Withdawal symptoms for 14 months

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by saneagain, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    I have still have several withdrawal symptoms after 14 months.

    Visual effects like afterimages for several seconds, traces, visual snow
    Muscle twitches
    Pain in gums
    Wet dreams about every 2 weeks
    Brain fog / depersonalisation / derealization
    No emotions and no real attraction to women
    Pressure on teeth and head
    Tight throat, difficulty breathing, like someone is choking me

    Things have improved comared to how it was 1 year ago. I have more physical energy so I took up low paid jobs. I work out regularly. But the situation is still shit. I can't continue working on my uni degree becaus of this horrible brain fog.

    I tried supplelements but none of them seem to work very well. Or maybe very subtle.

    Anyone who had a similar experience and made it trough? Or any other suggestions?
  2. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    I spent 14 months trying to go clear before I realized I had an addiction, rather than a bad habit that was just difficult to stop. I have experienced all those withdrawal symptoms, except wet dreams. All I can tell you is that it gets easier the longer you go. Are you still in hardmode, or are you allowing yourself to spike your dopamine once in a while? Those little cheats can set things back. The lightheadedness and dizzyness are interesting symptoms, which I also experienced, but no longer do. The reboot is about rebalancing your brain, and that means you are altering your daily dopamine reaction and existence. Your brain's reality with a daily hit of porn induced dopamine is a lot different that your brain's reality without that, and along the trip back to balanced, that shift in dopamine levels can produce a lot of side effects. Take a look at this:


    My advice, keep going. But if you can add socialization with people to your recovery formula, I think it would help. Desensitizing to porn is more efficient if you are resensiziting to reality, and that means real people with a pulse.

    dig deep and Bauldr like this.
  3. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    Thanks, but man... 15 months now. First 9 months total hard mode. Yes, after that I MOd but not excessively. Once in a week or two weeks maybe.

    What's up with the pain in my whole body? Especially in my mouth/gums? Dentist checked everything. No doctor found anything. It's unbereable at times. After 15 fucking months.

    I do my best with socialization but I feel constantly spaced out like out of my body. It's really hard. I have no emotions most of the time. Pressure in my head....
  4. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    I had the same symptom. It felt like my teeth hurt. I did not do the hard 90, because, when I quit, I was committed to quitting for life. My withdrawals were about the same as yours. To get through it I told myself that if felt like dying, but if I had to feel like dying, every moment, for every day, for the rest of my life, that is what I would feel to get free. You are suffering phantom pain, a classic withdrawal symptom. Though a metaphor, it is your addiction attempting to force you to use again. I have not felt that for years. I don't know what to tell you about the MO. Unless you are fantasizing about paint peeling, you are using sexual thoughts, and sexual thoughts = a dopamine rush, and it is the dopamine hit that is addictive for us. It takes some of us longer, and even with the hard 90, it is not over for most of us after only 90 days. I am almost 5 years clean. I don't have bad moments much any more, but that does not mean I never have them. I don't know anyone who quit who did not eventually start to feel much better, but it takes different times for each of us. I think if you give it more time, it will eventually begin to look like normal again.
  5. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    I am actually not fantasizing about anything. This may sound crazy but it's true. I am able to MO just with sensation not thinking about anything. No porn especially.

    The other thing is that I am getting wet dreams about every 2 weeks. And it feels like they set me back. As if my brain is in a constant loop of withdrawal.
  6. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    It's constant for months already. If i dont MO, i habe a WD every 2 weeks. Once i MOd and the next day i had a WD. So the theory about getting WDs because of too much pressure is not valid. It's definitely addiction related.
  7. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Not a doctor, but here's my guess:

    14 months is a long time for side effects to happen... it sounds to me like you've been porn free for 14 months, or do you just mean you've been trying to quit for 14 months?

