logoM.A., LMFT (MFC 50298), M.S., LAc. (AC 8941)

Porn Addiction

  • Do you find yourself incessantly watching porn, always looking for the next, most arousing body, body part or scene to fantasize about and masturbate to?
  • Do you use porn as a way to manage your stress, anxiety, frustration or anger, and/or your feelings of sadness, depression, boredom or loneliness?
  • Do you promise yourself that you won’t watch any porn for a specific period of time, but against your best efforts, often –if not always– fall short of your goals? Internet porn is not sex
  • Do you secretly feel ashamed and fear what your friends and family would say if they only knew what you do in private? To the opposite, are you putting yourself in greater danger and increasingly becoming desensitized by the potential devastating consequences your actions could have on your life, and the lives of those you love, if you were outed?
  • Have your sexual fantasies and tastes changed in such ways that you don’t recognize your sexual arousal template anymore? Do you need more and more shocking and disturbing images to satisfy your porn cravings?

Answering yes to these questions might confirm that your brain is officially addicted to porn. If such is the case, I invite you to remove the moral, social and religious stigmas which keep you isolated and paralyzed by guilt and shame. I offer you a safe and healing space where you can free yourself from the devastating consequences porn has on your life. I will educate you on the effects porn has on your brain and mind, and teach you techniques to help you master the impulses which highjack your will to be porn-free. As importantly, together we will explore the underlying vulnerabilities that lead you to use porn as a way to cope with the stressors in your life, and equip you with better, more empowering ways to face your life challenges. I am committed to help you become the person you are meant to be, free from porn addiction. I invite you to make the call or email me.

While it is true that males are more likely to become addicted to pornography –thanks to our higher level of testosterone– addictive processes do not discriminate by gender identity or sexual orientation. The stories of countless porn addicts are very similar. The sequence often goes as such.

    • The normal sexual curiosity and impulse gets people to log-on and look for sexually arousing content.
    • As they click around for extended periods of time, their nervous system gets overly stimulated.
    • Excessive masturbation ensues which both increases sexual stimulation, and releases intense sexual tension.
    • Because most of us now have constant access to high speed Internet everywhere and at all times, users can more easily satisfy their ever-increasing need for greater excitement and novelty. So, they keep on clicking away to appease their dopamine neuropathways in need of their next fix.
    • As their porn viewing, and masturbation sessions increase, users become more and more desensitized.
    • The addicted subcortical structures increase their hold on people’s thoughts, focus and behaviors. The focus becomes narrower. The immediate priority is to get the next neurochemicals rush. And to get it NOW! What once felt like a harmless distractions has now become a constant, or semi-permanent obsession.
    • This stage lasts until the person begins to realize that his convincing inner dialogue of “I’ll log-on for only five minutes” turns-out to be a three hours of obsessive zombie porn watching while edging for long periods of times, until –finally– total release is obtained. This frequently happens at the cost of being totally drained and/or too late for work, a get together with friends, or too late to get a good night’s sleep.
    • In most instances, this realization is not “the wake up call”. The person will keep on indulging his addict brain.
    • He will isolate more and more so that he can keep on getting increasingly greater dopamine highs.
    • The online searches will force him to look for more exciting, racy, provocative, unimagined pornographic material. This is how porn websites get many porn users to fall into the “porn black hole”.
    • Some sexual fantasies he never thought existed are now being played out in front of his baffled eyes.
    • He now finds himself excited and aroused by sexual acts and behaviors that would have repulsed and grossed him out before, or that had nothing to do with his original sexual arousal template. Things he would have condemned vehemently only a short while ago is being integrated as a new, exciting sexual novelty. More secrets to keep to himself!
    • The dopamine seeking porn watcher brain is now totally trapped in the insatiable loop of addiction.
    • His ability to think logically and sequentially, and to seriously consider the effects of his behaviors on his personal, social and professional life, let alone on his moral and ethical values diminishes, often to a point of being numbed out totally.
    • The person doesn’t recognize himself, which increases guilt and shame. This compounds the need to isolate and keep this part of his life compartmentalized, and often fragmented.
    • Unfortunately, in many instances, his behaviors enter the realm of illegal activities. When the sub-cortical layers of our brain have been hijacked, our prefrontal cortex is incapable of making decisions which are aligned with our long-term goals and core values. Even the line between what is legal or not can become blurry, or just totally denied. Without a functioning prefrontal cortex he can’t put the brakes on his actions, even when the repercussions could prove to be dangerously detrimental to his life and the life of those he most cares about.As is the case of any addictions, if the wake up call doesn’t happen then, devastating consequences might be the final excruciating awakening. Sadly so, for far too many people the brutal wake-up call will leave marks that will tarnish his life for years to come, when not totally wreck his life as he knows it. This is the typical case of “we had no idea… we never knew that part of him… this is not the person we know and love… ” More shame, more guilt, more pain, more isolation, more feeling of being trapped and incapable of doing anything about it prevail. All of this could all have been avoided if proper support had been asked for, and provided.

                         
Lastly, it serves us well to remember that –thanks to high speed internet access– porn addiction nowadays has nothing to do with what previous generations dealt with when hooked by pornographic material. Addressing the porn addiction epidemic many people find themselves enslaved in is not synonymous to being prude, judgmental or puritanical. Quite the contrary, it’s about reclaiming brain health, and better, more fulfilling relationships with REAL people. Being honest about the devastating effects of pornography in our lives frees us from being trapped in the cyber world where, like addicted rats, we keep on pushing buttons to get our fix. When we free ourselves from the pixilated fantasies porn sites have fed us –which is no different than drug dealers keeping their clients hooked on their drugs of choice– and reclaim our human and vibrant sexual life with other human beings, we regain our sense of self and our self-esteem!

When you are ready to reclaim your life from your porn addicted brain, I’m here for you!

 

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