NoFap Depression: 6 Ways to Overcome the Dark Side of Nofap

Dr. Nick Nissen is a clinical fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. His interests are treatment-resistant disorders and care management. He lectures on topics such as mood disorders, sleep disorders, mindfulness, and addictions. He is also the host of the Brain Health with Dr. Nissen Podcast and collectively has 90K+ followers across social media platforms.

When you first hear about Nofap, you might think that giving up porn and masturbation would be a simple and straightforward solution to improve your life. However, what many people don’t talk about is the dark side of Nofap and the depression that can come with it. 

NoFap Depression

In this blog, we’re going to peel back the curtain and take a look at the reality of Nofap depression, and the emotional and mental struggles that many people experience when they first start the journey to porn-free living. 

We’ll explore the reasons why this Nofap depression occurs and how to deal with it. So, whether you’re considering starting Nofap or are already struggling with it, this blog is for you. Together, we’ll shed light on the truth about Nofap’s depression and work towards a brighter future.

What is Nofap?

Nofap is a growing challenge that aims to help individuals break free from the grip of porn addiction and masturbation. It’s a lifestyle choice, a movement, and a quest to improve oneself and live a healthier, happier and more productive life. It’s not just about abstaining from porn and masturbation, but also about fostering self-awareness, self-control, and self-discipline.

It’s about learning to see the power of our thoughts, emotions and actions and use that power to change our life for the better. Nofap is about rediscovering one’s masculinity, femininity, and sexual energy, and channeling it into something positive and meaningful. It’s a journey toward self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-mastery. So, it’s not just an abstinence challenge but it’s an entire process to change one’s habit, mindset and pattern.

Nofap depression

NoFap Depression: Dark Side of Nofap

The dark side of Nofap is the unexpected and often unspoken mental and emotional struggles that many individuals experience when they give up porn and masturbation. This can manifest as feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, and even mood swings.

Many people who embark on the Nofap journey may also experience a sense of isolation and loneliness, as they often feel like they can’t talk about their struggles with their friends and family. Additionally, some may experience a dip in their libido or have difficulty reaching orgasm, which can add to the feeling of hopelessness and despair.

Having said that, the dark side of Nofap can also manifest as physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches. These symptoms can be tough to deal with, but with the right support and guidance, it’s possible to overcome them and get back to living your life.

Nofap is not only a physical change but also a mental and emotional process, and it’s important to acknowledge and address all aspects of the journey, not just the positive ones.

What is Nofap Depression?

NoFap depression is the emotional and mental struggle that individuals may experience when they first start the journey of giving up porn and masturbation. It’s a dark side of the process, where the brain and body go through a transition period and may not function as expected. It’s like a withdrawal syndrome but in a mental and emotional state. 

The symptoms of NoFap depression can vary, but it can include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and even a lack of motivation. The body and the brain are used to certain stimulation and chemicals produced when viewing porn and the sudden lack of it can cause changes in the brain’s chemistry and structure. 

This can affect moods, cognitive function, and overall well-being. It’s important to remember that NoFap depression is not a permanent condition and it can be overcome with time, support, and the right approach.

Why does Nofap Result in Depression if it is a Tool for One’s Individual Progress?

phases of Nofap depression

NoFap may seem like a straightforward solution for individual progress at first glance, but it’s important to remember that the journey to porn-free living is not always easy. Giving up porn and masturbation can be a difficult process that affects not only our physical health but also our mental and emotional well-being.

When we engage in these habits, our brains release certain chemicals that create a sense of pleasure, which can become addictive. When we stop engaging in these habits, our brains no longer receive that chemical reward and can experience a type of withdrawal. This can result in a range of negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Moreover, breaking free from porn and masturbation can also bring up deeper emotional issues that we may have been avoiding. For example, it can make us question our self-worth and the authenticity of our relationships. Additionally, the journey of self-discovery can lead to confronting one’s past traumas or emotional wounds that we may not be aware of. 

It’s important to remember that this emotional discomfort or depression is a normal part of the process and is not a permanent condition, but rather a sign that change is happening. With the right support and guidance, it’s possible to overcome these difficulties and find a more fulfilling life.

What Can One Do to Overcome Nofap Depression?

Overcoming NoFap depression can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. The key is to approach it with a holistic mindset, addressing not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of the journey. Here are a few things you can do to help overcome NoFap depression:

1. Talk to Someone


Whether it’s a therapist, counsellor, or friend, talking about your struggles can help you process your emotions and gain a different perspective.

