What is porn addiction?

What is porn addiction?

Pornography addiction is a compulsive need. Despite the negative consequences, it is still necessary to watch pornographic content. Although many health and psychiatric professionals do not consider forced pornography to be truly “addiction,” its signs and symptoms are often surprisingly similar to those of behavioral addiction.

What separates pornography addiction from a strong interest in pornography is the negative consequences of the behavior. With pornography addiction, you spend a lot of time watching pornography instead of interacting with others or completing important tasks. Even if this behavior damages your career, relationships, or happiness, it will continue to exist.

Very good / Emily Roberts

As pointed out by the American Psychological Association (APA), experts disagree with the effects of pornography. Proponents believe that it can help people improve their sex lives and provide a safe outlet for desire. Opponents believe that it will disrupt relationships, cause sexual assault, and cause unhealthy or destructive behavior.

This article discusses the symptoms and causes of porn addiction. It also covers some treatment options that may be helpful.

symptom

The arguments in favor of healthy porn use do not detract from the serious harm that porn addiction can cause to addicts and those around them.

If you are concerned about viewing pornography, there are some warning signs to consider. You may be addicted to porn if:

  • Even if you are not actively watching pornography, you will be bored with pornography.
  • You may see pornographic content on your phone at work or in social situations.
  • You feel ashamed, guilty, or frustrated about watching pornography.
  • Although pornography has, is, or may cause harm to your relationships, work or family life, you still continue to watch pornography.
  • When pornography is not involved, your sexual satisfaction with your partner will decrease.
  • You hide your pornography and pornographic content from your partner and family.
  • You will feel uneasy when asked to reduce or stop watching porn.
  • When watching porn, you forget the time.
  • You tried to stop watching porn, but it didn’t work.

A 2020 study found that 56.6% of participants reported that they had viewed pornography at some point in their lives. The study also found that compulsive use of pornography is associated with higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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Click play to learn how to stop porn addiction

Recognizing porn addiction

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has made some efforts to classify pornography addiction in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental health conditions Manual. APA proposes to add it as a subcategory of hypersexuality. However, the scientific committee eventually concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support this diagnosis.

Although porn addiction is not considered a unique diagnosis, it does have some symptoms associated with addiction. People who compulsively watch porn may encounter at least two of the four clinical conditions associated with addiction, namely:

  • Desire to participate in an activity and failure to try to reduce or control the activity (impaired control).
  • Failed to complete the main tasks at work, school or family and/or have given up trying (social issues).

However, porn addiction does not meet the definition of addiction because:

  • It has no inherent connection with adventure
  • It does not involve tolerance (a larger amount is required to obtain the same effect) or discontinuation (adverse reactions when stopping)

Although some people believe that these behaviors or associations may be related to porn addiction, the relationship is usually inconsistent or vague.

What the research says

Some psychiatrists question whether pornography addiction should be classified as obsessive-compulsive disorder of drug or alcohol addiction. They believe that the changes in brain activity are surprisingly similar to those experienced by drug users.

According to a study published in the journal in 2015 Behavioral sciences, One EEG (EEG) can detect changes in brain activity when viewing pornographic content (especially the reactive event called P300). The response can occur within 300 milliseconds of viewing pornographic content.

Researchers believe that when drug users view drug-related images, the same reaction occurs. Although this association itself is not conclusive, it does show that pornography addiction has a physical and spiritual component.

A 2017 study looked at people seeking treatment for problematic pornography and found similarities with substance use and gambling addiction. Participants of the study showed that the activation of the ventral striatal region of the brain increased, which indicates an increase in the desire to watch pornographic material.

review

Pornography addiction has been shown to cause brain changes similar to those of drug addicts. This observation suggests that both psychological and physical factors may play a role in compulsive pornography use.

reason

Since the researchers disagree with the definition or even the legality of true porn addiction, there is no consensus on the possible causes. Those who do believe that problematic pornography use represents a real addiction believe that many factors may play a role. These include:

  • Biological factors: Differences in brain structure or chemical substances may make some people more addictive.
  • Cultural influence: Unhealthy or unrealistic social and cultural attitudes towards sex may lead to the use of pornography.
  • Other mental health conditions: People who have other addictions or are struggling with other mental health conditions may be more likely to engage in problematic pornography use.
  • Relationship issues: Some people may watch pornography when they have sexual problems or are dissatisfied with the relationship.

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) stated that there is insufficient evidence to support the classification of pornography or sex addiction as a mental health disorder. Instead, they believe that describing pornography as problematic is related to harmful views of sex.

In fact, some evidence suggests that attitudes towards pornography play the greatest role in determining the pain caused by pornography.

treat

If your pornographic viewing becomes compulsive, interferes with your perception of yourself, and affects your ability to function in relationships, work, and other aspects of daily life, please know that you can seek help.

Although the psychiatric community does not consider pornography addiction to be a real addiction, it is important that you consider compulsive consumption of pornography as an addiction.

Compared with other types of addiction, viewing compulsive pornography as “not a big problem” can affect your recovery.

You don’t have to face your porn addiction alone or quit “cold turkey”. Mental health professionals who are experienced in the treatment of sexual dysfunction can help you figure out how your behavior affects the lives of you and those around you.

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) website provides an online location tool to help you find a qualified therapist where you live.

Cooperating with a psychologist who can provide the most effective treatments (such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)) is essential to help you develop effective relapse prevention skills when solving porn addiction problems.

response

Regardless of whether pornography addiction corresponds to true addiction in the traditional sense, if this behavior causes problems in your life, you can take some measures to help cope with it. In addition to talking to a doctor or therapist, you can also:

  • Set goals: Just like any other behavior change, setting goals and then working towards them can help you control your behavior.
  • Change your environment: Avoid triggers that might prompt you to watch pornography. Change settings on your computer, phone, or Internet service to make viewing pornographic content more difficult.
  • Seek help: Talk to a trusted friend or partner about your experience and seek their support, encouragement, and help.
  • Look for distractions: If you find yourself wanting to engage in this behavior when you’re bored, look for other things you can do to keep busy.
  • Exercise: Staying physically active can help you find a way to refocus your energy in a healthier and more efficient way.

Although revealing the truth about your actions and thoughts may be uncomfortable, you need to face these realities to ensure you get the treatment you need. With the right treatment, you can get a lasting recovery from porn addiction.

By exposing your compulsive behavior, you can begin to answer some important questions about yourself. These answers will guide you to find solutions that make you happier, make your life more stable, and more productive.

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