Porn Addiction

Addiction can come in various forms – and porn addiction is more or less one of them. In 2012, Pornhub, the most popular porn viewing website, recorded 42 billion visits. This means that the website got around 115 million visits per day.

For some, this is just casual viewing. However, for others, it can turn into a full-blown addiction. Porn addiction can significantly impact the quality of your life, which is why you should get help as soon as possible.

What Is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is the action of looking at porn, even though you may not necessarily want to. Those who have a porn addiction are not able to stop watching porn, even though they have other things to do – such as going to work or going on a 10th-anniversary dinner with their wife.

When you have a porn addiction, anything that is “not porn” does not really matter. Very often, porn addiction is associated with sex addiction as well. While neither has been officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they are still seen as a matter of concern.

Causes and Risk Factors of Porn Addiction

Certain risk factors may also increase the chances of developing a porn addiction. This may include:

  • Underlying mental health issues: Porn may raise your dopamine levels, so someone with depression may use porn as a way to get rid of their distress and anxiety.
  • Relationship problems: If a person is sexually dissatisfied in their relationship, they may turn to porn as an outlet.
  • Biological factors: People with different brain chemistry might turn to porn in order to bring it to a balance.

Porn addiction is not only influenced by external factors, but also by internal psychological factors. Ease of access to the Internet and privacy might also fuel the person’s porn addiction even further.

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Signs of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction may be a controversial subject, and not all doctors may believe it fits the description of “addiction.” Usually, a porn addict will also experience an increased urge to have sex, so it only becomes a “problem” when you or your partner are negatively affected.

That being said, here are the signs that say your porn viewing habits are, in fact, problematic and you might need some help.

  • Porn becomes the main activity in your life, as you stop doing anything else that does not have to do with porn.
  • You no longer have an interest in other activities.
  • You cannot stop watching porn, even if you keep telling yourself that you want to tone it down.
  • Your sex life no longer fulfills you.
  • You’re more demanding in your sex life, wanting to recreate everything you see in porn movies.
  • You no longer see regular sex as an attractive activity, as your porn viewing has fueled unrealistic expectations.
  • Your relationships are beginning to suffer because of your porn addiction.
  • You are watching porn in places that are not appropriate, such as work or school.

The sooner you determine that you have a porn addiction, the faster you may be able to seek help and solve the problem.

Stages of Porn Addiction

Aside from the signs, one may also identify a series of stages of porn addiction. These stages are as follows:

  • Early Exposure: Early exposure takes place as a curiosity, usually during the early years (age 12-17). Wanting to learn more about the opposite sex, people turn to porn for it.
  • Starting Addiction: After the early exposure, curiosity becomes physical dependence. The addict will rely on porn for sexual stimulation.
  • Desensitization: Just like with any other addiction, the amount of porn that was previously viewed will no longer be effective. The addict will begin watching more porn to reach their pleasure peak.
  • Escalation: In search of greater pleasure, the addict begins looking for novelty, very often of the extreme side. The viewing of this is usually done in secret.
  • Acting Out: Porn addicts will want to try the scenarios out in real life. This may lead to risky behavior, whether with a spouse, a girlfriend/boyfriend, a prostitute, or someone else.

Depending on the stage, porn addiction may not only compromise the lifestyle of the addict but also put other people in danger (i.e., the acting out stage). This is why porn addiction must be treated as soon as possible.

Long-Term Complications of Porn Addictions

Porn addiction can lead to a series of complications that can affect you in the long term. This can include:

  • Shame, guilt, and low self-esteem
  • Neglecting your life partner
  • Mental problems such as anxiety or depression
  • Financial debt because you are constantly buying porn
  • You can’t keep a job because you keep watching porn at work
  • You are no longer able to focus at work
  • You are dabbing with substance abuse

These symptoms may last through most of your life unless you get help for your problem.

How To Treat Porn Addiction

When treating porn addiction, a series of behavioral therapy treatments may need to be used. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. This can be applied through either inpatient or outpatient therapy.

While medical detox is not always applied, people expressing obsessive thoughts might also be given coping medicine for the time being. This includes antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and Naltrexone, but also anti-androgens to reduce male sexual urges.

How Real Deal Can Help You Quit Your Addiction

Real Deal can offer you an environment where you can safely recover from your porn addiction. If your addiction has not progressed too much, your doctor may recommend outpatient therapy mixed with either group or individual therapy.

However, if your addiction has progressed over the last couple of years, the doctor may recommend inpatient therapy. This way, you will not have any way to access porn, and you will be closely supervised. This will help you get through your addiction.

Addiction, regardless of its nature, can affect any person’s life. If you have a porn addiction, contact Real Deal as soon as possible!

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