Abstinence of exciment (dopamine)

Discussion in 'Internet Addiction' started by NovoElevation, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    Guys, allright, let's pretend porn doesn't exist. Can the dopamine rush of social networks, news sites, gaming, youtube addiction, etc, affect your libido and/or erections? Like, we all know this stuff are addictive as well. Can they suck precious dopamine needed for a healthy libido? Can they make you just all-around life numb? Just desensitized for life?

    What can happen if someone tries a total abstinence of exciment, like not even going to the club, not even drinking alchool, not even watching TV. Like, trying to live a completely boring life. Or just changing bad habits to good ones, like meditation, talking personally to people, spending time cooking healthy stuff. Will that help rebuilding the dopamine circuit and therefore bring a new enthusiasm for life? (and sex too of course)
    Kick likes this.
  2. TheLongWalk

    TheLongWalk Guest

    Hi NovoElevation,

    that is a really interesting question. It's a shame that this forum tend to be so inactive at times. So I hope, you are still reading this.

    To the first question, I don't have an answer. I simply don't know if social networks, news sites, gaming, youtube addiction can affect your libido or even cause erectile dysfuntion. My wild guess would be that it can affect it at least but I don't think using this kind of entertainment can cause erectile dysfunctions per se. What I'm sure of is that they can make your life more numb as you questioned.

    I think, the key is to take a look at your life and evaluate it. Do you spend the majority of your life watching tv, playing games, or indulging in unhealthy behaviour? By the way, I won't consider going to a club or having a night out as unhealthy as playing video games for a whole day. Because you spend your time socially and if you don't overdo drugs or alcohol, it isn't that unhealthy. Plus, you normally just do it once per week, therefore it can't be compared with playing video games daily for 6 hours+.

    It has been written many times in different contexts, but the key is not the mere abstinence of unhealthy behaviour but the implementation of productive behaviour and habits. For example, if you watch tv all day, you need something productive to replace it with. Doing sports for example has great effects on the physical as the mental health and it's said, that it helps you rebuild your dopamine circuits faster. Also, doing sports causes you to releases healthy happiness hormones, so it's an ideal activity to replace tv/porn.

    Also, you could start playing an instrument, you could read more, you could start painting, meditation is always great, learning to cook healthily is also always good if you don't want to end up sick and bloated up. Little by little, you can start replacing unhealthy behaviour with healthy behaviour and see where it takes you. Just make sure not to tackle all problems at once. And if you, then, game a little here and there, watch a good series after a day of hard work, or check news sites once per day, it won't do that much of a harm.

    I hope, I could be of some help and I'm interested to hear what's your take on the topic.

    Best wishes
    Kick likes this.
  3. Lifeisbeautiful

    Lifeisbeautiful Active Member

    Yeah I have been thinking about it too these days. In the modern times, we are addicted to stimulation. We get bored really easily. Just sitting alone doin nothing for even a few minutes scares us. We always feel the need to engage ourselves in something and internet provides an easy answer. So yeah the addiction to overstimulation is pretty much real. What to do about it? Well let's face it. You cannot run away from everything. But what you can do is be mindful about everything you do. Develop the habit of asking yourself every now and then that whether what you are doing right now is really important? Is it healthy? Is it helpful in any way? Being mindful will go a long way in staying clear of unnecessary stimuli.
  4. Immature

    Immature Member

    I am so hooked on the internet. If I'm on the can, I want my phone for web-browsing. Ditto when I get up in the morning, but still not ready to get out of bed.

    I always say I'm good alone, but am I really? I suppose if I didn't use the internet, I'd read books. That's what I used to do before the internet, beside PMO using magazines.
  5. Kick

    Kick Active Member

    I'm another internet addict ;)

    For PIED sufferers, I agree that it will have some effect on libido - our lust for life - so to speak. Consider the old habit of searching a P site for the 'perfect clip' and compare that to scrolling through Facebook for the next nugget of novelty - the next jolt of dopamine - they're very similar actions. I'm theorising here that the wiring of the old habit - searching for the perfect video on P sites - could be being kept alive by a similar behaviour of searching Google, Facebook or Youtube for the perfect article/video/meme etc..

    On a similar line to what TheLongWalk says, replacing these habits with social interaction is probably one of the best solutions. It feels good man.

    There is an interesting (albeit long) article I'll link about Dopamine receptors that talks a bit about what you refer to NovoElevation regarding spending more time 'bored'. Another way you could look at that is limiting the amount of pleasure you can have and in the article they use the term 'Pleasure budget' to discuss this. The idea being that one should try to limit unhealthy dopaminergic activity in a bid to change one's receptors. If you think about that you'll probably realise that this is similar to what we are doing when we abstain from P and M: significantly reducing dopamine released and in turn changing the receptors so that less dopamine still produces a response.

    without further ado, the article: https://gettingstronger.org/2010/10/change-your-setpoint/
  6. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    I am :) Albeit not so frequently.

    Well, i didn't mean that social media is going to cause ED directly, but i was wondering if it could cause "numbness", which can cause lack of interest in the opposite sex for example. I mean, there are different kinds of excitement and one type of excitement abuse may not affect another kind. But still, stimulation abuse is going to numb you out in some way.

    True that. However if ones starts a "behavior diet" free of dopamine rushes, isn't it better to avoid all kinds of excitement, at least on the beginning?

    I really am trying to cut the computer time, but it's so damn hard, because in the middle of crap that is the internet, there are also great stuff to check out. Information never stops. I have zero problems in cutting the porn, but other stuff like youtube, articles, etc is so damn hard.

