If you or a loved one is suffering from pornography addiction, Pathways Real Life Recovery can help! There is no cookie cutter “one size fits all” approach to pornography addiction; our clients work with counselors, therapists, and recovery specialists to create a personalized program that meets their needs and vision. Call 801-895-3006 to take advantage of a free consultation to see if we are right for you.
Is Pornography Addiction Real?
The American psychiatric community doesn’t think so. They may have left it off of their official list of mental illness, but many people in this country know it is all too real. More and more men and women of all ages are showing the same signs of addiction as those with officially recognized addictions to things like gambling and alcohol.
Pornography addiction may seem fun and harmless in the moment, but it has serious, long-term consequences for the addict and their family. The addiction takes hold of the person’s mind and body, driving them to indulge in pornography no matter their situation or the possible consequences. These consequences can be far more serious than the embarrassment of getting caught with porn. People have lost their families, jobs, and even faced legal action because of their untreated addiction.
What Is Pornography Addiction?
An addiction to pornography is a variation of sexual addiction. Pornography addiction is defined as “A problematic preoccupation with sexualized imagery that lasts six months or longer and causes significant problems in the user’s life.”
How porn addiction works is similar to any other kind of addiction. It starts when an intense stimulation, in this case an erotic image, causes the brain to release a flood of feel-good dopamine. The person naturally wants to experience that rush again. Unfortunately, their brain is working against them. Over time, it adapts to these surges of dopamine. Longer exposure to more intense forms of pornography are needed to achieve the same ‘high’. The brain’s neurochemicals grow so out of balance that attempting to quit leads to withdrawal, physical and emotional ‘lows’.
Utah State University has been studying the cycle of porn addiction for some time now. Researchers there have discovered that, although Utah doesn’t have higher rates of porn consumption compared to the rest of the nation, many residents of the state experience far more distress from it. Pornography use conflicts with their faith and central values and can have serious social consequences.
Unfortunately, this addiction is all-to-easy to indulge in. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry that’s easily and inexpensively available on virtually all forms of media.
What Are the Signs of Pornography Addiction?
- Viewing pornography for multiple hours a week and compulsive masturbation, possibly at inappropriate times such as when taking public transportation.
- Turning to porn when stressed, upset, or bored; using it as an unhealthy, unproductive crutch to handle unpleasant emotions and life challenges.
- Use of porn is interfering with daily life and responsibilities.
- Seeking more intense and ‘edgy’ forms of porn as gentler depictions no longer stimulate.
- Sexual dysfunction when attempting healthy lovemaking with a caring partner.
- Porn use continues despite serious consequences such as damaged relationships or job loss.
- Emotional distress when attempting to quit porn coupled with a sense of withdrawal.
- Any attempts to quit porn use fail, often within a few days.
When you read this list, do you recognize yourself or someone you love? Pornography addiction can be frighteningly powerful, but with the right pornography treatment program, it can be defeated.
How to Overcome Pornography Addiction
Pornography addiction can be an isolating experience. Porn is available everywhere, from supermarket book shelves to mobile phones, and many people in our culture dismiss viewing porn as ‘no problem’ or even a ‘healthy’ approach to life. Others may shame the addict, telling them to ‘grow up’ and ‘just stop’.
The good news is that, while pornography addiction can be serious, sufferers typically respond well to addiction-focused therapy and treatments. These techniques may include cognitive behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and core belief restructuring.
If you’re aware that your life is unhealthy and out of control, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step and admitted there’s a problem. The next step is to break free of isolation and ask for help. Programs such as Pathways in Utah can help you achieve the well-balanced life you can be proud of.
Pathways, Utah: Your Partner in Pornography Addiction Recovery
Are you or someone you love dealing with an addiction to pornography? Pathways can guide you down a healthier road. Our staff uses evidence-based methods to treat addiction. Our treatment plans are customized to meet a person’s individual needs and goals. We care about your journey to an addiction-free life and will check up on you regularly in the months and years after you graduate our program to make sure our techniques are working for you.
The supportive community and trained professionals at Pathways have helped men and women of all ages and histories rediscover their true selves and regain power in their lives. Contact us and you’re taking the first step to a bright future free of the shadow of addiction.
You can download a PDF of this page here.