Porn Addiction - Plague of the Modern Times

By Arkemmus | Arkemmus' Blog | 7 May 2021


The problems that affect mental health evolve over time, in the same way that the development of new technologies and ways of life are also transformed with the advancement of History.

 

The emergence of addiction to pornography, a psychological alteration that would have been impossible to conceive centuries ago, is an example of this.

 

In this article, we will see what the addiction to pornography consists of, what are its characteristics, and what can be done to overcome it.

 

 

What is porn addiction?

As its name indicates, pornography addiction is a psychological disorder characterized by excessive use of pornographic materials to satisfy the sexual appetite, which becomes a dependency relationship with adult-content films, erotic photographs, etc.

 

However, it is still little studied, and the knowledge about it comes mainly from clinical practice in therapy by psychologists and psychiatrists. In fact, today the addiction to pornography does not have its own section in the most widely used diagnostic manuals in the world of mental health, although it can be understood as a specific variety of psychological disorders that are conceptually limited.

 

Often, it is understood that this phenomenon falls within the concept of sex addiction, an umbrella term that groups a whole series of dysfunctional behavior patterns based on dependence on the satisfaction of sexual impulses, and that it is estimated to be present (to a greater or lesser extent) in 5% of adults in Western countries.

 

It has been proven that in people affected by compulsive sexual behavior, the areas of the brain activated when viewing pornography are almost the same activated when viewing drugs by those who develop drug addictions: areas of the brain's reward system and other structures associated, such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala.

 

However, it remains to be determined whether pornography addiction can be considered, technically, another behavioral addiction (such as pathological gambling, or gaming) or if it is more appropriate to understand it as a disorder belonging to the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. like OCD, excoriation disorder, etc.

 

 

Symptoms

As we have seen, there is no very precise definition about the characteristics and symptoms of addiction to pornography; however, as a general rule, these forms of discomfort stand out:

 

  • The consumption of pornography occupies too much free time.
  • The urge to view pornography interferes with work and/or a healthy social life.
  • The fact of consuming pornography constantly or anticipating its consumption damages sentimental relationships.
  • The lifestyle associated with this alteration involves spending too much money on erotic or pornographic material.
  • Difficulties in concentrating or 'keep going' appear when pornography is not consumed for too long.
  • An irritable mood emerges from the frustration of not viewing pornography for hours.

All the ways in which pornography addiction is embodied reflect dysfunctional patterns of behavior and thinking. On one hand, the tendency to think too often about these types of materials and the sexual activity associated with them. On the other hand, the difficulties to focus on other aspects of life and give them the attention they deserve.

 

How is it treated in therapy?

Pornography addiction can be overcome through a process of psychotherapy. In this, it works to help the person to cope with intrusive thoughts related to sex and with the pessimistic perception of oneself (since they act as a "trap" that makes relapse easier) and to develop habits capable of providing more and better sources of motivation and intellectual and emotional stimulation beyond sex.

 

In any case, each therapy program is always adapted to the characteristics of each patient, and to their way of living.

 

Porn addiction consequences 

Porn addiction has serious damaging effects on men, such as decreased sexual drive, low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety, and sleep problems (just to name a few).

For single men, the excessive use of porn content can lead to social anxiety near people and then more difficulties to mate. Even when they get a first date, this is often disappointing because they think they are going to live some kind of porn clip, while not any woman is willing to make hardcore sex on a first date. In short, porn gives addicted men unrealistic expectations. 

For married/engaged men it is even worse since their wives/girlfriends no longer appear sexually appealing compared to the women in porn. This can lead to a lack of marital sex and even to divorces. 

 

 

Men vs. Women

Porn addiction is far more common in men than women. This is because men get more excited seeing erotic content; their sexuality is more visual.

Women, instead, are more prone to like erotic literature, stories, or audio. Books like "50 shades of grey" are far more popular among women than men. But reading books is not as detrimental as watching high-speed Internet pornography; actually, it can even be beneficial for women's sexuality. 

Also, men are more sensitive to the so-called Coolidge effect

 

 

How to get rid of porn addiction

Getting rid of porn addiction is not easy at all. Nowadays it's far too common to see erotic content online and there are too many triggers that can lead to porn consumption. 

In my opinion, the best way to get rid of any addiction is to remove the temptation altogether. 

So, this is my advice:

  • Place your laptop where others can see what you do, for example near a window or an open door.
  • Set a parental control system.
  • Use apps or browser extensions that block adult websites. 
  • Avoid using Instagram (it is a big trigger!) 
  • Reinforce your willpower and discipline
  • Any time you get the urge to watch porn, turn off your computer and move away. 

 

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Arkemmus
Arkemmus

Strong cryptocurrency lover, I have a lot of experience in this niche.


Arkemmus' Blog
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