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Pornography addiction, according to mental health professionals, is caused by a combination of factors. It’s more than likely due to a mix of variables. A biochemical imbalance in the brain, neurological disorder, and/or an actual psychological illness are some of these variables.

While no one knows for sure what triggers pornography addiction, mental health professionals believe that several variables increase your chances of becoming hooked. These are some of the factors:

  • Accessibility. Access to pornography has never been easier than it is now, thanks to the internet. It’s practically at your fingertips, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • An Eventful Past. Challenges in your life at home or issues from previous relationships.
  • History of the family. Addiction to drugs, either personally or in the family, physical or sexual abuse in the past.
  • Sexual Opinions. Growing up with or having negative views toward sex.

You do not become a porn addict by watching pornographic material occasionally. When your porn viewing has detrimental implications in your daily life, you have developed a porn addiction. Mental health experts agree that porn addiction is real, even if it is not classified as an official psychiatric condition.

The following characteristics indicate addiction to pornography:

Intrusive Thoughts.  Even when you’re not doing anything else, you’re thinking about porn.

Porn Consumption has increased. You’re spending more and more time watching porn and it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough. You forego other hobbies or disregard responsibilities in order to devote more time to pornography. You might even catch yourself looking at porn at inopportune times, such as at work.

Hiding. You keep your porn-watching habits hidden from others close to you, most likely because you believe they would disagree.

Dissatisfaction. Until you view porn, you’re unsatisfied. Unless porn is involved, you may be dissatisfied with your sexual life or relationship.

Debt. You’re spending more and more money on porn, possibly putting yourself in debt.

Increased Demand. To experience the same pleasure, you must not only keep on watching more porn, but you must also watch even more extreme porn.

Inability to give up. You would like to stop watching porn, and you’ve probably tried, but it’s impossible. You’re well aware that watching porn has harmful implications. You may even feel terrible and ashamed about it, yet you can’t seem to stop.

The majority of people who watch porn are not addicted to it. When a person’s urge to watch pornography becomes so strong that it begins to severely impact other elements of their life, they are said to be addicted. These individuals are frequently ashamed of their pornographic behavior and wish to reduce it but are unable to do so. To satisfy their growing need for interesting material, they frequently turn to increasingly intense and sometimes illegal materials.

Porn Addiction Symptoms

Porn addiction, also known as problematic porn use, affects about 3-6 percent of the adult population today. At least once a week, up to 65% of young adult men and 18% of young adult women report, however, this number can be substantially higher.

Porn addiction is likely to be exacerbated by children’s increased exposure to internet porn. On porn sites, age limits are frequently as simple as clicking a button declaring to be 18 or older. The average age at which a person is first exposed to porn is now only 14 years old. Before they are 18, 93.2 percent of boys and 62.1 percent of girls have seen porn. Early pornographic exposure is linked to higher pornographic use and addiction later on in life.

There have been numerous studies on the use of online pornography. These have shown some fascinating data about the use of pornography:

  • 40 million individuals in the United States frequent pornographic websites on a regular basis.
  • 10 percent of adults in the United States admit to being addicted to internet pornography.
  • 17 percent of all women have a problem with pornography.
  • At work, 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit to seeing porn while at work.
  • 70 percent of women confess to keeping their online activities hidden.
  • A woman accounts for one out of every three visitors to adult websites.
  • Chat rooms are popular among women. 2x the amount of men

Because of the societal stigma connected with their addiction, many people with pornography addictions are hesitant to seek help. With the correct treatment, however, chances of success can be fairly high. Patients who have undergone specialized forms of treatment, like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), decreased their porn-watching by as much as 92 percent after treatment, according to recent studies. Their pornographic material usage was still decreased by 86 percent after 3 months.

If you believe you have a porn addiction, here are some suggestions to help you stop your porn addiction.

  1. Know Why You’re Giving It Up

You don’t have to be addicted to porn to make the decision to stop watching it. You may be practicing this for ethical or religious reasons. You might be doing so just because it’s creating a wedge between you and a love partner, or even because you simply don’t want to view porn anymore.

Considering why you’re giving it up can allow you to stay disciplined whenever you’re compelled to watch it.

  1. Admit That You May Have A Problem If You Do

If any of the indicators of a porn addiction outlined in the preceding section apply to you, you may have a porn addiction. Most people keep their porn addiction problems hidden because they are afraid of being judged by the public, but you are not alone.

  1. Getting Rid of Porn

Any tangible or digital record of pornographic material in your life applies to it. You’ll need to get rid of all of that type of information. There’s no reason to keep anything, including ancient porn magazines that may have sentimental significance.

It’s easy to fall back into old patterns when content is easily available all around you. Filters that restrict pornographic content and websites should be installed on your television, phone, and other devices.

  1. Make a buddy to hold you accountable.

This might be a trusted buddy or even an application on your smartphone that tells you how far you’ve come and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

  1. Participate In A Self Help Or Support Group

You will realize that you are not alone if you join a support group. It also makes it easier to rehabilitate if watching porn isn’t simply a habit you’d like to break but an addiction.

These programs provide a secure, anonymous, and judgment-free environment for you to talk about your problems with pornography and learn from others who have had similar struggles.

  1. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself If You Go Off The Wagon

It takes a long time to quit a habitual practice or recover from an addiction. Sadly, you may find yourself reverting to old behaviors while on that journey. Don’t waste any time beating yourself if this happens.

