The Interesting Link Between Porn Addiction and Depression
Research surrounding porn addiction is limited. Although studies indicate a link between porn addiction and depression, there isn't enough evidence to prove it. However, the lack of an official diagnosis is one reason why there's a lack of funding for research.
According to Medical News Today, there are not enough specific criteria to identify the addiction as a mental health issue. Likewise, there's no conclusive evidence to link issues like depression and porn addiction. However, there does seem to be a consistent correlation between the two.
Let's discuss what we may know about depression and porn addiction.
Porn Addiction and Depression
In this article by Medical News Today, they discuss various studies that connect porn use and depression. In fact, they cite studies that indicate viewing porn may lead to symptoms of depression. For example, in a 2019 study, depression seems to increase the risk of addiction among those who view it to escape emotions.
There seems to be an interesting connection between depression and prolonged exposure. A 2017 study found 14.6% of those who view porn more than three times a week reported symptoms of depression. In contrast, 2.8% of those viewing pornography less than once a week reported symptoms. Furthermore, they retested, adding in improved physical activity and sleep patterns. However, the correlation between the frequency of pornography use and depression remained. As a result, the study concluded more frequent use of pornography leads to an increase in negative emotions.
Another key factor connecting pornography and depression is personal beliefs. For example, those who feel viewing pornography is morally wrong are more likely to experience shame and guilt after doing so. As a result, they are more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression.
So, what is the most interesting link between porn addiction and depression?
The reality is, we simply do not have conclusive, scientific proof. As a taboo subject, porn addiction makes the process of gathering data for research more difficult. Between cultural differences and a lack of evidence, porn addiction may remain controversial for some time.
However, we do know many people struggle with an inability to control urges to view pornography and are desperate to stop. This is what makes porn addiction real and destructive. As the brain builds up a tolerance, content tends to be more explicit, and behaviors may become more risky. The good news is, treatment may help you escape from the vicious cycle of addiction.
Interestingly enough, there is a wide variety of therapeutic approaches to help with porn addiction. Even without a clear definition or formal diagnosis, treatment centers are widely available. All around the world, therapists are eager to help clients get their life back. Reaching and maintaining recovery is possible.
If you are eager to overcome your porn addiction, we may be able to help. Paradise Creek Recovery Center is a world-class residential treatment center. We specialize in sex and porn addiction treatment. We're here to help you acquire new skills and tools. Likewise, we want to help restore hope and peace in your life. Call us today.
3 Helpful Ways to Support Your Spouse Entering an Addiction Treatment Center
Without a doubt, having a loved one in an addiction treatment center can be a rewarding and challenging situation. Now will be a good time to begin working through your healing process. But, what else will be vital to you and your spouse's success?
Although you're aware of the difficult task at hand, you feel comfortable standing by your spouse through this process. So, what is your role as your spouse enters an addiction treatment center? Is there anything you can do that may increase the chances of a successful outcome?
In this article, we'll discuss your role as your spouse prepares to enter an addiction treatment center.
Going to an addiction treatment center requires a leap of faith that can be frightening.
When your spouse agrees to seek help, you may feel reluctant to celebrate. After all, you've had commitments that have led to relapse time and time again. As such, you may not allow yourself to get your hopes up.
Likewise, entering an addiction treatment center can be frightening and full of uncertainty. On the contrary, it may provide reason to feel hopeful and optimistic. After all, it's often said admitting that the addiction is controlling your life and you need help is the hardest step. So, taking the next step to do something about it is could be a sign that this time could be different.
What is your role in helping make the addiction center experience successful?
We often hear, "The only thing you can control is yourself." and it's true. Now, with your spouse in treatment, you can spend some much-needed time on you. For example, now would be a great time to embrace self-care and focus on the healing process for yourself and your family.
Next, it won't be hard for you to recognize old behaviors that could signal a relapse. With that in mind, determine what boundaries will need to be set and the consequences that will follow.
