In recent years, the growth of the Internet and digital video technology has created more opportunities for pornography exposure in our daily lives. This exposure and potential over exposure becomes more likely due to lax or even non-existent security protocols.
Pornography addiction follows a behavior curve that is very similar to drug and alcohol addiction.
Exposure to print pornography or so called soft-core pornography on the internet is the initial step. Most pornography is targeted to males age 18 to 34. However, it is also highly likely that a male is exposed at a much younger stage when their sexual curiosity is high but before they are fully educated on making mature media use choices.
Addiction starts to develop over repeated exposure and use. With pornography addiction, there are fewer initial negative side effects. With drugs and alcohol, you have to deal with physical discomfort or a nasty hangover. Your friends and family members see you’re sick and have the opportunity to offer help and support before the problem escalates. Porn addiction is shrouded with secrecy and the shame that you might be found out.
Escalation occurs when you start to carry out the secret behavior more and more frequently. Thoughts begin to dwell on sexual activity and images, even when you’re not actively watching them.
Over time and with excess stimulation, the mind starts to become desensitized. In someone suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, they begin building a tolerance, thus needing a higher and higher volume of pornography.
In pornography addiction, escalation often results in seeking out more hardcore material. It can also involve active fantasy and the desire to play out the images you’re watching every day. Acting out on these instincts can have very negative side effects on your relationships. Playing out your fantasies can harm loved ones. At the same time, a person with a deep addiction might also withdraw from healthy sexual relationships in favor of pornography.
If you feel you are experiencing any of these stages, please call us at 435-817-1351 to schedule an appointment. Remember this is a serious disease and proper treatment can allow you to live a full and healthy life.