Post acute withdrawal and my symptoms. Can you relate?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by DarkSektur, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Were you able to function like go to work, go socialize, play sports etc...?
    If so, was it at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the streak?
  2. Ónitrix

    Ónitrix Fapstronaut

    I was addicted to pmo for eighteen years and all your simptons hapened to me too now I am on my 28th day of nofap hardmode(any other sex phantasy comes to my mind but never releapse)i hope it doesn't take too much for my recobery cause aldough I've been trying to quit pmo for a very long time this is my longest streak and its motivated for a purpose and there is ist much time left to achieve it
  3. MarinoBigFan1984

    MarinoBigFan1984 Fapstronaut

    NoFap isn’t a cure all for all problems
    safa61947 and Optimum Fortitude like this.
  4. Does wife sex count as a relapse. Will it re intensify my paws symptoms like my brain fog anxiety and depression and muscle weakness and all the stuff I’m trying to slowly wear down?
  5. Drax07

    Drax07 Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

    I would say it doesn't because its with a real person, but jerking off with porn is most definitely a relapse, but jerking off by itself is an iffy one. PAWS will pass, focus on the end result not so much the fog itself, if you can get through that, you've gone through the worst, well depending on how intense the addiction. Sometimes the mental recovery is as bad if not worse than the physical aspect.

    Freeddom_Taker likes this.
  6. Indurian

    Indurian Fapstronaut

    Reading these posts is really quite surreal. I've only just discovered Paws info and I can't help but feel a bit relieved. The symptoms described by each person seem consistent, and are certainly consistent with what I've experienced for circa ten years. I've spent that time (especially in the beginning) feeling isolated. Nobody seemed to have any answers, including the medical professionals that I saw. Thank you everyone here for detailing your experiences.

    To summarise, I PMO'd from about 14 or 15 but this was pre high speed stuff. I was about 25 when smartphones and broadband kicked off and coincidentally that's when the shit really hit the fan in my life. I was under a great deal of pressure at work and this also coincided with my first kid being born. I was undoubtedly using PMO to medicate myself at that time. Basically, my brain / mind went into proper meltdown, my symptoms being:

    • Complete inability to deal with stress
    • Irritable all the time
    • Massive internal anger and rage.
    • Literally no joy in anything other than porn or sex
    • Zero happiness
    • No connection to nature
    • No feelings of love towards family
    • No connection with friends
    • No positive feelings even when succeeding at work
    • Massive adrenaline surges through my body when going through stressful experiences
    • Hypochondria with constant checking behaviours
    • Pains in random places which further fuelled hypochondria
    • As a result visits to the doctors who it seems had no clue what I was experiencing (I'm not blaming them)
    • Extreme social anxiety. I was speaking to people at parties while my thoughts and stress system were going crazy.
    • Inability to properly look people in the eye.
    • No connection when talking to people.
    • Racing thoughts all the time.
    • Strange relationship with food. No enjoyment in eating for years but lots of bloating and discomfort after meals. Frankly weird and uncomfortable symptoms.
    There are no doubt more that are not coming to mind just now.

    These symptoms peaked in 2013 and have gradually decreased since. I feel like it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. I don't really know what symptoms were caused by work and family stress and which were caused by porn. At this stage my best guess is that the two interacted together to change my pleasure and reward system. I'd be curious to know whether I would have experienced many of the symptoms if I had not used PMO to self medicate during this time.

