[Extreme Case] Brain damage from edging to porn... Will this heal?

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by wiseguyhobbes, May 19, 2012.

  1. wiseguyhobbes

    wiseguyhobbes New Member

    Hi guys, Mike here. Important issue, so I'm giving a lot of background. Hope it's not too hard to get through, but it will be worth it regardless. I have experiences that I really need help with and I think could help the community be warned of some serious dangers.

    I started using @~12 years old. I'm now 3 months from 21.

    I've dealt with anxiety and depression increasingly through that time, its escalation correlating roughly with my porn escalation (I wouldn't say my psychological issues have been caused by porn use, but they definitely feed into each other, yet I managed not to make that connection through the years). I began with hardcore vids in highschool, continuing and increasing use into college, but never progressing to fetish or anything like that.. just hardcore. This past year I've dealt with being suicidal for great periods of time.

    I'm a very good looking guy and while I've always gotten attention from women because of my looks, my experience with women (and my experience in life) has always been stunted by my depression / anxiety. Never really had a girlfriend, have mostly had serious issues even TALKING with women due to the anxiety, but have managed a few hookups thru the years, having sex once at 17 while drunk and EDing / premature ejacing as soon as I put it in. Have not had sex since. :(

    During this past year, I discovered edging by combining taoist / tantric sex methods with my porn use, and began training for endurance using a fleshlight and immersed in a plethora of hardcore tube vids.

    My theory was that the more sexual energy one could in their body without orgasming, the more sexually powerful they become. I didn't realize that porn and dopamine over-stimulation had negative consequences, so I adamantly trained to become sexually powerful (with the intention of using this sexual power for good). I pushed myself to the limit, and then tried to stretch that limit, holding increasingly great levels of arousal and stimulation.

    I entered my entire nervous system into absurdly high levels of arousal and stimulation (as you can imagine is possible, being immersed in hardcore vids while fucking a fleshlight and practicing controlling the urge to come). Toward the end, I was reaching states where the stimulation from fucking my fleshlight was literally like shocking my nervous system throughout my body and in my brain -- it felt like intense, aroused tingling throughout my body and brain, like a buzzing moving through me or something-- this among many other intense sensations of pleasure and arousal.

    These sessions in the last few months rapidly escalated my addicted state, and made me less and less functional when apart from my computer screen. I've dealt with varying degrees of social withdrawal throughout my depression years, but this past school year I managed to make almost no social contact with my peers at the university I transferred to, and commute to from home. FFS I was in classes with these kids for 9 months and made no real friends, though I tried developing with a few who ultimately failed.

    When I went through this arousal escalation and my brain began sucking HARD, I started thinking something was up. It was beyond poor concentration at school, I could hardly form thoughts anymore, and my thoughts were becoming faint, almost impotent, like I'm stuck in this hardly thinking stupor, and can't form thoughts about much of anything anymore without great effort and even then, without much result. I mentioned the social withdrawal, but the anxiety and fear of contact escalated in this period, taking me into further disconnection from normal interaction (I was very social and popular in middle school and down, btw... now I'm just like this weird guy who can hardly make a social connection).

    The low brain activity almost feels like my brain is understimulated from within. Like normally the brain has juice and your reward system drives all this internal activity and you're driven to interact with and be stimulated by your environment... that all but disappeared. Total anhedonia. Flat affect, little emotions.

    After my last session of porn, I felt totally dead inside. Could hardly interact with my mom and sister, whom I live with. That's when I researched and found YBOP and this site, and have been reading every day since and obviously quit immediately. So now I'm 11 days into my reboot, and while I definitely have noticed small amounts of life coming back already, I'm still at an extremely low state because of how low I was coming up from. It's been a long and slow 11 days, and since I was in complete anhedonia, especially those first 5-7 days, I was literally just like sitting on my couch with my head in my pillow all day, struggling through extreme dysphoria from the withdrawal. At day 7 is when the dysphoria began to weaken and then subside.

    So the reason I'm bringing all this information to you guys is because I've never really heard of someone having as bad of damage as I've had from edging, and I wanted to see if anyone else has had experiences like this (and if no one has, to get the word out about how dangerous it can really be).

    What do you guys think, will I be able to heal to normalcy? Is this damage permanent?

    I'm hoping to fucking God it's not and that I make a full recovery, but I'm pretty scared and uncertain right now.