    In any case, I think you have other issues. Most of us (one therapist I spoke with would say all) have addictions that perpetuate because we have other issues we're dealing with. We don't notice it under the addiction, but when the addiction is pulled away or we attempt to live without it, the underlying issues are bigger than ever, and like an ignored infection, has gotten nasty and out of control. People much smarter than me wouldn't dare try to diagnose it from an internet thread, but there are ideas. Maybe you have tension/anxiety issues, and the dental problems are a result of clenching. I sometimes get headaches from this. It is more common in women (has to do with lighter muscle mass in the jaw/neck), but men can get it too. Maybe something like PTSD from some trauma, perhaps trauma sexually related. Maybe you have other sexual/relational anxieties... if you're a student, you're likely surrounded by beautiful women all the time, and can be hard to not dwell on that stuff. Likely it isn't one of the cliche/obvious things I list, but maybe it gets you thinking.
    Living likes this.
  8. spoofy

    spoofy Active Member

    You have two choices
    1. Pretend all your problems originate from porn and never have them fixed.
    2. Realize the human body is complex and while you sorted your porn problem, you have about half a dozen other things to figure out and fix.

    The choice is yours.
    Living likes this.
  9. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    I dont have anything else to fix. I am pretty sure my physical and mental symptoms, which change right after Masturbation and wet dreams, are the result of excessive porn use and Masturbation in the past. The symptoms peak right before a wet dream. After a WD some of them disappear for a few days just to come back.

    I am in good shape, have a good diet, work out, have friends. Have been grade A student at uni. No trauma or anything alike. Got checked by several doctors, who found nothing.

    I have now met a dozen of guys with the same symptoms, which also cant be just a coincidence. Too many overlaps.

    So if anybody experienced this type if withdrawals I would be happy to read a success story or get tips how to deal with them.

    Theanin is said to influence Neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Anybody tried it?
  10. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    I ditched caffeine almost completely. Drink only tea , rarely. It has improved a lot but coffee would cause panic attacks a few months ago.
  11. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Good point. Also, by choosing the latter option, you haven't got anything to lose. You may find that some investigations into your symptoms lead to nowhere. However, by experimenting with different approaches, eg. CBT for your anxiety and depression, you will find that they will make a difference. A case in point, is that I used to suffer terribly of brain fog until I discovered that, by going on an elimination diet, I was intolerant to gluten. This has significantly reduced my anxiety and depression to the point where I am now more functional and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone than ever before. My brain fog has more or less completely vanished. Similarly, the length of time and quality of my sleep has also improved, after putting in place a variety of measures. We have no reliable way of knowing on a personal level whether our difficulties of the moment are due to lingering PAWS or other unresolved issues. By keeping an open and inquiring mind, you can't go wrong.

    Exactly. This topic is a cause for anxiety for a lot of long term rebooters who feel that they are missing something in the picture, myself included. In the early stages of recovery, I hoped that all of my symptoms and difficulties would disappear with a 90 day reboot. Becoming sober has allowed me to become aware of the issues I was running away from by acting out.
    Living likes this.
  12. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    Like I already said. I have no allergies, I could eat anything my whole life, I was able to run 20 km without any problems, I was a grade A student with superior memory.

    When all this started I started having sex dreams almost every day. I started having wet dreams 3 times a week. I suddenly became intolerant to caffeine and alcohol. I couldn't even walk for an hour. My brain needs about 2 seconds to process any movement, which makes me feel like I am drunk 24/7. My libido disappeared. Plus more funny symptoms.

    I couldn't work out for 6 months. Now I am slowly coming back to working with weights which I used before all this crap started. But pressure in head and shaking increases when I do physical work.

    All you people talking about "other issues". Can you specify what you are talking about? Without concrete suggestions this talk is useless.

    I repeat: I reduced stress in my life, I work low paid jobs (cant finish uni degree right now because of focus and memory problems), I sleep properly, I eat only good stuff, I work out, I go out with friends, I go for walks, I play guitar. Yet my eyes have focus issues, I have memory problems, fatigue.

    So what are the "other issues"?
  13. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    The wet and erotic dreams are undoubtedly addiction related. I have them too relatively frequently. If all of your other symptoms came on suddenly after quitting porn, then it seems to imply that they could be PAWS. That's not to say nothing can be done to ease those symptoms. It seems that the symptoms you describe are unusually difficult even for PAWS. It isn't uncommon to see addicts experience them for short periods of time, but it does seem unusual to have suffered as long you have.This is why I am inclined to think that there many be other contributing factors at work here.

    You might want to stop masturbating. As Bauldr indicates, it is a bit of a grey area when it comes to recovery from porn. It may be hindering your recovery. From experience, I know that I always feel the urge to PMO if I have MO'd. MOing sooner or later results in a relapse further down the line.

