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Clinical Breakdown: Do Porn Addicts Experience Withdrawal Symptoms?

Uncategorized Mar 10, 2022

It's well understood that drug addicts and alcoholics can experience nasty withdrawal symptoms when they start to get clean – shakes, shivers, agitation, cravings, etc. These are classic symptoms of substance addictions. What about behavioral addictions like porn? These kinds of addictions have their own set of withdrawals, and the better you understand them, the better you can prepare.

As we explore 5 of the most common withdrawal symptoms porn addicts experience, you must remember that these will not last forever. In fact, often after the first few weeks they subside and the positive effects of sobriety begin to sink in.

1) Mood – One of the most common withdrawal symptoms in any addiction is the impact on mood. Irritability, mood swings and depression are commonly experienced shortly after. If you were watching porn daily, you'll start to notice the mood swings even after a few days. If your consumption is weekly or a couple of times a month, it may take longer to realize this symptom.

2) Insomnia – Sleep is almost always impacted as guys start to get free of porn, sometimes even dream life is dramatically influenced (positively and/or negatively) by giving up porn. This eventually passes.

3) Loneliness – You may catch yourself feeling lonely more often or at a greater intensity. This usually reveals WHY you were engaging with porn in the first place. While it is a difficult symptom, it also provides an opportunity to seek more meaningful connection in healthier ways.

4) Replacement – As is often the case, withdrawing from one activity can lead to cravings/desire for another. Some porn addicts will stop watching porn but they will masturbate more. Be weary of these tricks that your brain will try to play on you.

5) Libido – Your sex drive will be impacted initially (usually a few weeks). It may initially surge, but at some point early-on, men begin to experience little to no sex drive. Without this knowledge, you may think that your sex drive has been ruined by avoiding porn but relax – that is not the case. Your physiology is simply adjusting. Also, if you've been experiencing erectile dysfunction due to porn consumption, that will begin to dissipate as you continue to avoid porn and other sexual misbehavior.

Understanding the conditions you're entering as you give up pornography can be very useful. Many who try to get free without this knowledge incorrectly interpret their withdrawal symptoms and relapse as a result. If you can acknowledge your experiences as a withdrawal symptom, it provides a mental framework to handle the situation and move on, knowing that it's only a matter of time before it subsides.

When you make it past the initial withdrawal symptoms, the real healing begins! Your brain starts to rewire, your heart becomes more open, and you will notice your overall quality of life dramatically improving. This is why having professional help and a community go a long way in the recovery journey. They'll help you stay course and encourage you on those days where things are tough.

Cheering you on,

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