Addiction comes in many forms. While an addiction to pornography may on the surface appear harmless to some, it has the ability to seriously damage a sufferers ability to create meaningful relationships or maintain ongoing relationships with friends and loved ones. The growth and spread of high-speed internet makes this addiction a growing problem.
Akin to sufferers of any other chemical or substance addiction, pornography addicts replace relationships and commitments with pornography. The addiction has its roots in the viewing and hoarding of images and videos, making it much more difficult to identify today with the onset of smartphones and the internet. Of course, like any addiction, sufferers are diverse and substances are many: non-internet pornography addicts may have a problem with web camera activity, strip clubs, or even meeting anonymous partners over the internet.
Pornography addiction can be painfully isolating. Typically, addicts can spend hours or even days with the internet or chosen medium, lost in images and experiences that cause real life to lose its meaning. Pornography addiction, like so many others, also carries a heavy moral stigma. This means love and sex relationships are negatively affected too, often causing the addiction to intensify and become more problematic.
If you suspect you are a pornography addict, or you’re concerned about a friend or family member, you may wish to call a trusted addiction clinic to receive help and advice. Signs of porn addiction can include many different actions and behaviours, often more difficult to identify than typical abuse of a physical substance.
Your friend or family member may become angry or irritable if you have approached them and asked for them to stop, but they may very well hide or make a secret of their habit. Other signs include continuing to consume porn, despite losing a job or relationship, and losing time to the habit, or becoming lost in the images online. Porn addicts must choose when they want to recover: it is often much later than their partners or love ones would hope, but talking about the issues openly is always the best way forward.
Recovery from porn addiction is based primarily on honesty and the desire to break free from it. Humiliation, shame and embarrassment are all common feelings when reaching out for help and advice, but addiction is a psychiatric illness, not something to feel ashamed about. Life Works appreciates the delicate nature of pornography addiction, and discretion is offered alongside holistic treatment.