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Dealing with porn addiction

Compulsive use of the internet for porn can interfere with daily life and your relationships, leaving you feeling ashamed. If you notice porn having a negative impact on your life but find yourself having difficulty cutting it out, you may need to go to greater lengths to get your problem under control. By replacing your negative behavior with positive ones, you can beat this habit. If you use pornography as a way to cope with boredom, anxiety, or other powerful feelings, you may be dealing with porn addiction. To break free from your addiction, combat any underlying issues, such as depression, anxiety, stress, or substance use. Some coping mechanisms you could try include building your social skills, so you can ask someone on a date, or exercising regularly by playing a sport or trying yoga. Alternatively, if the issue is boredom, try getting involved with your community by joining a reading group or volunteering. On the other hand, when trauma is the source of your addiction problems, consider asking your doctor for a referral to a therapist or talking about your trauma with your friends, your family, or a group of survivors. For more tips from our co-author, like how to modify your environment to help you combat porn addiction, keep reading! Did this summary help you?
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First, you must acknowledge the addiction exists. Many who are caught in the trap of addiction will adamantly deny the problem. He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
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Others partake of it occasionally, and others on a regular basis. But experiencing an uncontrollable compulsion to view porn can be as problematic for some people as other behavioral addictions. A Kinsey Institute survey found that 9 percent of people who view porn have unsuccessfully tried to stop. This survey was taken in But research suggests that behavioral addictions are serious. One review article concluded that internet pornography shares basic mechanisms with substance addiction. Research comparing the brains of people who compulsively view porn to the brains of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol has produced mixed results. Those definitions are subject to change as we learn more, according to Go Ask Alice. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors with no rational motivation, but are often engaged in to reduce anxiety. Addictions involve an inability to stop the behavior, despite negative consequences.
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In this post, we discuss the hot topic of Internet porn addiction. Are You Addicted to Internet Porn? By the time you have finished reading this post, you will hopefully be highly motivated to finally ridding your life of Internet pornography once and for all. Our brains are full of pathways. Every time we learn something new, a new pathway is created. The more you practice a new skill, the stronger the associated pathway becomes in your brain. At some point, the skill becomes unconscious precisely because the pathway associated with the skill becomes so engrained. Unfortunately, this process also happens with addiction. Porn addiction rewired the brain by creating a new neural pathway. Dopamine serves to remind us of the things that are most pleasurable in our lives.
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In this post, we discuss the hot topic of Internet porn addiction. Are You Addicted to Internet Porn? By the time you have finished reading this post, you will hopefully be highly motivated to finally ridding your life of Internet pornography once and for all.

Our brains are full of pathways. Every time we learn something new, a new pathway is created. The more you practice a new skill, the stronger the associated pathway becomes in your brain. At some point, the skill becomes unconscious precisely because the pathway associated with the skill becomes so engrained.

Unfortunately, this process also happens with addiction. Porn addiction rewired the brain by creating a new neural pathway. Dopamine serves to remind us of the things that are most pleasurable in our lives. Anything that triggers dopamine is something that will strengthen your neural pathway. Porn addiction rewires the brain by creating a new neural pathway. The more you go to Italy, the more pronounced and automatic this neural pathway becomes.

This pathway becomes a fast and easy route to accessing dopamine. Recovery from this hypothetical addiction to Italy means not going to Italy and not thinking about Italy. When you fantasise about going to Italy, you actually trigger the dopamine pathway in the same way as being exposed to going to Italy. Over time, this pathway will fade and become weaker and weaker. However, you must develop new pathways that allow you to access dopamine on a repetitive nature so these new pathways become stronger and stronger. Below we outline physical symptoms and conditions linked to an addiction to Internet pornography:.

All of the above conditions and symptoms are significantly removed when the sufferer ceases to watch Internet pornography. Internet porn addiction causes these symptoms and conditions because chronic Internet porn use alters the reward circuits in the brain from a chemical and structural standpoint. Modern neuro-science and recent studies on the brain support this hypothesis. This refers to our evolutionary ancient structures contained in the brain. These structures are involved in almost all emotional and physical function you may think of.

These structures essentially keep us alive. Changes in the reward circuits may affect any aspect of behaviour and may even physiological functions. The reward circuit shapes are moods and colours our emotions. Fear, joy and rage all arise from these evolutionary ancient structures. Most of our desires and drives arise in the reward circuit, such as hunger for food, power or sex.

The reward circuit also allows us to become addicted to certain behaviours. Alterations to the reward circuits are responsible for most mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and social anxiety. Reward circuit structures such as the hypothalamus and the Amygdala influence or control major functions such as male sexual behaviours, erections, the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system.

