SELF HELP RESOURCE - Self Development / Emotions and Personality

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"I can't really help myself. I keep going back to it. But everyone else does it too".

Increasingly, pornography is being found to be addictive, like a drug. Unlike other addictions, pornography addiction is a secret thing. Friends and family may never know that you are addicted. Apart from the many addictions that are rampant today, addiction to pornography is causing serious mental health concerns, relationship issues, and work related problems.

Dr. Victor Cline, PhD university of Utah, has conducted extensive studies on the effect of pornography. Pornography addiction can form what he calls a "compulsive pattern" progressing in to four stages.

Addiction                                                                                          

A person begins experimenting with soft-core pornography on a regular basis. It reaches a point where it is difficult to stop.

Escalation                                                                                               

More explicit material is needed to satisfy the user.

Desensitisation                                                                            

Things that at one time shocked the user now seems normal and acceptable. They may now engage in regular visits to pornographic bookstores and 'peep' shows.

Acting out                                                                                      

The addict now begins to act out the deviant behaviour they have come to accept in pornography. Victims often include a spouse, child, neighbour, or a complete stranger.

What is pornography addiction and how does one identify the signs and symptoms?

  • Regularly seeking out pornography.
  • Often spending parts of the day looking forward to viewing pornography.
  • Spending more money to watch pornography.
  • Feeling out of control and unable to stop.
  • Often comparing wife or girlfriend to the women in pornography.
  • Often choosing to look at pornography rather than seek sexual intimacy with the spouse.
  • Preoccupation with pornography affecting other areas of life like work, marriage, financial debt etc.

What's so bad about pornography?

Research studies have shown evidence on the negative effects of pornography addiction. Overall, porn affects every viewer negatively, regardless of religious belief, creed, gender or age. Here is an ever-growing list of reasons that explain why.

* Pornography addiction sexualizes the viewer's mindset                        

It warps and perverts their perspective such that sex is unnaturally elevated in their thoughts. The images are deeply ingrained into the viewer's brain with the aid of hormones released during sexual arousal. Even if a person decides to stop looking at porn, the past images can remain for years or even a lifetime.

* It makes an individual highly self-centered          

For example, masturbation, which typically accompanies looking at pornography, reinforces a self-centered sexual orientation (i.e. lust), which can detract from a person's ability to give and receive love.

* Viewing porn can damage the viewer's family relationships        

There is chance of his or her spouse and children finding the material. Porn may also inspire the viewer to explore incest, which is a common porn theme. Other things porn may inspire in the viewer (which could in turn affect the family) include sexual frustration, lying, abuse, affairs, debt, violent behavior and irrational thinking.

* Pornography addiction may decrease an employee's productivity at work

As productivity decreases it may lead to the loss of our job. It could also affect the interpersonal relationship with the co-workers.

* It builds an unrealistic perception of sexual relations         

This in turn will detract from their appreciation and value of sex with their spouse.

* The addiction may increase the viewer's tendency to lie     

Since there is a natural desire to keep it a secret, it may be to avoid criticism, embarrassment, shame or even having to surrender their habit.

* Pornography addiction can lead to other addictions                                                                     

It may lead a person into masturbation addiction.

* It can lead to debt                                            

The convenience of credit card transactions on the internet encourages covert spending without limit. Additionally, pornographers flood common internet areas with enticing banner ads ("teasers") and Spam email, which bait potential viewers with free porn. Once lured by the free porn to the site, the viewers must then pay to see more.

* Like any other addiction, pornography addiction requires professional help and support.

If you find yourself addicted, or you are the spouse of an addict, do seek help and support from us through our counselling services.

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