It’s natural to feel a little bit depressed when you’re on NoFap.
This is why the topic of NoFap depression is important to discuss.
You need to know what can cause you to be depressed, and you also need to know what to do to get out of the depression state.
And if you stick around till the end of this post, I’ll reveal a counter-intuitive paradoxical world-shifting insight that has helped me through difficult periods of my life.
So, without further delay, let’s get into it.
Why you can get depressed on NoFap
NoFap depression is a very common occurrence that a lot of people report when they’re on NoFap.
People complain of starting to feel depressed around the first to the second-week mark of their NoFap journey.
Irrespective of the time you start feeling depressed on your NoFap, it’ll be due to one or all of the following reasons:
When you hit the emotional flatline
Your PMO addiction was the thing you used to cope with your sh*t.
When you were bored, you PMOed.
When you were disappointed by a lover, you PMOed. When you were feeling sad, you PMOed.
And why were you using PMO to cope with your sh*t?
Because PMOing every day gave you a 2-seconds high of dopamine that makes you feel pleasure.
And for those split seconds, you forget all the real problems in your life.
(And after the 2 hours you just spent chasing those 2 seconds of pleasure, you get tired, and all your problems come back. But this time, you now have to deal with a feeling of shame that comes with being addicted to PMO. Just Saying!!)
But as you stop PMOing, and take away what your brain has regarded as the only source of pleasure, joy, and
happiness, you’ll start getting the feeling that life sucks.
You’ll be extremely bored and you won’t feel like doing anything.
With this prolonged apathy and boredom, your brain starts making you feel depressed.
This stage is perfectly normal on NoFap.
It’s called the emotional flatline period—which is a part of the flatline stage of NoFap.
When your repressed and suppressed negative emotions start coming to the surface
That you’re addicted to PMOing means that you have some emotional monsters you’re using the PMO addiction to cope with.
When you go on NoFap (around the 3 to 4-week mark), these monsters come to the surface to play.
All the negative memories and experiences that you were using porn to suppress and repress in the past will
start coming to the surface of your consciousness as you add days to your NoFap.
When negative emotions come to the surface, they sting. They bring you down.
They bring down your energy levels and vibrational frequency.
And this can make you feel depressed.
10 Ways to beat the NoFap depression period
If you’re starting to feel depressed on your NoFap, don’t be afraid.
Know that it’s one of the withdrawal symptoms of NoFap that’ll go away with time.
That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything to lift your mood in this difficult time.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deal with your sh*t so that you can come out the other side as a more emotionally intelligent human being.
Because if you don’t do something about your NoFap depression, you might end up going back to using porn to cope with that sh*t you refused to deal with.
So, here is a list of things you can do to deal with the depression you get when you’re on NoFap:
The first step to getting out of the funk of NoFap depression is to be aware that you’re feeling depressed.
Don’t stop at that self-awareness.
You also need to be aware that you’re depressed because you’re trying to become a better version of yourself.
Know that you have a lot to gain if you can grind through this time.
You’ll become more emotionally stable, you’ll become more energetic, your relationships will get better, and I can fill this post with the benefits of NoFap.
So, embrace this side of NoFap. Accept it as part of the process.
And you’ll instantly feel a little bit of relief. And a little bit of optimism.
Patience is a virtue.
And if you don’t have this important virtue, you need to start getting it.
If you’re feeling depressed on NoFap, you’ll be tempted to think that if you go back to PMOing, you’ll be happy again.
No! You won’t be!
What you’ll be left with if you relapse is a feeling of shame, failure, and the nasty chaser effect.
So, during the depression phase of NoFap, you need to practice patience.
Again, know that this phase will pass. It’s just a withdrawal symptom.
Your dopamine pathway is gradually getting rewired in a good way.
And you’ll soon start seeing lasting changes in your mood.
If you think about it, most of the emotional sufferings you go through are either things that have happened in the past or events that haven’t happened yet.
The present moment is always enough. Because the present moment is all there is.
Mindfulness meditation roots you to the present moment. It’s the most efficient tool to learn how to stay in the present moment.
Once you learn how to stay present (with the use of meditation), your awareness of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment increases.
And as this awareness increases, you get to know that you’re not your thoughts and your emotions.
So, those thoughts and emotions (of the past and the future) that used to make you depressed won’t hold that much power over you anymore.
This process is simple on paper. But it can take years of consistent meditation practice to get to this stage.
But the beauty of meditation is that you start reaping its benefits in one form or the other right from day one.
Deal with your sh*t
Remember that sh*t I said you were using porn to cope with?