    I'm not a doctor. I can't give you an encyclopaedic list. What I do know is that it is common for addicts to also have a mental health issue like anxiety and depression that also needs addressing. Fatigue, difficulty focusing, and brain fog are also signs of anxiety and depression. Any mental health issue can be contributed by a host of physical conditions. Not to make too much of a point on allergies. Many of the symptoms are subtle and are also signs of other conditions. They can't be reliably detected with blood tests, so many people have them without realising it. Other conditions that can contribute to some of the symptoms you describe include Acid reflux and an imbalance in gut microbiome. I'm not saying that you have these conditions, I am making the point that we can't afford to keep our minds closed to multiple possibilities. We deserve trying whatever may make a difference.
    spoofy likes this.
  14. Mickeymouse

    Mickeymouse Member

    Hey saneagain. Do you face insomnia?
    Do you have back, neck and abdomen pains? Do you feel fatigue during the day? Is your pennis shrunken? Last time you MOed how was your semen? Thick thin?
  15. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    All my symptoms match with benzo withdrawal / PAWS, which can last just as long (usually 1-2 years, but can be longer). I never had to deal with anxiety or depression in my life. Was a good student with superb memory, no sleep issues. But I was masturbating multiple times a day with porn.

    Yes, I seem to have acid reflux and had digestion issues, but they also started when all the other symptoms ( vision problems, memory issues, shaking). They have improved during the last year. Important to note that benzo withdrawal causes acid reflux and gut problems too (see "benzo belly").

    I quit MO, since it definitely influences the symptoms in some way.

    Of course it's important to rule everything else out. First thing was to get checked by doctors (blood tests, MRI of my head, gut). Second is good diet, sun, enough excercise, socialize etc. I tried supplements. So I am trying to do everything that makes a difference....

    Yes, I face insomnia. Never had it in my life before. I had severe neck stiffness, which has improved. I had pain everywhere in my body. My penis is shrunken, yes. As far as I remember semen was rather thick.
    Mickeymouse likes this.
  16. Mickeymouse

    Mickeymouse Member

    Hey buddy u seem to have all the same symptoms that I have. Except for the fact that my semen is quite thin. Never faced insomnia in the whole of my life. Now I do. You can read my journal in the 20-24 section under the title "odyssey of a 20 yr old". I am taking sleeping pills also. But despite having a 6 hr sleep I am tired in the morning. I wake up and I regret the pmo habbit that I had. Because all this while since 5 -6 months I been tired with even the slightest work. Like holding a book for some 2 mins shall also pain my ankles of the palms.
    saneagain likes this.
  17. Slater

    Slater New Member

    I'm also facing insomnia for over a year now and I strongly believe there is a connection to pmo-addicition and WDs as well. I'm "clean" for over 2 years, insomnia started after 1 year. I'm amost always tired, can not concentrate or memorize relevant information, sometimes even anhedonia. Before I was a quite good student, I never had insomnia in my life before. It's not so much that I can't fall asleep but rather that the sleep is just not refreshing as if my brain doesn't enter the "deep sleep"-phase at all or at least not enough.

    These WDs really suck badly as if the brain doesn't allow me to recover and gives itself it's fix. I can't think of any other addiction that can "survive" although you don't enforce it anymore when you're awake, that's just insane.

    So I share all of you're mental symptoms, although most of these things can be linked to insomnia/disturbed sleep in my case, but I regard insomnia as a withdrawal symptom. I'm in constant withdrawal due to WDs and maybe the occasional MO (WDs give me a strong chaser and happen sometimes even when I MO'd a couple of hours before), at least that's my theory.
  18. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    This is exactly what I was thinking. One month after these horrible symptoms kicked in, I started having wet dreams about 2-3 times a week. On two occasions I even had 2 wet dreams in one night. Now the frequency is at one WD every two weeks. First I thought that it happens when I am full, so to speak. But once I had a wet dream just one day after I MOd. Some of my symptoms change in nature / become weaker after WDs. But the intensity rises again until I have another WD.

    All I can say is that it has been the biggest struggle during the last 15 months that I can imagine in my life. Any other problem in life seems so small compared to this.