Do your homework, experiment with new coping techniques and therapy alternatives, and get back on course.

  1. Substitute A Healthy Habit For Porn Consumption

When you feel compelled to engage in a harmful habit, substitute it with a healthy one. When you have the urge to view porn, for example, going for a run is a terrific approach to keep yourself healthy.

Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques that will help you avoid watching porn. There are methods for quitting whether you think you have an addiction or have discovered reasons why your porn use is standing in the way of who you would like to be. Prioritizing principles, rephrasing self-talk, understanding the difficulties of change, resolving core stressors, attending a support group, developing a change-friendly atmosphere, and having a backup plan for when barriers emerge can all help you sustain a porn-free life.

Here are 10 porn addiction tips for ending a porn addiction:

1. Prepare Ahead Of Time

When it relates to quitting porn, like other things, neglecting to plan is intending to fail. Even when confronted with the desire to watch, planning will start playing the role of your “ideal self.” Yes, the need will arise, but keep in mind that temptation at a particular time is not the same as a relapse. Because we are designed to seek comfort, cravings are your body’s way of guiding you back to your safe place.

Examine yourself and discover your triggers. Just because you’ve decided to stop watching porn doesn’t mean you won’t experience triggers, desires, or self-doubt. This is why having a backup plan is so important.

2. Make An Effort To Meditate

Meditation teaches you how to separate yourself from your feelings and thoughts. It’s a technique that anyone can use, and it’s especially useful during the early phases of quitting porn when emotional responses are most volatile.

Redirecting unwanted thoughts to concentrate on the breath teaches a person that emotions, sudden urges, and temptations can arise but do not need to be responded to or acted on.

3. Participate In Some Form Of Physical Activity

Physical exercise has been demonstrated to have a good impact on the brain’s reward region, which increases overall happiness. Exercise is proven to improve people’s mental and physical health by reducing the reward urge, which may explain why it can assist them to avoid becoming addicted to the internet.

4. Become A Member Of A 12-Step Program

Because admitting to a pornographic addiction sometimes results in condemnation from others, 12-step meetings can provide a secure platform for conversation in a judgment-free environment, which many people find helpful in recovery from addiction.

Support and accountability are additional benefits that make a person feel more encouraged and less alone as they pursue a porn-free lifestyle. For more specialized professional therapy, use an online database to locate a therapist who specializes exclusively in porn addiction.

5. Change Your Environment

Don’t undervalue the importance of one’s surroundings is being triggered. Any task that is repeated frequently enough becomes a habit and can be carried out on autopilot, needing little to no thought. The same might be said for pornography, which may have started as a coping mechanism but is now perpetuated out of habit. How can you alter your surroundings in order to change the outcome?

6. Setup A Porn Blocker On Your Computer

Using a porn blocker on your electronic devices can act as a buffer (or at the very least add a few additional steps) during those extreme temptations. The good thing about a porn blocker, it appears, is its ability to buy some more time to ponder cravings and instead opt to push into values. This can make it easier for you to take action and reach your goals of seeing less porn and eventually quitting.

7. Consider Act Therapy.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on accepting thoughts and urges while also committing to actions that are more in line with fundamental values. People learn to have a positive connection with their inner thoughts, feelings, and desires by training to stop avoiding, rejecting, and fighting with them. They are capable of creating space in their lives by training to stop avoiding, refusing, and battling with them. ACT is one of the few research-backed treatments for problematic porn viewing, having been shown to reduce porn use by more than 90 percent after just 12 sessions.

8. Have Faith In Yourself

What you oppose continues, and whatever battle you confront can be amplified by it. To make long-term changes, you must embrace who you are now and have a clear idea of who you want to be. Narrowing this gap and making better decisions during those difficult situations requires developing a new self-identity (and writing it down to return frequently).

9. Have A Plan B And A Plan C In Place.

Willpower alone isn’t enough to keep you from relapsing. Replacements are necessary for long-term success in living a life free of pornography. New interests, meet-up groups, and backup plans are all crucial components of the rehabilitation process. Volunteering is another excellent method to pass the time in a rewarding and beneficial manner. Finding a volunteer position that matches your schedule is simple with Volunteermatch.org.

10. Make A List Of Your Values And Prioritize Them.

The long-term sustainability of this new lifestyle is dependent on values. Values have been proven to play a significant impact in the maintenance of positive change. This is because living a porn-free lifestyle takes more than simply setting a goal to avoid pornography. Instead of emphasizing what you want to escape, it’s important to know what you want to concentrate on. Once you’ve decided on a porn-free existence, your values will dictate how you act in your new role.

Choosing the longer-term vision of who you like being rather than giving in to the instinctive, compulsive, and reckless short-term urges is the key to quitting porn for good. It includes the decision to slow down and genuinely feel your emotions rather than avoid them. The idea is to have contingency plans in place that are compatible with what you value and care about. Reframe quitting as an opportunity to maximize personal progress, and include self-compassion in the process.

Final Thoughts on Quitting Pornography

For many, the desire to live a life devoid of porn is the ultimate goal. Yes, giving up porn is difficult, and you’re not alone in your quest. It’s important for developing a willingness to change and to have a clear picture of what your new, porn-free life will entail. Tell yourself of your goal on a daily basis. Accept the fight and understand that you have the strength inside you to adopt the best ways to quit porn mentioned above, that are necessary to get from where you are to where you’d like to be.

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