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Porn Physical Dependence

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Porn Physical Dependence

Pornography abuse is a complex subject shrouded in mystery, probably because of the shame and stigma associated with it. However, anyone that suffers from overexposure to pornography needs first to admit that they have a problem and need help. Without that, they are not going to be able to do much to help their condition.

Most people make the mistake of tagging everyone who uses pornographic content as an addict, but they couldn’t be more wrong. It is safe to say that not everyone who consumes alcohol becomes addicted to alcohol. The same can be said about pornography. Just because a person consumes pornographic content does not make them addicted to it.

As with other forms of addiction, the journey towards porn addiction involves several steps from the initial introduction to pornography. The person first gets introduced to pornographic content and begins to experiment with it. Then the experimentation may proceed to the abuse of pornography, and then dependence. The person begins to consume more in-depth and unconventional types of pornography. They also start to experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. Then, for some people, addiction sets in due to psychological, environmental, and genetic factors.

Difference Between Porn Physical Dependence and Porn Addiction

The terms physical dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably; however, they mean different things. Porn addiction means a compulsive use of pornography despite harmful consequences and is characterized by an inability to quit the habit. It is characterized by low productivity at work, failure to meet social or family obligations, tolerance, and withdrawal. 

Porn physical dependence, on the other hand, is the way that the body adapts to its exposure to pornography. When your body cannot function without pornography, you have become physically dependent on porn. The body adapts to pornography use, requiring more of it to attain a certain feeling of “high.” When this happens, the body is building tolerance to your use of pornography. If you try to quit pornography, painful physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal sets in. Since the quickest way to get rid of the pain and symptoms associated with withdrawal is to use more pornographic content, most of those who try to quit their pornography use find that they are unable to do so.

In that sense, porn physical dependence is not porn addiction in itself but often accompanies porn addiction. Pornography behaviors may reach the point of addiction when the user has made several unsuccessful attempts to stop, experiences impairment in occupational and social functioning, and experiences recurrent or persistent physical and psychological problems. Physical dependence does not usually interfere with a person’s ability to function in social and occupational environments. It can be hard to tell the two apart, but the distinction is very important.

How Does Physical Dependence Develop?

The body works together with the brain to maintain a state of balance called homeostasis. Porn alters that balance because it triggers the excessive release of dopamine. The body cannot handle that much dopamine so it adjusts itself by changing the level of neurotransmitters. When you expose yourself to porn for some time, your body may build a tolerance to its repeated use. So you need to consume more pornographic content to achieve the same level of initial “high.” However, a high tolerance for porn does not mean the person is addicted or dependent on it. At this point, if the person were willing to quit their porn habit, it would be easy and clean.

However, porn physical dependence happens when the body has adapted to the pornography you consume daily. The brain changes its electrical activity and chemical production to work with the amount of pornography you consume instead of against it. This means that quitting pornography will throw off the balance that your brain has found. The brain must, therefore, readjust to not having the influence of pornography.

When a person with physical dependency tries to quit, it can cause them great discomfort and pain. Some conditions  The higher the exposure, the longer the duration of use, and the earlier the age of exposure, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Physical Dependence

Porn physical dependence can manifest in several physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms are caused by the adjustments the central nervous system and brain undergo due to chronic exposure to porn. Some symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Body aches
  • Restless legs, and
  • Mood swings

Getting Better

People with porn physical dependency must strive for change because they are one step away from full-on addiction. They put themselves and their families at great risk of damage and pain. For example, someone with a physical dependency will have to spend money to maintain the habit. Reckless spending may significantly reduce the person’s finances, and all that while, they may go on thinking that they have the habit under control. 

Treatment for Physical Dependency

Treating porn dependency is a little complicated. One on hand, you are aware that you need to stop using pornography, but doing so abruptly can cause you immense physical symptoms. You may need the help of a trained professional certified to treat sexual addictions to wean yourself from the physical dependence.

Most detox programs use a combination of medical treatment and therapy to ease and treat physical dependence. As you slowly wean yourself off pornography use, you don’t experience the negative physical symptoms typical with withdrawal. 

As it is hard to quit on their own, people with porn dependency should not be ashamed of reaching out to others for help. Anyone who lives beholden to their physical desires is only living half a life. You don’t have to shoulder the responsibility for getting better on your own when there are already resources in place to help you do that. 

If you are feeling worried about seeking help for your condition, you shouldn’t be. There are professionals around willing and ready to help you along. It’s common for people to sweep their dependency under the carpet until it is too late because they feel that it does not interfere with their life. But you would be saving yourself and your family a world of stress by getting help before it gets out of hand. Reach out to a professional today and get the help that you need.

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