Internet Porn Addiction : Things You Should Definitely Know

Internet Porn Addiction : Things You Should Definitely Know

For millions of people, viewing internet porn has become an unwelcome, compulsive ritual in their daily lives.

How many millions of people? Nobody can say, but research indicates that numbers are on the rise. And it’s certainly not all sex-starved, lonely guys either.

Women, students, retired people, parents, professionals anyone can find themselves obsessing over porn or cybersex.

‘Porn addiction’ has become a popular phrase, especially in news headlines and celebrity gossip. It’s a term that people increasingly relate to, and many therapists, including me, use it for that reason.

But can we really become addicted to pornography?

The official answer is no – porn addiction does not completely follow the medical definition of an addiction. Unlike drug addiction or alcoholism, there are no physical withdrawal symptoms. Psychiatric health professionals tend to regard the problem as a compulsive behavior or an impulse control issue.

So if you happen to struggle with pornography, the good news is that you don’t have ‘an addiction’. But I’ll bet it feels like one.

In reality, a porn habit can feel just as frustrating, destructive and hopeless as any recognized addiction.

Some researchers have drawn parallels to crack cocaine, claiming that a porn habit may be more challenging because coke users can get the drug out of their system. We don’t know how long porn images can linger in the brain, driving some of us into painful cycles of behavior.

When internet porn becomes our route to sexual fulfillment, it becomes a quick fix to the stresses and anxieties of everyday life.

Then, like alcohol or drugs, we can find ourselves enslaved to ongoing, compulsive rituals and obsession.

This obsession can wreak havoc with our sexual expectations and attitudes, hijack our careers, destroy relationships and waste copious amounts of time. And at the end of our lives, will we really wish we’d spent more time masturbating on the internet?

But there’s another good reason why porn isn’t classified as an addiction, here’s some positive news.

Firstly, we can break out of negative, restrictive labels such as ‘addict’ or ‘sufferer’ or ‘victim’. We don’t have an addictive disorder; it’s something that we do. This distinction is more important that it may first appear.

Every time we indulge our porn habit, we decide to procrastinate, and numb ourselves from something in our lives that we don’t like.

We might be making this decision on a daily basis, for hours at a time, despite our awareness of the consequences. We are opting into a repeated cycle of denial-anxiety-obsession-relief-guilt-denial…

But no matter how trapped we may feel, we really can learn to make different decisions about how we spend out time, in every moment of every day. Our bodies won’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Quitting the habit means rediscovering the choices available to us.

So how do we start making these changes?

The options for people struggling with porn are many and varied, therapists, support groups, 12-step meetings, treatment programs, hypnosis, gritted-teeth cold turkey.

There is no magic solution for climbing out of the porn trap; different options may work for different individuals, depending on our personality, circumstances, and personal beliefs.

But there’s one thing that we should all be clear on – quitting a porn habit starts with our own motivation, and we can all take charge of our recovery.

Many people are learning how to take effective, straightforward actions to regain control of their lives, without resorting to support groups or expensive treatment plans.

No matter how trapped we may feel, or how long we have struggled with porn, we can learn to help ourselves.

By dealing with guilt trips and gaining a fresh perspective on our habit, anyone can build the confidence to break out of porn rituals. We can reclaim our relationships, self-esteem and move forward in life.

Source: Maxim

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