The term “pornography addiction” always gets a raised eyebrow reaction. But, what make it so addictive? Why should it matter? People are free to have their own interests. That’s true, but viewing pornography can mess with your brain in the same way drugs do. And, just like drugs and alcohol a little can be ok (sometimes even beneficial) but “too much” can cause problems.
Whether you’re taking drugs or viewing pornography the addiction process is the same.
Here are three things that happen when a person suffers from an addiction:
- Chemical – you over-expose the brain with pleasure chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and epinephrine
- Re-wiring – your brain changes to accommodate the extra chemicals
- Dependency – You build a tolerance and a dependency to the chemicals. You go from “wanting” the pleasure chemicals in order to feel good to “needing” them.
This happens in the frontal lobes: The area of your brain responsible for making-decisions and logically thinking through situations and scenarios. This is the part of your brain most affected by addiction.
Come on … it’s harmless, it’s not like porn is going to kill you like abusing drugs can.
Pornography addiction can affect a person in the following ways:
- Relationships – Porn decreases your interest in a real relationship and increases your appetite for more porn
- Infidelity – Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300%
- Divorce – 56% of divorces involve at least one of the people having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites”
- Cyber Sex – more than 50% of people involved in cyber-sex eventually lost interest in sex with a loved one
- Addiction – 40% of addicts marriages end in divorce.
- Behavior – Pornography is directly related to negative perceptions, attitudes and aggression towards the opposite sex.
Lifestyle and Happiness Aspects:
- Twice as many people who use internet pornography are reported to have severe clinical depression compared to non-users.
- There is a significant relationship between frequent porn use and feelings of loneliness and major depression
- 58% of addicts suffer major financial loss
- One-third of addicts lose their jobs
Prolonged exposure to pornography can change your beliefs:
- Cynicism about love or the need for affection between partners
- Loss of hope for sexual monogamy
- Exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
- Less trust between intimate couples
- New belief that promiscuity is normal.
The flavors of porn are more varied than ever. The infamous “Rule 34” is true. It states that “if it exists, there is porn for it”. Yikes. There is a Amazon.com version of internet pornography called Pornhub. They came out with their 2014 “year in review” statistics. It’s really sad that the number one search term is “teen”. This category is entirely dedicated to girls who look younger than 18 years old. The company takes pride, in offering their clients what they want. In their annual report, they boast “If Pornhub users all over the world are thirsty for one thing in particular, it’s teen-themed porn, as “teen” was the most searched term in the world both this year and last.”
Do you think that the viewers are starting to think that sex with teens is not that big of a deal? I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but the science states that watching port rewires the brain. For several decades now, porn has become the most common version of sex education for many people.
Pornography is a loaded subject. Opponents argue that it can ruin marriages, lead to sexual addiction or other unhealthy behaviors, and encourage sexual aggression. Proponents claim that porn can enhance sex lives, provide a safe recreational outlet and perhaps even reduce crime.
The bottom line: if it is pornography is causing problems in your life, then it is a problem. Period. There are many types of treatment facilities that offer porn addiction rehabilitation and recovery programs. Porn addiction is a behavioral addiction that is based largely on secrecy, habit and the thrill it provides. To get help, there are several things you can do:
- Talk about your addiction in detail with a therapist or a friend that you trust. Choose someone who will be as honest in return.
- Check into an Inpatient or Outpatient treatment program.
- Make a relapse prevention plan so that you are prepared for the times that you may feel tempted to use porn again.
- Install tracking devices on your computer, phone and television so that a trusted individual can help monitor your online behavior.
- Be aware of the signs and stages of porn addiction. This means general signs, as well as those that are unique to you.
- Use porn addiction resources available to you, such as 12-step programs, therapists and support groups.