Speaking on Pornography Addiction
Speaking on pornography addiction
Sad, but true, pornography continues to be the largest moneymaker on the internet. Unlike earlier times when adolescents and young adults usually had to face the embarrassment of purchasing pornographic material from a clerk at a store, today pornography is only a few keystrokes away in the privacy of one’s home.
This privacy has freed natural inhibitions. By 2018, 50 percent (over 500 million websites) of all internet traffic found its way to sexually related websites – websites easily accessible even to grade-school children. By early adolescence, more and more teens are finding themselves lured into a desperate addiction early in life, an addiction that can have profound impact upon normal development.
By young adulthood, this addiction finds full expression, as the individual may feel as though he is digging a deeper and darker hole. Older adults may find themselves impulsively and compulsively spending hours every week attempting to satisfy this addiction. The deeper he digs, the darker it becomes, as more and more dirt surrounds him. Once the hole is deep enough, he will find himself struggling with the following issues.
1. Preoccupation: While performing other necessary tasks at home, work, or school, there is a preoccupation with pornographic thought and images.
2. Repetition: Hours pass as the individual repeatedly views pornographic material, sometimes resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
3. Humiliation: Even after facing embarrassment and humiliation with family, friends, or co-workers, the individual returns to the same patterns of behavior.
4. Deterioration: This obsession with pornography continues despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems, which are exacerbated by the activity.
5. Tolerance: Like any other drug, there is increasing tolerance, meaning that more and more of the drug is needed to produce the same results. Thus, for the pornographic viewer, what once stimulated and satisfied ceases to do so. This results in longer periods of viewing and/or increasingly harder core pornography.
6. Withdrawal: When pornography becomes the drug of choice, it becomes more important than any other aspect of one’s life. This translates into increasing withdrawal and isolation, which becomes fertile ground for depression. Depression, in turn, feeds this addiction.
7. Finances: Lured by the enticement of slick websites, individuals report spending thousands of dollars in a vain attempt to quench an unquenchable appetite.
8. Control: There is a desire to control this sexual activity and simultaneous failed attempts to do so.
Like any other addiction, admitting to the addiction, being willing to honestly deal with the addiction, finding support from family and friends, and an effective treatment program can help the individual find his way out of his dark hole and back to the light.
Rob Coombs is a professor with a doctor of ministry degree and a doctor of philosophy with an emphasis in Family Systems.
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