Porn Addiction

Online pornography use is on the rise. Recent research suggests that over 28,000 users are online every single second.

Watching pornography on a daily basis can and does lead to problematic adverse effects and sexual functioning. It has been suggested that once you participate in watching porn on a regular basis you are unlikely to stop. It often leads to loss of control, impairment, and the potential of risk-addictive behaviour.

What is Porn Addiction?

Firstly, before we can look at porn addiction, we should really look at addiction itself. Addiction is defined as not having control over something you do, take, or use. It's not being able to say no to something that will eventually harm you either mentally or financially and in many instances – both.

When one is addicted to something, they struggle to think of anything else, often finding that they feel mentally consumed every day. Family and work can become secondary leading to separation and loss of employment.

Porn Addiction is no different and similarly leads to family, work, and financial difficulties. Just like any other addiction, continually viewing porn becomes problematic affecting your behaviour leading to porn addiction.

Having an addiction to porn can somewhat seem worse to the individual simply because of the subject matter.

Man Texting sitting on the edge of a bed while his partner sleeps

A porn-addicted individual will start to lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed. They will neglect things that were once important to them, like work and family. Just like other people suffering from an addiction the individual will probably have tried to cease their behaviour on numerous occasions only to find themselves falling back into their addiction to porn.

The craving to continually watch more porn comes from a chemical in the brain called Dopamine which is a messenger between our brain cells. It plays a part in how we move, how we eat, and how we feel pleasure and is a common denominator in addiction.

Dopamine sends signals to the brain when it is expecting a reward, the reward might be something like a glass of wine when you get home from work or going to the gym.

The dopamine release informs the brain that it enjoyed the experience and wants more. So, dopamine helps the reinforcement thus creating the motivation to seek more pleasure.

This is all good but, dopamine also has a sinister side, it feeds the addiction. If an individual is suffering from a mental health issue, a surge of dopamine release will help the individual feel better about themselves, but only for a short time.

Porn addiction rewires the brain, and the more we watch it the more the dopamine gets stronger and stronger.

Porn Addiction Statistics

 
One of the most current concerns is the rise of porn use in adolescents, and that’s not just boys, although the number is less, young girls are watching porn too. Below are some statistics but in general numbers differ from various sources, nevertheless, not by much.
 
  • On average there are 68 million search queries relating to pornography every day.
  • Shockingly, over 115,00 are related to child pornography.
  • Internet pornography statistics showed there are roughly 4.2 million pornographic websites that make up 12% of the total internet content. Pornographic pages have 372 million hits daily.
  • Cybersex/Pornography Addiction is commonly known for the causes of separation and divorce.
 
The Times suggested that in a recent survey that 58% of us watch porn. Here are the results of a recent survey compiled in 2019.
 
  • 12% of all websites on the internet are pornographic.
  • 1 in 3 porn viewers are women.
  • Internet porn revenues worldwide are a staggering £4.2 billion per annum and are estimated to be a £13 billion industry.
  • 25% of search engine requests are porn-related.
  • The average of which a child first sees porn is 11. Source (onlineschools.org)
 
In Australia where over 20,000 participants surveyed 4.4% of men felt they had an addiction to porn and 1.2% of female porn addiction.
 
As in other addiction surveys completed this survey suggests that porn addiction is subjective and only a problem when an individual feels that’s it’s a problem.
 
If you would like to read a more academic explanation, here is a link to one of the most recent researches.

Porn Addiction Side Effects

 
The more you view porn the more you will be drawn to keep viewing it and the more you view it the more desensitised to what you are viewing. The problem with this is that you might see yourself doing some of the following, if not all.
 
Spending more time on your device in search of the content that will allow you to climax. This can be spending many hours before searching for gratification.
  • Noticing it becoming more difficult to maintain an erection and eventually suffering from erectile dysfunction.
  • Lowers sexual desire with a partner.
  • Noticing that porn and masturbation is the only way you can manage to orgasm.
  • Noticing the occurrence of relationship difficulties.
  • Using alcohol or drugs and quite often both to increase sexual arousal.
  • Being drawn to viewing various paraphilias.
  • Thoughts and feelings of visiting illegal sites.
  • Feelings of shame of what you are doing.
  • Low self-worth.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Decreased memory and the ability to focus.
 
The above are just a few of what damage can be done when there are signs of porn addiction.
Is Pornography Use a Public Health Crisis?
Porn Button on Computer Keyboard

Porn Addiction Recovery

 So, all that being said, the good news is that there is porn addiction help. If you are ready to make that change and endorse seeking effective professional treatment, the future is very bright. Now that being said, beating porn addiction is no easy feat - it takes a commitment and an understanding that there will be a lot of self-doubt along the way. It's being as committed to being committed long after the mood when you said “Let’s do this” has left you! You have to remember; porn has been your best friend for such a long time, it was the go-to when you felt down, anxious or bored. When watching porn, you would have entered into what is known in the industry as the bubble. When you enter the bubble, you have entered into your own private world of escapism, free from all issues in your life that have been disturbing you. The bubble was in fact the way to connect to your friend.
So, just like any other relationship that comes to an end – it’s difficult, and it takes time to adjust to a new life outside of that relationship. The strive has to be – I intend to be no longer addicted to porn.

How to Stop Porn Addiction

The most obvious way to get help for porn addiction is to contact a sex/porn addiction psychotherapist. Unfortunately, counsellors who have not been trained in this particular area are generally ill-equipped to deal with this problem. The fact that you are reading this suggests that you are already looking to reach out for help.
As in any type of compulsive disorder, procedures have to be put in place to support the “addict” who is endeavouring to resolve their addiction to porn.

Luckily, we can help. Don't suffer in silence, contact us for a consultation and we can help you overcome your addictions, and live a happier life.

Help for Overcoming Porn and Sex Addiction

Our Therapeutic Approach

There are various approaches to therapy and dealing with sex addiction. We use integrative therapy which is a combined approach to therapy. It’s a view that having a more diverse approach provides the client with more room for success in overcoming sex addiction.
It can be an extremely lonely place coping and dealing with sex addiction, but you are not alone and there is help.
Some of our therapists have also been through this process so you can take comfort in knowing that you won’t be judged. Our therapists are here to be with you on your journey to recovery in the treatment of sex addiction. We are here to help you so please reach out to us.

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