Finally, identify areas you can improve. This may include ways you can refine your communication skills. Likewise, it may be working on restoring your self-esteem or self-confidence. It could consist of finding a hobby that you enjoy or working on wholehearted healing. All of these can contribute to a successful outcome after your spouse leaves the addiction treatment center.
3 Ways to Show Support While Your Spouse is in an Addiction Treatment Center
A key component of recovery is a solid support system. Examples include online support groups, outpatient therapy, and family support.
Let's discuss 3 ways you can show support through the addiction treatment center program and at home.
Prepare a Plan
The risk of relapse is high after leaving an addiction treatment center. So, preparing clear boundaries and consequences is an important part of the relapse prevention plan. A plan that includes new routines may also be helpful. Your therapist may also provide ideas to include in your plan.
Participate in Their Rehabilitation.
Your spouse's addiction treatment center program likely includes family therapy sessions. An essential part of your partner's recovery will be your ability to help carry out a new way of life together. As such, both of you will need new tools and strategies to turn to as you move forward together.
By participating, you can learn what to expect after the addiction treatment center. You may also learn skills to help you learn how to offer support while also getting your needs met.
Gain understanding, clarity, and compassion.
Understanding can lead to compassion and empathy. Life before treatment was likely emotionally and physically exhausting. As a result, you may have built up feelings of anger and resentment, and understandably so. Therefore, your ability to work through your feelings can allow both of you to find compassion for each other. Empathy helps create an environment conducive to healing.
The task at hand is not an easy one. Supporting a loved one at an addiction treatment center has its challenges. At Paradise Creek Treatment Center, we incorporate family participation into our program. We understand the unique and vital role you play in your spouse's success. We look forward to working with both of you on this journey toward recovery.
Revealing the Connection Between Depression and Addiction
You've been living with your addiction for a while now. However, every attempt at rehab or recovery continues to fall short. But why? Could a mental health issue like anxiety or depression be driving your addiction?
Mental health issues are common. Disorders such as depression and anxiety can lead to thoughts and emotions that leave you wanting to escape or numb out. As a result, addictive behaviors have turned into destructive addiction. So, why isn't rehab helping you overcome your addiction for good?
In this article, we'll discuss why depression or anxiety may be keeping you from enjoying the benefits of addiction recovery.
Could Depression Be Driving My Addiction?
Before we discuss if depression could be driving your addiction, let's first define what depression is.
All of us experience bad days. Likewise, we may have periods of sadness, grief, or frustration. However, there's a difference between a few bad days and depression. The key difference is it lasts for at least two weeks. Likewise, symptoms interfere with your ability to function and maintain everyday life. The following are symptoms you may experience daily:
sleeplessness or oversleeping
lack of or increase in appetite
feelings of guilt or hopelessness
no longer interested in things you once loved
anger or irritability
thoughts of suicide
There are many symptoms of depression. Therefore, symptoms can appear differently from person to person. However, a good indication to determine if you're sad or if it may be something more is whether you're able to go to work or engage in social activities. If you're turning to addictive behaviors to bury your emotions, seeking professional support is vital.
The Vicious Cycle of Depression and Addiction
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 percent of Americans suffer from depression.
Addiction is common among people who are struggling with depression. For example, you may reach for drugs or alcohol to lift your spirits or numb your emotions. Similarly, you may turn to your porn or sex addiction to combat negative feelings. As a result, addiction and depression follow each other into a vicious cycle—both making a difficult situation worse.
Suppose you have both an addiction and mental health issue. Then, you likely have what's called a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is a combination of a mental disorder and an addiction such as sex, drugs, or alcohol.
Depression not only impacts your happiness but can also impact your safety. Likewise, it can weaken your immune system. However, adding addiction to the mix increases the risks to both your physical and emotional health. So, as day-to-day activities become unbearable, turning to porn or sex addiction may seem like the only way to escape. However, it's only temporary. Once the negative feelings return, you find yourself needing to turn to your addiction to quiet your thoughts or numb them out. As a result, the vicious cycle continues.
