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Student Question: What if I think I'm addicted to porn?


What’s the harm?

It’s a normal thing to do.

It’s just sex, which is a natural part of life.


These are some of the common ways that porn use gets explained away. Our Late Night TV talk show hosts don’t help defeat this underlying deception when they regularly make jokes about the issue in a way that seems to communicate these flippant sentiments.


But, what are the facts? Is there harm in viewing porn? And, if so, how do I quit?

Good questions! Here are some quick facts:


Pornography Effects the Brain

  • Porn is an addictive and escalating behaviour because of the chemical reactions it produces in the brain, to make you crave more. It weakens impulse control, which can impact life on many levels (you may recall some news stories of high profile people that prove this point).

Pornography Effects the Heart

  • Porn can influence sexual preferences, leaving the viewer wanting what they've seen onscreen, and being significantly less satisfied with sex in real life. But, an image and a machine can never meet the need of the human heart to bond to another person.

Pornography Effects Relationships

  • Expectations of sex, love, and relationships become measured against the images of porn. Over time this can lead to an inability to perform without similar stimulus.

  • Studies show that viewing porn increases marital infidelity by 300%.

Pornography Effects the World

  • In 2015, 4,300,000,000 hours of porn was viewed on just ONE website. What are the effects when 88% of scenes depicted acts of violence or aggression? Porn has been linked to all kinds of abuse, including human trafficking and sexual aggression.


HOW DO I STOP?

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Make a Plan - Know your triggers and find ways to avoid those triggers. Minimize your opportunities to view porn by using stricter filters, placing your computer in the open, and not having your phone in your room at night.

  • Choose Reality - Make a conscious and deliberate choice to keep your thoughts and actions in the realm of real relationships. Acknowledging that porn is full of lies can help you cultivate the desire for something more real.

  • Choose Love - Accept no frauds and no substitutions. Understand that “the deepest needs of your own fragile heart can only be met in the fragile heart of another person” (fightthenewdrug.org).

  • Find Your Focus - New productive habits to redirect your focus can be very helpful. When temptation / triggers arise, if you don’t fall back into your old habit, you will begin to rewire your brain. Your challenge is to unlearn porn use as an automatic response to stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness and so forth. When the urge to look strikes, stall for time and find a different activity to focus on. Each time you turn your attention away from your cravings and toward your chosen activity, you strengthen the new pathway in your brain and weaken the automatic response and impulse toward porn. If, for some reason, you can’t do the alternative positive activity, imagine yourself doing it, step by step with your full attention.

  • Implement Accountability - Studies show that holding ourselves accountable to another person for our goals in life significantly increases the likelihood we can achieve those goals. This can include a trusted friend, a parent, and even a practical tool like stricter internet settings and accountability filters (e.g. Net Sanity Free app; Net Nanny; Bark; Fortify; Covenant Eyes).


The GOOD NEWS is that the same processes that shaped the brain in one direction can be used to shape it in another direction. Your brain is more powerful than the world’s fastest computer and therefore you can reprogram it to work for you instead of against you, by redirecting its focus. Hope is a powerful tool; never let go of it! Freedom is available!


Sources & Resources:



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