What is pornography addiction?
Pornography addiction is a problem many people struggle with. Looking for information about pornography addiction and help for this problem is important. As it is a growing mental health issue, it is important to understand what this problem is and how to stop porn addiction.
Porn addiction is often not an officially recognized condition. However, many people struggle with it.
It can be defined as a compulsive behavior. People with this problem view pornography in a way that is beyond their control. They might lose interest in other activities, like socializing or engaging in hobbies. It can lead to social and professional consequences, for example, losing relationships or getting into frequent conflicts.
People with porn addiction may browse pornography even in situations where it can get them in trouble, fired, or expelled. It can lead to legal issues or financial problems. People with this type of addiction may experience sexual dysfunction unless pornography is involved. Like with the signs of a sex addiction, the person might struggle to have a healthy sexual life outside of browsing pornography.
People with this problem usually experience a deep sense of shame and guilt, especially if they feel that the pornography they consume goes against their values. However, like with other forms of addiction, it feels like a compulsion.
A pornography addiction can lead to a stressful situation where the person tries to juggle it without revealing it to anyone. However, pornography addiction help is available for the people who struggle with this problem.
What causes pornography addiction?
One might think that an addiction to porn is associated with a search for pleasure, but for many people with addiction, pleasure is far from their minds. Rather, this addiction becomes a way of releasing stress and pressure. People might use it to escape the distress associated with depression, loneliness, abuse, or other situations. In a way, many people might use pornography as an unhealthy coping mechanism like people may use alcohol to escape the negative parts of their life.
Pornography triggers the release of dopamine. It can be relaxing, so people learn to associate it with a state of relaxation. It also becomes an easily accessible form of escape from daily life. The more the person repeats the association, the stronger the connection becomes. Pornography may become the go-to mechanism to unwind or to stop thinking negative thoughts.
Signs of Porn addiction
Like with the signs of sex addiction, porn addiction can occur in both men and women. Also, like with the signs of a sex addiction, the symptoms of a porn addiction are not necessarily about sex release or pleasure. People may browse pornography for relief and continue even if it does not bring them sexual pleasure anymore.
Let’s look at the signs of porn addiction.
First, people tend to spend more and more time using porn. Sometimes, it can take hours or even days where they browse it. In addition to an increase in quantity, the quality also changes.
People might seek progressively more intense, more bizarre, or more unusual sexual content. This can eventually lead to legal or just emotional problems if the person starts looking for harmful or illegal content. Eventually, they might move to anonymous sexual encounters, casual encounters, or other types of sexual interactions, like watching sexual activity through a webcam.
A sign of addiction is the inability to stop porn use despite negative consequences, promises to others, or decisions to change. Even if porn use leads to bad consequences at work or at home, the person cannot stop.
People with porn addiction tend to lie or keep secrets about their problem. They may downplay the amount of time they spend viewing pornography. They might feel shame or guilt over their use of porn. Some people might react with anger if they are confronted about their porn use.
Is there treatment?
The big question is: how to stop porn addiction? Is there pornography addiction treatment? The answer to this is yes. There is porn addiction therapy. Although this is not a disorder, it is a problem many people struggle with, so there are services to address it. Pornography addiction help does exist!
Pornography addiction treatment approaches this addiction as other types of addiction. People can find porn addiction therapy with individual counselors, in group settings, or specialized centers. Porn addiction therapy usually involves cognitive-behavioral principles that make it easier to stop using pornography as much.
Pornography addiction treatment may encourage patients to stop using porn entirely and may use art therapy or other complementary approaches to help the individual find new ways to cope with the stress of their lives. Porn addiction therapy can be effective in changing the patterns in the individual’s life.
Pornography addiction help can be comprehensive and include counseling, support groups, and lifestyle changes. As a step in pornography addiction treatment, people might commit to specific sexual sobriety changes. Many people will cut pornography out entirely and find new ways of living and expressing their sexuality.
Overall, there is no universal answer for how to stop porn addiction, but there are many treatment options available today. Pornography addiction help is accessible and can improve a person’s quality of life.
Negative Feelings Associated With Pornography Addiction
Many people may be ashamed to admit that they need pornography addiction help. They feel:
Therefore, they often keep it to themselves. People who have sexual issues, especially if they are linked to pornography, may fear mockery, labeling, judgment and shunning.
Pornography addiction help is needed if the person’s activity is very disruptive to their life. And if it is causing them extreme distress, or taking them away from relationships and family. The key element of what is addiction is the loss of control, so pornography addiction help is needed when the person finds they can’t stop using porn, even if it’s hurting them.
Pornography addiction help available. Quite often this includes help by professionals on an individual and group basis. 12-step groups are also a common aspect of recovery. A professional who can help the individual change their habits and find new ways to cope with stress or other problems is key when one can no longer change their own behavior. . This treatment involves many different strategies.
An individual can work on giving up using pornography completely. At the same time one will work on any existing sexual/relationship/emotional issues. Therapy involves working with a counselor to change one’s habits and patterns. It can also involve a support group, often styled using the 12-steps model. Additional strategies, like art therapy or lifestyle changes, can help the person create real change in their daily life.