    Please ask me any questions you guys might have, or whatever, I really wanna hear what you guys have to say about this.
     
  2. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    I can relate to your thoughts of "building up a lot of sexual energy or training for stamina". Boy that was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I also was amazed how difficult it was for me to make friends and how much social anxiety I started having. Whereas before, I never had any.

    But I have good news for you, all of this is reversable. The bad news is that you're probably going to go through an intense withdrawal or flatline phase.

    Just a couple of questions
    1) Can you still access porn in your house? Try to limit the access to porn as much as possible.
    2) Is your environment supportive? If you think you can, talk to them about it. This can work wonders! I've done the same with my dad and he's being really supportive about this. Particurarily if you're going through withdawal, social contact does wonders.
    3) meditation, excercise and social contact. Lots of these. Off course if the withdrawal is pretty nasty, don't be afraid to drop the social contact or so. I remember I did this when I was in the flatline. But excercise and meditation shoud be high on your priority list.

    Wow, I have to get lunch now :). Good luck and read up on some of the journals here (Underdog, Onanymous).
     
  3. Stopper

    Stopper IT'S OVER!!!

    I totally feel you bro, I'm around a year younger than you and I started around the same age, it is reversable bro, from the articles I've read...It's such a hard struggle though...I'm totally done with it, but the worst thing about this all is that, and I truly think that, that if we wouldn't stop porn, u know people say oh this or that can ruin your life, porn would ruin our lifes...how? Cause like you say, emotionally, you get dead, my back spine cracks down, my voice changes, my character, everything...it's a mind fuck, I used to be spiritual, porn ruins your spirituality, that's also the feeling I've head when feeling dead, not feeling connected to my body, this stuff is filth, trash, but even when u can think that, the moment your body starts craving for it, u feel that sense of lust to go get it cause it feels good...when it has such bad side effects, especially mentally...

    will it totally recover? I'm confident that it will, but u will have to stick through, it has a lot to do with chemicals in the body and proteins, proteins that will make you wanna crave for porn too especially in the first few weeks of the re-boot, just like with a drug user, look at this, let me find this for you...1 sec, here:
    Really, check on YourBrainOnPorn.com, there are a lot of articles describing the recovery of your brain to it's natural state, it involves receptors and such, they will come back if u stop using porn for a very long time, which will make you happier and act and respond more natural in the end...It's been a while since I've read those articles so I can't speak on them 100%, maybe once I'm totally recovered I won't have to read an article a 100 times either to fully get it in my mind, side effect of porn also: being foggy, not focused.

    Nice thread.
     
  4. wiseguyhobbes

    wiseguyhobbes New Member

    I think you're absolutely right, HighAchiever, the flatline and withdrawal is likely to be proportional to the levels of stimulation and addiction that I escalated to. Frankly the first week was hell, but not because I had intense cravings or anything like that, but because of the dysphoric and anhedonic withdrawal symptoms (horrible) that incapacitated me to all but sitting on my couch with feelings of worthlessness and no ability to take proactive steps or do anything about it. Now I'm 12 days in and I'm still stuck in intense flatline... I suspect it will be this way to varying degrees for a good long while and I'm prepared to endure it.

    As for risks of relapsing? I've quickly developed a hatred for porn since coming to the realization of the damage its done, and I have no desire to ever return to it. I'm done for good. BUT that being said, I haven't had to deal with any temptation yet since I'm still in flatline with no cravings. I suspect that later on the urges will be strong, so I'm mentally preparing myself now and engraining it in my brain how bad it is for me and how much I want to be done for ever.

    Stopper I can totally relate to the spiritual thing.. I used to be a very naturally spiritual person, full of a depth and genuineness that gifted those around me. "Dead" is the only way to describe what porn does to that and many other things within you. I hope when my cravings come, I'll have the strength to push through that shit, cause I know it can get overwhelming these cravings.

    I've read many other accounts of recovery, and many seem to have had a full and deep healing of their brain, but somehow it's easy to doubt that your own brain can really recover, you know? Probably because you see in direct experience how fucked up you are and it seems like the changes in your brain are deep, so you can't help but fear the worst...

    Your assurance feels really good and brings me hope in a time when I definitely need it. Thank you, sincerely, for that. May we all have full lives on the other side!
     
