Desensitization To Real Life

With any addiction, it becomes the central feature of the persons life. Everything else hangs on it. – Walt Miller

 

Porn addiction steals joy from other areas of your life since it impacts the value you get from rewards. And it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy things that you once enjoyed.

To better understand this idea, think about this: Your brain transfers dopamine along paths of linked nerve cells. Normally this dopamine moves from one to the next without any problems, leading to a positive experience.

It’s released by the sending cell and picked up by the receiving cell’s dopamine receptors. But when on porn, your brain is overstimulated and the sending cell releases too much dopamine at once. This means the receiving cell is unable to handle it. Overwhelmed, the receiving cell drops some of its receptors in self-defense, which reduces its ability to receive dopamine in the future.

You can think of it like a quarterback throwing a football to a receiver. In a healthy state he’ll catch it every time, but when on porn it’s like a quarterback throwing 10 footballs simultaneously to the receiver. The receiver becomes so overwhelmed that he doesn’t catch any of the footballs.

So in the future, when experiencing everyday simple pleasures like a hot meal, walking by an attractive woman, playing the guitar, reading a good book, talking socially, your brain isn’t able to receive the dopamine stimulus that it once did, leading to a numbed experience feeling of life.

All in all, excessive porn use leads to less dopamine being able to travel through your brain, leading to desensitization. When this happens, dopamine has a harder time moving in your brain, regardless of the reason it was sent out. This desensitizes you not only to porn but everything in your life that would normally give you pleasure through a dopamine response. Excessive porn reduces dopamine flow, which reduces motivations and makes you feel less excited and satisfied when you do things you used to enjoy.

And with reduced pleasure and motivation from daily tasks, you feel apathetic, lethargic and overwhelmed. Life seems to have lost its luster, and when it reaches a certain stage this apathy becomes full-blown depression where you are reliant on more and more pornography to feel good even if it is for a short time.

Once you’re in a state of depression, you begin to isolate yourself, live in a constant state of sadness, in despair and feel overwhelmed, which creates an unhealthy environment. In this environment, it is extremely difficult to thrive in your personal and professional life.

Watching porn gives you a massive dopamine stimulation that you typically won’t get from anything else in your day-to-day life. Work is so-so, going to the gym gives you a temporary boost but it’s a lot of work, watching television is boring, so porn has become the only outlet that seems to give you pleasure. Not to mention it becomes the most exciting part of your day and for many a daily ritual.

Nothing you do during your day will come nearly as close to the dopamine rush that you get from porn, so things you once found stimulating are now increasingly boring.

Learning to play guitar is stressful…

Learning that second language is mundane…

Going to the gym is tedious…

Learning to salsa dance seems tiresome…

Improving your professional network is trite…

Going to that local comedy club seems uninteresting…

Things that used to bring joy to your life simply have less importance to you as you consume more and more porn. And the problem here is the more porn you consume, the more desensitized to life you become.

Throughout your day you’re constantly looking forward to getting home and watching porn. You might leave work excited that you get to go home and watch porn, you might be leaving a social venue with friends excited to go home and watch porn, you might be on a date excited to go home and watch porn. You might even be having sex thinking about porn to get you off. What’s happening here is you are looking forward to porn rather than looking forward to life.

Porn has caused such an imbalance in your life that once everyday pleasures are now seen as mundane, boring, and pointless. Porn has become the shiny object of desire that you look forward to rather than your own personal goals or ambitions. You still even may be pursuing goals in your life, but they feel forced and unnatural.

Porn just feels right, so it’s this constant urge to consume more porn. You do it, but then soon after you’re bored, so you do it again and again. This spiral of negative actions leads you to feel more guilt and shame about how you’ve spent the last few hours watching porn.

That lust for life is gone.

Imagine how you look to women after you’ve just watched two hours of porn and now you’re trying to go talk to that beautiful woman in her pretty dress. No wonder she didn’t give you the time of day…

A porn addict is not living in the real world; he’s living for that next scene.

The good news is that stopping or significantly reducing porn and masturbation use and living a healthy well-balanced lifestyle can restore your brain back to its normal function. When you stop the porn, the receptors grow back, and your brain can resensitize itself to dopamine again with time. It can take months, but it can still happen and you can live happily again.

Porn cannot only desensitize you to life but it also causes problems sexually with women. Here’s how…

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