Porn Addiction: All You Need to Know

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Porn has always been with us. Some people don’t give it their time of day, whereas others do – quite deeply so. Some people are only occasional viewers, whereas others do it regularly. It’s all a matter of personal preferences.

That being said, there is a big difference between the “occasional onlookers” and those who are letting it affect their life. When it becomes a compulsion – or addiction, so to speak – that’s when you have to look for help.

If you or a loved one has the quality of life affected by porn addiction, then looking for a course of treatment should be the next step.

What is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is a compulsive need to watch pornography materials, so much that it interferes with your daily life. A porn addict will have a powerful craving to switch on their laptop and watch porn, neglecting their responsibilities while engaging in self-defeating behavior.

Porn addiction is yet to be recognized as an addiction, an official mental health diagnosis – but it has indeed been recognized as a problem, to the point that treatment has been associated with it as well. You just need to check the signs and see whether there is a problem or not.

The Signs of Porn Addiction

Watching a bit of porn now and again may not be so concerning – at least not as long as you can return to your daily life, without being affected by it. As long as you are in control of it, the chances are that it is not an addiction.

However, if lack of control rears its ugly head, that’s when you might think that you are indeed dealing with a porn problem. Here are the signs that you might want to look for:

  • You find that the time you spend viewing porn has only increased over time, to the point where it fills most of your alone time.
  • You always feel like you need a “porn fix,” because, in your mind, it gives you a sensation similar to a “high.”
  • You spend hours upon hours on porn websites, perusing for videos, even if this means you are neglecting your own responsibilities or your sleep.
  • You feel guilty every time you are thinking about the consequences of watching porn the way you do.
  • You insist that your partner watches porn or acts out on your porn fantasies, even though they do not necessarily want to do that.
  • You are unable to resist porn, even if you can feel it is actively disrupting your life.
  • You can’t enjoy sex without getting your “porn fix” first.
  • You become angry or hostile every time someone tells you to stop watching porn.
  • You are abandoning your social activities in favor of watching porn.
  • You hide the fact that you watch porn from your loved ones, being ashamed of your addiction.

The more of these signs you see, the more your addiction should concern you. If you notice that you are going through any of these symptoms, then you may want to reach out for help.

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What Science Says About Porn Addiction:

Watching porn is not really a subject that you bring to the dinner table, and many are reluctant to talk about it – which is why it’s not easy to gauge how many people just enjoy it and how many can’t go a day without it.

Research done at the Kinsey Institute found that about 9% of the people who watch porn have tried to stop unsuccessfully. The study was done in 2002 when it was still rather difficult to find porn – but now, porn has become easy to access thanks to streaming services. This makes it much more difficult to resist.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not recognize watching porn as an official mental health issue (like the one caused by substance addiction), but research still suggests that behavioral addiction is just as dangerous.

A behavioral science research article done in 2015 says that watching porn functions on pretty much the same mechanism as substance addiction. That being said, when comparing the brains of people who watch porn with the brains of people who drink or use drugs, the results were rather mixed.

This makes porn addiction more of a compulsion rather than a true addiction. Indeed, the symptoms are similar, but there are still some fair differences to be kept in mind. Even so, the moment porn habits start becoming a problem, you need to find ways to regain control.

The Types of Treatment for Porn Addiction

While it has yet to be considered a mental health problem, there are several ways for you to treat porn addiction, including:

Getting Help From Professionals

Porn Addiction Becoming a Problem?

If you leave addictions untreated (porn addiction included), it may severely affect the quality of your life. It may lead to poor relationship quality, low self-esteem, low sexual satisfaction, and multiple other issues. It may also lead to financial issues if your porn-watching habits are making you neglect or completely ignore your responsibilities.

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Porn Addiction FAQ's

There are a few things that can help you solve the addiction on your own, such as getting rid of your existing porn, deleting bookmarks, and using add-ons that will prevent you from accessing porn sites. Whenever you feel the need to watch porn, remind yourself of how greatly it affected you.
With that in mind, when getting over your addiction is not easily done on your own, you might want to seek help from professionals. They will be able to create a better plan for you so that you successfully get over your compulsion.

Helping someone else who is struggling can be tricky. Because you don’t want to bombard them with your opinons, its best to talk to a professional first, and learn the signs of addiction.

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