  5. _foobar

    _foobar New Member

    I decided to bring back this old topic, because the story sounds so similar compared to mine. I have have always practiced edging when I have masturbated. I started as a teenager with erotic novels and dad's VHS tapes. I didn't really seek out real partners, because I already had my fantasies and porn and they never let me down. When I finally got high-speed internet connection I was immediately hooked. Fast-forward 15 years. I'm now 37 years old with severe ED. I finally decided to break free from porn and I'm currently at day 34 of the reboot process.

    First week was really difficult and I craved porn really bad. Second and third weeks were much easier and I actually had sex few times with my fiancee. Now, my libido and dick are complete dead so I guess this is the infamous flatline.

    I never though that edging to porn could actually harm me. In fact, quite opposite; I though it would help to build up my sexual energy and stamina. Now I realize I have actually made things more worse on every (sometimes over 3 hours...) edging session.

    I think I need to hear some encouraging words now...has somebody with similar background rebooted successfully or am I doomed with zero libido and non-functional dick for the rest of my life?
     
  6. Livefree

    Livefree New Member

    I wish someone had told me that edging is worse than O. I was rebooting with edging and now that I stopped edging, my rebooting has become so much mor difficult. I wish you luck. You are doing well. You are an inspiration.
     
  7. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    Hi,

    I know it’s been a couple of years but if anybody could let me know if this gets better I’d really appreciate it. I’m experiencing basically the same thing that the OP mentioned. I’m 19 and edged quite heavily for about 3 years at least once a week for a few hours. I feel completely anhedonic and don’t know how or if I’ll ever be cured. Please if anybody has some sort of timetable or recovery story I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
  8. Doper

    Doper Member

    To all of you guys that think you're different than others with PIED and that dead-inside feeling, you're not.....There have been thousands of threads like these over the years.
    Now having said that, you all have two choices.....This coming from a 7 year vet <---not self-praise.

    1. You can quit this shit right now, never watch it again, never edge, fantasize or whatever shit gives you a dopamine rush and you will be massively better or cured of PIED in several months or less, keep going without porn for even more months and years and you will feel better than the vast majority the general population. I guarantee it I've been on both sides of the fence.
    2. You can half ass reboot, relapse every few weeks expecting that even though you are fucking up things will slowly get better. It won't. Once you have acquired PIED, even though you may be watching less porn, having less sex, blowing less loads etc. than 99% of the population, you won't get better. If you do this this problem will haunt you for years. You have to be perfect. That is the difference between these people on here that just want to stop watching porn, and those with PIED, the former has the luxury of fucking up once in a while, YOU DON'T. Now don't let that give you the excuse if you've relapsed to binge.

    This has been my experience, I've completely cured myself of this shit. And then I reacquired PIED and have been slogging along for the last year and a half getting nowhere, even though I hardly watched any porn, and regularly make it 3-4 weeks perfectly, then fuck up.
    People on here sometimes say porn blockers/ or getting rid of internet completely is stupid because you aren't teaching yourself to have discipline, but when you have PIED and you have to be perfect, it's the difference between success and failure. I have to figure something out for myself on that front.

    Edit: Damn man, I didn't realize this was a 6 year old thread.
     
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  9. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    Thanks for the reply, PIED is probably the least of my worries at the moment to be honest. I can still get erections without porn but they aren’t as strong as they once were. The real issues I’m having are much worse in my opinion. They include severe depression, anxiety, social awkwardness, depersonalization/ de realization, dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, low libido, no morning wood, etc. All of these symptoms remain while I PMO. All this started in probably the past year. Before then I was a compulsive edger. I edged for about 2 hours once or twice a week over the period of about a year and a half. However ever since last year I decreased the amount of edging that I’ve been doing by like 80%. From now on I plan on never edging again no matter what but also trying not to PMO at all. I honestly can’t even decide if those symptoms are from PMO addiction or from a medical issue. I went to an endocrinologist for my hair loss and they came back and said everything was fine except for high DHEA so now I’m led to believe that my problem stems from PMO.

    The weird thing is twice this year I had a period of about a week where I started feeling better. This period of feeling normal would occur after abstaining for about a week from PMO and then PMOing as many times as possible even forcing myself at a point until I’m exhausted. Then coming back the next day and edging for like 20 minutes. Then on the third day PMO normally. After this I would feel completely normal. My libido, depression, and every other negative symptom that I have mentioned was cured for about a week. Until I started watching some music videos that triggered me to the point where I thought I was gonna explode and then something just snapped in my brain. I didn’t even orgasm or touch myself I was just watching and suddenly all the negative symptoms came back.


