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pornisbadforyou
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After almost a month without porn, today I slipped and viewed a picture of a girl in a bikini, and this lead to viewing more pictures and eventually, actually very quickly, this lead to full blown porn... I was feeling particularly anxious earlier today. I've noticed I tend to want to view more when I am feeling this way, perhaps as way to excape the feeling. I think that might be partly how I developed my porn addiction. I have mixed thoughts. I wish I hadn't viewed, however I did without it for almost a month, which is the longest I have ever lasted. I guess I am starting from day 1 again...

I Just want be myself again, be with real women without the anxiety and numbness like it used to be, feeling pretty depressed now that I used porn again, making love to my computer screen is not very fullfilling..

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Hi,

My anxiety often seems to come and go at random, and there's nothing I can do to control it. However, I think sometimes it is caused when I make a foul decision. For intance, I might be invited to a party, but make up an excuse not to go...often I will start getting anxious afterward. It is as if I should have gone to the party, like as if it was the right thing to do, and I was wrong not to go.... Now I don't know to what extent those or distorted thoughts, Is thinking that the right thing to do is to go to the party, and that it was wrong not to go, distorted?? OR are my excuses not to go to the party, or whatever thoughts I was having that lead to those excuses distorted??? Either way, had I gone to this 'party' and gone with the flow of the day, I probably would have avoided an anxiety spike..

When I do get anxiety, it seems to hit very hard, almost like a panic attack, but not to the extent that I loose complete control. But I guess I loose enough control to the extent that I start viewing porn...but now that I know its my 'anticedent event', I hope to have more control over the situation, even when axiety spikes and feel I have no control. Will power can go along way when you know where your weak points are.

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Usually distortions occur in our thoughts about events, either in the past or in the imagined future. For example you might have had a thought that if you go to the party you will embarrass yourself, that is the event, then you would think "oh it would be absolutely awful for that to happen," which is a distorted thought and causes you to feel anxiety. In reality getting embarrassed at a party is not awful; it's mildly uncomfortable.

I have found deep breathing exercises (when I can remember to do them) to be very helpful in moderating anxiety attacks so that they don't become full panic attacks. The trick is to make sure you are breathing from your diaphragm and not your chest. If you put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly only the belly hand should be moving as you breathe.

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My question is if you actually need to quit pornography. I understand that you're addicted to it, but are you at the point that you can't watch it occasionally without totally falling back into your incredibly unhealthy routine?

Also, I seem to recall you saying in another thread that you were quitting masturbation. Is that true? If it is, I can tell you from my own experience with porn addiction (a very different type of addiction, though) that it's not realistic to just give everything up. You have a sex drive, and if you don't allow yourself release, you may just fall back into temptation. Initially, I told myself that I couldn't view certain types of pornography or fantasize about situations depicted in it. However, I soon learned the hard way that just cutting everything off wasn't possible. Instead, I reasoned with myself and discovered that to an extent, allowing myself to fantasize about said pornography would help me to not view it. If I fantasized too much, I'd fall back into it. If I didn't at all, the same thing would happen. However, if I controlled how much I fantasized about it, I could stay clean.

I also just want to share some advice my therapist once told me. He said that beating addiction is like driving down a bumpy road. Initially, you'll experience a lot of bumps, but soon enough, the road will become smoother. However, the bumps won't totally disappear. Five years down the road, you may come to another bump in the road. The important thing to do is to fight it like you did all of the others. In the case that you succumb to temptation, you just have to pick yourself up right where you left off. Don't view it as throwing the entire fight out the window. Just see it as a small incident and move on.

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Thanks, I'll try the breathing exercise next time. The thought or worry of doing something embarrising doesn't give me anxiety, perhaps little at times, but the real anxiety i get, it comes insidiously, like when I subconciously know I'm doing something 'wrong', and it gives me this panic like feeling.

Yes, musicman, I am at that point. I'll even tell myself, or sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that I only viewed a small inconsequential amount of porn, when the reality is I looked at least 20 or so pictures and maybe some videos each time. I am trying to quit masterbation too, because as I said in my original post, I was hugely excessive. Doctors say its okay, but I took it to an extreme and one day, literally in one day, it gave out and was never the same, and has been causing problems ever since. I've read about others who have had almost the same experience...with no cure.

