12-Week Porn Addiction Withdrawal Walkthrough

Porn Addiction Withdrawal Walkthrough

Do you feel worse now that you’ve stopped looking at porn?

Knowing what to expect when you’re going through porn addiction withdrawal is crucial to fighting temptation. When you understand what your body is going to throw at you, it’s a lot easier to say, “This is normal and I just have to get through it.”

If you know anyone who’s ever tried to quit smoking, these withdrawal symptoms will look pretty familiar. Studies have shown that withdrawal from porn and masturbation is just as severe as withdrawal from heroin or cocaine.

As you continue reading, you’ll get a day-by-day walk-through of the most common stages of porn addiction withdrawal.

1 to 7 Days Without Porn

The first thing that happens when you quit is that your Dopamine levels take a nose-dive. As you learned about in the Porn Addiction Symptoms article, Dopamine is the chemical your brain surges into your system every time you look at porn.

In these first few days, your brain is literally in shock.

Many men start experiencing these withdrawal symptoms within 48 hours of quitting:

  • Grumpiness – Every little thing will irritate you. For me, I became extremely cynical about everything around me.
  • Mood swings – As your brain tries to rebalance itself, you’ll feel like a teenage girl having her first period… Happy one minute and on the verge of tears the next. Seriously.
  • Headaches – I didn’t ever experience intense migraines like some men report, but I did get subtle pressure headaches that lasted for hours at a time.
  • Anxiety – Some men have legitimate panic attacks, but I experienced this more as a general feeling of stress. From the first three days for the next three months, I always felt like I had way too much to do.
  • Pornographic Thoughts – Temptation during the first week is extremely intense. This is because your last pornographic experience is still fresh on your mind. We’ll talk more about this below.

The Seven-Day Craving

Can you quit looking at porn for an entire week?

For most men reading this, the answer is no. The classic test of addiction is whether or not you can make it a full seven days without even looking at porn. That’s because of the Seven-Day Craving, a classic pitfall for first-time quitters.

The Seven-Day Craving is exactly what it sounds like… You’ll usually experience very intense cravings around Day 7 without looking at porn. For some men, you’ll get your 7-Day Craving at Day 21. For some men, it’ll come at Day 5 and last ‘til Day 10.

Read more: [How to resist temptation to look at porn.] (coming soon)

1 to 3 Weeks Without Porn

Congratulations! You made it past the first week. You’ve still got a long road ahead of you, but you should still pat yourself on the back for making it this far.

These are the most common symptoms men report after the initial one-week hump:

  • Zombie-like State – Because your brain has been deprived of its regular Dopamine highs, it’s common for abstainers to enter a sluggish, zombie-like state. Expect low energy levels to last anywhere from two weeks to two months.
  • Unable to Focus – I could not work efficiently in the first few weeks after I quit. The constant fatigue somehow made me feel restless, and things that normally took 30 minutes were now taking an hour. I had no motivation and no focus.
  • Social Awkwardness – It’s hard to accurately describe this symptom, but many men echoed that they felt awkward or exposed in social settings. It feels like you constantly have your foot in your mouth.
  • Low Sex Drive – You might expect your sex drive to be bursting at the seams after going without porn for a week or two, but many men report the exact opposite. Although porn will still ignite temptation when you think about it, any other sexual activity may not sound appealing while your brain reboots.
  • Loneliness – This website is mostly tailored towards married men, but you single men especially will have trouble with this one. You’ll experience loneliness, and you’ll want to escape it with porn. Don’t give in!

4 to 8 Weeks Without Porn

28 days without any porn or masturbation is when about 50% of men start feeling the initial porn addiction withdrawals start to go away.

For the rest of you, keep going, you’re relief is just a few weeks away!

Heavily addicted men will probably need another month or two. Even if you still struggle with withdrawal symptoms, by now you’ve at least gotten used to going through each day without porn. Looking at it is no longer a habit.

Here’s what’s happening in your brain right now:

The “layers” of addicting Delta Fos-B which built up in your brain due to repeated Dopamine overdosing are starting to disintegrate. Your brain is it essentially re-wiring itself to function with normal levels of Dopamine.

Here are some specific withdrawals to look out for from days 30 to 60:

  • Random Temptation – There have been so many times that I’ve made it to four or five weeks without looking at porn, only to have a single bad day that sent me hurtling back into relapse.
  • Bursts of Overwhelming Emotion – You may be reading a book, looking out the window or lying in bed when suddenly you feel yourself tearing up about nothing in particular.
  • Insomnia – Men who were heavily addicted to porn for a long time are the most likely to experience insomnia in this stage of recovery. Insomnia due to withdrawal is nearly impossible to treat, and over-the-counter sleep aids probably won’t do much to help.
  • Depression – Again, not all men will suffer from depression, and some may experience it much earlier in the withdrawal process. It’s not uncommon for this depression to last several weeks, but it always goes away eventually.

2 Months & Beyond

If you’ve made it two solid months without looking at porn at all, then you’re starting to notice some definite improvements in your life.

  • You’re starting to feel happier
  • Your sex drive is coming back in a healthy way
  • You have more energy and focus than ever before
  • Your marriage actually feels fulfilling and your wife looks gorgeous

The longest that I’ve ever heard porn addiction withdrawal symptoms last without any relapse is seven months. That was in a 45 year-old man who’d been looking at porn multiple times a day for thirty years.

For me, four months without porn was the turning point for my withdrawal symptoms, but it took me two miserable years to get there.