    The thing is, I don’t know whether or not nofap is my cure or not. The sudden feeling of coming back to my normal self after the process I mentioned above led me to believe that it could stem from a medical issue such as a hormone or something. But I have no clue what to tell a doctor to check for. Or maybe it just happens because my dopamine levels are messed up from so many years of edging.

    If anyone could give me some input or advice I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
  10. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Wow, the bro science and weird theories in the first few posts are dizzying. I'm not sure I follow it.

    But, it really doesn't matter what weird methods you had during your porn addiction, the fundamentals remain the same: you rewired yourself for something that wasn't real sex as nature intended, and you need to quit it to get back to normal. Overthinking the weird stuff about "storing sexual energy" or whatever just makes it harder to get back to normal.

    The anxiety makes sense. Dopamine isn't really a pleasure hormone as much as it is a seeking or anticipation hormone. That is why dopamine also likes thrills and things that might scare us or make us uncomfortable. When your brain is used to pumping that hard for intense edging/porn sessions, you're left with quite an elevated nervous system.

    Again, you're in a hole, and there is one direction out: up. How you get out (that is, how you eliminate porn from your life) is a more complicated question, but which direction to go is as simple as can be.
     
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  11. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    A thousand heartfelt thank yous for this post. I have recently cured my PIED and I know the stories of guys who were healed of PIED, stumbled back into the addiction and were cursed by PIED again. I'm so thankful of people reporting this. We post in these forums to share informations and experiences. Like a tribe almost. You've seen this guy eat these red mushrooms with white sprinkles? He died, don't eat these mushrooms even though they look tasty af. I really don't want my PIED to come back, that's the last thing on earth I want to happen.

    You know what's really, really scary? I've been very horny for the past few days, popping random erections left and right and having sexual thoughts about the woman I'm dating at the moment. Yesterday, I made the mistake and looked up a porn term on google. There were some results from tube sites and I opened three new tabs because they wouldn't load anyway because my blocker will block them, right? The first two got blocked but the third tab took a long time to load. The anticipation was unreal. I literally could feel the dopamine being distributed in my brain. And it didn't even feel good, it was way too much, a feeling that I've almost forgotten, like a shock of some sort. The page finally loaded and I could catch a glimpse of 2-3 super small thumbnails of videos that didn't even show nudity and I closed it right away.

    What super weird is that my horniness has completely vanished since that incident. I didn't have a single "healthy" sexual thought (no porn thoughts or urges too) since then nor had an erection. It really feels like this split-second affair has killed my sexuality for the moment. The ultimate shot across the bow...

    I really like that you distinguished between PMO users with PIED and those who sort of can get away with the occasional PMO use. Like youm I'm a PIED person and I need to maintain a zero tolerance policy when it comes to porn. I'm quite confident that I won't relapse anymore, like masturbating to porn that won't happen I believe because, I don't know, it's too much for me, can't do that shit anymore, I got so much to lose. But, I also can't get close to the orbit of porn like anticipating of seeing the search results of a porn term. That's already way too much for may brain. I literally haven't felt anything like that dopamine shock all year. It's literally scary as f*ck and absolutely real when you consider that I didn't even see NSFW stuff. I was just anticipating it... MADNESS!

    I really hope there will be a study in the near future that brings some light into the darkness why some guys develop PIED and others don't. Like you, I've been active on the forums for years but to this day this remains a mystery to me. I mean, I've seen people on the boards who consumed way harder stuff in a higher frequency and length than myself and still were able to have sex. And then there is me, who had PIED from PMOing before tube sites even were a thing and I didn't even watch extreme stuff...

    I'm going to see my girl on monday and now I fear that PIED might be occuring again. We'll see. If it'll be that case, I'm going to throw my computer and smartphone out of the window and never look back, I'm not even kidding...

    I hope, you can get back on the horse and beat PIED again. You did it once, you can do it again!

    Take care!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hmm, interesting experience (and scary, like you said).

    I can just speculate here but maybe the anticipation alone retriggered some of the old porn pathways in your brain again and that's why that single incident had such an impact on you. While it sounds scary I wouldn't worry much about it if I were you. You recovered from years of porn use in the last months. That incident won't set you back for weeks. I'm sure you'll feel normal again after one or two meeting with your girl.