I May Have An Addiction and Depression, Is There Help For Me?
The good news is, there are specialized treatment centers that can help you address both your addiction and depression. A dual diagnosis can be complex, especially when it involves porn or sex addiction. Addressing both issues will be crucial to interrupting the cycle you're stuck in. For example, if you're unable to address your depression, it's likely to continue to drive your addiction and vice versa. However, with the right help, you can learn the skills necessary to have the enjoyable and hopeful life you deserve.
At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand the importance of addressing all of the issues that may be present. Our therapists are trained to address and treat dual diagnoses. As you work toward recovery from your porn or sex addiction, it will be just as crucial to learn skills to help you manage any mental health issues. We would love to help you on your journey toward hope and healing. Please visit our website or call us to learn more.
The Not So Startling Connection Between Porn Addiction and Infidelity
It all started with curiosity. You never intended your innocent discovery of pornography to lead to infidelity. What's worse, the heartache your spouse feels due to your actions is almost unbearable. So how did you get here, and how can you get out?
People who begin to view porn early in life often have one thing in common; they never imagined it would lead to a destructive addiction. Are you wondering how you're on the brink of losing everything when this started as seemingly harmless entertainment? Is it possible to recover and repair relationships after infidelity?
In this article, we'll talk about why porn and sex addictions can develop so quickly. We'll also talk about the progression of viewing porn to infidelity.
Porn addiction and Infidelity
Enough.org posted alarming statistics from research done by BBFC in 2019. According to their "Youth and Porn Stats," 93.2% of boys and 62.1% of girls have seen online pornography before age 18. Likewise, 72% of 18-year-olds say, "Pornography leads to unrealistic attitudes to sex." Furthermore, "Porn can have a damaging impact on young people's views of sex or relationships." (enough.org) As you can imagine, early exposure can lead to various issues over time, including legal troubles and infidelity.
We know repeated exposure to anything causes desensitization. For example, young children and teens may first feel disgusted. Others may feel curious and want to view more. However, as they continue to view pornography, it can lead to a sense of acceptance or justification, "Everyone is doing it."
The problem is, like other addictions, porn use stimulates the reward system in the brain. After repeated exposure, the same response system requires an increase or a different form of pornography. As you continue to engage, your addiction can turn from viewing soft porn to hard porn. It continues to escalate as the drive for the next 'high' or 'fix' gets harder to obtain. As a result, the perception of sex and intimacy continues to change as the fantasy world and reality collide.
Over time, your addiction enslaves you to sex and pornography as it replaces your relationship. After all, the simple pleasures that come with physical intimacy are no longer enjoyable. Your sex life with your partner becomes boring. You may even feel frustration as your fantasies on the screen differ from the real world. Hence, it's no surprise that, over time, pornography use can lead to infidelity. The bitter truth about addiction is as it takes over, the only thing you can think about is feeding your addiction.
How did I get from viewing porn to committing infidelity?
SmartLoving.org breaks down the connection between pornography, sexual assault, and infidelity. For example, did you know, nearly all sexual assault perpetrators also use porn?
There are also many issues that pornography can lead to. Examples include erectile dysfunction, sleep deprivation, and financial issues. Often times sexual infidelity accompanies or follows pornography use. This could appear as masturbation, phone sex, sex with a prostitute, or infidelity. (smartloving.org)
Viewing Porn Led to Infidelity, What Do I Do Now?
If viewing pornography has turned into an addiction, you may notice a pattern of use. For example, you may view porn if you're feeling depressed, angry, bored, lonely, tired, or just uncomfortable. Likewise, you may be to a point where you're desperate to feel the 'high' your brain has learned to demand. As a result, you may not realize how deep into your addiction you are until you're entertaining or engaging in sexual infidelity.
At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand the beast of sexual addiction. Likewise, we know the path of porn addiction can lead to infidelity. We're here to help you recover. As you begin this journey, you'll have people who understand how you're in the position you are. Call us today to take the first step on your road to recovery.
