What is Pornography Addiction?
Pornography addiction occurs when the person viewing pornography, with or without masturbating, loses control over whether or not he/she will engage in that behaviour.
Symptoms of Pornography addiction –
- An intense urge to watch pornographic content online
- An inability to form stable social and intimate romantic relationships
- Intense feelings of depression, shame and isolation after watching pornography
- Loss of many hours, sometimes entire days due to pornography use
- Trouble at work or in school
- Watching porn at the workplace or public places
- Porn use may be combined with drug/alcohol abuse
- Sexual dysfunction with real-world partners, including erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation and an inability to reach orgasm.
Both men & women can get addicted to pornography.
Since pornography has appeared on the internet, its accessibility, affordability, and anonymity in using visual sexual stimuli has led to increased consumptions across both sexes and attracted millions of users.
Based on the assumption that pornography consumption bears resemblance with reward-seeking behaviour, novelty-seeking behaviour and addictive behaviour, we believe that chronic pornographic consumption has far reaching implications for the brain and may change or rewire the brain into one like that seen in a patient with chronic substance abuse and addiction. This consumption affects vital emotional brain structures like the amygdala and hippocampus and thereby affects emotional intimacy in relationships.
There is also a change in male and female hormonal levels seen in chronic regular pornography consumption. Pornography use has been linked to sexual dysfunction and marital disturbances in couples. There is a need to understand what pornography does to the brain from a preventive mental health perspective to educate the youth to avoid rewiring of brains at an age when susceptibility to addictions is anyway high and novelty seeking is a common trait. The various new age brain imaging techniques used in the neurobiological understanding of pornography use is discussed.
MANAGEMENT OF MEDIA ADDICTIONS
- Face up to the fact that you are addicted.
- Realise the amount of time that you waste on doing things on the net.
- Realise what else could have been done in that time which could have made your life more productive.
- You could either go “cold turkey” …give up the media totally for a while…or gradually reduce the amount of time spent on media.
- Attempt to ﬁll up the day with interesting and more productive work. This could be playing a game, learning a new language, etc.
- Reinforce or reward yourself when you do succeed in staying o the addiction for a period of time.
Be gentle on yourself if success does not happen on the first attempt.
- Spend less time on the social media.
- Occasionally, it might actually be necessary to use medication to reduce the anxiety related to stopping an addiction.
- Sometimes medical help and psychotherapy may be needed in the management of underlying psychological problems that lead to media addictions.