And I have gone to doctors about this. But doctors being trained how they are trained, have absolutely no insight for this issue. They wave off the notion that I damaged myself masterbating, do not even consider that idea that porn plays a roll in it, and are quick to prescribe cialis...I am 23, its not normal to require cialis at 23, I definitely did not require cialis pre damaging myself, I was once very potent, so given the huge difference in performance, and the almost instantanious changem like it 'happened' one day, to me it seems quit obvious and clear that something has been damaged, if it is not physicaly obvious in the organ itself, its neurochemical or something, the neuro pathways that porn created in my head, the constant over stimulation, and the addiction in finding more stimulation, plus the hormones involved in masterbation probably got exhausted in some way, or used to the over stimulation, perhaps got used to being subprime in some way, I dont know becuase I am not a doctor, but the doctors seem, and I dont mean to sound bigger than them, but they seem extremely close minded and relucted to really help. Sorry, I am venting out some frustration.

I believe quiting masterbation is just as important is porn. I do feel the urge to masterbate during abstaining from it all. But I feel the urge to view porn is much stronger. Here's what I think I should do: If I need to release, I will, but only if I can without porn... So masterbation will be permitted given I do not use porn to get off. That way I'd at least have to stimulated by my own imagination or by some one in the real world to get excited in the first place. Also, learning that anxiety is my 'antecedent event', as FMW, pointed out, I am not going to use masterbation to feel better. I was using whatever chemicals are released after relieving myself to make me feel better, and this I think played a big role in the addiction. With these rules in place, masterbating will not so damaging....

I have to believe that abstaining is going to help. Because there doesn't seem to be other answers, or even much discussion about this issue. I honestly believe that this isue is going to become more and more common in guys, because we do not yet understand the true effects of porn. Porn has been around along time, but internet porn takes it to an entire new level, anyone who has used internet porn knows the difference. Its a new phenomena, and its going to be much better understood for what it is in the future, because it does effect us in a very negative way. Internet porn is an addictive habit that simultaneously forces guys to require more and more stimulating images to get off, while at the same time creates a huge incentive for guys to overmasterbate- its always excessible, and it goes on forever, never before have guys been faced with a reality like this, and we are not designed for it. I mean even if you are a top male in a social circle, your not faced with the kinds of images you see on porn, and there are limits in how often you can court some girl into bed. With internet porn, we can go nonestop, endlessly, until one day,for all of us who take it to far into adddiction, our body begins to shut down becuase it was never made for this.

Thanks for the advice. I am trying to look at my slip up as just another bump in the road...

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Many people here can relate to the struggle with anxiety. Now that you've identified it as a trigger, you can broaden your base of support with yourself. You've done a lot of research about the sexual problem, now you can explore your resources for anxiety. As Ralph suggests, breathing techniques are tried and true for shifting gears with the nervous system. So is positive thinking, as MusicMan recommends. Talk therapy can help process why the feeling of "doing something wrong" sets off panic.

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the real anxiety i get, it comes insidiously, like when I subconciously know I'm doing something 'wrong', and it gives me this panic like feeling.

I don't know if you are interested in pursuing the cognitive distortion, but I've found that challenging distorted thoughts often lessens the hold of addictive impulses. The distortion is most likely somewhere within your beliefs about what is specifically 'wrong' about the decision. I am assuming you put the word in quotes because it is not really wrong in a moral sense, but that you have some feeling of guilt about it nonetheless. Is that correct?

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Yes, very much so, it's not a moral thing with any simple set of rules, its much deeper, like the 'wrong' decision, is wrong because its cutting me off my path almost, like my own mind is getting in the way of living how I'd like to, through over thinking to the point that I make decisions that give me unnecessary struggles. Sometimes its hard for me to let go of a self concious thought pattern, that makes me separate myself from others. And when I make a decision based on this thought patern, I feel guilty, and then very anxious. Sometimes it get to the point where I change my mind and go to for example the 'party', and I actually feel better. But often I dont so this. Part of the problem is that I developed low self esteem over the years, largely becuase of the main issue I'm talking about here, and I feel bad to the point that I ask myself, 'what is the point?' , like at the end of the day, what is the point if cant enjoy a girl in bed, so why be social, why do anything at all?? I have had suicidal thoughts in the past. Of course there are other things to get out and enjoy in life... but all theese factors are playing into the 'wrong' decisions I make, which in turn make me anxious and guilty. But Im trying to stay positive, I believe abstaining the right amount of time, and taking care of myself properly, I will recover slowly.

