Before the world of the Internet opened up new arenas and transformed the world into a well connected global village, pornography addiction was an attraction for the creepy lonely men with relationship issues. Back in those days, magazine hoarding and video pornography were the only means to obtain access to porn. But with Internet opening up avenues at a mere click, pornography has made its way into parts of society that were previously shielded from it.
Some celebrities are adopting porn addiction as a substitute for sexual addiction. Take model Christie Brinkley’s ex-husband Peter Cook for instance, who spent $3000 on Internet porn per month. David Duchovny has also been targeted for his famous porn addiction episode. An Australian preacher once faked cancer while trying to find an excuse for his 16-year pornography addiction. Thus people from all walks of life are being enveloped by this problem. In fact the Australian porn industry makes a fortune of $500 million every year.
How to identify if you have a porn addiction
Although pornography addiction has not received recognition in the DSM-IV like gambling or drug addiction, most therapists around the globe have started to consider it an issue of serious concern. The criteria for classifying a person as a pornography addict involves the degree to which this problem affects the quality of your daily life.
People gain access to porn through various mediums these days including online still photos, downloading videos, or having paid or unpaid cyber sex. Smart phones and social networking has also opened doors that pornography addicts are setting out to explore. When reading, thinking about or watching porn is interfering with your work, family life or personal relationships then it is time to seek professional help for your problem. In fact some porn addicts fail to perform in their sexual relationships without porn stimulation.
What is porn addiction?
Pornography addiction is similar to drug or alcohol addiction in that the addict replaces relationships and daily chores with their drug of choice: pornography. Internet porn addicts can be found starting by perusing online photographs and videos while non-Internet porn addicts bank on strip clubs or book stores to satisfy their addiction.
Most pornography addicts exhibit certain typical behaviour and engage in common activities. They are mostly found isolated when engaged in their sexual acting-out. They will spend hours and days lost in their thoughts over the two dimensional porn images. They may even indulge in online fantasy games to meet their addiction and resort to cyber sex.
Although non-sexual pornography addiction is of a lesser degree, it can still prove to be quite painful for the victim and endanger personal relationships. Moreover porn addiction can weaken the sufferer morally thus affect the foundation of serious love and sexual relationships.
Most addicts of porn resort to compulsive masturbation as a form of sexual gratification while others indulge minimally in sexual activities and spend the act engrossed in viewing the endless sexual images.
Signs of porn addiction
Most porn addicts exhibit typical signs and symptoms that can point out their addiction. They are no different from any other form of addiction. A few of them are as follows:
- Inability to stop porn using behaviour despite repeated attempts to stop.
- Exhibiting anger or irritability if asked to stop porn use.
- Making efforts to keep the porn use a secret and attempting to hide the habit.
- Living a double life in secrecy related to porn.
- Continuing the behaviour despite losing your job or relationships as a consequence.
- Feeling that you’re losing time and over indulging in porn use than intended.
It should be recognised that pornography like any other addictive habit will eventually build a tolerance. This can result in the addicts looking for more aggressive and deviant porn or hard-core images to satisfy their increasing urges.
These behaviours may take the shape of physical sexual behaviours. However most porn addicts continue seeking sexual gratification from pornography in intensely private conditions. Often underlying the addictive behaviour is hidden depression and anxiety that has not been addressed in the individual.
Seeking help for overcoming pornography addiction
Most pornography addicts stray too far on this damaging path before they realise that they need help for this socially crippling problem. They may have suffered from lost loved ones and broken relationships as a result of this plague, which lead them to seek a cure for the addiction.
Many pornography addicts are getting help from online support groups. They may even follow various therapies and recovery programs like 12-step sexual recovery meetings, support groups or sex addiction professionals. The professionals can help point out the intensity of your problems and will also help chalk out the steps to get rid of porn addiction. SLAA, which stands for Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, is one such group that offers support for porn addiction and uses the same prinicples of recovery as AA- Alcoholics Anonymous.
In spite of which mode of help a pornography addict strives to seek, the first step in the process of overcoming addiction will be acceptance and honesty. Porn addicts should find a trusted counsellor, a close friend, a caring spouse or a support group where they can unload the true nature and extent of their problem without holding back details out of humiliation.
The path to addiction recovery will be uncomfortable but extra efforts should be made to avoid resorting back to this habit. Addicts can employ the help of a friend who can track their cellular phones or Internet behaviour. An addiction relapse prevention plan should be implemented on a personal level too every time the addict is tempted to resort to his old ways.
Are you or someone you know suffering from computer or pornography addiction? Australia Counselling has a range of addiction counsellors and addiction recovery psychologists who are able to help you in overcoming addiction. Visit our Addictions -Pornography page to find a counsellor or psychologist in your local area.