Pornography Addiction: Signs and Treatment
What is Pornography?
Pornography is any explicit sex-related material intended to sexually excite a person. Some people are not interested in it, while others get upset by it. Others occasionally take part, while others are consistently involved. Hence, it only tells that it is a personal preference, or it is one’s own choice.
Some people may not be comfortable talking about porn. It is also hard to identify how many people watch porn on a regular basis or how many try to resist but fail.
But, a specific study found out that there are about 9% of people who tried to stop watching porn but failed. Avoiding porn is difficult because it is easy to access porn through the internet, cable or streaming services.
Is It Really an Addiction?
The American Psychological Association (APA) does not consider “porn addiction” to be an “addiction” in the clinical sense of the word. The APA bases their assessment from information provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to the APA, “porn addiction” is an uncontrollable compulsion to watch porn. However, whether it is an addiction or an obsession, one should need help.
Viewing or enjoying porn doesn’t mean you are addicted, but when it gets out of control, it can be a big problem. There is a thin line between compulsion and addiction. You should be worried if your habits cause a concern:
- The time spent in viewing keeps increasing
- Feeling of guilt on possible consequences
- Feeling the need for a “fix” but it increases the need to watch more
- Spending hours in viewing while neglecting responsibilities or even sleep
- Forcing your partner to watch or act out porn fantasies
- Cannot enjoy sex without watching porn first
- Cannot be able to resist porn also it hinders other life activities
What Causes Porn Addiction?
It is still unexplainable why watching porn developed into an uncontrollable behavior. It started with plain peek at porn then you started watching without a problem. You get used to the rush it gives, and you begin to look for it often. In a matter of time, you don’t find any problem with it, but later you look for the “high” that you can’t resist.
This is how behavioral addictions get into people. You want to stop, but you can’t. Research shows that behavioral addictions, such as getting addicted to the internet, are a neural process that is comparable to substance addiction.
Some people need professional help, but others would like to take control of their porn viewing.
Try these things:
- Remove digital porn and bookmarked sites on your phone or computer
- Throw out your hard copy
- Ask someone to have an anti-porn software installed on all your devices
- Make a plan or another activity to do in case the urge hits
- If you feel the urge to watch, inform yourself of the possible effect on your life. Writing it down will also help
- If there are triggers, do your best to avoid them
Here is an excellent video on porn addiction by Eli Nash
What are the Signs of Porn Addiction
If you are bothered that excessive pornography viewing has reached an addiction level, try to watch out these signs of porn addiction.
You Can’t Stop
No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop viewing pornography.
You Want More
People who are addicted to porn share that they tend to crave for more. In the same way with those who are addicted to drugs, they will feel cravings upon withdrawal.
You’ve Lost time
People who are addicted to porn spend a lot of time viewing without noticing that a day has gone by, and they have not accomplished anything.
You’ve Lost Interest in Sex
Getting addicted to pornography will lead to losing interest in real sex. They may require stimulation before getting intimate with their partner. Sometimes you need Cialis to help you out.
You are More Demanding
People who are addicted to porn have wilder ideas and may become demanding in the bedroom and get easily frustrated.
You’ve Lost Attraction
Porn addiction may give afflicted fantasized beauty for their partner, and this may cause a problem with his or her self-esteem.
You’re in Physical Pain
Porn addiction can also inflict physical pain due to straining while watching or excessive computer or cellphone use.
You’re Losing Money
Due to cravings for more content, the person under porn addiction may spend money to satisfy the need for porn.
You can quickly get distracted. Your mind may drift to porn even when you are with your friends, family, or at work. Hence, it could have a significant impact on your work and relationship.
Like with other addictions, you quickly get irritated. You have less patience, and it’s easier to lash out at your partner.
What Treatment Options are Available?
If you can’t handle the problem on your own, maybe it is time to see a professional. Your therapist can come up with a plan to help you walk through them.
Whether it is compulsion or addiction, if you think you need help, it is right to see a mental health professional.
- You may undergo individual or group therapy. You may also resort to family counseling.
- Counseling sessions with a therapist will help you comprehend what caused the compulsion.
- You will be able to initiate coping instruments to change your response to pornographic materials
Support groups help the individual as they are able to communicate with people who have recovered from this compulsion.
Behavioral addiction treatment is usually associated with talk and cognitive behavioral therapy. However, some therapists recommend medication for their patients more, particularly if they have other issues like depression or OCD.
What if It’s Left Untreated?
Left untreated, compulsions or addictions can cause significant damage in your life, especially with romantic or sexual relationships.
It can also lead to:
- Unhappy relationships
- Low sexual satisfaction
- Low self-esteem
- Can result in financial or career problems due to ignored obligations
The Bottom Line
Freely talking about this compulsion is impossible, so it is essential to consider and be mindful of the symptoms of porn addiction. You may have joked about porn addiction, but it is a behavior that may impact your life, relationships and responsibilities.
Viewing porn at times even regularly does not imply you have a problem. However, if you tried to stop and you can’t, it would be helpful to contact a mental health professional or a trained therapist to help you overcome your issue and to help you live a quality life.