For people with drug & alcohol problems

Your Guide to Rehab: Why it’s necessary and why it could save your life.

Porn addiction

addiction criteria

How to Identify and Treat a Pornography Addiction

In some people’s minds, ‘addiction’ only covers chemical dependency on substances such as alcohol or drugs.

However, recent psychological studies have shed new light on the ways in which many behavioural disorders affect a person’s brain in the same way as someone suffering from substance abuse.

Addiction to pornography involves a recalibrating of neural reward feedback loops in the brain such that a person’s ability to control their behaviour is reduced, much like the way drug addiction alters the way an addict can control their ability to choose to use drugs.

At the Executive Rehab Guide, we understand that society at large is only recently becoming aware of the dangers of pornography addiction and the damage it can do to people’s relationships and lives.

But we are not society, we are a rehab guide, and you can trust us when we say that we’ve seen it all before. If there’s one thing we want the most, it’s for people to not feel shame regarding their compulsions or addictions, you have an illness that can be treated.

So, if you or a loved one is struggling with a compulsive attachment to porn, call 0808 1150 446 today to speak to an expert and be free from a life that makes you unhappy.

Often a misunderstood problem

What the research says:

Castle Craig leading uk rehabFor many years, excessive viewing of pornography was view by much of society as a shameful taboo that was the result of a moral failure or a failure of a relationship.

We now know from extensive scientific research that the issue is significantly more complex and that excessive consumption of porn can be attributed to a process of addiction that changes the reward pathways in the brain in the same way as in the case of drug dependency.

More: Is it a compulsion or an addiction?

The signs that you are emotionally dependent on porn

If you are concerned about your partner’s relationship with porn, or if you feel that you watch too much and are worried that you may have an addiction issue, then there are several signs to look out for.

Addiction criteria:

  • You always want more and never stop
  • Viewing pornography makes you feel less satisfied with your relationship with your partner/you’ve lost interest in sex with them
  • You engage in risky behaviour such as watching porn at work or in public, you might even be losing money
  • You ignore responsibilities in your life in order to watch porn
  • You consume pornography to cope with sadness, depression or anxiety leading you to become angry or distracted
  • You find you are viewing more extreme porn to get the same pleasure as you did previously
  • You try to stop watching porn but find you cannot and as a result are in pain

The crossover between these warning signs and the typical warning signs for drug addiction is striking, with many of the same indicators, especially surrounding ignoring responsibilities, an inability to quit and engaging in risky behaviour.

Lasting damage: The long-term effects

The significant damage to your physical health of drug or alcohol addiction is clear and well understood by much of society.

However, many people do not know how addiction to pornography can damage your health, as well as your interpersonal relationships and your ability to work.

The longer-term consequences include:

  • Increased tolerance of dopamine (a natural chemical in the brain) meaning a flattened and subdued experience of pleasure in the future.
  • Loss of interest in ‘normal’ sexual activities or real-life sex with a partner
  • Inability to focus on work or regular responsibilities
  • A desire to watch (and even commit) acts of sexual violence
  • Damaged sexual and romantic relationship with a partner and loss of trust

Treatment and recovery

how to tell if you are an enabler

We pass no judgement – there is nothing to feel embarrassed about. 

The more we know about how porn addiction comes about, how it affects a person’s brain and the damage it can do to your mental health and lifestyle, the greater the emphasis on effectively treating it becomes.

As with chemical dependency on dangerous substances, the most effective way to treat compulsive pornography addiction is for the person suffering from the addiction to remove themselves from the location of their addiction (usually their home) and seek help at a residential rehab facility.

Call 0808 1150 446 today to speak to an expert at the Executive Rehab Guide and discuss how you or your loved one can overcome their attachment to pornography and repair damaged relationships.

Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Alison