How Can Innocent Curiosity Lead to a Full Blown Porn Addiction?
Your parents may have worked tirelessly to set up filters and block adult content from making its way onto your screen. Likewise, they may have taught you all the reasons why to avoid pornography. However, years later, you find yourself living with a porn addiction and wondering how this all happened.
As easy access to pornography increases, so does the risk of porn addiction. Through research, we continue to find similarities between porn addiction and other addictions. Research provides insight into why porn addictions may form. As a result, we're learning more about what's behind the powerful force of pornography that keeps addicts entangled in the web of addiction.
In this article, we'll talk about porn addiction. We'll also discuss some of the possibilities that may indicate where your porn addiction began.
What is porn addiction?
Porn addiction is the compulsive urge to view pornography. There's a big difference between porn addiction and viewing pornography, and that's control. For example, you may not want to view porn anymore, but intense thoughts drive you back to view more. Likewise, there may be negative consequences that follow your addictive behaviors, but the risks don't deter you.
One of the main characteristics of any addiction is the inability to control compulsive urges. You want to stop viewing pornography, but you can't. Likewise, when life, or areas of life, become unmanageable without the behavior or substance, it's likely an addiction.
While there is not a specific diagnosis in the DSM, the characteristics and symptoms can be as destructive as any other addiction. Like other addictions, people face the same challenges as they work toward recovery.
The good news is, although the APA doesn't recognize porn addiction, many other professionals and organizations do. As a result, help to regain control of your life may be a few clicks away.
Where Do Porn Addictions Start?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding whether porn addiction is real. For example, some feel there is a lack of scientific evidence to support a specific diagnosis. Some studies even discredit other reports by presenting research that seems to be in opposition to others. The good news is, there are many professionals who treat this as an addiction.
What does scientific evidence seem to show? Like many addictions, your genetics predispose you to addictive behaviors. As such, you can become addicted rather quickly, including to pornography. How? As your body reacts to images on a screen, chemicals release. Then, your brain sends a signal that you want to experience that feeling again. Research indicates porn activates the reward system in the brain, similar to some drug addictions. With the ease of accessibility, it's no wonder why the number of people seeking treatment is rising. Imagine a seven or eight-year-old child who keeps their viewing a secret for years. Their innocent curiosity could easily lead to porn addiction before they reach adulthood.
Other factors influence your susceptibility to addiction. For example, mental health issues come into play. Some turn to pornography to fill a void or escape feelings of depression or anxiety.
An important part of recovery is getting to the root of the problem. In other words, processing the 'why' behind your porn addiction is vital to your success. For some, it may be due to simple curiosity. For others, however, the issues may be much deeper.
Regardless of the 'why,' treatment may offer you hope. You deserve to regain the freedom and control you once enjoyed. At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we are here to help you through the healing and recovery process of porn addiction. Visit our website to learn more.
5 Great Ways To Strengthen A Relationship After Discovering Porn Addiction
The devastation that comes with discovering a porn addiction is often unexplainable. Likewise, learning your spouse has a porn addiction can lead to so many questions. Why? When? Where? How? Like many other things, the status of your relationship may no longer be clear. Is it possible to move forward together after such a major violation of trust? Can the relationship be strengthened after such a life-changing bombshell?
The decision to remain in your relationship and move forward together is one that some couples make. Likewise, there's no right or wrong choice; it's ultimately up to the two of you. Although the journey is difficult, it is possible to heal and regain trust within the relationship.
In this article, we'll provide 5 great ideas that may help you strengthen your relationship after discovering a porn addiction.
How Does Porn Addiction Affect the Relationship?
There are many ways a porn addiction can affect a relationship. Like any addiction, there are often many lies and secrets intertwined in the behaviors of addiction. That alone can lead to broken trust and heartache. Likewise, porn addiction can cause rewiring in the brain. As such, that can affect the relationship in a variety of ways. For example, there are likely damaging effects on intimacy within the relationship. Usually, there's a distortion between sexual fantasy and reality, which affects the relationship.
