting and I kept reading through the whole flight and I was fascinated by my cognitive abilites, my reading was working excellent. The story unfolded itself inside my brain in every possible way and I felt an extreme form of presence. I took a moment and looked outside of the window of the plane. Everything felt so clear and real, there was no derealisation, no anxiety, just this calm happy presence and a tear of joy rolled over my cheek as I watched the beauty of sitting inside a plan and watching the alps. Then I started wondering why I was feeling this good on the day of our departure and on the way back into a stressful life while going through PAWS. 4 hours later, all of a sudden I was snapping out of this presence without an obvious reason and it felt like I was thrown back into the PAWS reality through someone switching a light switch turning off my feel well hormones. I instantly had this tremendous fatigue and my cognitive abilites turned back into shit. The day after I tried to understand what was happening and I remembered the matcha tea in the morning and first I was thinking na, this can't be it but I wasn't feeling this GREAT for months, this was more then a coincidence. I did an experiment 3 days later and drank some matcha tea again and I could feel that same phenomena again. Reality felt as it should be but it faded a few hours later and I felt this extreme form of being burned out. I was so tired I had to take a nap that lasted 3 hours and just woke up to eat something and went back to sleep for 10 hours. My brain basically couldn't handle all of this only for a few hours until it was too much for my PAWS brain. All of this was caused by a simple matcha tea. Since then I'm fully and strictly avoiding any form of caffeine. I also remember of all those guides warning of coffeine and alcohol while going through PAWS. When you reached the point of being into PAWS you need to go through abstinence from any excessive form of stimulus. I don't know how much you drink with your college buddies but if this is anything simliar to the way college students are drinking here in germany then this will be an excessive stimulus.

    I'm sorry if I talk this open about a topic that currently offers some form of relieve for you but I went through the whole dramatic and painful process of realizing that you have to cut yourself off from anything that offers you any form of relief even if its just for a few hours. I'm not telling you to stop drinking alcohol because a stranger on the internet said so but I'm presenting you my very own experience, so you can make more informed decisions for yourself. Make your own experience but understand that drinking every weekend, which causes symtpoms to leave for 1-2 days, ultimately could prevent recovery from occuring and that you are going through the cycle of feeling like shit for 5 days followed by 1-2 "good" days for months without any progress being made. You can totally recover from PAWS while drinking alcohol but you can also end up never leaving it and ending up with a serious alcohol addiction. If you feel like alcohol is a social necessity then I can highly recommend reading the book "this naked mind" by Anna Grace. I come from heavily addicted alcohol society and nearly everyone I know drinks alcohol. After reading this book I never felt the urge to drink alcohol again. That's no exaggeration. Yes the first months were hard and social situations were awkward many times but nowadays I'm feeling such a huge relive to never ever feel the peer pressure of alcohol again.

    I also thought a lot about things that can prevent your PAWS recovery. First of all it highly depends on each person and their own constitution but in general I came to the conclusion that PAWS recovery could be prevented or sabotaged by habits and stimulus that dampen the symptoms and your current state signifcantly. I know that coffeine isn't good for me and that I should avoid it because it causes so much thing inside of me that I literally forget about the PAWS process for the amount of time the coffeine is working. The second its over I get transfered back into abyss. Same for alcohol. Same for things like competitive video games. I also reflect on my internet and video consumption as I am using them a lot lately. The thing is I feel no real relieve by spending time on youtube, netflix or reddit. I'm literally feeling as shit as always while using it as without using the internet. I can be depressed and full of adnedonia that day and the film I'm watching on netflix isn't changing anything about that state of mind. It just makes the time pass by. A real stimulus that should be avoided moves you out of your symtoms or drastically improves them. At least thats the conclusion I made and as always I could be very wrong about it. My experience is highly subjective and not transferable onto everyone else thus I don't think that videogames or alcohol are preventing PAWS recovery for everyone in here but for me personally its preventing my recovery and I think everyone should be honest with themselves to not fall in a trap that they don't know of. You can walk into a trap if you are mindful about it and if you are consciously doing it in order to support your longterm subconscious believes by making an experience for yourself but be aware of the dangers.
    Kningb, Brain Fog, DGZ and 1 other person like this.
  19. zander13