    Exactly this! It's mind blowing, internet itself is a drug. Gotta have the fix!

    "Does what i am doing right now contributes to my projects?"
    The best description of what we should be doing about the internet, i heard it on a video about internet addiction, "internet should be used as an utility", that's it.
  7. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    One sunday morning, my cousin calls me on the phone:

    Cousin: So are you coming or what?!
    Me: Where?!
    Cousin: *hangs up phone*
    Me: WTF.... Oh wait!"

    I was on the bed just browsing on the phone for 2 or 3 hours already and totally forgot i had a family lunch scheduled that day.

    That's what i want to do too. Thing is, books have no way to compete with the influx of information that is the internet. Let's not forget that youtube videos offer way more stimulation than books. It's a losing fight most of times.

    We all have seen some kind of scene where a nun or a monk is over excited over something trivial. The arrogant in us, just thinks that nun/monk is just stupid for being so over-excited about something trivial. But right now, you know what? I'm envious of them and their fabulously working dopamine :)
    Lets get serious, who wouldn't want to have their level of fresh excitement right now?

    I sound like a parrot talking about this article on and on, but i'm going to link it anyway:

    Instagram may be even worse i think.

    Perfect term!

    Thanks for the article! This goes in line with my intuition. The insulin example is just great. I think it applies holistically to us. Like the bald dudes in Tibet (or India) say, the path is on the middle way.

    I want to start a "diet" free of dopamine rushes. But these modern times make it very difficult.
  8. Immature

    Immature Member

    Wow! This thread has been amazing!!!!!!
  9. Immature

    Immature Member

    A YouTube video? The irony is so thick.

    The thread and the links in it could be life-changing. If the the receptor control theory given at the link (previously noted above): https://gettingstronger.org/2010/10/change-your-setpoint/ is right, it seems to me that it could mean that SSRIs, dopamine reuptake inhibitors, etc are futile in the long term.
  10. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    Well... Morpheus gave Neo the red pill inside the matrix :)

    I do think, we should use it as an utility, as we should use it to be productive about something. Just like this guy talks about the way his parents use the internet. Do your stuff, close it, done. Don't use it out of sheer addiction. You'll end dysfunctional as almost every hard drug user will be.

    (At 4:20)

    IMO, except for extreme cases, they surely are! We are indeed a system with homeostasis. Want to use some synthetic hormone to bulk up your physique? Ok, but don't forget to cycle it, otherwise your natural hormone production will decrease, because your body is set to have a certain value of it. If the body senses that hormone is above that value, it will balance it by decreasing it somehow.
    Same as our neurotransmitters. Our body, or should i say brain, is cutting the effect of excessive stimulation by decreasing the dopamine effect. Internet companies are fighting hard to get our attention. "Normal" news don't work anymore? Let's throw some sensationalism on them, click baits, shocking tittles, etc. If you think about it, this sensationalism grew quite a bit in the last 5 or 6 years. Facebook making sure the first posts on your newsfeed will be of your liking. The visual porn that is instagram, can be even worse. No different than Macdonalds making sure you will like their burgers. They want you as a faithful customer, as an a addicted customer. Their profit depends on it.
  11. Immature

    Immature Member

    Yeah. I can be a dysfunctional Internet Addict just reading nofap.org, here, RNB, etc.
  12. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    (i'm going to post this in separate thread to avoid being lost here for other people)

    This article is very recent, how timely....

    A few bits of it:
    "Facebook has acknowledged that social media use can be bad for users’ mental health, a sign the company is feeling pressure from a growing chorus of critics raising alarms about the platform’s effect on society."

    "The company’s public recognition of some of its platform’s detrimental effects came days after a former Facebook executive made headlines with a speech slamming the corporation, saying: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”"

    "Studies have repeatedly found that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can damage the emotional wellbeing of heavy users, particularly younger people."

    My take? Of course FB, social media in general causes havoc in us. They can be used for good stuff however, but let's face it, most people don't. IMO, it's a very serious problem.

    Kick likes this.
  13. Kick

    Kick Active Member

    Yeah it's not often a tool for good. It's voyeurism, narcissism, dopamine kicks all rolled into one...more like 'Fakebook' *badoomch... It's refreshing to read that the company is owning up to this fact and that awareness is growing.

    When we feel lonely we turn to social media and, ironically, it reminds us of just how lonely we are.
    Pete McVries likes this.
  14. BackOnTrack

    BackOnTrack Member

    It's quite simple if something stresses you (releases dopamin) it can be bad for your libido. Sex works the best when you're really relaxed and just live the moment and not fantasize at all. I think most of us developed performance anxiety on top of the desentized libido which is almost as bad. It is just extremely hard to get/maintain an errection when your anxious that you might fail. In my experience after some positive experiences it goes away, also go really slow at first (i.e. foreplay/exploring).
  15. Immature

    Immature Member

    I just worked out lifting weights for the first time since NoFap and I feel great!

    When I was PMOing, working out made me feel like crap!

    Separately, my psychiatrist has suggested that I not use the Internet between 10 AM and 2 PM, so that, hopefully, other things will start getting done. I am SUCH an Internet Addict. I should know more about that, perhaps Google can help.....
  16. NovoElevation

    NovoElevation Member

    Good luck on your weight lifting adventure mate. Go for it. Focus on that instead of wasting bag time on the net. It is makes us sick. Problem is, internet companies have profit to do. Therefore, they will surely fight hard to keep profit coming and that means, screwing people's brains, attention, moods, hapyness, etc, for it.
    Immature likes this.

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