Constant dread and anxiety days after relapse. Anyone else?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by ch0sen1, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. ch0sen1

    ch0sen1 Fapstronaut

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    As the topic says, if I'm clean 4-5 days I start feeling better. Much better after a week or two. Much much better actually....

    If I relapse I can maybe get away with it one day. But if that turns into a streak of relapses for days or binge sessions then I'm done for.
    Days after binging/relapsing I have this constant unspecific fear of something, an empty insecure feeling, anxiety over nothing. It's damn hard to explain.

    Can anyone relate to this?
     
  2. I think that a big part of overcoming this addiction is understanding our emotions/feelings at different times (when we are successful AND in the middle of a relapse). I've often had trouble actually accessing what I am feeling at both of these times, so I can relate to having trouble understanding exactly what is going on.

    One thing to consider is that emotions start below the neck. Your body will exhibit physical reactions to a situation and your brain interprets those signals automatically into an emotion. Then it reacts to that emotion the way it always has. But it's important to understand that you CAN react differently and appropriately with some effort. So if, for example, you feel anxious because you are lonely (or bored), you may automatically react to those feelings by looking at porn. But instead, if you train yourself to REALLY notice those physical feelings and are willing to press through them in a new way (by actually allowing yourself to be sad, angry, anxious, happy, etc), then you can change the "automatic" response that is damaging.

    It is "something." It is not "nothing." You say you have an empty insecure feeling. I think it's good that you recognize the feeling of insecurity. It may be hard to do at first, but I would encourage you to REALLY press into this feeling and learn more about it. Is it that you feel lonely? Inadequate? Unloved? Useless? Unworthy? There is a source there. And when you find it, you can work on convincing yourself that it's bullshit.

    You may want to try something like meditation where you can REALLY examine these feelings when you don't have outside distractions. Even just sitting quietly alone may help.

    Good luck and peace to you today.
    -BD
     
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  3. ch0sen1

    ch0sen1 Fapstronaut

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    WOW!
    Thanks for your answer man!

    You have shined a light on my situation in a way that I have never thought about it before.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply to me, you have given me a lot to think about.


    EDIT: Why is this feeling much more prominent in the immediate days after a binge/relapse?
     
  4. Fallensoldier1

    Fallensoldier1 Fapstronaut

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    Yes!! Same here. About 24 hours and for a couple days after a reset. I feel terrible. If it’s a hard relapse like you said I just feel sick literally and hard to get out of bed and sometimes I just go from the bed to the couch untill work. Lots of social anxiety and desire to avoid people. Even nervous ticks with my eyes or facial muscles even. Those almost always have gone away after several days of being clean. I am also soooooooo tired. So much fatigue. It’s hard. Even after just browsing Facebook and looking at pictures and NOT touching myself seems to affect my brain even. I did that Wednesday night and I’ve had a bit of a dull headache, light headedness, and more anxiety and stress and very tired. I also have Mo’d to Facebook pictures several times so I’m sure my brain remembers that.
     
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  5. Hard for me to say exactly. I know that the more I edge/binge/relapse, the worse I feel. But that's because I've let myself down and that's a different feeling.

    When you do begin to look at porn, be careful about beating yourself up over doing it. That often makes you feel worse and then you 'self-medicate' by looking at more - trying to make yourself feel good again. It's a vicious cycle.

    Instead, have compassion for yourself. Tell yourself, "It's not okay I looked at porn, but this is a tough addiction that I've got and I'm going to keep working at it. I made a mistake, but I learned (whatever) from it and will try to avoid this same pitfall by implementing (this idea)." Learn to fail better each time.
     
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  6. ch0sen1

    ch0sen1 Fapstronaut

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    Sounds like you and me are having pretty much the same issues.... How old are you?
     
  7. Fallensoldier1

    Fallensoldier1 Fapstronaut

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    I am 29. Yup. It sucks. I am currently on day 15. It’s so bad that last night we actually drove by the local public pool and was only there for a few mins but of course I had to take a few glances. I didn’t mindfully stare like I would in the past, but I did look. A couple hours later my head was hurting and I felt a little light headed. I still woke up today with some major depression and major fatigue but at the moment that’s about it.
     
  8. Guybrushgood

    Guybrushgood Fapstronaut

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    I feel like this since I quit 4 1/2 months ago. It would be thrilling if it disappeared after a couple of days, like you are experiencing. Dont complain about this, you are not really suffering dude. Big huge
     
  9. Anonymous86

    Anonymous86 Fapstronaut

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    What's a good beginner exercise to train your mind to really notice the physical feelings before making the addictive response?
     
  10. shamrock19

    shamrock19 Fapstronaut

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    mindfulness... its the only way really, to observe your thoughts and emotions objectively as opposed to thinking about your thoughts and adding more fuel to the fire... which then further intensifies your emotions..
     
