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Am I Addicted to Pornography?

It is very probable that if you are reading this, something has happened to make you begin to think that what was once an enjoyable erotic use of internet pornography has become something more intrusive in your life.

Maybe you find that you are looking at the type of pornography that would have repulsed you not so long ago or as a heterosexual man finding yourself looking at homosexual pornography and now becoming confused as to why you would do this knowing that you are fundamentally attracted to women.

Whatever your path to this site and your experience to date there are some sure signs that you might have a problem and professional help could be useful.

Not all non-traditional sex-seeking behaviour is addictive or necessarily problematic.  For those that believe that sex addiction exists there are many varying definitions.

Sex addiction can be characterised by compulsive sexual behaviours that result in tolerance to the activity, leading to escalation, withdrawal, and loss of control over the behaviour despite negative consequences.

Compulsive Sexual Behaviours

Compulsion can be defined as ‘resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge’, synonyms; uncontrollable, compelling, driving, overwhelming overpowering, urgent, obsessive.

When our brains have been viewing, high-speed super-stimulating pornography over a period of time our brain wants more (urges).  Our brains become ‘wired’ to seek more as part of our primitive reward circuit.

Sex is, after all, one of our primitive driving forces to keep our species alive.  If any of the above words relate to the urges you have in relation to wanting to (or needing) to watch pornography, it’s time to speak to someone.

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Tolerance

We are aware that viewing pornography produces similar changes in the brain to those found in the reward centre of the brain in people who abuse cocaine.

Its common knowledge that a drug addict has to take more and more drugs to achieve the same ‘high’.  It is therefore of no surprise that the pornography we are used to watching becomes less and less stimulating.

Our brains become tolerant and seek more exciting, risk or anxiety-provoking viewing.  We don’t understand it until we find ourselves repulsed or find ourselves walking away from an anonymous sexual encounter back to our partner and children, that we realise things have gone too far. It’s time to speak to someone.

Withdrawal

As our brain becomes more and more stimulated by our online activity, creating greater rewards in our brain, real-life cannot compare.

We find ourselves distant from friends and family as our decisions to connect with people are overridden by the ‘urge’ to spend time getting a real ‘hit’ from our drug of choice; pornography.

We become more and more isolated as we distance ourselves from life in favour of online activity.  We can lose hours and days of our time, seeking, searching, collecting, masturbating.   Our life, our isolated life, keeps us withdrawn from the people that love us as we create a world of lies and deceit that adds to our withdrawal.

If you are choosing to spend time sitting alone at your computer rather than interacting with real people, it’s time to speak to someone.

Loss of control of the behaviour despite negative consequences

You no longer feel under control.  You have told yourself many times now that you will not do this again.  You feel ashamed and regretful every time you find yourself back on your computer despite promising yourself that this will be the last time.  You lie.  All the time.  To yourself and the people you love.

Life is just one big lie to enable you to spend time watching pornography.  It seems that the urge is too great to resist and you tell yourself ‘I’ll just look for 5 minutes’ ‘no-one will know’ ‘if she had sex with me more often, I wouldn’t need to do this’ a part of you knows you are just fooling yourself.  But you realise that you can’t stop potentially losing your job, despite your partner/wife threatening to leave and take the kids if she finds out (again), despite the feelings of shame and desperation that you are left with.

If you continue with behaviour that has negative consequences, it’s time to speak to someone.

Speaking to Someone

We appreciate that speaking to someone is easier to write or think than it might be to do.  It is not unusual for clients to book appointments, but then cancel at the last minute, it is not unusual for clients to feel ashamed of their behaviour and not want to share their stories.  But sharing and facing the demons of your addiction is the start to a better, more connected and rewarding life.  It’s time to speak to someone.

If you are ready to get help for you or a loved one suffering from porn addiction, we recommend looking at online therapy, the most affordable option can be found at IN: Therapy. 90 min Sessions are only £20, and you receive psychotherapy, coping mechanisms, and the tools to ensure you can live free of your porn addiction. 

To find out more visit https://weareintherapy.com/

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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