Pornography Addiction: Definition, Common Signs & Options For Help

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Pornography addiction is becoming one of the most common types of addiction in the modern age.

With the emergence of the internet over the past three decades, everything is at our fingertips, including pornography. Generations before this one were unable to get access to porn at such an incredible rate, and as a result, they did not need to deal with similar addictions.

Here we will look at the common types of addiction, including how they can affect your day-to-day life.

What Is Pornography Addiction?

Pornography addiction is a condition where someone is unable to stop looking at pron, even when they want to. It is natural for people to look at porn, but when it starts to affect your outside life, it becomes problematic.

As a result, pornography should only be watched in moderation. If you find yourself watching porn an unhealthy amount, it might be a sign you have a pornography addiction.

The definition of addiction is a neuropsychological symptom defining a pervasive and intensive urge to engage in maladaptive behaviors providing immediate sensory rewards, despite harmful consequences.

It is important to note that addiction is not something most people have control over. Some people are more prone to addiction than others. It is a mental disorder that is as real as diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Do Pornography Urges Go Away?

People with an addiction, whether it be pornography or something else, feel urges to use the substance they are addicted to. They might not even really be interested in doing the thing they’re addicted to, but they feel the compulsion regardless.

As a result, people with pornography addiction might not always be in the mood to watch porn, but they will feel the urge.

So, do pornography urges go away? Yes, the urges can go away, but they will not go away on their own.

Like with any addiction, it is not possible to wake up one day and kick the addiction. Even if you have not conceded to an urge in months, you may still feel them. The key to kicking an addiction is persistence.

Additionally, it is crucial not to get discouraged if you relapse. Relapse is a natural part of recovery and you should not feel shame when it occurs.

Forms of Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction does not exist in a single form. Several types exist, and as a result, it is crucial to identify your type of addiction before you go to therapy for the addiction.

Here we will examine the five most common types of pornography addiction.

  • Brain Buzz Porn Addicts: This type of addiction is taking the highest level of endorphins and opiates that sex gives and attaining them from porn rather than a real person. These endorphins are essentially brain candy. They release chemicals that make you feel good and block pain receptors. With this type of addiction, people latch onto what they see when they orgasm, and as a result, a porn addiction develops.
  • Brain Balancer Porn Addicts: With this type of addiction, there is a chemical imbalance in the brain based on depression, bipolar disorder, or cyclomatic disorder. People with this type of addiction masturbate to porn to have an orgasm and feel more balanced.
  • Escape Porn Addicts: This type of addiction is when someone watches porn to escape the realities of life. They might have had a bad childhood with divorced parents, or have relationship problems. Either way, porn helps them forget their issues and feel fantastic for a little while.
  • Re-Enactment porn Addicts: This type of addiction allows victims of sexual abuse to avoid addressing their problems. They watch porn where sexual abuse is prevalent to re-enact their abuse and try to normalize it.
  • Avoidance Porn Addicts: Avoidance addicts have difficulties in their romantic relationships. They are usually closed off emotionally and blame their significant other for their problem. This kind of addict is often so attached to the world of porn and fantasy that they cannot be intimate with their partner.

Pornography Addiction Statistics

Pornography addiction is a growing problem in the United States and the rest of the world. Several studies have been conducted on the use of online pornography.

Here are some of the most interesting stats that could explain the rise of pornography addiction.

  • According to a survey conducted by the Barna Group in 2016, 64% of American men and 15% of American women view pornography at least once a month.
  • 10% of U.S. adults admit to having an addiction to porn.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that 79% of those seeking help for pornography addiction were male, and the average age of onset was 13 years old.
  • A study conducted by the British charity Relate in 2018 found that 20% of British adults believed they were addicted to porn.
  • 70% of women admit to keeping their cyber activities secret.

What Are the Signs of Pornography Addiction?

Like any other type of addiction, porn addiction can manifest itself in several ways. Signs for some be very apparent, whereas others can be more subtle. As a result, it is crucial to be aware of all the signs of pornography addiction.

Here we will look at some of the most common signs so you know what to look for in friends and family members.

1. You Can’t Stop Watching

The most obvious sign you have a porn addiction and should check out support groups is you cannot stop watching. You might have tried to quit watching porn, but you cannot give it up.

If you notice you are unable to stop despite your attempts, you likely have a porn addiction.

2. You Want More

Another sign is always wanting to view more. You will feel urges and raving if you have gone without porn for any significant amount of time.

You might sneak away from your partner to another room to view porn. Additionally, you will likely get defensive and give excuses when questioned about your behavior.

3. Losing Valuable Time

Another sign of porn addiction is losing valuable time to it. People with an addiction often miss out on various things in their lives because they spend so much time focused on their addiction.

With porn addiction, addicts often miss out on spending time with friends, family members, and their partners. Notably, they will fail to be intimate with their partner.

4. Losing Interest in Sex

One of the most problematic signs of pornography addiction is losing interest in real sex. While this is less of an issue if you are single, it can be very bad if you are in a relationship.

Porn addicts will often find their partners less attractive than before, and as a result, they may become unresponsive to sexual advances.

This behavior can result in your partner feeling distant and unwanted and lead to the end of your relationship.