    In 2016/2017 I was porn free for over a year. I remember the first relapse after that period. Was just in a really bad state and wanted something to feel good again (porn). Just as I was typing it in into the search bar I could feel an extreme mind rush. Like I could feel the dopamine flooding my brain. That was after ~ 400 days. After that relapse I thought it would be easy to get back on track but the cravings were brutal and kept coming. I was sucked back in by porn within a few weeks.

    Since then I understand what they are really saying when they say "Once an addict, always an addict". By that I don't mean that you can't be free of your "drug". Of course you can. A lot of people are proving it every single day. And you can live a life as if you never had been an addict. But even after such a long time you can't just use your drug in moderation. There's no way this can work.
     
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  13. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    Yes, the rush felt exactly like you just described. And I totally agree on the "once an addict, always an addict" mindset. Sometimes, I read rebooters uttering sentences like "I don't like viewing myself as an addict, my PMO use is more like an annoying habit". It baffles my mind. But here we are distinguishing between PIED and Non-PIED people. If I haven't experienced PIED, most likely I never would have known about all the science behind the dangers of PMO and I would be happily PMOing ever after... I am an porn addict and I will be addicted for life. That's not the end of the world and it doesn't define my character or myself as a person but it is a part of me and I need to be vigilant for the rest of my life. And that's not dramatic either, I just need to make sure that the chances of relapsing are as low as possible and live my life accordingly.
     
  14. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Member

    21.5 months and still in withdrawals...... feel better than years prior though but still a long way to go. Probably up there as one of the worst cases to he documented..
     
  15. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    Man, hearing this honestly kills me. If it’s gonna take that long then what’s the point. I’m gonna feel like a zombie for 2 years of my life. Depressed, low libido, dizziness, fatigue, face looks puffy, not feeling like my real self, I can go on and on. I’m only on day 8 and was starting to feel a little better on day 5 but then had a wet dream and felt as if I was right back to square one. All the feelings of day 0 came back. Are wet dreams a setback? I also didn’t have a wet dream last night but I can somewhat remember searching a porn stars name in my dream. I guess I really am addicted.

    Do you all only suffer from PIED? Honestly that’s the last thing I worry about now when I’m suffering with all the other symptoms.
     
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  16. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Member

    It’s hard mate it really is at times but the way I see it is that I’d rather be on the mend going through all this crap than suffer round in circles and never coming out of it. Two to three years in the grand scheme of things is Fuck all and if that’s what it takes to be happy so be it. You might even have an easier time than me (I hope you do). I am a pretty extreme case mate was relapsing whilst having symptoms for a long time. I don’t really have PIED, only weak erections but they come and go. They’ve been very inconsistent on the reboot and I have had signs of libido so I am recovering in a funny way.

    Wet dreams are not a setback mate, totally normal don’t let them get to you.
     
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  17. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    If you read journals, stories of fellow rebooters long enough, you will recognize one variable: EVERYBODY's healing process is different. There is nobody in this world who could give you an accurate timetable for your recovery. I know, you are probably very scared and desperate but try to calm yourself down, take a breather for a minute and focus on the solution. The past is past and the future, god knows what the future holds for your, but you can influence the betting odds in your favor. IN THE PRESENT. And that should be your only concern as of now. You have to reboot. You will have to set things in motion to live a porn free life in order to heal.

    Educate yourself, start a journal, ask for peer support, maybe even attend a self help group in real life, try new things and see if they benefit you, eradicate habits that hinder you and then you should recover. There is no guarantee for it, but it's the best bet. What's the other option? Keep living the ̶d̶̶r̶̶e̶̶a̶̶m̶, ̶l̶̶i̶̶f̶̶e̶, nightmare you find yourself in at the moment.

    To give you some perspective and hope, I recovered from a 12 year long PIED in less than 4 months. It can be done. It's entirely possible. Read some success stories if you need motivation. There is a specific section for them for a reason!

    All the best!
     
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  18. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    Thank you so much, you have a point it may not take that long, I really do hope it’s only a couple of months. To be honest I never had any problems with PMO or with life in general until I found out about edging, I started PMO around 11/12 I’d say. I’m 19 now so I think I started edging around 16. I’m hoping that maybe since I’m somewhat young and that I only started having problems in the last 2-3 years the recovery might take a little less. Oh well, guess I’ll find out in a few months if I hopefully do not relapse.

    Thank you all and I hope you are all cured very soon!
     

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