Addiction and recovery can be difficult things to deal with, but that’s especially true for people dealing with the realities of pornography addiction.
Watching porn has become an accepted, and to some forms, expected, part of life. The normalcy surrounding viewing porn can make it more difficult to see when your consumption moves from being healthy to harmful.
Do you know the warning signs of porn addiction?
Understanding porn addiction is crucial for recovery. Keep reading so you can learn a bit about porn addiction and how to spot a growing problem.
According to the NHS, addiction is not having control over, doing, taking, or using something to the extent that it has a negative effect on you. That means that many things can fall under the addiction umbrella, and porn is one of them.
A 2017 study of men that sought treatment for porn addiction showed that changes in their brains were consistent with the changes people typically see with addicts. Currently, porn addiction isn’t a clinical diagnosis. However, it does fall under the definition of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder(CSBD).
People with CSBD tend to have a pattern of being unable to control intense and repetitive sexual impulses. That results in repeating sexual behaviour that’s usually accompanied by feelings of distress disorders such as depression or noticeable impairment.
When you’re thinking about the role porn plays in your life, think about all of the positives and negatives that come with your usage. If you find that porn has more negative consequences than positive ones, it’s time to re-evaluate how you use it.
There are plenty of signs to look out for when it comes to porn addiction, but some signs are harder to see than others. Being concerned about your porn consumption habits could be enough of a sign that something is wrong, but it’s usually more complicated than that.
Looking at things with a critical and honest eye is one of the best things you can do when battling addiction. If you’re concerned about your pornography use, be sure to look for these common signs of addiction.
This is far from the first time you’ve found yourself searching for the signs of porn addiction. The truth is that you’ve been feeling conflicted about how often you use pornography. However, it seems like you can’t stop yourself from not watching it despite your concerns.
Alcoholics that can’t stop drinking are headed down as dark a path as people that can’t stop looking at porn. The compulsion to continue with harmful behaviour even when it’s clear that it negatively affects you is problematic. Being unable to stop shows that compulsive behaviours are starting to form.
In the beginning, you were fine with more “vanilla” videos, but you’ve found that your tastes have gotten more extreme. You’re interested in more graphic videos, and you’re getting a little concerned about what these changes in your viewing habits mean about you.
Maybe your taste in videos hasn’t changed, but the amount of porn you view has. You used to watch a video for a few minutes, but now you find yourself spending hours watching porn. In fact, you’ve even been late to other obligations because you can’t stop watching.
Escalation is always a concern when it comes to addiction. It shows that your cravings aren’t just getting more intense but that you need more to feel satisfied.
Addiction can make us do things we normally wouldn’t do so we can satisfy our urges. Viewing pornography at work or with loved ones, on other people’s laptops and phones, or engaging in unsafe online transactions are significant signs that your porn consumption is starting to get out of control.
One of the reasons why porn is so popular is because it is very one-sided. When you watch porn, you’re only concerned with your immediate sexual gratification. What your partner wants doesn’t matter because they don’t exist in this scenario.
Porn has a way of skewing our views on sex. It’s easy for people deep into porn addiction to become frustrated when their sex lives don’t mirror what they see on screen. If you find yourself becoming frustrated that your partner isn’t behaving like the people in your videos, that could be a sure sign that you’re consuming too much porn.
Sexually aggressive behaviour and demands can be a sign of porn addiction, but oftentimes, the opposite can be a sign of trouble.
You used to have an active sex life with your partner, but now you barely seem interested in sex. Aside from not having the drive, you also find yourself less attracted to your partner. The few times that you do have sex, feels like a chore because you need a lot more stimulation than usual.
Paying for porn doesn’t automatically mean that you have a problem, but it’s important to think about how it affects you financially.
Do you have to hide bank and credit card statements so your spouse can’t see how much you spend on porn? Have you missed bills or fallen behind on payments because of porn? Having to amend your behaviour to suit your porn habits can be a troubling sign of addiction.
Some things are meant to be private, but you shouldn’t feel so much shame around your porn habits. If you find yourself worrying about what other people would think about how often you watch porn or what you watch, you could have a problem.
When most people think about porn addiction affecting others, they think about spouses and partners. It’s rare for people to think about how porn addiction can eclipse other important parts of life. People that have less time for hobbies and friends but always have time for porn could have a problem.
Did you see a bit too much of yourself when you were reading about signs of porn addiction? If so, know that it isn’t too late to get help.
Addiction can be incredibly isolating, but you don’t have to battle it on your own. We have the resources you need to stop using porn and to get the help you need.
Are you ready to get help for your addiction? Do you want to get help for a loved one? Regardless of what you need, contact us today so we can help.