What Causes Pornography Addiction?

It is essential to understand the multifaceted nature of pornography addiction and to approach its treatment with a holistic perspective that addresses its biochemical, neural, and emotional dimensions. We serve individuals and families in Mesa and Scottsdale Arizona.

Pornography addiction is not rooted in a singular cause; instead, it arises from a complex interplay of factors. Biochemically, the compulsive consumption of pornography leads to the release of a potent cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters, like dopamine and oxytocin. This mimics the natural highs experienced during positive, intimate connections in healthy relationships. However, when linked to pornography use, this biochemical response can have detrimental effects, leading to a dependency where increased consumption is required to achieve the same 'high.' The individual may face a withdrawal phase as the body seeks to recalibrate and normalize, which can take several weeks, affecting those in Mesa and Scottsdale as much as anywhere else.

From a neurological perspective, pornography addiction involves the development of specific pathways in the brain that become reinforced through repeated behavior. Much like learning any new skill, these pathways become stronger and more automatic over time, driving the addictive behavior to become a seemingly involuntary response to certain triggers.

Emotionally, individuals in Mesa and Scottsdale struggling with pornography addiction often grapple with underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. These emotional pains fuel the addiction, as the individual seeks solace in pornography to cope with feelings of rejection, trauma, or loneliness. Moreover, many are battling toxic shame, which erodes self-esteem and can make recovery even more challenging.

Effective treatment for pornography addiction must therefore be comprehensive, tackling the biochemical imbalances, retraining the neural pathways, and addressing the emotional drivers of the addiction. Support groups, individual therapy, and a strong community network are critical components of a successful recovery plan, providing the necessary tools and encouragement to navigate the journey towards healing.

In Mesa and Scottsdale, Arizona, you can find the support you need to conquer porn addiction. Family Strategies Counseling Center has actively serviced clients since 2000 who struggle with these 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:


Kastlman, M. (n.d.). The 'Brain Science' Behind Internet Porn Addiction. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from

Horvath, T., PhD, Kaushik, M., PhD, A. E., PhD, & Cooper, G., PhD. (n.d.). Addiction Changes the Brain's Communication Pathways. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from

Bradshaw, J. (n.d.). The Role of Shame in Addiction. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from

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