Addiction to pornographic content on the internet is a significant contemporary form of addiction. Individuals with an addiction to pornography can feel helpless to prevent their compulsion to view pornography, with potentially damaging consequences to their relationships, health and wellbeing. Addicts view pornographic content compulsively, despite negative consequences such as:
- A sense of shame, guilt, depression or isolation.
- A sense of secrecy and high stress because of having to hide the addiction.
- Becoming angry or hostile when asked to stop or reduce one’s porn consumption.
- Feeling anxious, irritable or stressed if unable to access porn.
- Issues with emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction and sexual satisfaction with partners, and an inability to form lasting intimate romantic relationships.
- A large amount of time in the day spent viewing pornography or engaging in activities that will enable access to porn.
- A loss of interest in other activities.
- Gradually requiring increased or more explicit pornography.
Porn addicts are not compelled to view pornographic material solely because of pleasure and sexual enjoyment. Generally, the psychological context which generates the instinct for addictive patterns of behaviour is of great significance. Porn addiction, as the compulsive desire to trigger the pleasure response in the brain, can function as a means to avoid stress, emotional discomfort, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem or unresolved trauma.
Therapeutic support for pornography addiction requires knowledge and understanding, and our clinicians at the portland practice have experience in this field. Addiction therapy offers the opportunity for individuals to engage in self-reflection and identify previously inaccessible inner feelings which offer insight into current behaviour and habits. The psychodynamic approach to addiction treatment can enable people to engage with underlying psychological motivations and develop alternative, less destructive forms of self-regulation.
If an addiction to pornography is causing you problems in your life and relationships, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Portland Practice in Harley Street, London and arrange a consultation with our mental health professionals here.
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