It was only 30 years ago that a majority of neuroscientists believed once your brain was developed, nothing could change it. In those days, it was understood that the brain wasn't able to adapt. Some people had more mental capacity than others and that's just the way it was. Thank God we have come a long way since. Otherwise, recovery would be impossible!
Brain researchers have coined the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain's ability to change and it has become very clear that while this ability may reduce over time, it lasts much longer than people originally thought. That means regardless of age and regardless of how long you have struggled, your brain can change. It is scientifically proven and that is great news.
Re-wiring the brain is such a hot topic these days because people want to find ways to improve their thinking and ultimately their lives. Those struggling with sexual issues are no different. The question at large is, "can my brain change?" and the overwhelming answer is yes. The research on porn addiction is limited still at this point, but even now there are studies showing that the clinical manifestations of pornography addiction can be reversed. And it's all because of this beauitful, God-given quality your brain possesses called neuroplasticity.
There are two ways to capitalize on your brain's ability to rewire and change:
1) Form new pathways. This is the one you hear about the most often. It is basically changing your perceptions, having new thoughts, trying new things, taking in new information, etc. Getting educated on a subject and then acting on the new information is very powerful for creating new brain pathways.
2) Catch yourself in old pathways. You don't hear about this one nearly as much but in my opinion it is just as important. Your brain's previous circuits can only be changed when active. That means if you've chronically responded to stress by masturbating, taking in new information about stress management will only go so far. Yes, it will create new pathways that with time and consistency will become stronger in your brain. However, the circuits for masturbating as a primary stress response still exist and cannot be changed until they are triggered. When that happens, you have a glorious opportunity to change your response. Choosing a healthier option to handle the stress (using the info you gathered in point #1) in a moment where you feel tempted to masturbate will have a massive impact on your brain's wiring.
This is a very basic framework to introduce the subject, I highly recommend you do your own homework and find out how you can harness your brain's neuroplasticity. There is plenty of good material on the subject as it has increased in popularity significantly in the last decade. The better you can understand neuroplasticity and brain circuity, the better chance you have of recovering long-term.
Cheering you on,
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