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Porn Dependence

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Porn Dependence

Porn dependence is the continuous fixation on audio-visual or visual content that enhances a person’s sexual responses and compels sexual stimulation or interest. Simply put, it is a continuous craving for porn. Although Porn dependence is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a disease, common ground has been found between substance abuse and addictive disorder. The effects of porn dependence on humans is very similar to drug addiction.                                                                             

Like all other vices, including alcohol, drugs, and sex, most people (especially between the ages of 16-60) view porn as an escape from daily stress, distress, loneliness, or boredom. Sometimes, as a result of hormones, viewing porn usually starts as an experiment, which eventually turns into a craving. For some individuals, underlying psychological trauma like childhood trauma, sexual abuse, gender identity issues, conflicts in a relationship, and strange sexual fetishes, become dependent on porn as an outlet. 

Watching other people expose sensuous parts of their body and engage in sex causes an awareness that leads to arousal, which in most cases results in masturbation to orgasm. When orgasm is achieved, it feels like a release due to the brain’s dopamine, which gives off a feeling of pleasure and reward. Negative sexual experiences or toxic sexual relationships may encourage one to resort to porn when one cannot let go of these negative experiences.

Risks of Porn Dependence

Social Risk

Individuals who continually obsessively view porn usually have unrealistic expectations of their partners and are unwilling to compromise due to their set standards gotten from pornography. These individuals usually have a hard time committing to one partner in a relationship. From time to time, they switch partners or engage in multiple relationships. They compare their partners or spouses to ideal partners who fit their sexual fantasies from continuous vivid recollections of pornographic images. More so, owing to easy access to internet porn from where there could be ranges from basic to extreme porn, an individual could get extreme or violent to a dangerous point.

Porn dependence could also lead to irrational behavior like viewing porn in public places, paedophilic acts, and rape, as the individual may be unable to resist provocative images, dressings, or sexual triggers. 

Porn addicts are commonly seen as perverts, which could lead to a dissertation of isolation from family members who find the dependence repulsive.

Emotional Risk

Individuals who are porn dependent or addicted to internet porn tend to be depressed when they cannot view porn. This is because most porn addicts unable to stop themselves, masturbate a lot of times, or have sex quite often in a day using the sexual stimulation from pornography. Therefore, like the obvious effects of substance abuse, the individual starts to get irritable, anxious, or depressed, often feeling very uncomfortable until he or she gets a “fix.” One may feel so shameful and guilty that one falls into depression again, and the cycle continues. One may also be unable to relate well with others, especially the opposite sex, which could lead to low self-esteem and inferiority complex.

Physical Risks

Porn dependence causes one to lose interest in other activities like work and school, however exciting. This is due to the constant need for sexual stimulation even when one wants to stop. This can lead to a lack of inspiration to look after his or her own health and well-being, which can eventually lead to eating disorders (like bulimia), insomnia (lack of sleep), heart issues, or mental problems. 

Help for Porn Dependence

Therapy

Undergoing therapy can help one gradually change or break the dependence or addiction. Psychotherapy is a well-known therapeutical method that deals with mental disorders and breaking negative habits. Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT) identifies the repetitive actions or behaviors that lead to continual porn viewing and breaks the cycle by changing the behavioral pattern.

Porn dependence may be due to previous sexual abuse or witness of such or interpersonal relationship conflicts. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) helps the individual understand the interpersonal issues that lead to porn dependence, developing skills to deal with these issues, and successfully preventing future relapses.

Also, exploring new hobbies that are either physical or mental activities. Like arts, dancing, writing, exercising, or getting a pet that they can be preoccupied with taking care of, can also be a form of therapy.

 As said earlier, sometimes porn dependence may have been influenced by unconscious negative sexual childhood experiences that may have affected the individual’s ideas on sex and pornography. Psychodynamic therapy helps by creating self-awareness so that the individual recognizes the issue, analyzes it, and may be able to control and change it.

An anonymous therapy group can also help an individual find people who have had similar problems with diverse solutions.

Traveling

Traveling helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. The individual gets new exciting experiences; it breaks their usual routine, helps them get another view of life, gives them new interests, helps them meet new people who give them new ideas on overcoming various challenges, and helps them find their strengths. It is an excellent way to withdraw. Traveling with friends or in groups helps the individual sometimes, unconsciously, successfully withdraw. 

New, Healthy Relationships

Creating new relationships, having new friends, and also starting over by moving to a new place gives the individual the feeling of having a second chance or a new life. It introduces them to new healthy habits, hobbies, and routines and gives them a new sense of purpose. 

Like all addictions, Porn addiction takes time, and relapses may occur. Doing a particular thing is not a problem; however, being unable to stop and the continuous urge to do that particular thing is unhealthy and dangerous, no matter what it is. Porn dependence, although challenging to break, is not impossible.

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