Since Porn addiction is not an official diagnosis recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). So there aren’t any official drugs approved for use to help people cope with quitting pornography.
However, most experts agree that experiencing an uncontrollable urge to view porn can be viewed as a form of behavioral addiction as it can have detrimental effects on your overall quality of life.
In fact, scientists warn that it may affect up to 6% of all people in the US, predominantly men. However we believe that almost all men are severely affected by consistent porn consumption, it will just take the industry and the APA a long time to catch up.
But in this article we’re going to break down the effects of pornography and a few more natural nootropics supplements that can help you with cravings and also help you get more work done with all your new energy!
Your Brain On Porn
The pleasure you feel during sex is a part of your brain’s mechanisms to create and reinforce habits that will help you survive and reproduce.
When these pleasure centers aka reward circuits in your brain are triggered, you experience a spike of several neurotransmitters with different functions.
One of these mediators is called dopamine. It helps your brain create cues and remember which activities bring pleasure. Then the cue acts as a trigger, which results in a dopamine surge and a feeling of craving.
The goal is to repeat these beneficial and pleasurable activities more often without thinking, leading to the formation of habits.
The pleasure induced by porn can lead to a larger surge of dopamine in your brain compared to healthy activities such as eating or having sex.
What is more, porn is much more easily accessible which creates an even stronger connection between the experience and the external cues linked to it.
These extreme dopamine surges teach your brain to seek porn instead of other much healthier activities that are harder to achieve and result in a lower dopamine spike.
Ultimately, the brain adjusts by producing lower amounts of neurotransmitters and a reduced number of receptors to detect them.
This results in reduced ability to experience pleasure and makes you feel empty, hopeless, without motivation, lifeless, or depressed.
What is more, you eventually need new and better or more extreme porn in order to experience even a normal level of reward which creates the vicious cycle of addiction.
How To Quit Porn
The cues in your daily routine, which dopamine has linked to the pleasure received from watching porn, can trigger uncontrollable cravings.
Therefore, removing the cues is your first step towards quitting porn. A lot of things may act as a cue – your laptop or phone, a specific person you see, or a certain way you may feel at that moment.
You can start by clearing your browser history and bookmarks, as well as deleting any cues you may get from social media. For example, this includes any pages or people that may regularly upload provocative pictures or anything similar.
This may help you still use your devices for work without triggering your cravings. Otherwise, it might be best to completely replace them.
In addition, you should try and make it more difficult to watch porn – for example, install an adult site blocker in your browser. Furthermore, you may turn on safe browsing or parental control on your phone and enable safe search in google.
Your current emotional state may also act as a trigger. Therefore it’s important to take control over your emotions – whether you feel sad, bored, or something else.
While this may be hard, natural remedies that can improve the function of your brain and restore the balance of neurotransmitters may help. These include supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies.
How To Balance Neurotransmitters in The Brain Using Supplements
Several bioactive molecules have shown promise as supplements for addiction. They can help curb your cravings by affecting your dopamine levels, as well as improve your mood by influencing serotonin.
These supplements are often called nootropics, as they aim to improve brain function.
Citicoline, also known as cytidine diphosphate-choline (CDP-Choline) or cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine is one of the most prominent supplements that can affect the dopamine signaling in your brain.
The supplement works by increasing the density of dopamine receptors and therefore reverting the sensitization and tolerance induced by porn addiction.
Studies in other forms of addiction have shown that the citicoline supplementation for 2 weeks led to significant decreases in cravings when exposed to cues, without causing any side effects.
The molecule may also help improve brain function and boost memory and cognition.
Another molecule called N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may also help reduce cravings and reduce symptoms of addiction. Scientists report that it has already shown potential in suppressing cravings for nicotine, marijuana, and even cocaine.
Since low and depressive mood is a common trigger for cravings, increasing your serotonin levels and preventing such negative emotions is also an important step in balancing your brain neurotransmitters.
Interestingly, vitamin B9 (folate) has been shown to help patients with depression and reduce their symptoms.
Although the vitamin improves your endogenous serotonin production, it is completely safe to supplement it while taking SSRIs or other antidepressants. That is unlike other
supplements that influence your serotonin levels such as St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP.
How Long Does it Take to Rewire Your Brain from Addiction?
In order to rewire your brain, you have to break your habits of watching porn or replace them with new ones that are more healthy.
Unfortunately, breaking bad habits takes different amounts of time for different people and there is no way to know how long it would take you.
It is a common misconception that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one. In reality, it may take several weeks to several months of conscious effort, until your brain fully rewires back from the porn addiction.
Factors the influence how quickly you will succeed include:
- Your level of motivation
- How long you’ve had the porn addiction
- Your exposure to cues that trigger cravings
- Therefore, research suggests that 10-weeks is a much more realistic period compared to 3 weeks.
