Porn Addiction: A Look at the Stigma and Treatment Options


A man chained to a computer is unable to leave because of his sex and porn addiction

There's a stigma associated with a porn addiction that can make treatment and healing a challenging process


Addiction is everywhere in society as people from all different backgrounds struggle with personal demons. We're fortunate to live in a time where speaking up and admitting to alcohol and drug abuse, however, as well as sex addiction, is becoming more normalized but we can't yet say the same for porn addiction.


There's a stigma surrounding porn addiction that leads to unhelpful labels. It is important to remember that this addiction doesn’t define a person and that the behavior, not the person, is the problem.


Here's a look at porn addiction and how those suffering from it can get treatment so it no longer has control over their lives.


A look at pornography addiction


The stigma around porn addiction is unique. When we learn that someone is a drug addict, alcoholic, or even a sex addict, there's a sense of understanding and sympathy that the individual is battling something outside of their control. When someone we care about is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, we'll often try to help by directing them toward treatment or listening as they open up about their substance abuse.


Porn addiction is different because of the stigma. Loved ones tend to react with anger or disgust when hearing about this form of addiction, failing to separate the individual from the behavior. They also fail to realize that there's often an underlying cause for porn addiction that requires attention before the person can move on.


It can help to call porn addiction what it truly is: an extension of a sex addiction leading to destructive, often antisocial behavior. Much like with sex addiction, porn addiction is often a response to pain brought about by past trauma. Encouraging loved ones dealing with this addiction to seek treatment can help them address the trauma that's causing it.


Treatment options


Much like other forms of sex addiction, porn addiction has multiple treatment options. They help a person move past the shame associated with this habit, heal, and overcome it.


First, there's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps people become aware of behaviors and triggers so they can change their thinking patterns. The goal is to help porn addicts take back control of their lives by recognizing what is triggering their need to watch it and helping them to work through it.


Another option is group therapy, which allows the porn addict to connect with others who are going through the same problems. Knowing that you aren't alone can work wonders when dealing with an addiction. Group therapy can also help people explore how trauma could be an underlying cause for the habit.


Clinical hypnotherapy is a newer treatment option that focuses on finding the root cause of the addiction by entering the subconscious. The belief is that entering a trance-like state allows the addict to work through the trauma that is causing the porn addiction.


Finally, medications could help control a porn addiction under certain circumstances. Generally, these interventions focus on treating psychiatric disorders that drive compulsive sexual behaviors rather than the addiction itself. The issue is that the individual might have to take the medicine long-term or even permanently because it doesn't promote proper healing.


When a loved one is suffering from porn addiction, seeking treatment is necessary but it's essential to cut through the stigma first to eliminate the shame and focus on healing.


How therapy can help


In most cases, the best bet to overcoming porn addiction is through therapy because it can address the habit at its root. While undergoing treatment, individuals will explore the underlying causes and habitual components of their porn addiction, helping them understand why this behavior occurs.


From there, the therapist can focus on stimulating behavioral change, which sometimes involves a deep dive into the core mechanisms that are guiding these compulsive behaviors.


Overall, therapy helps people address their compulsive behaviors by getting to their root cause and encouraging a healthy dynamic to their sexuality that may be missing.


Finding the right therapist is vital in this situation because a generalist probably won't cut it. Sexual behaviors are very delicate and nuanced as it the psyche of the porn addict. Therefore, seeking out a specialized sex therapist with experience in porn addiction is your best choice.


Love Discovery Institute is a therapy practice in Coral Gables, Florida that focuses on love, sex, and healthy relationships. Our team can help you work through all kinds of relationship and individual issues, including sex and porn addiction. Contact us today to set up an appointment with a member of our team.

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