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FAQ: ARE THERE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS WHEN I STOP WATCHING PORN?

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2021

Most addictions have withdrawal symptoms – emotional, physical or psychological reactions to the absence of the substance/behavior. Hard drug users often experience shakes, twitches, and food cravings. These aspects are well researched, but what about pornography users? Well, the research is still catching up. On the streets, here's what we're observing.

1) Mental – The initial withdrawal symptom typically is brain fog. The inability to focus. You might be wondering if something is wrong with you or if porn has made things worse. It does, INITIALLY. Then, things will get much better. Another common psychological symptom is anxiety. If porn/masturbation have been sources of comfort and security, their absence can often cause panic in the nervous system. This too will subside as long as you do not replace porn with another addictive substance/behavior (this is more common than you would think). Find healthy ways to deal with the initial surge of anxiety and eventually it will dissipate.

2) Emotional – Irritability, reduced emotional capacity and stress susceptibility are symptoms we commonly observe in our clients. Once again, they do not last. It is simply the body acclimating to the new conditions. The key when you experience these symptoms is to find healthy outlets that will enable you to process what you're feeling – journaling, physical activity, talking to a friend, etc. Eventually, you will feel MUCH better emotionally. Usually after about a week or so.

3) Physical – This is still not well-understood but there are two things we see most frequently. First, "blue balls" syndrome which is essentially when your balls become very tender and sore. This clinically called "epidydimal hypertension" and essentially means that there is extra blood flow to your genitals. Usually this happens when you experience arousal without ejaculation. It happens frequently when you are initially weaning off of porn. Do not be alarmed, this is a normal response and after about 10 days of not looking at porn or masturbating, will start to subside. Second, you will observe your body starting to crave other dopamine-stimulating substances and activities. Be very weary of this. If you replace porn with a high-sugar diet, you have hardly done yourself any favors.

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