    Basically we were using PMO to deal with stress, while conversely, and unbeknownst to us all here, we were actually greatly reducing our baseline ability to deal with stress.
  7. It is PAWS brother.... Life stress is not comparable at all. We, men are supposed to handle any stress or anything life throws at us. However addiction takes that away.
    AspiringVitality and Indurian like this.
  8. Whelp. We all have the same symptoms. It seems like rebooting and zero pmo is the only fix from what everyone says. It’s funny how before we know what’s happening we all go to the dr and nobody can figure out the source of all the debilitating symptoms. I guess no one want to put “I jerked myself into social, mental and physical retardation” on the map. It’s funny because in an over sexualized world coupled with the internet and social media, how can this not be a mainstream Illness. I mean seriously- I am a broken man. And yes I will give my sons a whole new sex talk when I balance out. Pmo is NOT ok and harmless even tho the world says it’s natural. I’m seriously messed up as I suspect a whole lot of men are
  9. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

    That is hitting close to home brother. I clearly remember my GP asking me if I had abused drugs because of my symptoms. I told him no and honestly never did, but at the same time I couldn't help thinking about my pmo addiction. Of course I was just too ashamed to bring it up. Next time I'm there I'm putting all cards on the table as I want to get his opinion on this matter. My psychiatrist says porn can't cause addiction or anxiety disorders but then again she's an older lady who hasn't ejaculated to this filth more than she could count. Problem in my case is though I've also had an underlying infection from a root canal treatment gone wrong which probably was too much for my system to handle once I decided to abstain since my withdrawal has been so bad. I really don't see any other options other than going back on SSRIs so I can hopefully get better medical and psychological treatment. The tooth is gone but still, I had it in there for a couple of years. Root canal infections are pretty sneaky. The nerve is dead and all that signals pain are the surrounding gums. I'd like to use the occasion to advise anyone against this procedure should you ever get the suggestion from a dentist. Might save you from a lot of pain and misery.

    Anyone on here on SSRIs for your symptoms? I know there's a lot of taboo surrounding these meds but the conditions guys like us are facing just aren't your average cold either. In my case they're the difference between being able to get out there and ask for more help on one hand, crippling phobias and panic on the other. Time has definitely helped but I'm closing in on 2 years and am still not where I need to be. Biochemically I am a real mess and possibly one of the worst cases on here. I do not have suicidal ideations thank God but I clearly remember the energy; the feelings of happiness and contentment lifting the week I entered withdrawal. Everything just came crashing down. I mean my heart started racing and my nose started bleeding on multiple occasions. For f*cks sake, it's been some scary shit and I don't blame myself for feeling the way I do. I'm sorry for being sentimental but you are the only ones who will somewhat understand what I am dealing with. Broken nerves don't have casts, people just don't get it, not even the psychiatrist. I mean I may look as if I'm perfectly capable of flying to Spain to get some sunshine but try walking on a broken leg. It's the absolute same thing.
  10. Next month on the 2nd of October will be two years no porn. Previously before that I had been trying to quit for five years unsuccessfully. Symptoms happening around 2011, Weak erections/PIED, could barely scrape a 20/30% erection at my worst and would still fap. I had about 30 to 40 different symptoms over time, it has been nothing short of living hell. Non existent sex drive, everything. Essentially I was a PMO slave for many years. Porn was an insidious build up over time, turning into something out of curiosity and teenage hormones into a flat out 3 times a day everyday slave then as I said above my relapses may of been months a part but were still keeping me in a pit of misery.

    I had an ultimatum my last ever PMO and realised nothing was going to get better if I didn't give this everything I had so I decided this was it no more porn at all. It was extremely difficult the first 9-11 months. I had the consistent amount of anxiety that I had previously for years ago up until 11 months when it went from 120% to 80%. Gradually month and month that followed it was getting better and better. I cant say enough times that the way this has gone is it ain't an overnight thing and that it's a agonisingly slow process on the road to recover. Stopping caffeine whilst I recover has also helped tremendously it was definitely inhibiting my sleep schedule which I think in turn was making it a bit harder than it should have been, sleep is so important it's where we rest and repair.

    I feel as time goes on I'm getting better and better and it's looking exciting to see where it goes as I lost that feeling when I started using porn infact I lost every emotion known whilst under the PMO spell. Bken posted on this topic that all you ever feel is a feeling of anxious ness and depression and they were the only two things I ever felt for a long, long time. I don't know what normal is and I dont know about being cured in the sense that I'm back to normal 100% but its getting better and better.

