Porn Addiction Series Part 2: Compulsion vs. Addiction

Although losing control when presented with porn seems to indicate addiction, some experts believe it’s a compulsion instead. This would indicate the problem is related to impulse control instead of addiction. There is still little evidence to support this idea, but it is a fact that many individuals responded positively to porn addiction treatments.

If you’re unsure what porn addiction is, the first part may shed some light on this matter. If you’ve already read it, here are the side effects of this form of addiction:

  1. The purpose of sex stops being intimacy and becomes self-gratification instead;
  2. Sexual dysfunction (the addict may become unable to have sex with an actual person);
  3. You may find yourself choosing fantasy instead of reality;
  4. Ruined relationships due to lack of intimacy;
  5. Unsatisfying sex with your partner (your tolerance to erotic things increases, making it harder for you to get aroused by your partner);
  6. An increased attraction to perverse acts;
  7. Increases the chance of infidelity;
  8. You may begin to neglect problems in your life by using porn as an escape;
  9. Isolation caused by too much time watching pornographic materials;
  10. It can lead to you neglecting important people in your life;
  11. It can serve as a gateway to other forms of addiction.

Symptoms of a Porn Addict:

  • Neglecting your work, family, and friends, so you may watch porn;
  • Guilt caused by your behavior;
  • Promising others or yourself that you’ll stop or at least reduce your behavior and not respecting your promise;
  • A feeling of uneasiness when you haven’t watched pornographic materials in a while;
  • Finding porn more stimulating than sexual interactions with a loved one;
  • Lying so you may continue watching porn;
  • Picking taboo / intense forms of porn, caused by a higher tolerance to such materials;
  • More and more time spent watching it;
  • Escaping problems through porn;
  • Defensive behaviors when asked about your behavior.

Remember: There are other symptoms of porn addiction as well, and you may have a problem even if you experience just some of them. Feeling unable to quit porn is the most obvious sign you have a problem.

Porn Addiction vs. Sex Addiction

Addiction to porn is usually thought of as a subcategory of sex addiction. However, several arguments indicate it should be seen as a different condition. Although many sex addicts use a lot of porn, there are quite a few porn addicts who are not obsessed with sex in real life. Some even reject it when offered as masturbation help.

The most common type of personality each addict has may also be different. Porn addicts are usually loners, while those suffering from a hypersexual disorder seem typically outgoing.

Since porn and sex addicts are related in some ways, treating them similarly will probably work. However, we should also recognize the unique parts of each condition and approach them accordingly.

Dealing with Porn Addiction

If you’ve admitted to having a problem, you’ve made a big step, but the recovery process is longer still. Although you’re aware of the damage such a behavior causes to your life and you’re set on changing, doing it may be more difficult than expected. Since getting addicted means you’re no longer in control due to your brain functions changing, you may be honestly prepared for change and still find yourself repeating the habit.

Dealing with addiction alone can be too difficult. Problems appear when trying to stop, but also when trying to refrain from the addiction on a long-term basis. The behavior is often driven by cognitive and emotional issues, and your chances of recovery in the long term are slim if these drives are not dealt with.

Lots of support is very beneficial for the recovery process. The most effective treatment may come in the form of rehab, a support group, or therapy.

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