Internet Pornography

porn addict 1 300x157Addiction can be a devastating experience for all of those involved, and when you add the shame and fear associated with obsessive behaviours associated with internet pornography and sex,  individuals can sometimes take an unusual amount of time coming to terms with the impact of their behaviours on themselves or the people in their environment.

Addiction is, quite simply, the symptom of a much deeper issue being suppressed by the individual. When we come to the realization that the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain provides an escape from our own reality, it swiftly becomes much more than a bad habit and can no longer be seen as a question of choice.

Much like all the other addictions, we have discussed here at The Liberation Place, internet pornography and sex involves an increase in many of the brains neurotransmitters, in particular, the reward and motivational chemical known as dopamine. Recent studies have reported that humans beings respond to novel or new stimuli in such a way that motivates the brain to explore and seek reward. This research gives us a strong indication that novelty stimulates dopamine production in the brain. Consistently acquiring new things in our lives, like the new car, the latest gadget, or the new clothes stimulates a dopamine surge in the brain, in essence, we are slowly creating a society of "dopamine junkies."

internet pornHowever, just as with every euphoric high we experience, the thrill fades as the dopamine level drops away and the novelty wears off. In order to induce the necessary levels of dopamine in the brain that we are now seeking, we must introduce new stimuli to begin the production process all over again. When we apply this theory to internet pornography and sex addiction it becomes quite clear how persistent exposure to the plethora of stimuli available these days can hijack the brains functioning because this consistently changing novelty is always just a click away. It could be an unusual scene or a strange new sexual act, with multiple tabs open and clicking away for hours, the individual can experience more “novel” sex partners every ten minutes than some people experienced in a lifetime.

One of the initial warning signs that internet pornography is becoming a problem for you begins with being unable to stop using porn despite repeated attempts to do so. You may find yourself experiencing cravings to watch porn, similar to those substance users report. You may become angry, hostile, or irritable if ever you can’t get access to the internet to watch the pornography. Also, those that are addicted to internet pornography often deny their porn viewing or become upset when loved ones request that they stop.

Continuing to view porn despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or a job loss is a significant indication of addiction. Relationships, where one partner is addicted to porn, can lead to a reduction in intimacy, emotional distance, reduced sexual satisfaction, and an overall poor experience of relationship quality. Those that are addicted to internet pornography often lose large periods of time to “using” spending much of the day participating in the behaviour.

screentimeIf this sounds familiar to you and your behaviours, or those of a loved one you are concerned about, and you would like to make some changes in your gambling behaviours, take a look at the information contained in our website and the external resources for gambling addiction that we offer here The Liberation Place. If it's time to make a change and reach out for the support, recovery is a journey that starts with just one step, and only you alone can choose to take that step, but remember you are not destined to be alone when you choose to take that step with The Liberation Place!