2. Practice Self Care

Taking care of your physical, mental and emotional well-being is essential. This can include getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and engaging in physical activities that make you feel good.

3. Allow Yourself to Experience the Feelings

It’s important to allow yourself to experience the emotions that come with the process, instead of bottling them up or trying to ignore them. This can help you understand what’s causing the depression and help you take steps to overcome it.

4. Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness

Focusing on the present moment and being grateful for what you have can help improve your mood and reduce stress.

5. Engage in Positive Self Talk

Our internal dialogue can have a big impact on our mental and emotional well-being. It’s important to be aware of negative self-talk and replace it with positive, constructive thoughts.

6. Be Patient

Remember that overcoming NoFap depression is a process that may take time. It’s essential to give yourself the time and space you need to heal and grow.

The journey of NoFap is not a one-size-fits-all process, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to be kind and compassionate with yourself, to trust the process and to seek the help you need. With the right mindset and approach, you can overcome NoFap depression and experience the benefits of a porn-free life.

NoFap Depression: Conclusion

In conclusion, NoFap may seem like a simple solution for self-improvement, but it’s important to remember that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The darker side of NoFap, the depression, can be a tough and challenging aspect of the journey. But, it’s important to remember that this Nofap depression is not a failure, but rather a natural and normal part of the process. It’s a sign that change is happening, that the brain and body are going through a transition period and that’s okay. 

With the right support and guidance, it’s possible to overcome NoFap depression and experience the positive changes that come with a porn-free life. Remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself, and to trust the process. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Remember, NoFap is not a destination, but a journey. And, as with any journey, it’s the experiences and lessons we learn along the way that shape us into who we’re meant to be.

NoFap Depression: FAQs

Q1. Is there a link between pornography use and depression, and if so, how does it work?  

Ans. Well, while studies show no direct link between porn and depression, however, some research does indicate that porn can be a common trigger for depression. Just like drug addiction, a compulsive porn user can develop a tolerance for pornography. This dependency may lead to reduced pleasure in other activities, making the depression worse. 

Q2. I’m experiencing anxiety after quitting pornography (nofap). Are there ways to deal with these anxious feelings?  

Ans. It’s normal to feel anxious after quitting porn. The rewiring of your brain from its dependency on porn will take time. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anxiety is natural. You can try relaxation methods like deep breathing, exercise, or talking to a friend for support. 

Q3. Can quitting pornography (nofap) actually help improve symptoms of depression?  

Ans. The effects of quitting porn on depression are not straightforward. Though it will not directly cure it, reducing porn use can help if: 

Porn distorts reality, leading to dissatisfaction and depression. Quitting can help you adjust expectations and expect yourself the way you are.  

Some feel shame after porn use, worsening depression. Quitting can ease those feelings. 

However, when dealing with depression, it’s always best to seek professional help. 

Q4. I’m noticing mood swings after stopping pornography (nofap). Is this normal, and how long might it last?  

Ans. Yes, mood swings are common during NoFap. They are caused due to the changes taking place in your brain chemistry. It usually lasts a few weeks. However, if it persists for extended periods talking to a therapist can help.  


Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we
update our articles when new information becomes available.

  • Current Version
    Dec 07, 2023

    Reviewed by

    Dr. Nick Nissen, MD

    Updated by

    Deepak Sengar

  • Jan 11, 2023

    Written by

    Deeksha Dev Singh

    Edited by

    Deepak Sengar

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Divya Dev Singh

Divya, a content writer at BlockerX, specializes in crafting research-driven content on technology addiction and mental health. Her work melds in-depth analysis with engaging narratives, shedding light on the intersection of digital technology and psychological well-being. Through her factual and insightful writing, she enhances understanding of mental health in the digital age. Divya's contributions are essential in guiding readers towards healthier digital habits.

About BlockerX

BlockerX is an adult content-blocking app for Android, iOS, desktop & chrome. In addition to blocking adult content, BlockerX also has a strong community of 100,000 members and courses that help you work on your porn problems, one step at a time.

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BlockerX is an adult content-blocking app for Android, iOS, desktop & chrome. In addition to blocking adult content, BlockerX also has a strong community of 100,000 members and courses that help you work on your porn problems, one step at a time.