    I'm unemployed at the moment and havent the financial needs to go out and meet a women and what else but I feel all I need to be focusing on now is getting back out there getting set on a career and rewiring. I think rewiring is crucial and the last piece of the puzzle I'm missing at the moment.

    Anyways, hang in there guys and dont give up. Dont fuck around like how I did quitting and then binging and relapsing over and over, tackle it NOW. Do anything and everything at all costs to to change your PMO identity. You have to bury it and forge a new path, a new you. Once you start seeing the 'glimpses' you'll know the path your taking is the right one. It'll be a bumpy road even over a year if you was bad but I promise it does get better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2019
  11. I don't think I will ever understand how one can be a psychologist, let alone a psychiatrist, and be so close-minded as to straight up reject the hypothesis that pornography and compulsive M can be a serious addiction issue.

    Perhaps they have no clue what today's landscape of pornography is. But in that case they should investigate, for the sake of their own medical expertise. Not doing it seems to be really unprofessional and I would seek help from another doctor.
  12. Thanks for this!!
    Freeddom_Taker and Buddhabro like this.
  13. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

    Most of my crippling anxiety and depression was experienced during my addiction. Curiously, my PAWS symptoms have been primarily cognitive i.e, memory loss--short term/long term; retardation of abstract reasoning--spatial/verbal; inability to read, retain, learn, manipulate knowledge, or navigate social contexts-- all this fits under the umbrella of "brainfog" in my categorization of symptoms. I do experience extreme anhedonia--zero emotions or pleasure in anything (all slowly improving). No problems with PIED as far as I can tell (regular full morning erections). I don't know why that is, but the thing that was always most important to me in life was my intellect, and that's what porn took away. Don't know if there's any meaning behind that.

    Anyway, at the start of October, I'll be achieving my 1 year no PMO (hardmode). I can confidently say I have improved in many important ways over the span of nearly 12 months of sobriety with signposts of hope along the way. I'm not finished, not by a long shot. However, a few days ago, I was at a restaurant, and this dead static space that has persisted in the center of my brain for the entirety of my recovery suddenly turned on like Christmas lights! There was this cognitive fluidity, speed, spacial agility, warmth and vitality reminiscent of my pre-collapse self. The only thing that was lacking was a distinct emotional fullness and strength. It felt brittle, even though it was rich and dynamic, and it only lasted about a minute or two before leveling out and then tapering off. But it was the first sign (aside from the slow ass monthly progression) that the old me still EXISTS somewhere deep down within as a potentiality, and my brain has a chance of coming fully back online--completely melting PAWS away like the Wicked Witch of the West!

    For the last 3 years, I've believed that the intellectual part of me was just dead, and the name of the game would be--How much of what's left can be saved in recovery? I've been living as a scavenger, roaming the ruins of my former self, searching for miscellaneous valuables--But maybe in the next 12-24 months, I can recover to a 90-100% baseline (not even normal people function 100% 24/7). And sure, maybe I won't be my former self, but hell, I don't want to be! There's hope for a new self, a better self, a stronger, wiser self, with the old cognitive faculties back in order. No longer just a nihilistic, deconstructive intellect, but a more truthful, creative and fulfilling one.

    For the medical community getting up to speed on this, It'll take them probably another 5-10, 15 years to accept the knowledge we have and know so intimately about our Porn induced PAWS. Medical knowledge is much more advanced in its understanding of substance related addictions--the biochemistry and such. BUT even then, there is STILL a huge majority of medical experts--researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.-- who deny the existence of PAWS as a legitimate phenomenon. Many believe it's just a made up excuse to get out of having responsibilities like work and relationships. But so help me GOD, If those ASSHOLES could experience what we were going through for even a single day, they would beg for mercy! Even family and friends just don't get it. I've shared my PAWS with some close confidants, and there's this twinkling skepticism in their eyes; they say, "You seem normal." Like fuck I'm normal... Yet I get it. It's a mystery. I don't even know what I'm going through exactly, I just know like HELL I'm going through it.

