Withdrawal from Sexual Addiction

Withdrawal Symptoms

A newcomer asked, “What are withdrawal symptoms? How long will withdrawal last before it leaves and I start to feel more peaceful, less oppressed, condemned and scared?" I told him that my withdrawal symptoms had been acute in my first three months in Sexaholics Anonymous. Here are some of the symptoms which I experienced plus more, which other members have told me about.

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Agitation
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors and shaking
  • Constipation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Feeling raw
  • Indigestion
  • Itchy skin
  • Anger
  • Inability to think straight
  • Feeling numb
  • Fatigue
  • Bad dreams
  • Emotional instability
  • Aches and pains
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Boredom
  • Despair
  • Grief
  • Loss of energy
  • Sadness
  • Physical and emotional discomfort
  • Insecurity                

More Personal Experiences with Withdrawal

  • In my case, withdrawal lasted about three months. It was a great "stay-sober!" warning for me, because I don't want to go through that ever again!
  • It’s hard to say what withdrawal really is, because now I see that although I am less vulnerable to some sexual content, on the other hand, if I start to crave lust, my mind drives me crazy the same as before. It's better to think about being sober one day at a time. The only day that I need to take into account is today. And it is better for me not to do any calculations about acting out and possible withdrawals. And what about craving? Today I have much fewer problems with this than before, but it still happens.
  • For me, the withdrawal was so intense that people began noticing that I was not normal during those 90 days. But every day I need to be willing to follow suggestions and pray for the willingness to stay sober. Even today if I take second look, that's when some of the withdrawals will start to pop-up, and people tend see that I am not quite right, and they will ask, "What's the problem with you?”  I like the phrasing "only today" and "one minute at the time, one hour at the time, one moment at a time, one thing at the time, one lust victory at a time," etc. The list goes on, but these phrases relieve me from thinking of the future. Just for today, I can fight for the solution, and I am grateful to be alive and sober.