Porn Addiction - Addiction to Pornography

Today, many people suffer from very real addictions to pornography. This behavioural addiction involves an uncontrollable urge to watch pornographic material; there is little doubt that easy online access to pornographic content has led to an increasing number of individuals being affected. Pornography has evolved from just magazines, photos, and videos; nowadays, there are countless opportunities to view explicit images online.

Early exposure to such content has led to ten per cent of twelve to thirteen year olds worrying that they may have a porn addiction while twelve per cent of this same age group has admitted to filming their own pornographic videos.

Devices that can access the internet are enabling more people to view pornographic content in large volumes with almost no evidence left behind of them ever having done so. The more pornographic images and content a person views, the higher the chance that this habit can become an obsession.

Not everyone who views porn will develop an addiction to it. Some couples view porn together as part of a healthy sex life. However, those who do become addicted may develop harmful ideas about sex, marriage, and women.

The Dangers of a Porn Addiction

Porn addiction can negatively affect an individual in many ways. Those who spend most of their free time viewing porn may neglect other areas of their life, and it can affect their ability to work, and therefore, provide for their family. Porn addiction can also affect intimate relationships, as those who are addicted to explicit images may be unable to maintain a healthy sexual relationship with a partner. They may not get the same excitement from ‘regular’ sex as they do from viewing pornographic content.

Many male porn addicts will also develop certain feelings about women, which can be harmful. This can include seeing women as playthings or as a sport that needs to be conquered. Many affected male individuals believe that women are their property and place value on a woman depending on how attractive she is. In porn, there is no value put on the woman’s personality or mind.

Explicit pornography can include scenes of rape, and some show women being humiliated and beaten, but ultimately enjoying the experience. This obviously portrays disturbing images and gives viewers an entirely distorted picture of what sexual encounters involve.

Signs of a Porn Addiction

A porn addiction has similar signs to other addictions such as alcohol or drug addictions. Those with a porn addiction will begin to become obsessed with viewing pornographic images and content to the detriment of their home and work life. Porn will become the most important thing in their life and they may neglect or ignore relationships or close family members in favour of spending time watching porn. Those with a porn addiction may display the following signs:

 

  • Becoming aggressive or defensive when confronted about their addiction
  • Being unable to stop viewing porn despite making promises to do so
  • Being secretive about porn use or lying about it
  • Feeling guilty about viewing porn
  • Continuing to view porn despite it causing harm to certain areas of life
  • Spending significant amounts of time viewing porn and losing track of time
  • Missing out on important events because of porn
  • Constantly thinking about porn when not watching it
  • Being unable to stay away from porn despite making a conscious effort to
  • Feeling the need to watch more and more explicit images to get the same thrill
  • Feeling angry or anxious when not watching porn or when unable to access it
  • Being unable to enjoy regular sex with a partner.

 

Overcoming a Porn Addiction

As with all addictions that change the way the brain works, porn addiction is an illness; and as with other illnesses, it requires treatment.

The first step to overcoming a porn addiction is admitting that the problem exists. Many porn addicts live in denial about their addiction. They see it as harmless fun and do not believe that what they are doing constitutes an addiction, despite their obvious compulsion.

Some may simply be unwilling to admit that they have a problem for fear of having to give it up. The affected person may be unwilling, or not ready, to accept help. Before a porn addiction can be overcome, the individual must be willing to admit that a problem exists. Once they can do that and be honest with themselves, they will be ready to make a positive change that will, ultimately, have many benefits.

Many organisations exist that offer help to those suffering from a porn addiction. Experienced counsellors and therapists have the tools and techniques required to help patients identify why they have become addicted to porn and to learn what triggers this addiction in them.

Patients will undergo therapy to help them overcome their addiction so that they can begin to enjoy a life free from porn. Nevertheless, it is important to be open and honest with these professionals as this is the best way to ensure a successful recovery. There is no need to worry that he or she will judge you – they are experienced in dealing with all aspects of this type of addiction and nothing you say will shock them.

Help is available from both private and public organisations, and many of these providers will offer family therapy in conjunction with individual sessions. This will help to ensure that the family unit can survive this type of addiction. Contacting a suitable treatment provider for help with a porn addiction is the best way to free yourself from this damaging illness.

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