Porn Addiction Symptoms – How Porn Morphs Your Brain

Porn Addiction Symptoms

Did you know that erectile dysfunction is the most common reason that young men decide to stop looking at porn?

And this isn’t any normal ED we’re talking about either… ED from Internet porn addiction is completely untreatable. Viagra won’t work because the problem is in your brain, not below the belt.

As you continue reading, you’ll learn that erectile dysfunction isn’t the only or even the worst porn addiction symptom. But first, let’s talk about why excessive porn use leads to addiction:

Why is Porn Addictive?

Since you’re here reading this, obviously you know that porn is addictive. But do you know why?

If you haven’t already, watch this quick 10-minute TED Talk called The Great Porn Experiment by Gary Wilson about the effects of porn on your brain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

Basically, your brain reacts the same way to porn as it does to meth, heroin or crack. Here’s exactly how the addiction forms:

Step-by-Step Porn Addiction Process:

  1. You look at a pornographic image or video.
  2. Your brain believes that you’re looking at a potential mate, so it releases the “happy chemical”, Dopamine.
  3. Dopamine makes you feel good and gives your brain the drive to finish mating.
  4. Because the Internet provides you with an unlimited supply of fresh mates, your brain tells you to binge like a rabbit during mating season.
  5. When you “finish”, you’re completely exhausted as your brain tries to process the extreme amounts of Dopamine.

Now, if you stopped right here and never looked at porn again, you’d be fine.

But you don’t.

If you’re anything like most men, you were first exposed at a young age and have looked at porn ever since. So, here’s what happens next as your brain reacts to chronic porn use:

The Effects of Chronic Porn Use:

  • After several months (or even years), your brain becomes desensitized to the Dopamine you’re flooding it with.
  • In order to maintain long-term sensitivity to Dopamine, your brain produces a protein called Delta Fos-B (pronounced fawz-be).
  • After the first time your brain makes Delta Fos-B, it’ll keep producing more with each cumulative porn use.
  • Over time, multiple layers of Delta Fos-B accumulate inside your brain’s “pleasure center”, the Nucleus Ambens.
  • As it builds up, Delta Fos-B creates a compulsive response in your brain that makes you feel like you need Dopamine.
  • Your brain associates Dopamine with porn, and so therefore that need for Dopamine becomes a need for porn.

And that’s when you’re addicted.

The more Delta Fos-B that’s stored in your brain’s Nucleus Ambens, the stronger your compulsion for Dopamine will be. This process explains where your porn cravings come from and why they grow stronger over time.

How Long Does it Take Your Brain to Rewire?

In most cases, Delta Fos-B will stick around in your brain for about eight weeks. However, every time you’re exposed to porn, you reset that timer AND you make your cravings stronger than they were before.

Scientists still don’t understand everything about Delta Fos-B or the neurochemical process behind addiction. All we know for sure is that it takes a minimum of eight weeks for your brain to clean itself and go back to normal.

Fun Fact: The younger you are, the longer it will take your brain to cleanse Delta Fos-B. If you’re younger than 30, it could take up to 16 weeks before your brain is back to normal.

Common Porn Addiction Symptoms

We already said at the beginning of this post that a common symptom of porn addiction is erectile dysfunction. This is because porn desensitizes your brain to normal sexual activity. So, even if you can get hard enough for intercourse, most addicted men will struggle to climax from real-life sex.

However, most porn addiction symptoms actually aren’t physical. Here are some of the most commonly cited symptoms in men today:

  • ADHD or an inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anti-social behavior or social anxiety
  • Performance anxiety
  • Obsessive tendencies
  • Disinterest in real women
  • An escalating need for more extreme or taboo porn
  • Mental fogginess
  • Loss of willpower or discipline
  • Zombie-like feeling, especially during the afternoon
  • Grumpiness or irritability
  • Constant feeling of guilt or fear

Notice that these symptoms are completely different from [porn addiction withdrawal symptoms]. These are only the symptoms you’ll notice WHILE you’re addicted, although they may continue until your brain resets back to normal.

Recommended: The Possible Pitfalls of Porn @ The Art of Manliness

Hopefully by now you see just how serious porn addiction is. The chemicals that your brain creates when you use porn – Dopamine and Delta Fos-B – are the exact same ones it creates when you use cocaine or meth.

This is why it’s so difficult to stop looking at porn. You’ll need the same strength of will as a junky in rehab, except you’re the only one in control of your recovery.

But trust me as someone who’s been there – when you’re finally free of your addiction, you’ll look back and say that all the pain of quitting was worth it.

I beat it, and you will too!

If you have any further questions, you can go back to [Porn Addiction 101] for more help.

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