5 Signs of Porn Addiction and How to Deal With It?

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

porn-addiction

In the psychiatric communities, the implication that watching porn is actually an addiction or not is debatable. Despite the differing opinions, it is widely accepted that people who face compulsions regarding porn need help.

In fact, in our country, and around the world, pornography is becoming a growing health concern. In the US alone, more than 40 million people regularly view porn. Read on to know what the signs of porn addiction are, and how oone can deal with them:

What is porn addiction?

The compulsive behavioral pattern, in which one repeatedly turns to pornography, despite the negative implications associated with it, constitute porn addiction. Just as with any substance use disorder, the use typically escalates with time and one turns to it again and again. 

An informal diagnosis of porn addiction can be made when people view porn for a long period of time, especially in increasing amounts. Additionally, these people are not able to stop the habit despite trying to do so.

Many people who display this compulsive behavior have difficulty in controlling the use of porn, and even access it on their place of work. In fact, many can even end up resorting to it in situations that pose physical risk. As with any addiction, porn obsession can have negative effects on the personal life and relationships of the user. 

People turn to professionals for help mainly when their use of pornography is inducing anxiety in them, due to an internal moral conflict. 

Symptoms of addicts

1. They can’t give up their habit

As mentioned before, one sign of porn addiction is that users can’t give it up, despite trying. Most people recognize that they are dealing with a compulsive issue, but without help, they find that they are unable to stop. Even with the negative impact of the addiction on their personal life—their job or marriage, they find that they are unable to stop.

For instance, if someone is fired from a job for using porn, they may still continue to use porn on their new job. Thus, despite the consequences of their addiction, they still cannot give it up.  

2. They lose interest in sexual relations with their spouse

One of the signs of porn addiction is disinterest in the real life, and that includes real sexual relations. Watching porn can create a comparison in the head with one’s partner, and most people find their partner lacking. This in turn makes them even more disinterested in their spouse, and they can even be difficult to reach, despite their partner’s efforts to communicate.

3. They are angry

For any addictive behavior, staying away from it, can make the user angry. Anything that interrupts or delays their gratification can trigger an outburst. Most users lash out at their partners, and they become more erratic, and agitated as the addiction increases. These changes in personality are very noticeable and can occur over a short period of time. 

4. Talking about the addiction makes them ashamed

People who are addicted to porn recognize that they are doing wrong and can have an internal moral battle about their addiction; despite the insights into their behavior, they find it difficult to give up their habit.

Talking openly about their addiction with their partner, or anyone else makes them feel ashamed. However, it is important to remember that clear communication, between the user and their partner or therapist, can be imperative for treatment. 

5. They think about porn even when they are not looking at it

Addicts spend a lot of time thinking about what they are addicted to when they are not using. Similar is the case with porn addicts. In many cases, if the urge is not met, it raises feelings of anxiety and stress. Pornography is memory based, which is why it is difficult to treat as it cannot be completely removed from the system of the user. Porn addicts find themselves thinking of porn even when they are not using it, almost constantly.

How to deal with porn addiction?

The backbone of overcoming any addiction is: seeking help. Professional help from a therapist, support from the partner or even a friend or addiction community can go a long way in helping one overcome their addiction. Therapists can devise an individualized plan, designed to deal with a specific person’s addiction, depending on their strong and weak points. 

Discarding all the digital and hard copy of pornographic material is an important step of overcoming the addiction. If you are viewing most of the material on the web, then have someone install an anti-porn software. 

Recognize the triggers so that you can dodge them. Find out what it is that raises the urge in you to watch porn, and try distracting yourself if you encounter that trigger. 

Keep a journal to track your progress, and celebrate small victories. Choose alternate activities that occupy your time, and are more productive. Also document any setbacks, and try to recognize what triggered you to have a setback. Next time, be better at avoiding the trigger, and put effort in staying away. 

Medication can also be used after consultation with your healthcare provider, especially if your addiction is related to other mental disorders like OCD or generalized anxiety disorder. 

Book an appointment with top psychologist in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.