How do you manage regret?


I always find myself thinking what if I had done things differently. “If only, if only, if only…” I catch myself daydreaming about going back in time, undoing past actions, wishing I could start all over again. Especially when something nostalgic triggers memories of certain points in my life, I would immediately fantasize about going back to that point in time.

I keep thinking of the day when I took that one pill and all the numerous things I could have done differently which would have prevented the event from happening.
I blame myself for being put in this situation, even though I know it’s none of my fault.

And it’s not just taking the fin from which I struggle with the torment of regret, it’s also other things that I’ve done to myself in the past. It’s like receiving dividends on top of the damage of past actions. That is all there is to regret. It gives you pain and it steals your time. I think to truly recovery from this, from anything in life really, is to free yourself from regret and to begin living life without looking back. It entails being present in the moment and to count your blessings.

I haven’t begun to do this because it’s just not easy. The regret always comes back to haunt you, almost instinctively. But what I can choose to do is how I react to it whenever it emerges.


To a certain extent you have to forgive yourself.

You made a mistake. Nobody who is here would take the same course. Not one of us. Nobody thought things would go the way they have done.

You cannot control the past. You could find any number of self help books, motivational speakers or therapists who’ll cover that at length.

Maybe you should consider seeing a therapist.

Ultimately, this is a bad place you’ve found yourself in. One of the only things that’s definitely under your control is your attitude to it. Managing your attitude isn’t easy and might not come naturally but it is possible.

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Well, what I’m saying is I don’t believe it’s my mistake to be genetically susceptible to persistent side effects of taking fin, but it doesn’t matter because the regret feels all the same.

Forgiveness and equanimity are essential to the process of dealing with regret though.

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I posted this up because I believe many here who have been limited by PFS are at risk of negative thinking that can lead to depression. The guys with lower testosterone levels are more at risk of this. We say one thing but our inner voice that repeats our insecurities can tell us something different and be extremely harsh to us. It can be there in the background telling us we can’t do this or do that.

You need to find a therapist and find the treatment that suits you. You may need to talk to someone or perhaps CBT therapies will work best. You can try replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones when it happens. Also repeat postive thoughts to yourself at different times of the day even if it’s for 10 seconds to remind yourself of the things you are good at and are grateful for. It’s hard because we can’t always be bothered if we are tired and find it easier just to let the negativity wash over us. Mindfullness also helps alot with this.

But you definitely should see someone. You may need to come to terms with whats happened, accept it and move on with new thoughts. You have to forgive yourself at the very least.

Discussing these issues is the first step and you should feel good for doing this. I’ve been guilty of holding back such thoughts and it never helped. Hopefully posts like yours will encourage others to do the same and get the help they need.

If anyone here is self harming please get help. Its an early warning sign for suicide. It can start with something small like hitting yourself when things go wrong. That action becomes more normal over time and makes the idea of suicide less daunting and more acceptable.


i think it’s something you’ll always have to some extent, at least as long as these issues persist. Hopefully, one you’ll recover and never have to look back. In the meantime, i suppose if you feel as though talking about it helps by all means do it. Personally, I hate revisiting it because it brings up a lot of bad emotions.


Be productive. If you stagnate in your life regret will overwhelm you. The way to reduce regret is to be productive. Also sports like jogging/ weight lifting help.

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It’s just a phase you go through lol


I may write a longer post about this, although I have written on similar topics in the past, but if I have to do an executive summary, it’s this.

There is no way to reach acceptance without suffering. Regret is normal when you have experienced loss. You cannot just decide to accept what has happened. You have to think about it, agonize over it, feel the emotions, the anger, the desperation… to suffer, often for years - and then you will reach acceptance.

Saying just accept it is meaningless. Everybody wants that. The question is how. And I am telling you how. There is no other way. All this talk about positive thinking and what not - it doesn’t work and it cannot work because it is against the laws of nature that govern the brain. I am sorry I have to disagree with ac3c’s posts about this (and most of mainstream psychology, which btw is on its way out).


