By Arden O'Connor
Posted in Mental Health Resources
While many believe the sole cause of addiction-related disorders to be drug abuse, it has been found that psychological habits can be almost as conducive to addiction as chemical habits. Perhaps the fastest growing non-substance addiction in the United States and around the world is pornography addiction. Internet porn is so widespread and ease of access makes regular consumption easily habit-forming. The COVID-19 pandemic has only caused it to become even more popular.
While many frequent users may discount their dependence on pornography as simply a way to pass the time, or a quick way to relieve stress or boredom (which it certainly is for many people), the danger lies when this habit begins interferes with one’s personal relationships, professional tasks or family life.
With increasing frequency, addiction to pornography begins in early teenage years as puberty begins to hit – and with a population of young people that is increasingly sexually isolated compared to generations past, this addiction can easily solidify. Determining whether or not one is addicted to pornography is almost exactly the same as determining whether you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. A few signs of porn addiction are:
- Wanting to stop using porn but find that you are unable to
- Needing to access porn in a place where it is precarious to do so (work, school, etc.),
- Others are talking with you about your emotional and physical unavailability and your consumption is increasing
As with any other addiction, pornography addiction can be deeply debilitating to one’s personal life, or even their professional one in some cases. It is important to take a step back and look at the behaviors of yourself or your loved one in an objective manner, and if you uncover some uncomfortable or unwanted truth about you or that loved one, it is incumbent upon you to act on it. There are absolutely resources available to help break away from porn dependence just like for drugs and alcohol, and often treatment and consulting organizations for drug addiction also have help available for pornography addiction. It isn’t useful to attempt to hide from your or your loved ones’ concerning or dangerous behavior. The best way to deal with it is to truly confront the issue head on, with empathy and respect.
For more information on how to approach a loved one about porn addiction or get help for an addiction to porn yourself, please reach out to our care coordination experts who can guide you in the right direction.
Please note: Services at O’Connor Professional group are self-pay and do not take insurance. However, the facilities and professionals we help our clients with often do, and we make our best efforts to find you care that works with your insurance.