    zander13 Fapstronaut

    16.5 months into this and can't really tell where I'm at. I'm still stupid as fuck, and have a lot of anhedonia. Maybe not as much as before, but I wish that I was doing better at this juncture than I am. Hoping this will all resolve itself after 2 years, but I'm now opening up to possibility that it'll take longer. And when I mean "resolve itself", I just want the anhedonia to be mostly gone. I don't need things to be perfect, I just want to be relatively normal.
    sikreodds97 and gangstaLjos like this.
  20. gangstaLjos

    gangstaLjos Fapstronaut

    I really appreciate you taking your time to write down your insight and your experiences. Regarding training, I'm not sure it will halt the recovery, but I can for sure believe that it will worsen the symptoms as the brain is left exhausted. That said, during training is one of the moments where I am symptom free (unless I am in the worst cycles), and having a respectable body is important to me, especially during this as the confidence is low. I will continue to lift three times a week and run three times a week.. I will take to heart your take on the intensity and test it out myself.
    Like mentioned in my previous post, the past two days have been very tough. Im sure you experience or have experienced periods where the symptoms truly are worse than other times. Now, can I for sure blame this on choices I have made (for example training, external stimuli, etc), or is it simply a case of these cycles coming and going? I do know that I have felt similar in periods where I wasn't running, nor was I lifting. I have also felt this awful in periods where I wasn't drinking for months.

    Your take on caffeine is spot on, and as a student trying to do the best I can at school (which isnt very good at the moment, perfectly highlighted by my 30 minute session at school today), I can admit to consuming caffeine almost daily to get atleast some shit done, and feel somewhat alive. That said, I am scared of the severity of the harm I am causing myself in the long term, and the potential of staying in this pit longer than I want to. During the worst stages, like I am experiencing now, the caffeine does nothing for me tho. It didn't help me at school at all today, and socially I wasnt any more present. During the ''normal'' stage of my PAWS, where I am not suffering as much, caffeine definitely lifts me up. I enjoy the company of my roomies more, I can be more present, and I can get more shit done with school and other practical things.

    Regarding a potential addiction to alcohol, I wouldnt worry. I know how I felt when I was deep in PMO, and that was truly an addiction. I was stuck and high on it. Alcohol is merely something that makes me escape from this tough time, but something that I can easily drop in every weekend I can. My emphasis on it being a necessity was maybe a bit of a stretch as I can choose to relax on the Saturdays, opposed to drinking. Its just that I haven't been open about my struggles with my roomies, and I dont want to be the guy that hides in his room while they are having fun, you know?
    I will definitely consider toning it down, and skipping weekends here and there, but I wont eliminate it from my life completely right now.
    Being social on Saturdays (with other people than my roomies) without alcohol I just couldn't do right now. I have had periods of being PMO-free where I have felt absence of symptoms, and for sure it was easy to go out without drinking. Now, in the midst of things being at its worse, I can tell you that it will be absolutely impossible to be around drunk people sober. Impossible. I can barely look my roommates in the eye.
    (We do go crazy with alcohol here in Norway too, btw)

    I am fully with you on the part where you talk about not feeling any joy doing pleasurable activities such as gaming, Netflix etc. It is, like you said, merely a way of passing time. This is especially relevant now during the worst of symptoms. The past month haven't been too bad for me tho - I have managed to function pretty good with my roomies, plus these pleasurable activities has actually been fairly pleasurable.

    My concluding message in this post will be that I am simply unsure of this tough cycle I find myself in being a result of my actions or simply a cycle of periods that comes with PAWS. I can bare the symptoms I experience during my normal PAWS, but these symptoms I currently have are so fucking severe, and Ive been through these ''hell weeks'' as I call em one too many times. And the thing is I have gone through them in times where I have not been drinking, nor have I been training. I dunno bro, this is difficult.
    I must for sure tone down my caffein consumption tho. Maybe ill save it only for the times where my studying needs it (need is a strong word, I know).
    Brain Fog and DerJogge like this.

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