Then, there's the discovery of an addiction that can create another set of issues. Finding out about an addiction can feel like a bombshell. As a result, it can shatter trust in an instant. The feeling of betrayal can leave you with symptoms similar to those of PTSD. Likewise, it can lead to frustration, accusations, and an abundance of distress within the relationship.
However, the good news in all of this is through dedication and hard work, couples can heal. Porn addiction recovery is achievable. Furthermore, strength and trust within the relationship are attainable.
5 ways to strengthen a relationship after discovering an addiction
Set boundaries. Setting boundaries can be a great way to begin to restore trust. Likewise, boundaries can create a safety net, especially when clear consequences accompany them. Examples could include:
Require apps and website access to be deleted. This could include allowing you to change passwords to the app store and specific accounts on all electronic devices.
Identify places where electronics are not allowed. (bathrooms, behind locked doors, etc.)
Access to phone, texts, or other electronics upon request
Specific physical or emotional space
Attend and participate in treatment or 12-step program
Seek support and treatment. Porn addiction comes with a complex set of issues. However, with treatment and support, you can increase the likelihood of both healing and recovery.
Be transparent. Answers to questions will require transparency for effective healing to take place. Likewise, healing can be more authentic through complete transparency.
Self-care. When you're spinning in anger and grief, it can be difficult to eat, sleep, and interact with others. Through self-care, you can focus on getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, and getting yourself ready for the day. Furthermore, self-care can help you to acknowledge the emotions you're feeling. In other words, self-care may contribute to your mental health and your relationship.
Plan together. Healing and rebuilding trust is going to take time, effort, and commitment. Furthermore, a plan of action is likely to be more effective if both of you are involved in the process.
Discovering a spouse's porn addiction is likely to be life-changing. Like isn't likely to return to normal. However, if both of you want your relationship to remain intact, we may be able to help. At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we help those with porn addictions through the recovery process. Call us today to learn more.
3 Ideas to Help Ring in the New Year Without Your Porn Addiction
For many of us, seeing 2020 come to an end is going to be a joyous occasion. With 2021 on the horizon, you may be thinking about goals you want to set and achieve over the next year. For example, you are ready to say goodbye to your porn addiction. Yet, you wonder, with all the stress that continues to surround you, if recovery is possible.
Like any addiction, porn addiction is a difficult one to beat. However, you feel ready to take on the challenge and have high hopes for recovery. After all, you're eager to experience life without your porn addiction in 2021. So, what can you do to begin this journey? Where do you start?
Let's discuss porn addiction. We'll provide 3 ideas that may help you move toward porn addiction recovery as you ring in the new year.
What is porn addiction?
Technically speaking, you won't find porn addiction in the official diagnosis book known as the DSM. However, many clinicians will tell you, porn addiction is as real as any other addiction. The damaging effects and changes to the brain it can cause are also just as real.
Porn addiction is the uncontrollable compulsive urge to view pornography. While the intent may be to stop, when thoughts come to turn to porn, they are often so intense that opting out is no longer a simple task. Instead, life, or areas of life, become unmanageable without it. Over time, many begin to choose porn over family, work, vacation time, and anything else. It can change the way your brain intakes, processes, and stores information. Likewise, it can damage relationships, sometimes beyond repair.
However, there is hope. Millions of people are living life in recovery and enjoying the freedoms that come with it. With the right tools, porn addiction recovery is attainable.
3 Ideas to Help you Begin Your Journey Toward Porn Addiction Recovery
Commit to recovery. If your goal is to overcome your addiction, the first thing you can do is tell someone. Like many addictions, secrets, lies, and hidden agendas often accompany porn addiction. So, the first thing you can do is tell your partner, friend, or loved one you're ready to get help. Then, commit to recovery every morning of every day from here on out. While the journey won't be easy, knowing your commitment starts over every day can be a great first step.