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  11. shamrock19

    shamrock19 Fapstronaut

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    i can totally relate to this, after two faps of my relapse, bam! i know ive seriously shot myself in the foot.. my anxiety and emotional emptiness just comes rushing back... due to my previous long streaks, my anxiety seems to last a lot longer as well. I mean im like 40 ish days now and my anxiety as eased up a tiny bit, but is still pretty bad.. my voice is so trembly as well which is pissing me off big time
     
  12. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    Quick fact: dopamine is a precursor to (nor)adrenalin.

    [​IMG]
    Adrenalin (epinephrine) is a stress hormone that will lead to physical anxiety. Dopamine is virtually the same. Fapping is basically skydiving. Your body will react the same.
    To make matters worse, dopamine in high levels is capable of reducing levels of calming serotonin by affecting, even rewiring neurons. Much more neurotransmitters are involved but the principle is the same: masturbation, especially to porn, is a huge, huge stressor. It's an irritant. It may not feel like it when you're doing it. The high is high, but after every higher high there's also a lower low. Tolerance to levels of dopamine is quickly built. This is why addictions to porn develop. You need more of the same dopamine every time in order to overcome tolerance and in doing so you can literally wipe out entire neurons. The consequences aren't pretty. Psychologist Sigmund Freud was among the first to link masturbation to a condition called neurasthenia.
     
  13. Anonymous86

    Anonymous86 Fapstronaut

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    Can we recover these neurons that can get wiped out?
     
  14. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    It depends on which neurons are affected. It is known that the peripheral nervous system has tremendous self-healing capabilities, the central nervous system doesn't, or at least not to the same extent. Unfortunately parts of the brain that process porn are all part of the central nervous system. However, the nervous system especially is also very plastic and although actual brain shrinkage has been seen in sex addicts, loss of neurons is still quite extreme. Addiction needs to be an issue and when it is, neurons will for the most part protect themselves through a process called downregulation, meaning the neuron will inactivate its own reception sites so that the offensive neurotransmitter in its out of proportion quantities has less places to go. This is bad news for addicts and it's why everyone keeps asking about upregulation of dopamine receptors. As such, anxiety has more to do with rewiring of circuitry/downregulation and actual dependency. Downregulation in other words is what causes the stress and anxiety. It's harder to get the same high each time as tolerance is built through this downregulation process. The brain will freak out over this downregulation, rendering addiction worse each time. At that point you see fetishes set in or harder drugs being used. Of course both rewiring and cell death (to some extent) will occur at the same time. In short an addiction is dangerous because it keeps putting stress on neurons, affecting defensive mechanisms each time until eventually loss of an actual neuron can occur, but symptomatically speaking downregulation is the bigger issue.
    Diet-wise you want to eat a lot of proteins, vitamin-rich vegetables and complex carbs. Toxins such as simple, monosaccaharide sugars (glucose, fructose) and omega-6 fatty acids favor dopaminergic activity. You want to avoid those if you're after neuroregenaration. Needless to say you'll also need to stop the habit you're addicted to if you ever want to have a good chance at self-repair. Exercise, getting enough sunlight and going to bed before midnight can be a big help too. If you replace bad habits with good habits you can rewire/upregulate your system the same way you rewired/downregulated it before. Neuroplasticity fortunately is a real possibility and any addict's hope.
     
  15. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Fapstronaut

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    How is your recovery going Bken? Any updates? Always is a pleasure seeing you post on here!
     
  16. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    Thanks. It's still going slow but I have noticed some changes for the better. Slightly lesser social anxiety, I've even experienced actual happiness. Appr. 1.5 years porn free with no desire to go back anymore. I've learned the hard way.
     
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  17. Anonymous86

    Anonymous86 Fapstronaut

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    Neurons can grow back after they get killed off, right?
     
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  18. Tywin Lannister

    Tywin Lannister Fapstronaut

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    You really think Omega-6 is toxic? Why? You need those too just like 3 and 9. But 6 and 9 we get a lot more of by eating good meat etc. I know the balance is off in most people these days by 1-20 while we want a balance of 1-1. But we still need omega-6
     
  19. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    I agree, omega-6 only becomes toxic when it's consumed in levels that are disproportionate to the more healthy omega-3 as you've mentioned. I'm not anti-fat or anti-meat at all as others, but am more concerned with excessive levels of omega-6 as found in vegatable oils, palm oil, that kind of thing. These will put toxic stress on the liver I'm sure.
     
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  20. Tywin Lannister

    Tywin Lannister Fapstronaut

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    Sorry if I didn't understand u right haha. Yeah these fatty acids are all needed in proportion to each other also for heart, the brain, PH levels etc. Really interesting stuff. I find it more helpful to supplement omega-3 and eat more fish, than to cut the omega-6 and 9.
     

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