I Want To Quit Porn

Written by HarleyTherapy.com
by Harley Therapy   |   Psychological Issues
Published


Too much of anything can become an addiction. And this is certainly the case with pornography.
How do you know if you have a problem? Are you even a porn addict? And can therapy help?

Is porn bad?

Pornography in and of itself does not guarantee addiction. And it's debateable if it is always negative. Some couples, for example, feel porn is a healthy part of their sex life. 
Pornography becomes a problem if it starts to affect your daily life in detrimental ways.

Is it a porn habit, or actual addiction?

An addiction is different than a habit. Unlike a bad habit, where we can quit if we really want to, we can't just 'stop' an addiction.
It is debated if porn is an addiction or what is known in psychology as a compulsion, something we feel driven to do. Sex is of course a way for the body and brain to get a 'feel good hit'. We can start to want it compulsively, and use porn if there are no other options.
But if your pornography use is decreasing your interest in real sex, and becoming something you need more and more of? More hours spent consuming, and increasingly more hardcore porn to achieve the same feeling? And if your porn use isn't just for pleasure, but to escape stress and difficult emotions? Then it is in addiction territory.
Note that addictions also come hand-in-hand with other mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

What are the signs of porn addiction?

If you have an addiction to porn you can find that you:
  • have little to no interest in real sex or have to think about porn to perform sex
  • have porn in the back of your mind most of the time
  • are dishonest with others and yourself over your porn use
  • take risks to use porn, such as looking at it on your work computer or on public transport
  • say no to social events, seeing friends, and other opportunities to go home and use porn
  • let your self-care be affected, missing sleep and eating poorly to spend time on porn
  • pay for porn even if you need the money for something else
  • feel anxious, irritable, or enraged if you can't access porn
  • feel bad after using porn, either ashamed or even physically itchy, uncomfortable
  • have tried to stop using porn in the past but were unable to
  • find you lose track of time when you use porn, hours vanishing
  • keep using even after it destroys something valuable like a marriage or your career
  • find your need is growing -- you need to watch more of it, or more hardcore porn, to get the same feeling you used to.

Why do I have a porn addiction?

A common misunderstanding about addiction is that we are seeking a ‘high’ because we are addicted to ‘feeling good’.
The real addiction is not the high, but the escape the high provides. We become addicts because we are mired in stress or pain we don’t know quite how to navigate, share, or process. Getting away from it seems our only hope.
So yes, the science of addiction sees your brain on a cycle of highs that feel better than regular life, that you then crave. But you are seeking the high in the first place because you want to forget who you are and what you can't handle.
As for the genetic component, yes, some of us seem more prone to addictions than others. But this genetic vulnerability is triggered because of the environments and experiences we live through, such as dysfunctional families and childhood trauma.


Can therapy help me with my porn problem?

Absolutely. In fact it’s hard to stop any addiction without some form of support.
Some people find things like support groups and 12-step programs are right for them. Others find one-to-one talk therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) work best.
If you find a group environment detrimental or too overwhelming, consider working privately with a counsellor or psychotherapist who specialises in sexual issues and addiction. You will find yourself in a safe, welcoming, non-judgmental environment, talking to someone who truly understands, and whose only investment is to help you feel better about yourself and your life.
Ready to take back your life from porn addiction? Use our easy booking tool to find a therapist you like at a price that's in your budget and start moving forward.
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