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As we meet with the individuals who join our program at Desert Solace, we see a common thread in what leads many of them to addiction. One of the most common traits that we encounter is the role trauma played in developing an addiction to pornography.

Trauma can take many forms—physical, emotional, mental, sexual—and is categorized into two groups: developmental trauma and event or shock trauma. Both categories can influence the development of addiction as a means to cope with pain.

Developmental trauma can occur when vital developmental needs are not met or the authority figure (parent, teacher, family member) negatively affects these needs. For example, children and teens who are left to figure out their sexuality without proper guidance may turn to pornography or other unhealthy exploitations for answers. Their sexuality can also be thwarted by parents who are too critical, repressive or encouraging of their sexual development.

Event or shock trauma occurs when an individual experiences a traumatic event that interferes with healthy development. When a person can’t mentally or emotionally process the trauma, he or she may turn to self-medication—in this case, pornography. This kind of trauma can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, social class, or race.

It’s a sad truth that individuals affected by trauma and encouraged by pornography will sometimes enact their pain and hopelessness on another person, often in the same manner that they first experienced it. The new victim may, in turn, deal with the trauma by turning to pornography or other unhealthy pursuits, such as passing the trauma to another soul. This chain of devastation can extend for years before it’s broken.

Desert Solace strives to break the chain at the first link by offering individuals the opportunity to heal from their addictions. If you are struggling with a pornography addiction influenced by trauma or other factors, please call 435-817-1351 to connect with someone who can help you.