Avatar universal


Hi, I am 17 years old and I have a big problem: It all started when I became porn addicted. I got social anxiety, had fear to look in people's eyes and i was generally feeling very bad. The world looked empty and everything bored me. I felt like I lost my connection to others and many other symptoms. When I realized that it all came from porn and masturbation I stopped,which needed  quite some time, but I felt better and better and my personality rebuilt more and more.But then I did something which might be the worst mistake of my entire life: I smoked a cigarette. I know it sounds weird but it really changed everything. I felt incredibly bad after this for some days. Then there started extreme urges to watch porn, more extreme  than I ever experienced it. Finally I did not watch it because I knew that it was bad, but the urges never stopped since then. A half year later i watched porn again due to extreme urges, which have built up for several weeks. And now it became worse and worse. Now I watch porn again daily. My last streak held 14 days: it actually went good, but every evening and morning I experienced hypersalivation, which also started when I did something which gave me pleasure, for example reading a book or watching a youtube video, but it went good overall. Then on day 14, extreme urges began, which were so strong that i felt like allmost collapsing and was so worried, that I ended my streak. This has happened to me now many times before since I smoked. My question is: What the hell has happened when I smoked, and what can I do against it? Please help I am very desperate and have almost gave up hope!!!
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973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  You sound like a thoughtful young man.  First, masturbation is completely normal and many guys look at porn.  Porn becomes an addiction when it is used to self medicate.  So, if someone uses it to feel better, to avoid pain, etc. And we can't stop when see the damage it is doing.  This does happen.  And it becomes a problem if it begins to interfere with 'real' life. You aren't doing other things because you are watching porn, it impacts work, school, relationships.  Then it can be handled like other things that addiction forms around like shopping, gambling, etc. If  repetitive sexual behavior/practices becomes the main focus of one's life, that's where you'd be concerned.  Most people who chronically view porn and masturbate are not in this category. You sound beyond wise to realize that perhaps the porn/masturbation was overdone and impacting you.  Very smart to slow that activity down.  But with anything that is used to self medicate our moods, you also have to dig deep and ask yourself why you needed it.  Sexual release is normal but it sounds like it was becoming  more. I think the period of time you are at is a hard one.  Lots of anxiety.  Lots of self doubt.  Do you have a parent you can talk to about any of that if it is so?  

So, what I'd do is to keep a journal. Write down when you get the urge, what is going on.  Now, you are 17. You've got a LOT of hormones.  Lots of urge just with that.  But write down if you are using porn to avoid other things.  And I also would try to stay distracted. Are there other things you could get involved in? School activities?  After school job? A recreational sport?
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Okay, here's my confusion.  I know we have colloquially and professionally greatly expanded the use of the word addiction so that it's basically become meaningless and maybe we should just retire it and find another word to use, but how exactly is using sports or a job or school activities to distract oneself any less an addiction by the definition being used here than watching porn to distract oneself?  It's a tough question, because of what Freud and Marx called alienation, which is the fact our work these days and most of our activities are unrelated to things we need to do in order to survive, which is how evolution programmed us.  Very few people are needed to do survival things anymore, and so we must find other things to occupy our time.  All of them are distractions since none of them are necessary for our survival.  I know this might sound like a trivial thing, but someone going through antidepressant withdrawal or benzo or heroin withdrawal would probably giggle at those who say these activities are addictions.  They are habits, and if they work for us and don't harm anyone else, fine, but if they make us unhappy and unable to do the things we really need or want to do, they are problems.  But if the purpose for this person is to stay distracted, the porn seems to have been working.  I don't think that's really the issue unless one has a particular moral problem with porn and not with sports or other activities, which is also fine.  I'm pretty concerned about the tremendous harm done to us especially as children by people whose obsession is making money, another distraction and what is currently called an addiction.  I think we need to focus more not on the surface things we fuss about but the underlying thing we're really trying to escape from and see if we can fix that.  Peace.
Addiction is more than being physically addicted.  Gamblers don't vomit, have seizures, or brain zaps if they don't gamble. But none the less some can't stop without help.  https://drugabuse.com/blog/are-these-7-things-really-as-addictive-as-drugs/  That talks about it.  Behavioral addictions are real and people need programs to work through that just as they do for drug addiction. That's why they have detox at the beginning of the treatment process for drug addiction but a full program after once their body is clean of the drug.  
It doesn't matter if they won't stop.  You say they can't stop, but that's untrue.  There's nothing stopping them.  They just don't want to badly enough or, more likely, have an underlying disorder such as depression that they basically self-medicating with an obsession.  We call it an addiction, but it just isn't.  If they did stop gambling, they would not get sick, their bodies wouldn't crave it, they don't need more and more to get a high.  Addiction actually has a definition, and gambling doesn't fit it.  It can be an obsession, it can be a habit, the person can like it so much they don't really want to stop doing it even if they are really really bad at it and therefore can't afford to do it.  But life is full of such things, such as favorite foods, favorite music, favorite activities, etc.  Everything one feels compelled to do could be called an obsession and an addiction if you want to go all colloquial on us, but if we want to talk to one another and solve problems we have to speak a language that makes sense and we share in common.  People who work with addictive drugs will tell you that depression or deep insecurity or some other underlying problem is the real problem, and if you don't fix that, the person is very likely to start using again (also, protracted withdrawals also cause many to start using again, which is the physiological side of actual withdrawal from an actual addiction, and I would include antidepressants in with that).  The fact is, most people who gamble aren't addicted to it.  If you use benzos every day, you will become addicted to them.  There is a difference.  Peace.
To the poster, you sound like a smart young man to realize this is a problem for you and that when we self medicate, behavioral addiction can develop.  I think you are on the right track with that.

It sounds like you would stop. I'd like you to keep a journal. What happens right before the urges start. And if you can abstain, what can you do instead to distract yourself?  If smoking somehow triggers you, hey, addiction to smoking can develop as well.  

Can you talk to your parents about a therapist?  My son is 17 and he sees a psychologist.  He's able to talk to the psychologist without me and whatever they talk about is private between them unless it is something like suicide that I must know about.  Getting to speak to someone to express these things would be great for you.  Almost any addiction has a mental health situation combined.  So, I'd be happy if you looked deeper into that.  Better coping skills may help you along the way.  I'm here to chat about it!
Avatar universal
Since this is all created by your own thinking, so too did the fact you smoked a cigarette.  There isn't a real "addiction" to porn, as there is no withdrawal when you quit and you can quit any time without consequences to your body or brain, so while we use the term addiction a lot in the world today what you have is a really strong habit.  If it didn't bother you to look at porn and you were still able to get done what you need to get done and it didn't affect your relationships, it wouldn't be a problem, but for you it did become a problem because you were obsessive about it, but the main problem you're having is you're talking yourself into all this stuff.  I don't know why, but a good therapist can help you solve this problem.  
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