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Do You Have An Excessive Appetite For Pornography?

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Viewing porn raises temperatures in more ways than one. There are millions of liberal men and women who see nothing wrong at all with watching pornography. The fact that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry tends to bear this out.

On the other side of the fence are those who believe it is wrong, immoral and either should not be allowed or severely restricted.

We will take the liberal viewpoint, but rather than focusing on occasional viewing will look at how pornography can become an unhealthy obsession.

Is porn addiction a recognized condition?

The straight answer is “No”. There is no official diagnosis. Those who have an obsession for pornography come under a subset of Sex Addiction which is a recognized condition. This covers a range of sexual behaviours that are deemed excessive and negatively impact a person’s life.

If you are finding that pornography is becoming all-consuming it is important to seek professional help. Failure to do so could lead to serious consequences.

Causes of excessive porn viewing:

Anyone who develops an unhealthy interest in any substance or thing is heading towards addiction.

In this case that unhealthy interest is watching porn. Those who enjoy this pastime find that their brain delivers a feeling of reward that encourages you to watch again and again. For some it is not possible to restrict viewing to a sensible, spaced level.

Watching porn can be particularly rewarding because it taps into a natural and basic instinct – sex. This enjoyable experience gives you urges to increase viewing. It also has to be said that for many this is a far easier way of achieving sexual fulfilment than trying to find a partner to help them meet these needs.

Signs you have an unhealthy obsession with porn:

There are several pointers that indicate your porn viewing is heading towards an obsession:

  • Affecting your daily life: If you find that watching porn is interfering with normal daily behaviour, responsibilities or duties you need to carry out.
  • Building a tolerance: Those who regularly spend longer periods in search of porn that stimulates are building a tolerance to it. Acts and positions that used to excite do not do it anymore. This leads to the need for more extreme sexual activities to be searched for and viewed.
  • Reluctance to stop: Those viewing sessions seem to get longer, and when you do have to stop your emotions are include regret and feelings of emptiness.
  • Negatively affecting relationships: If you begin to find that pornography is affecting your arousal when with a partner, that your sexual actions are becoming more aggressive, or emotionally you are feeling less and less, this is a certain sign that professional help is required.
  • Compulsive masturbation: It cannot be denied that many view porn because it helps and enhances masturbation. This is not seen as a problem when kept to sensible levels, but if you find viewing is increasing in regularity and you are compulsively masturbating, this along with other excessive actions are strong signs that obsession with porn is becoming all-consuming.

An understandable reluctance to seek help:

Those men and women who are finding that pornography is taking up more of their time and have increasing feelings of ‘emptiness’ when not viewing are understandably reluctant to seek help. This is due to the perceived embarrassment factor.

While this is understandable it is very important that you do not allow things to get out of hand. If you do so, it can result in searching and viewing more extreme forms of pornography to satisfy your needs.

This behaviour will eventually have damaging effects from a psychological point of view. It is very likely to cause conflict in any relationships, and viewing material which is against the law can lead to serious trouble with the law enforcement authorities.

Potential embarrassment is not an excuse for delaying help:

A doctor or a qualified counsellor will see no embarrassment when approached by a person who feels their porn viewing is a problem. They will freely discuss this issue and your associated behaviour.

Once they understand the situation and your feelings they will be in a position to help. This help will be on a completely confidential basis and while it may not result in a short term or easy fix, there are a range of treatment methods available. These include counselling, therapy or opting for a stay as an inpatient at a rehabilitation establishment.

The important thing to bear in mind is that treatment is necessary in order for you to come to terms with this excessive interest in pornography. You can then work with the chosen method of treatment rather than resisting help in the belief that the problem will go away on its own. The straight fact is that it will not.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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