Best Nootropics for Addiction
Here is our selection of the best nootropics, that apart from improving brain function can also help curb your cravings and control your mood:
Best Nootropic Stack – Mind Lab Pro
Our top choice for a nootropic stack that can help reduce cravings and porn-seeing behavior is Mind Lab Pro. The supplement contains 11 research-backed brain-boosters that can help naturally balance the levels of your brain neurotransmitters.
Most importantly, it contains citicoline as the brand name Cognizin which can increase the number of dopamine receptors in your brain and reduce desensitization.Furthermore, the supplement contains Phosphatidylserine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Yamabushitake), Bacopa Monnieri, and vitamin B9.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid naturally found in foods like soy, eggs, etc. The PS in Mind Lab Pro is extracted from sunflower lecithin and is proven to improve memory and cognition.
Similarly, a herb extract called Bacopa Monnieri can also help improve your memory. It is an extract from the Water hyssop plant which contains at least 24% bacosides (the active molecules which mediate the benefits).
These benefits are most noticeable in adults and elderly people and it takes at least 4-6 weeks of supplementation to work.
- 100% Plant-based & vegan friendly
- Made for all lifestyles
- High-quality ingredients
- Stimulant-free (such as caffeine)
- Contains a potent combination of ingredients
- Proprietary blends
Best Nootropics for Motivation – Performance Lab Mind
by Performance Lab also contains the potent combination of citicoline as Cognizin and PS as Sharp-PS® Green extracted from sunflower seeds.
Apart from its benefits against addiction, the supplement can also boost up your motivation. For example, citicoline can increase your brain energy levels by more than 13%.
In addition, the supplement also contains Ajipure L-tyrosine and Maritime Pine-bark extract (95% proanthocyanidins).
L-tyrosine is an amino acid used by your body to make dopamine. In addition to its effects on balancing the neurotransmitters in your brain, it may help to prevent stress-induced memory and attention deficits.
- Ingredients have high purity
- Possesses a wide range of cognitive benefits
- Free of additives and allergens
- Somewhat expensive
- A smaller blend of ingredients
Best Nootropics for Energy – Alpha Brain
Alpha Brain by Onnit is arguably one of the most popular nootropics in the world. The supplement contains several ingredients which are backed up by evidence as effective in boosting memory and cognition.
These include Bacopa monnieri, phosphatidylserine, Huperzia Serrata (1% Huperzine A), L-theanine, and Alpha-GPC.
In addition, the content of L-tyrosine can help improve the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the body. Therefore, the supplement will boost your energy levels and help you curb your cravings for porn.
Due to the large number of ingredients, there is a risk for minor side effects such as nausea and gastrointestinal upset.
- Certified as Drug-Free by BSCG
- Supported by studies
- Natural ingredients
- Proprietary blends
Best Nootropics for Mood – Bulk Supplements
If you are looking for single-ingredient products that can suppress your cravings and improve your mood then look no further than Bulk Supplements.
According to research, N-acetylcysteine has the potential for improving symptoms in addiction and substance abuse, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and mood disorders.
In addition, 5-HTP and St John’s Wort are two of the supplements with the most potent antidepressant effects. That’s thanks to their ability to significantly increase serotonin levels in the brain – the neuromodulator with a key role in depression.
The potency of these ingredients is so high that taking them with medications that also increase serotonin levels such as some antidepressants (SSRIs) can lead to serotonin syndrome (ie, serotonin toxicity) which is potentially life-threatening.
- High-quality natural ingredients
- Single-ingredient products only
Porn Addiction Treatment
In order to receive adequate treatment for your concerns regarding porn addiction, it may be best to consider seeing a therapist.
Go for a licensed mental health professional who is either a medical doctor or a therapist with proper credentials. They can come up with an individualized treatment plan to help you work through your problems.
We also have found coaches that in many cases can be more beneficial than a traditional therapist, since the medical literature hasn’t quite caught up to how severely porn addiction affects people.
A consultation with a mental health professional can provide invaluable insight into your condition especially if it is accompanied by symptoms of anxiety, signs of depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Your therapist will help you discover the underlying cause of your problems and develop an effective strategy in order to restore your quality of life.
Treatment for similar addictions generally involves talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
If your porn addiction has a detrimental effect on your overall quality of life, social life, or relationship your doctor may also recommend support groups or family counseling.
Talking to others and “venting” to other people may provide additional relief than the consultation with your therapist. What is more, you may discover people with the same problem and learn more about what works for them as a coping strategy.
If you have anxiety, depression, OCD, or another mental health condition in addition to your addiction, then your doctor may suggest medication therapy.
Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplement alongside your prescription medications