The reality is, internet porn has sucked me into a sort of hell...Masterbation is a good habit, but a bad drug, and porn is the vessel which takes your habit and turns it into a drug. But I believe I can find my way out of this hellhole, I believe this becuase I have to. So I can appreciate life again.

I can try to breath, that will probably help a lot when I get anxious.

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The problem with porn in general is the desensitization it causes for real life, physical interactions. Even before someone becomes truly addicted, most people can tell it takes longer to orgasm in a real life situation when compared to the stimulation of watching porn. Whether it is interacting with another person or masturbating. It's not as "exciting" or "stimulating".

Excessive masturbation causes issues as well when it is the only or primary release. Regardless of the sex of the individual. Once you have trained your body to respond to a singular stimuli, it is extremely difficult to respond to something new.

I think you are doing the right thing by resisting both porn and masturbation. From what you have described, you need to "reset" your sexual responses.

I've never been addicted to porn, but there was a time in my life when I relied on masturbation. I used it for everything, de-stresser, sleep aid. A way to avoid relationship, ect....

I sympathize with your fight. It is tough, and will power can be lacking when it's so easily obtainable. From personal experience, using my imagination compared to watching porn has increased my sexual response whether I'm going solo or being with someone else.

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the 'wrong' decision, is wrong because its cutting me off my path almost, like my own mind is getting in the way of living how I'd like to, through over thinking to the point that I make decisions that give me unnecessary struggles. Sometimes its hard for me to let go of a self concious thought pattern, that makes me separate myself from others.

The distorted thoughts are in the self conscious thought pattern, most likely. Is this thought pattern the same as the thoughts of: "what is the point if cant enjoy a girl in bed, so why be social, why do anything at all?"

You already have identified a reason to go to the party. You will feel connected to people and will avoid feeling anxiety and guilt. Is this worth it even if sex isn't a part of it?

Another approach you could take is to learn to forgive yourself for making the 'wrong' decisions. We all make mistakes at times. There may be a distorted belief that you must make the right decision every single time - since this is impossible it is an irrational belief. This is not to make excuses or be undisciplined; the point is to do your best but even so realize that sometimes you will make the wrong decision.

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Yes, but I still think about sex all the time...its like being starved off food, but its like Im starving and am unable to consume at the same time, and going to a party is like going to the grocery store....It's more than I thought distortion, its go to the root of my existence. Sex and pursing women is ingrained in me...yet I cant go and do it....and going to the party helps, but it potential becomes depressing when I meet a girl whos into me, and I have to think of excuses not to go any farther. On one occasions I didnt stop it, which lead to me not performing in bed, and I am not down for that again. That produces a lot of anxiety... Whether or not I go to the party, it just seems like a lose- lose situation.

I have to simply abstain, have other goals unrelated to sex. It's extremely difficult. And I slipped again to today, I didnt masterbate, but I looked at some porn again....Maybe I should sell my computer. I don't know what to do.

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It's extremely difficult... so expect that you will make some mistakes along the way. Relapse is part of the process as long as you learned something. If you are using less porn than before, or less intense porn, then that is progress. Maybe if a party is all about sex to you then you should avoid them while you are "resetting" but you will also need some other outlet for social interaction. Possibly then that way it won't feel like a lose-lose to you. Can you think of any social activities that don't have to be about meeting women and having sex?

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It is less intense porn when I slip, there are improvements...Seems like I'm starting to get better even though I slipped up a couple of times. But I have to keep up abstaining to fully recover. I dont know what else to do socially...I am looking into indoor soccer because physcial activities are good distraction from porn and sex,. Also, I a temporarly not working becuase of the season, so I could volunteer somewhere like FMW suggested, maybe at a hospital...

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