That’s why there’s one thing that you absolutely must remember at all times:

Never
Ever
Let Your Guard Down

Temptation could come at any turn, and years down the road you may still face a spark of temptation every now and then. But if you can keep yourself away from porn without any relapse for a full two months, I guarantee you’ll start noticing some changes.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 14 comments
John - last year

Your post is excellent! Thank God for letting me to know this. I have all of these symptom too, and have been struggle countless time to get rid of it. Because I didn’t know about this, someday, just one minor negative thought making me relapse again. Man need more this kind of information because no one told them about it. Please, keep writing this up, looking forward to your new posts.

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Charles Gardner - a few months ago

Grateful to find this site.
Today is # 12 of total abstinence from porn and masturbation. Day 11 for me was a son of a gun. All it takes is a slight breeze to trigger me. The first week was a piece of cake though now is a different story. I’m experiencing slight headaches, threw up twice this morning, experiencing anxiety, and don’t want to leave the safety of my house. Letting go of my soothing mechanism is like loosing a friend.
Today I started taking a great product called dopatone ( K-41 ) a natural supplement by Apex Energetics. This should replace some of the dopamine levels while working through this. Feels good to check in and share my experience. So far so good though very cautious knowing the slightest thing could set me off and running. Going through what to expect from this site is extremely helpful.
Thank you, C Gardner

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Zacky - a few months ago

Thank you very much for this site. Today is my first day to stopping masturbation.. hopefully I will be able to withstand the urges which are going to be coming my way, wish me luck! thanks again. :)

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Jesse - a few months ago

I have struggled with addiction to porn and masturbation for many years, and have seen the adverse results in my life and my marriage. Porn is both repulsive yet attractive, stimulating, yet mood-killing, exciting, yet mind-dulling. Partaking of it is like drinking poison that goes to the very soul. It has been detrimental to my life in many ways, not the least of which is my marriage. It’s nigh well past time I break this habit for the good of my marriage, family, and my own spiritual well-being.

Thanks Jacob for sharing this article, and so many other resources in the Husband Help Haven, helping us become the kind of manly leaders we must be to attract and keep our wives happy and fulfilled in marriage.

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    Jacob - a few months ago

    Quitting porn was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It took me longer than it should have. But, it is one of my proudest accomplishments, and it has enabled me to be the kind of husband, leader and father that I know I need to be. Getting rid of a porn habit is like losing 100 pounds from your soul… You feel free, light, focused, unhindered. As you said, do it not only for your wife and family, but for your own spiritual well-being!

    Reply
David - a few months ago

I’m in the process

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Jacob - a couple of months ago

I am not a married man I am single but I really appreciate the way this is written it helps clarify a lot of things for me while I’m trying to stop pornography use. it’s written in a very inspiring non-judgemental way and I think it will be very helpful in assisting men in cutting out the pornography in their life and moving forward. Bravo to the author

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joseph - a couple of months ago

I have quit exsecive masturbation and porn 7 days now.my anxiety is through the roof but is better every day.it will be so great to fell normally again after 8 years.will keep in touch. Joseph

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C Gardner - a couple of months ago

Checking in at 41 days of total abstinence.
This experience so far has been as hard as it is gratifying. I’m so grateful to have an amazing wife that tells me every day how proud she is of me and adult enough to know it’s not personal.
This is my journey and my opportunity that’s been handed to me to gain but another level of consciousness and understanding of self. I’ve been journaling and diligently working through Patric Carnes book Facing The Shadow. I highly recommend it.
Still get triggered by a slight breeze and have to be on my toes at all times though things seem to be getting a bit easier.
Clean and sober for 25 years in AA, I’m also going by the same principles but in the green book SA.
I wish nothing more than for all of us to acknowledge and embrace this life changing opportunity.
Love always, your brother……

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abhimanyu - a couple of months ago

I m single man. Have stopped looking porn and masturbation since 12 days. Right after first 4 days ie on the 5th day, I felt terrible, angry, anxious and wanted to look porn and masturbated. But I held on, convinced myself of the losses I suffered because of this habit, focused on my goal in life and started working. Now it is 12 days and I feel like a zombie state, less focus, restlessness. But it occurs intermittently and not that terrible as was on the 5th day. My target is 4 months as have been into porn since standard V (around 14 years). Though heavy porn use only since last 5 years.

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Kal Joseph - last month

I have been addicted to masterbation and pornography for the past 11 years of my life. I keep telling myself “it will be easier when I’m older, but I’m 22 now and it’s just as bad as it was 11 years ago. It was an every day occurrence, something I had to hide from my family and friends, and something that’s threatened my relationship with my beautiful girlfriend. I am now 3 weeks clean from masterbation and pornography- the longest I have gone in a very long time- and a big part due to this web site. You are always aware of the temptation, but I never knew about the headaches, the nausea, the anxiety, the boredom. It’s like you step into a cage that you can be perfectly comfortable as long as you don’t try to get out. I’ve been feeling like crap for the past few weeks, but I NEED to make it to 3 months. I want to be free. I want to be happy. I want to be free.

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R - last month

I am not married but wwouldnt be a good husband because of porn addiction. I want to quit. My mouth is craving the addiction and its been about 1 day. I just read a book on quiting. Also, considering sex group similar to AA. I can make it a few days but the relapses are the worst!

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yrn - last month

thank you so much..am also an addict of pornography. I am 20 and this write up is very helpful to me

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Anon - 3 weeks ago

This article is such a blessing, now I realise it is addiction. For anyone reading this with migraines that last 1-3hrs, I started at around the time my migraines started. Three years of damage will be hard to undo. I wish everyone would start using the phrase ‘dopamine overdose’ for all addictions, even using a device has similar effects.

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