Self-Help Tips for Pornography Addiction
Ultimately all help is self-help. Depending on the severity of your addiction you may be able to lick it with self help alone. More severe cases where there are also underlying issues such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, emotional trauma, etc will need the additional of professional help. However even those with more severe levels of porno addiction will have to utilize self help methods as well as part of their recovery.
- Know where you are…….This means that if you have a problem (i.e. spending hours a day surfing porn sites, hiding your behavior from your significant other who you are not being intimate with due to porn drain, illegal behavior, risking loss of job and relationships, severing connections with others due to porn etc.) then you need to be brave. Admit it to yourself. You are only human. It happens. Porn is not some big bad monster you can’t get over. It is okay to fall sometimes into a whole. But admit you are in a whole. Otherwise you will never see your way out.
- Know where you want to go……What kind of behavior would you like to display instead? You need to come up with healthy alternative activities you will engage in instead for when you get the urge to fall back on old behavior. Make a list of at least 5 healthy alternative behavior you will engage in instead of porn. Example reading self-help info to improve myself, calling a loved one, going for a walk, working out, spending time with my wife, with my kids, working on that constructive project, etc.
- Who do you want to be? One major powerful component of pornography addiction help is how you see yourself. For example, if once you make the decision to change you continue to view yourself as a pornography addict then it makes it more likely you may behave in accordance with your belief about who you are. Use a bit of your imagination in the process. Make it fun.
- For example, see (view, perceive, interpret etc.) yourself as having a pornography habit in the past. It was not your identity. Who you are is much bigger than that, complex and made up of so many more components. It is not a thing that is an intrinsic part of you. You are fluid and constantly changing. Not frozen, concrete and unchanging. Invent a new role for yourself that will behave in ways congruent with that image…..”Honest Relationship Harry,” “Sexual Relationship Dynamo Stan” in can be silly and fun but also practical.
- If you get the urge to hit the porn focus on an emotional level of all the negative consequences, loss and painful emotional connections with acting out. This is not an intellectual undertaking. Logic is only the tip of the iceberg that can get you so far with stuff like this. You need to FEEL the EMOTIONAL pain not just think about it.
- For example, shift to the shame, guilt, loss of confidence and feelings of letting yourself down you’d feel after if you had acted out. Also feel all the negative consequences in your life such as living without being true to who you are, loss of intimacy with others, loss of relationships, loss of time doing things you need to get done etc…You can feel this by asking yourself questions…what will I miss out on…..what will I lose….how does that FEEL etc.
- Think of all the positive and pleasurable gains you will have by behaving new desired ways. This can include the healthy alternative activities. What are the positive consequences? What will you gain? How does that make you FEEL?
One last item relapse at times can occur. It is not the end of the world if it does. You are building some new pathways an rewiring things. Over time it gets easier to quit for good as long as you learn from it and get back on your path.
Pornography Addiction Help: More Self-Help Tips for The Healthy Pornography Free New You
We all know the sexual drive is a strong on. It is built into our biology. There is a reason for it. Therefore, perhaps after an initial period of abstinence you are going to have to get back on board. You need to retrain your brain. Look at like in the past you had one pattern now you are bringing into being a healthier one.
First, for pornography addiction help make a couple of strong rules for yourself.
- I will not use pornography and stimulate myself at the same time.
- I will abstain from all sexual activity for the first 3 weeks of developing new behavior (this means no orgasm, no stimulation, no fantasizing and touching oneself etc.)
- When re-introducing sexual activity back into my life I will set the following boundaries:
a.) Limit self-stimulation to one time per week. Use no external stimuli. As best as you can o not use fantasy. Rather, concentrate on how it feels, focus on your physiological reactions (your breathing pattern, heart rate, skin temperature, pay attention to how it feels). Shift your focus to the sensations and no focusing on it as a mean to an end..that is the goal is not orgasm but rater gaining more control. Be present with your body. In the moment. Do not drift off to a “hot mindset” into fantasy. Keep a “cool mind.”
b.) Notice when you are getting close to a finish. Then stop. Back off. Cool down. You are in control here and setting the pace. Repeat this start/stop process at least three times. Better yet it to not orgasm at all if you can build up to that.
One More Powerful Pornography Addiction Help Tip
There will be times when you are going about your day and you may get the urge to dive into your past unhealthy behavior. Instead of resisting this urge feel the urge do not resist it….do not give into it but face it. Feel it, dive into and then release it, let it go. How do you release it? You can do this in a way that makes sense to you.
It basically is like letting a mental grip go. Maybe you hand it over to God or he Universe. Perhaps you project energy out on an out breath and send it far away. The point is to do it in a way that feels like it is being released for you.
Pornography Addiction Help: Get on the Path to a Healthier You Now
There are more tips that I have to help you but I will save those for another article. Know that you can do this. Many people are giving upty the habit successfully everyday. Go for it. Your future self will thank you for it!
PS For related articles link here for an informative overview about addiction and link here to find out about Recovery Coaching