    It will be fascinating to one day peek behind the veil of what we are ACTUALLY experiencing. Because, for all our inductions about what's going on, what works and doesn't regarding PAWS, we are sitting in empirical darkness. We are trapped in the mystery land of subjectivity, which prevents us from having certain hope, but also protects us from certain despair. As Travis Bickle in the movie Taxi Driver says, "You're only as healthy as you feel." I am forced to be a non-hedonistic pragmatist. Whatever makes me feel better, more recovered, more progressed, extended out into my farthest future self, that is what I will deem most good.

    Best of luck and ever onward!

    Don Quixote de la Mancha
  14. Yusss. My shell of my former self thanks you for posting and if I could feel happy I would for you. Someday if we stick with it we will all turn on like Christmas lights and shine with a better version of our less selfish snarky selves. Reborn I spose since the old me is truly dying a horrible slow agonizing awkward death. I seriously look at my note in my phone to myself every day that says “I’m not ok, but I will be”- Future Self.
  15. Indurian

    Indurian Fapstronaut

    It seems clear that in order to get better I am forced to give up my former lifestyle and habits one by one. Over a number of years through a clear seeing of the direct link between some of my former habits and the resulting suffering experienced, a number of what religious people would deem worldly pleasures have disappeared from my life.

    Stop them or suffer. That's been the choice given.

    So far, alcohol, lusting, PMO, meat, anger, gossiping have all, to a large extent gone (hopefully no relapses with PMO!). I've had a natural inclination to avoid caffeine as I have more than enough tension in my life. I can tell that overcoming overeating is next but keep going back to it again and again.
  16. Yea man. It’s a rough road. But think about it the way our forefathers who didn’t have all this luxury and gluttony lived. They were stronger men. And it’s no lie or fairy tale when you hear it, the wages of sin are death. Spiritually and physically. Live or die. Up to you
  17. How long were u addicted mate?
  18. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

    I have been addicted to PMO since 12, but my memory is so poor it's hard to remember how frequently I engaged in PMO although no doubt I MO'd almost every day sometimes multiple times a day throughout. I had limited access to the computer in the early days. Plus I do believe I went "periods" not sure how long (maybe months?) where I didn't have access to or engage in porn in anyway. And by porn, I mostly mean youtube videos with sexual content. I didn't discover and watch the hardcore porn sites until towards the end of my adolescents (again, can't remember when exactly). However, I do remember the first time I watched XXX Porn. It felt dark, evil, and dangerous in ways the softer fake hollywood crap didn't. That might be a purely psychological distinction, and I don't know if it makes ANY difference regarding recovery because, like I said, we are in such darkness about all this shit, but it is what it is.
  19. DerSchütze

    DerSchütze Fapstronaut

    I can relate to a lot of these symptoms, was addicted, heavily, for 9 years, and still am.
  20. Veteran Sassanid

    Veteran Sassanid New Fapstronaut

    The worst mistake I did was relapsing two years ago after going NO PMO for one year and almost all syptoms disappeared...! I relapsed several times after months, last time I relapsed 100 days ago and I watched porn and masturbuted for 15 minutes...!! Now after 100 days I still suffer from Anxiety,depression,and heavy irritation,everything makes me nervous and irritated in last two weeks...first 20 days were good and anxiety has started hitting me again since day 80!
    I scare from loud sounds ,bass sounds and when some one tell me something that I don't like it makes me irritated...!
    I know I once had healed after months using SSRI but withdraw symptoms were nightmare ,it was Venlafaxine.
    I now only use Librium and low dosage of Pamelor which just helps a little and I don't want to go on SSRI again however every one tell me to try low dosage of Zoloft which is far weaker than Venlafaxine for few months but I doubt about it.... I need that some one tell me that i will heal up again in next few months. Motivation is very important in this way.
    I hope all the best for you folks here... we all have the same pain.
    is it normal to get anxiety and irritation after 100 days hard mode ?!

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