After a while on NoFap, they’ll come up to the surface, and instead of distracting yourself from them, it’s best to address them.
If you’ve become a meditator, this process will be easier to complete.
Because negative emotions are nothing but feedback mechanisms.
Although, not all these feedbacks are accurate: some are outdated, you’ve outgrown some of them, while some aren’t true anymore.
But if you’re aware of these emotions and access them, you’ll see that some of them are trying to get you to make a positive change.
Some of them just want you to feel (experience) them for them to dissipate.
Confronting these negative emotions and dealing with them (or feeling them in some cases) will go a long way in helping you feel less depressed.
Because underneath this dark cloud of negative emotions lies a light that wants to shine bright—if you let it.
You need to commit to getting enough sleep when you’re on NoFap.
You should take it a step further and commit to going to sleep at a consistent time.
What this does is fix your circadian rhythm.
And it’s been shown by several studies that a consistent and adequate sleep time HUGELY affects your mood.
Sleep problem has been closely linked to depression.1
A lot of people complain of insomnia when they are on NoFap. And this can contribute to being depressed.
You can check out this post on how to cure insomnia when you’re on NoFap.
Watch what you eat
The type of food you eat greatly influences how you feel.
Researchers have concluded that diets characterized by a high intake of red meat, processed grains, high-fat dairy, junk foods increase the risk of getting depressed.
While diets that are characterized by a high intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy, olive oil greatly decrease your risk of getting depressed.2
And apart from decreasing your risk of getting depressed, these foods can improve your mood if you’re already depressed.
The type of exercise you need to do every day need not be to go and be lifting weights in the gym.
I’m talking about exercising (if just for 20 minutes) every day.
With an emphasis on every day.
Aerobic exercises are very good for a good mood.
A 2020 study found that people with low aerobic and muscular fitness levels are 2x likely to be depressed.3
So, make it your everyday routine to run, or jug on the sport, or do push-ups and planks for muscular strength.
And if you want to take it to the next level, you can add weight lifting 3 times a week to your routine.
Set meaningful (and positive) goals around your NoFap.
This way, you’re like a ship that has direction.
Setting meaningful goals gives you purpose for waking up in the morning.
And when you wake up with purpose, you tend to be happier.
NoFap is the perfect platform for you to set positive and meaningful goals.
You’ll have the energy, the time, the focus, and the creativity to go after those goals.
The best way to approach goal setting when you’re on NoFap is to gamify the process.
You can do this by tracking your goals and your progress (no matter how little) in a diary or system you trust.
This will instantly make working on the goals intrinsically fun.
Reward yourself for achieving those goals or even half of those goals
Speaking of tracking your goals, you need to celebrate the efforts you’re putting into achieving those goals.
Celebrating yourself makes you happy and confident.
Celebrating yourself is a way to get out of depression mode.
The benefits of celebrating your efforts and progress are two-folds:
- You get to be happier, and
- Success breeds success. When you celebrate your little success, you start believing you’re a successful person and you get more success as a result.
Treat yourself like somebody you’re responsible for helping
Be kind to yourself. You need your kindness the most.
There’s this innate psychological need to punish ourselves—for all the bad things we do (or thought we did) that no one else is privy to but us.
So, we dole out these subconscious punishments in the form of not taking our drugs, not building better habits, not following through on our promises to ourselves, and so on.
This need to punish ourselves is highest when we’re feeling depressed.
So it’s at this time that you need to treat yourself as someone you’re responsible for helping.
It’s at this time that you need your kindness, and your forgiveness the most.
Forgive yourself for feeling this way. Forgive yourself for your inadequacies.
NB: I learned of the idea of how we dole out unconscious punishment to ourselves in Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life.
Conclusion on NoFap depression: The Backward Law
The backward law states that chasing a positive experience is a negative experience.
Conversely, the acceptance of a negative experience is a positive experience.
Remember that the first advice I gave you on how to deal with depression on NoFap is ACCEPTANCE.
When you’re able to accept negative experiences, you instantly feel relieved.
Trying all your possible best to chase a positive experience (to escape a negative one) is you saying that things are not alright as they are.
That you’re not strong enough to handle the situation you’re in.
The fastest route to peace of mind and innate joy is the acceptance of what is.
Till the next time we speak, STAY FAP-FREE, STAY HAPPY!!
Sources and Footnotes
- People with insomnia may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression than people who get a good night sleep
- Dietary patterns and depression risk: A meta-analysis
- Individual and combined associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and grip strength with common mental disorders: a prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank