Just like alcohol or drugs, pornography is often addicting as evidenced by it’s ability to alter brain chemistry and change thoughts about intimacy and sexuality. “Some experts say that the same brain activity shown in drug or alcohol addiction — when circuits in your brain associated with reward, motivation, and memory get turned on — as in those who use pornography.” WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD
Three aspects which impact the compulsive use of pornography include: anonymity, availability and easy access. Unlike alcohol and drugs that require effort to acquire, pornography is available in the palm of your hand, can be easily access, and allows for complete anonymity.
“If you’re addicted to pornography the adverse consequences might begin slowly and be undetected. You may be unaware that changes are occurring until you are seriously hooked. Over time you find that porn consumes large amounts of your time and becomes central to your daily routine,” explains Floyd Godfrey, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Supervisor (CSAT-S) and a Certified Clinical Sexologist (CCS).
Common indications of addiction include:
- You feel it’s out of control; you cannot stop despite the fact that you promise every single time that you won’t do it anymore.
- You keep using porn despite the fact that it’s in conflict with personal values or convictions.
- You conceal the porn use and prevent others from discovering what you are doing.
- When you aren’t viewing pornography, you spend time preparing for the next chance.
- you risk getting “caught” in places it would be improper like school or work.
- Using pornography starts to take away from important activities such as school, employment, friends or family time.
- The porn has started to change your connection with friends or family, and seems to be causing a sense of disconnection or moodiness.
Resolving pornography addiction is a difficult journey with no fast or magical fix. It takes time and
expert guidance. Try working with a trusted expert with specific training in sexual addictions – usually
a therapist with CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Family Strategies Counseling Center
currently offers free consultations with CSAT therapists. Call 480-668-8301.