Porn Addiction: Understanding The Compulsion

Understanding

Porn Addiction Treatment

Porn addiction is an issue that is often not discussed because of the shame and stigma attached to it. However, it can be helped with understanding and treatment, and it is not always tied to a sex or love addiction. 

This compulsive behaviour can have a negative impact on one’s life due to how society views pornography and the nature of addiction itself. At Tharagay, we understand how to combat the difficulties that come with porn addiction.

Understanding Porn Addiction

What Is A Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is the pattern of out-of-control behaviour surrounding pornography that negatively impacts one’s life. These behaviours are compulsive, and cannot be stopped or reliably stay stopped. They indicate a dependency on pornography but might not explain the addiction itself.

It is common for someone struggling with porn addiction to cross personal, moral, marital, and even religious boundaries. This often leads to feelings of shame about their behaviours and the desire to watch pornography in general. 

Masturbation can accompany the viewing of pornography but this does not always indicate a porn addiction. This addiction can also lead to sexual dysfunction, such as PIED (Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction).

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Who Is At Risk?

Who Is The Most At Risk Of Developing A Porn Addiction?

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According to some studies, teenage boys between the ages of 12 and 17 years are at the highest risk of developing early-onset of porn addiction. These studies also show that 93% of males are exposed to pornography by age of 18, and only 62% of females are exposed to pornography by the same age. The average age of first exposure to pornography is only 11 years old. 

However, early exposure is not necessarily an indicator of a porn addiction. A bio-psycho-social approach helps to determine if someone will develop this addiction, especially towards any pre-existing conditions, behavioural patterns, or comorbid disorders.

Ties To Other Addictions

Is Porn Addiction Always Tied To Sex Or Love Addiction?

Porn addiction is a subsection of sex addiction. Sex, love, and porn addiction can go hand in hand, however, this is not always the case. Many people who are addicted to pornography feel that their desire and/or ability to engage in sexual behaviours decreases. It is also common for those suffering from sex addiction to use pornography as a temporary release or substitute for acting out on their sexual behaviours. It is morally easier to view taboo content than it is to act out these desires, especially if these desires fall into the more extreme categories. Pornography can also influence someone’s perspective of “acceptable” sexual behaviours. All three of these addictions can stand alone or can function together.
Recognise The Signs

What Are The Behavioural Signs To Look For When It Comes To Porn Addiction?

Understanding what to look for when it comes to porn addiction can help you to make the decision to seek professional help. The symptoms include the following:

  • Making excessive use of pornographic imagery or videos
  • Having excessive masturbation patterns, mainly in conjunction with viewing pornography
  • The viewing of pornography against the commitment or boundaries of one’s relationship 
  • Using more extreme versions of pornography, stretching the limits of what one believes to be acceptable (known as “taboos”)
  • Using sex chat lines or webcam services excessively
  • Crossing personal boundaries with disregard for negative consequences

  • Having obsessive thoughts about sexual content
  • Impulsive and/or compulsive viewing of pornography 
  • Chronic and obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
  • Lying to cover behaviour or hiding behaviour from loved ones
  • Preoccupation with pornography that interferes with daily life
  • Feeling remorse, guilt or shame after “acting out” on their addictive behaviours
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Causes Of Porn Addiction

What Are The Causes Of Porn Addiction?

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There are many theories about different possible causes, but the best option is to take an open-minded approach to porn addiction. Porn and sex addiction are often opportunity-induced addiction, which means that if the addict did not have access to pornography, they would not become addicted to it. This can overlap with other possible causes, as not every person who has viewed pornography becomes addicted to it. A person can also experience attachment-induced and trauma-induced porn addiction. Many porn addicts have some form of an attachment disorder, formed in early childhood, or a significant past traumatic experience.
Other Substance Abuse

Do Those With A Porn Addiction Have Other Substance Abuse Problems?

This depends on the person themselves. A porn addiction does not necessarily mean that a person has a substance abuse problem. However, process/behavioural addictions and substance abuse often coexist, but should be treated and diagnosed separately.

Treatment Options

What Are The Treatment Options For Porn Addiction?

Inpatient Treatment Programmes

The inpatient treatment programme at Tharagay Manor is especially useful in gaining an understanding and addressing their addiction, as it involves the person suffering from porn addiction being removed from their daily lives and being placed in a facility which helps them to understand and curb their impulses. Counselling and therapy sessions can be quite successful, as the aim is to deal with some of the possible attachment, traumatic ,and psychological issues. Withdrawal symptoms are also quite common when the viewing of pornography is stopped, and include irritability and feelings of depression, due to the removal of dopamine that would be induced by these behaviours.

Therapy Or Counselling

Post treatment one-on-one counselling can be a highly effective form of porn addiction recovery treatment. During counselling, you will be able to identify the triggers for your behaviour, as well as learn how to alter these behaviours in a healthy way. Dealing with some of the underlying psychological struggles is also helpful. In addition, joining a closed sex addiction group is highly recommended in managing your porn addiction recovery long term.
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12 Step Recovery Programme

There are tailored 12 Step Programmes for those who need porn addiction help. These normally coincide with sex addiction, as the needs are similar. They both follow the same model as those used for drug and alcohol addiction, and can help to stop destructive behaviours. You are encouraged to refrain from compulsive and damaging pornography viewing and masturbation, rather than stopping sexual activitiy completely.
A Happier Life

Take The First Step To Recovery

Porn addiction does not have to cause you shame. With the help of the Tharagay experts, you can overcome your compulsions and have a happier life.