    I thought about taking wellbutrin since it is said to influence dopamine levels in the brain. I also have a SSRI here. One side effect of SSRI is reducing libido. My body seems to crave orgasm although I dont feel arousal really. But I have no fucking idea on how these drugs could effect my brain.
  19. Mickeymouse

    Mickeymouse Member

    But you see except for once in my reboot which was 2 months back I had just one wet dream at day 25 or day 26 (this reboot was of 65 days). Since then I have never had a wet dream. Life sucks when you are so tired. I have my exam today. Last sem also I wrote my exams with soo insomnia. I had terible time. Wish someone should have advised me in my early teens to stay away from this pathetic habit. Please pray for me to get Normal. I am not able to concentrate.
  20. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Just read through the thread again, and the stuff on the wet dreams got me thinking.

    The body has ways of disposing of excess semen that is not ejaculated through orgasm. There is a common idea that was posited at some point and gets repeated through a lot of magazines and websites (not the sorts that like to cite sources) that masturbation prevents prostate cancer and so forth because stuff needs to keep moving; though, I've read good counter arguments that 1) data are significantly lacking to support this, and 2) the body already takes care of this stuff.

    .... Except when we're into porn. We add a Pavlovian problem, where every single time an arousal happens, we O. Even if the arousal isn't porn, then the arousal makes us THINK of porn and we rush home and work it out. Our minds and bodies don't understand how to deal with arousal when we can't orgasm, because for years we never put our bodies into that position.

    I had a similar problem trying to reboot a few years ago. If I tried quitting, I would get pain. Serious pain. It was in my pelvic area, and it was so bad I found it hard to walk. It was so embarrassing, I had to tell people I pulled a muscle in my leg, or that I slept wrong and my back was hurting. It would also burn when I peed, which sometimes happens if you go pee before orgasm. Many relapses happened because the pain was so sharp and I knew it was the only way to relieve it. Eventually I stopped having pain. Personally I think it was an answer to many prayers, but it could also have been just from repetition of trying to quit. What certainly helped was avoiding arousal and avoiding triggers. Our deeper brain and bodies will "sense" when it thinks we might MO from the slightest patterns. Remember Pavlov's dogs salivated at a bell ringing, and bells have nothing to do with food. Our triggers could be as mild as sitting down and checking our email in the evenings, because checking the email was usually followed up with a porn session.

    Anyway, that is my story and not someone else's, but I wonder if the abnormally high number of wet dreams is a similar phenomenon. Our bodies are building up all of this semen because it thinks it is going to send it all on its merry way into a clenched fist at least once a day, and needs to be retrained to deal with it in other ways. I am not quite five months in, and I will occasionally get a "full" feeling, and have trouble emptying my bladder, but it generally passes pretty quickly. I expect it will only improve with time. I certainly am not going to go back to porn because I think it will help me pee better. I haven't had a wet dream since I was like, 13, but I wonder if it is a similar retraining of our physiology. If that is the case, then it will only improve in time as well.

    To the original poster: how are you doing on will power? Do you still feel like you're white knuckling? I wonder if that can cause a certain amount of stress and collateral problems along the way.
  21. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Thanks for sharing. When we talk about PAWS, I think there is a danger of cultivating a sense of powerlessness over our situation. Your experience has given me much to ponder about and has certainly raised the possibility that recovering addicts can still be affected by PAWS on a constant basis long into recovery. Thank you

    To the guys struggling with insomnia, have you tried putting in place the typical self-help recommendations? I am not an easy sleeper either, but I find that I can get a solid nights sleep by following certain procedures like switching off electronics an hour before going to bed and allowing time for the mind to calm down. Satisfying sleep requires following a precarious balance for me, but it generally works.

    I am not brimming with energy either. I have enough to follow an active lifestyle, but can be easily drained. This is despite eating well and doing exercise. I think that this is a problem that can't be completely solved by sleep. Blood tests recently came back with a zinc deficiency, so maybe this is the culprit (I am taking supplements)? But maybe it is the PAWS? Getting that extra sleep, though, undoubtedly makes all the difference.
  22. Mickeymouse

    Mickeymouse Member

    Wish I can atleast get some sleep which you guys are getting. I just wake like booom and my eyes are open. It should be a gradual process. That too I am on sleeping pills.
  23. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Member

    I’ve been withdrawaling for years I think. I think I am permanently damaged.
  24. saneagain

    saneagain Member

    How longest abstinence from porn? Were you relapsing?
  25. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Member

    Started having pied around seven years ago when I was 18. Symptoms started around 20-21. Been on nofap since 2012. Many streaks but relapsed. Now on 156 days feel slightly better but still continue with pied.

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