Set Filters and Delete Apps. The next idea to help you on your path toward recovery is to limit access. After you tell your loved one about your desire for help and commitment to recovery, then it's time to delete everything you can. For example, delete saved websites, accounts, and apps. Then, you can ask someone to install an anti-porn filter on every device in your home, but they'll need to keep the password to themselves. Remember to include any children's devices too.
Come up with a plan to fill your time. It would be wonderful if a solid commitment and deleting access to porn is all it takes to achieve recovery. However, that's just helping you set up your line of defense. The intense work begins with that first trigger. For example, the initial thought, urge, and desire to turn to your porn addiction will likely come with great intensity. So, what can you do? You can come up with ways to distract. Examples include having a support person to talk to, exercise, journaling, and avoiding isolation. Any healthy, reliable idea is worth writing down. Over time, you'll have a list of options to turn to to help keep you safe from relapse.
I'm Committed to Porn Addiction Recovery, but I Need More Help
Another similarity between porn addiction and other addictions is the need for help. Many addictions are extremely difficult to overcome without support. So, you could reach out to a support group. Likewise, you could seek a professional therapist who specializes in porn addiction treatment.
There are many ways to overcome your addiction and achieve your goal of recovery. An essential part of your success will be to have tools in place that work for you.
At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand how complex porn addiction recovery can be. We help clients acquire the tools they'll need for success. We may be able to help you ring in the new year with a relapse prevention plan in place. Likewise, we would love to see if we can help you find success on your journey toward recovery. Call us today.
What Do I Do If Someone I Care About Has An Addiction To Pornography?
Knowing how to deal with someone that has an addiction to pornography can be a very difficult road for many. And most often those affected by this type of addiction happens between a husband and a wife. This behavior can leave one with a low self-esteem, feeling betrayed, alone, and end up with a shattered relationship. Even if the addiction is between friends, relationships will suffer, so the issue shouldn’t be ignored.
Once you have discovered that someone close to you has an addiction problem, talk with them and share your concern. This is probably one of the hardest steps to take emotionally, but can be the most rewarding long term.
Some of you may not know that pornography is a neuron changer. The reason for this is due to the way it floods the brain with dopamine‒ giving the body a rush that eventually rewires the brains reward center. Neuroplasticity is a word meaning brain and change. It works like this:
A neuron is a cell in the brain that is activated by smell, sight, sound, taste, or touch, etc. Every time something good happens, chemicals are released in the brain, telling you how wonderful you feel. Your brain builds pathways like this for everything including emotions, and it does the same for those that engage in pornography. The problem with pornography is that the brain gets overwhelmed by the constant overload of chemicals it’s experiencing, and starts to fight back… eventually taking away some of its dopamine receptors. This begins a numbing effect, causing a result in the brain to find more arousal from pornographic materials, and ultimately becoming addicted, and always looking for something bigger and better to satisfy the addiction. Now, the addict is constantly searching for that dopamine high that they first experienced, and the more they look at porn, the harder it is to find satisfaction, and more difficult to break free from the unhealthy behavior.
Addictions of any kind use these same neurons. Within the last decade, research has proven that addictions cause the brains frontal lobes to start shrinking. This is the part of the brain that controls our logical thinking and basic problem solving. It wasn’t just drugs and alcohol causing this type of trauma to the brain. It is all types of addictions and compulsive behaviors that cause the same damage.
Now that the brain is relying on this chemical response, it suddenly has a new sense of craving that cannot be satiated. Pornography short-circuits the brain since it remembers where the sexual high came from, turning the viewer into an addict.
With this information, there is hope for those you love. Often times you may wonder how you can you assist those you care for who are suffering from an addiction to pornography. This can be achieved with a 30 step task program that was designed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, who has pioneered treatment for sexual addiction. Without identifying the core issues that contribute to the addiction, the ability to overcome and maintain sobriety with an addiction to pornography would be nonexistent.
Ashley Madison: A Symptom of Porn and Sex Addiction?