The bottom line is that chemical or structural alterations to the reward circuit may result in wide and varying effects. At its most basic level, the reward circuit allows us to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. Our very survival depends on the avoidance of pain and the repetition of pleasure. To this end, the reward circuit encourages us to engage in activities that either further our survival or the survival of our genes.

These activities include sex, eating, bonding, achievement, play, novelty and taking risks. We literally do not make a decision without consulting our reward circuit. When you are addicted to something, your reward circuit is out of balance. This affects your mood, your perception and your decision-making powers. Dopamine is one of the major chemicals that powers the reward system. Think of the reward system as the engine behind most of our decision making and dopamine as the fuel that powers up that engine.

When an electrode is implanted into the reward circuit of a mouse, the mouse will keep pressing a button that stimulates its reward signal until the mouse is exhausted.

The mouse will continue pressing the lever until it dies of starvation. This situation is not unlike an addiction to Internet pornography. Much of all Internet use mimics this lab mouse pushing this lever. Via the Internet, we have at our disposal an endless stream of novelty. When scientists block dopamine, the mouse has little motivation to sleep, mate or eat. But the rat will not exert enough energy to walk over to a tray of food in order to satisfy his hunger.

When a willing female is presented to him, mouse rat fails to mate with her. Scientists believe dopamine does not equate to pleasure or enjoyment. Instead, dopamine fuels our sense of wanting, seeking and craving.

Dopamine is primarily released just before we engage in an activity that makes us happy, such as before we eat our favourite desert or before we have sex. These are opiate-type chemicals produced in the brain.

Even the relief we feel when we drink water involves opioids. Essentially, opioids make us feel satisfied to prevent our seeking and craving.

However, our dopamine system is stronger than our opioid system. This means that we seek more than we are satisfied. Seeking is more likely to keep us a live compared to sitting around in a satisfied heap. In summary, dopamine compels animals into action. We receive a bigger burst of dopamine when we look at foods containing a bigger proportion of sugars and fats. This is because these foods are most likely to keep us alive when we are threatened with starvation.

The anticipation for that pudding is fuelled by dopamine. Dopamine surges thus override feelings of satiety. In fact, the dopamine release experienced before sex is comparable to that experienced when Class-A drugs such as cocaine or morphine are abused.

High levels of dopamine levels are one key differentiator between a powerful orgasm and chewing on a piece of pizza. All addictive substances and activities elevate dopamine levels. Whilst alcohol, cocaine and heroin may feel different because they affect different neurotransmitters, all flood the reward circuit with dopamine. But unlike drug users, internet porn addicts are able to keep dopamine levels stimulated for hours by clicking to video to video. Reward circuits encourage us to engage in novelty. Novelty allowed our ancestors to discover new territories, new resources and new mates.

All of this lead to our genes being passed on to the next generation. Researchers believe this quest for novelty is one reason why we become addicted to Internet pornography. This explains why people addicted to Internet pornography open up several tabs in their browser at the same time.

These people are addicted to the novelty of Internet pornography, rather than the sexual aspect per se. Our reward circuitry evolved when our ancestors were part of small hunter-gathering tribes. During the average hunter-gatherers lifetime, he or she would have sex with only a handful of other people. Thanks to the Internet, a person can view more potential mates in one afternoon than our ancestors would over several lifetimes.

This effect is best explained by an example. You may repeat this process over and over again until the male rat collapses in exhaustion. Why do the males become bored with the same female? This mechanism helps promote genetic diversity and ensures no female goes unfertilized. The below graph illustrates these same mechanisms hold true for the human brain when we watch Internet pornography.

Arousal is skyrocketed exactly when new pornographic material is introduced:. The above spike in arousal occurred when researchers switch to porn that the users had not viewed before.

Modern junk food and video games are another form of super-normal stimulus. Furthermore, a male brown beetle will abandon mating with a female brown beetle in favour of mating with a brown beer bottle. These animals and insects are responding to cues that once lead to an evolutionary advantage but now lead to dead ends. We believe it is not. Both humans, butterflies, birds and beetles are simply responding to supernatural cues. This figure was double that found in Essentially, Internet porn violates our expectations. This violation of expectations elevates our dopamine to unnatural levels.

With high-speed Internet, people are unknowingly controlling their dopamine levels with a mouse and the click of a button. As soon as dopamine begins to drop, you may increase dopamine levels merely by clicking to the next pornographic video or by changing the genre of porn. Almost like magic, up goes your dopamine levels. This control of dopamine levels was not possible with earlier forms of porn such as magazines, VHS videos, or the even the Internet before high-speed was introduced.

They will click through to around 20 different tabs of pornographic material with their right hand, whilst they masturbate with their left hand. These people do not complete any of these videos, but rather enjoy clicking to another video in order to sour their dopamine levels as they begin to drop.



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