Hi All,
I am talking with Buddhism (as a Vision not a Religion) perspective and please don’t find this offensive. My only intention is have some one cope their suffer from this comment.
Actually I am a 31 years old PSSD guy with more than 5 years of near 0 sexual interest.
(My introduction PSSD and coping over 5 years)
Extreme anxiety an panic attacks are very native to me. When we see the ultimate big picture according to the lord Buddha Birth and living is suffering. We can partially understand it when we face with these kind of situation. Children with cancers suffers and die. That cause for the cancer is bad karma they have done in their past lives. We are also the same.
Our lives are never ending journey until we achieve the Nibbana. We accumulate what we do good and bad in this life and pass it to the next life. Next life can be in 1 of 6 realm which are Human, God, Brahma, Animal, Pretha(Hungry ghosts) or in the Hell. If we suicide, probably we go to the hell. suicide is cause that kind of bad karma. No god or Buddha or anyone can control this natural cause and effect and it always was and will be cause and effect of karma.
What should we do in this life is first control our depressions and anxieties because ultimate reason for the suicide is these 2 as I see. Then we should read Buddhist vision and understand it. Then we should practice meritorious acts in our life. It will help to be born in a god realm in our next birth because of accumulated positive karma.
It is really hard to see the world this way guys I know, but try to think this condition as A Blessing in Disguise. See you accumulate as much as merits in this life and be a god in the next life. Sex is one of urge we will kill others for. Just see reduced sexual urge make you calm (I know Actually a zombie). We can use this zombie effect to accumulate merits easily. If you are keep accumulating merits in this life according to the cause and effect of karma your merits may cause you relief of your PFS condition in this life too.


I am not as mentally resilient as most people because even before fin, my life was utter shit and will forever be difficult. Post-fin is like unlocking some ultra hard mode when I already can’t even get past stage one unlike 95% of people. What vanishingly slim chance I had at leading a normal life to begin with, I feel fin has destroyed, at this moment at least. I just want to get out of my own mind and just want some other people’s perspective on how they deal with their problems even though we all come from different walks of life and are suffering at different degrees.

You make good points. Naturally suffering always comes before regret and before acceptance. Regret is indeed a survival mechanism, but up to a certain point. How much suffering does one have to face before they start accepting what has been done? Maybe regret and acceptance kind of paradoxically exist at the same time. I think I am at the anger stage.

Maybe it is in suffering that one finds opportunity and hidden blessings to overcome grief and regret.


Worst thing people do is let PFS overwhelm every aspect of their life, effectively stopping any development/progress in their life, which is often a result of a deadly mixture of fear, regret, self pity, shame and perfectionism. I know this because I was guilty of it as well. As I said above you have to continue working on goals that have nothing to do with PFS (i.e. I will cure my PFS does not count!). I am not trying to minimize PFS by saying this.


I’m guilty of this. I put everything on hold contingent of recovering from this condition. Quit college, turned down better careers, refused to start a family, if I was even capable of having children.

For the first 2 years after making the connection with PFS symptoms and taking Accutane, I sat around playing video games to distract myself and obsessing over forum posts looking for a way out.

It got to the point I decided I either had to kill myself to put an end to it, or get out of the rut and make the best of a bad situation that wasn’t going to change any time soon.


the only practical way to deal with regret is to train your mind to live in the present moment— concentration meditation (breath meditation).

anything else, and you will feel good for a while, then you will go back to regretting (thinking about the past). Building your brain’s muscle to live in the present moment is the only thing that has ever worked for me with this exact problem.


As @lakehouse says you have to retrain your mind and bring yourself into the present. I started doing TD meditation but this wasn’t enough. I’m reading a book called conquer your critical inner voice. I’m pretty sure this book can help you because it will show you how to retrain your thoughts and move away from the negative. I have also added positive affirmations at the start and end of the day. I posted an inspiring speech by Denzel Washington you should watch it.

When I stopped sleeping for around 28 days I was convinced I would die of insomnia. My sleep has still not restored itself and I’m sleeping about once every 10 days which is frightening and unlikely to end well if it continues. I have felt great guilt/fear from this situation.

At the moment I am trying to deal with the negative thoughts as shown in the book, add positivity and give thanks for what I still have in my life. A cold shower before breakfast has helped hugely for depression, although I’m not sure if it has affected my sleep. So there is not one thing you can say to yourself but rather a serious of actions to fix your overall view in life.

How many here are truly thankful for what they have in life? For many here it’s not too late to change and stop being driven by ego and materialism. When you start to feel thankful you will start to find some inner peace. I can’t say that this will always work for me because there is a possibility I become terminal and that’s a completely different ball game but it’s helping at the moment.

@Mercked right now you are focused on taking drugs because you can’t sleep 6-8 hours etc. This pursuit of more sleep rather than being grateful for the sleep you have may lead you to worsen your condition and prevent you making a natural sleep recovery. If this happens you will look back with only more regret. Spend more time working on yourself and be less critical.

For anyone struggling don’t let PFS have power over you by staying in the dark. Find what’s good in your life and be thankful for it. Then you will start to shine light onto yourself and gradually lift yourself from the dark. You may have to lie, exaggerate or go against your own pain but your mind will believe what you tell it. These positive affirmations will begin at the start and end of your day. This is a key step in learning to love yourself again. Those around you will find it easier to love you back and help ease your pain without knowing it. Now you are no longer alone with regret which is exactly were it thrives. When you move past PFS continue to do what you have done and you’ll continue to see your life grow. You are no longer trapped in that box of regret. Now you can show someone else how to do the same and take joy from helping another.

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