The now infamous Ashley Madison website was a trap for men. If you haven’t heard of the website, it allowed people to arrange extra-marital affairs. Most of the users were male. Of the female users, many were fake. And then some hackers stole the information of people who had signed up, and posted their data online.1
Perhaps some people signed up on the site out of curiosity. Others, perhaps were in bad marriages or looking for excitement. Others may have been sex addicts or men who looked at porn.
Shaunti Feldhahn, has said, “The hard truth is that porn reels in men who would have never set out to devastate their wives and families.”2 Those who visited Ashley Madison may have naively told themselves that they weren’t hurting anyone. But just as with porn, they were already on the road to destroying themselves and their families.
Now, with the users of Ashley Madison posted online for all to search, individuals and families can be publically shamed. Wives may have to deal with their husband’s betrayal, not in private, but with friends and family knowing of the infidelity.
The good news is, this may also be an opportunity for healing and positive change. With secrets acts put in the open, perhaps the men and women who violated trust and vows will now have the motivation and help to make things right. If any of them are addicted to porn or sex, hopefully now they will seek the help they need.
Porn, sex addiction, and adultery hurt both the person participating in them and those who love them. Get help now. Call Paradise Creek Recovery immediately at (855) 442-1912. Call Paradise Creek Recovery immediately at (855) 442-1912. We can help you or your loved one discover hope and heal.
2. Shaunti Feldhahn, http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/september/ashley-madison-exposes-more-than-just-names-men-and-women-h.html
How Do I Know If I Have an Addiction to Pornography or Other Sexual Behaviors?
For most of us it’s difficult to admit we have an addiction. Our natural tendency is to push off the obvious signs and evidence that occur with compulsive behaviors. Often times, someone that develops an addiction to pornography or other sexual behaviors suffer with the unfortunate loss of loved ones, falls into financial woes, and then unintentionally develops uncharacteristic mood swings that eventually severs them from their normal activities.
If you feel that you have an addiction to pornography or other sexual behaviors, these are some signs to watch for:
- Severe mood changes related to pornography or sexual behaviors
- Unmanageable sexual patterns or behaviors
- Neglect of family, work, and other regular activities
- Obsessive behaviors
- Inability to stop compulsive behaviors resulting in negative consequences
- Becoming self-destructive or high-risk
- The need to have more sexual experiences
- Reoccurring failure to resist impulses related to addictive behaviors
If you relate to three or more behaviors listed in the above criteria, it is important to seek treatment. Pornography and sexual behaviors can be clearly defined as psychological or emotional addiction. Dependencies for these compulsive behaviors grow uncontrollable and quickly become detrimental to an individual’s life.
Getting to the root of sexual and porn addiction comes from years of study from Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in sexual addiction research and the treatment for it. He explains that an addiction to pornography contains four core beliefs. These are the results of most sexual addicts:
- I am basically a bad, unworthy person.
- No one would love me as I am.
- My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others.
- Sex is my most important need.
Dr. Carnes further explains that most addictions to sex or pornography start in childhood due to the lack of human care. Sexual addiction becomes confused with basic comforting and nurturing development and the subject will continue engaging in this negative behavior until it has grown into an addiction. As a result, they soon learn to depend on these feelings and develop compulsive sexual behaviors, acting on sexual impulses without regard to the consequences they create.
As more time passes, the person may develop other forms of sexual addiction. Some of those lead to substance abuse, dominance, control, or the abuse of a partner. Sexual activities can vary in a wide range‒ from very limited sexual activity all the way to a collection of sexual paraphernalia and encounters that includes high levels of fantasy.
Shame and secrecy most often accompanies the sex addict. These addictions cannot foster healthy relationships and have negative consequences. The ability to enjoy sex becomes impossible as the typical addict appears to have no control over these impulses. A sexual appetite grows exponentially until they will let nothing stand in the way of their sexual needs being fulfilled.
Like any compulsive behavior left untreated, it will continue to grow out of control. For those who feel like they have imprisoned their emotional power towards sexual behaviors, finding treatment to renew inner-beliefs and strengthen one’s ability to address the problem is just one step away.