Core Beliefs of Sex and Addicts: Understanding the Internal Struggles

In the realm of mental health, understanding the psychological patterns that underpin addiction is crucial. This is especially true for pornography addiction, a complex issue that affects individuals deeply, influencing their self-perception, relationships, and outlook on life. Dr. Patrick Carnes, a leading figure in the study of sexual addiction, asserts, "Addiction is a relationship, a pathological relationship in which obsession replaces people." This statement underscores the profound impact of addiction on personal connections and self-view.

I'm Bad: The Root of Self-Loathing

One of the foundational core beliefs of individuals suffering from pornography addiction is the pervasive thought that "I'm bad." This belief stems from a deep-seated sense of shame, often exacerbated by the secretive nature of their addiction. It's a reflection of how addiction skews self-image, leading individuals to view themselves through a lens of moral failing rather than recognizing a need for compassion and support.

Unlovable: The Fear of Rejection

Another core belief is the fear that "No one could love me the way I am." This sentiment is deeply intertwined with the fear of intimacy and vulnerability. Rob Weiss, an expert in sexual addiction, highlights that "Sexual addiction is often a misguided search for intimacy, where sex becomes a substitute for genuine connection." This quote illuminates the tragic irony of pornography addiction: the pursuit of closeness leads to further isolation.

Distrust: The Isolation from Support

The belief "I can't trust others to be there for me" is a significant barrier to seeking help. It arises from past betrayals or the stigma associated with addiction, leading individuals to retreat into isolation rather than reaching out for support. This distrust hampers the recovery process, as healing often requires the support of a compassionate community.

Life Without Sex Seems Impossible: The Fear of Emptiness

Finally, the belief that "Life without sex seems impossible" reflects the addict's reliance on their behavior as a coping mechanism. It's a testament to the addictive cycle where temporary relief is sought through compulsive behaviors, ignoring the deeper emotional needs and potential for healthy relationships.

Counseling with SABR (Sexual Addiction Betrayal Recovery) at Family Strategies Counseling Center, serving people in Scottsdale and Mesa, Arizona, addresses these core beliefs through a comprehensive approach. The program emphasizes the importance of understanding and reshaping these beliefs towards fostering a healthier self-image and developing genuine connections.


Overcoming pornography addiction requires confronting and transforming these core beliefs. With professional support, like that offered by SABR at Family Strategies Counseling Center, individuals can learn to navigate these challenges. Counseling provides a pathway to understanding the underlying issues fueling addiction, facilitating a journey towards healing and fulfillment.

Family Strategies Counseling Center has actively serviced clients since 2000 who struggle with pornography and sexual addiction issues. Our SABR program for adults, Tribe for college, and Band of Brothers for teens can help you! Give us a call (800) 614-8142 or visit our website for more information:


Fill Out Form
Would you like to privately speak with someone?