5. You Are More Demanding

Porn addiction can also manifest in the opposite direction. Porn addicts often want to bring the things they see in porn into the bedroom.

They develop unrealistic ideas about sex and become more demanding in the bedroom. Often, they will become frustrated and begin to alienate their partner.

6. You Start to Feel Physical Pain

Another common sign of porn addiction is physical pain. People with addicted to porn will repeat the same physical movements, and doing so can cause pain.

Not only can rashes develop, but addicts can experience wrist, neck, and back pain. Headaches are also common.

7. Types of Unhealthy Pornography Behavior

Pornography addiction can manifest itself in all of the signs listed above. However, it can also result in several unhealthy behaviors like anger and money spending

Like with any addiction, if you cannot stop using porn, you will likely start becoming irritable when a long time has passed without using porn.

Furthermore, people with porn addiction will often start to spend money on higher-quality content. When this happens, it can begin to put a financial strain on your relationship.

What Is the Main Cause of Pornography Addiction?

The main cause of pornography addiction is complex and can vary from person to person. However, several factors can contribute to the development of pornography addiction.

Firstly, biological and genetic factors are significant players in pornography addiction development. Research suggests that some individuals have a genetic predisposition to addiction. Additionally, chronic porn use can lead to changes in the brain’s reward pathways, which can make it more difficult to stop using.

Psychological factors also have links to porn addiction. For example, depression, anxiety, and trauma are common in people with a porn addiction. In the same vein, people experiencing loneliness, isolation, and a lack of social support can contribute to porn addiction.

Finally, environmental factors can play a significant role in porn addiction development. Exposure to porn at a young age is more likely to result in addiction than if someone starts using it later in life.

How Pornography Addiction Affects the Brain

Like any addiction, pornography addiction can affect the brain in several ways. Addiction is a mental disorder, and as a result, its most significant physical effects are on the brain. Notably, porn addiction can result in changes to the brain’s reward pathways, making it difficult to stop using.

Pornography addiction will trigger more dopamine releases. Over time, addicts can become desensitized to dopamine, forcing them to turn to more intense forms of porn for a release.

Additionally, it can lead to decreases in grey matter, changes in white matter, and increased anxiety and depression.

What Is the Personality of a Pornography Addict?

Unlike people addicted to hardcore drugs like meth and heroin, the personality of porn addicts often varies. Most people with a porn addiction can appear to live normal lives without anything affecting them inside. However, there are some things traits that can appear in most addicts.

Most porn addicts will be more impulsive than others. They will engage in risky behavior, such as masturbating in public, to get rid of their urges.

Additionally, they will always be on the lookout for dopamine releases, especially when they cannot access porn. Furthermore, people with pornography addictions will often have low self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression.

Is Pornography Addiction a Mental Health Issue?

Yes, like any other type of addiction, pornography addiction is a mental health issue. People with addiction issues are not worse than people with bad impulse control.

Instead, they have a condition in their brain that makes them feel compelled to participate in their addiction. Fortunately, pornography addiction can be treated, but it can be a challenging battle to overcome.

What Mental Illnesses Go Hand In Hand With Pornography Addiction?

We have touched on mental illnesses a few times, but we want to discuss them a little deeper. Addiction is a mental illness and often comes paired with other mental illnesses.

It is uncommon for someone to only have one mental illness. They usually combine, making it difficult for people to function.

Addiction can cause other mental illnesses to appear, or addiction can result in these other mental illnesses. Either way, the most common mental disorders associated with addiction are anxiety and depression.

How Do I Stop My Pornography Addiction?

Like any addiction, it is difficult to kick the habit. Fortunately, it is possible to stop a pornography addiction. Medications can work, and so can support groups.

Can Pornography Addiction Ever Be Cured?

It might not be the right word to say you can cure porn addiction. Addiction is not something you cure. Instead, it is something you learn to manage. People can recover from addiction and stop letting it control their lives.

However, most people suffering from addiction will continue to have urges for many years. That being said, the longer you go without giving in to your urges, the easier it will get to manage.

What Is the Most Common Treatment for Pornography Addiction?

The most common treatments for pornography addiction are therapy and support groups. Both can help address the underlying psychological problem contributing to the addiction.

For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy and other forms of therapy can be used to help people identify and change patterns of thinking related to addiction.

What Can I Replace Pornography With?

When you are healing from addiction, you might want a replacement. The worst thing you can do is relate one addiction to another. However, you can spend time rebuilding your relationships with friends and family members.

Additional Addictions to Be Aware Of

Here are a few other addictions to be aware of. These are addictions that are common in people with pornography addictions.

  • Sexual Addiction: People with this addiction are addicted to sex, masturbation, and orgasms.
  • Love Addiction: People with a love addiction are addicted to the feeling of falling in love. As a result, they can often have short relationships.
  • Social Media Addiction: Social media addiction is prevalent in today’s society. People with this addiction spend an excessive amount of time on social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Wrapping Up

Pornography addiction is a growing problem in adolescents and young adults. It is easier than ever for people to get access to it, and it can be very dangerous.

If left unchecked, it can make it challenging for young people to develop real relationships. Fortunately, support groups and therapy are useful tools for people to combat pornography addiction.

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