The National Centre for Biotechnology Information – USA, defines addiction as _“the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance.”_1 Most psychiatric associations do not recognize porn addiction as an official mental health diagnosis but admit that experiencing an uncontrollable compulsion to view porn can be problematic and alter behavior.

So, what is an addiction?

Addiction has patterns. For example, a smoker may smoke one cigarette a day, or an alcoholic may drink one beer a day. Addiction entails a compulsive need and a formation of habit. Yes, the degree to which it may negatively affect us varies based on the amount consumed and the frequency; nevertheless, it’s an addiction.

Similarly, watching porn can become an addiction, even if the amount consumed isn’t perceived to be very high.

Here are five ways to find out if you are addicted to porn:

1. You’re losing time

People addicted to porn tend to waste a lot of time. They can come to the end of a day having done nothing productive. The time that’s meant to be spent accomplishing a specific task is consumed watching porn.

2. You’re wasting money

People addicted to porn always want more. They are never satisfied. They may find themselves willing to spend money for ‘higher quality content’, regardless of their financial situation. Eventually, content that was once easily satisfying at the start no longer satisfies them. They may want something darker, heavier, or weirder.

3. You prefer self-gratification

People watching porn tend to have unrealistic demands that their partner, if they have one, cannot supply. As a result, they would prefer to watch porn and satisfy their needs themselves, rather than engage in an intimate sexual relationship with their spouse.

4. You can’t stop

People addicted to porn simply cannot stop. No matter what they try – a New Year’s resolution, relationship pressures, staying busy, or any other good idea – they simply don’t work. The need for porn far outweighs the desire to overcome porn.

5. You’re distracted

People addicted to porn-watching tend to have a hard time focusing on a task. They can be at work, with family, or out with friends but their mind is drifting to porn. It may be content they’ve previously consumed or content they plan to consume. This affects their ability to relate with others, perform their job effectively and stay mentally present in any given situation.

Now, you don’t need to check all these boxes to conclude that you have an addiction. It can be just one. Needless to say, porn addiction is harmful. The consequences have a domino effect in the sense that it first affects you, then begins to affect the people closest to you.

Read my story here

A person addicted to porn often may feel ashamed. If you find yourself exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to speak up. Addictions are rarely overcome alone.

In fact, that is what inspired me to create an app to help others overcome their addictions.

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REFERENCES

1 The National Centre for Biotechnology Information – USA. https://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2F0973-1229.27609




This article was written by: Jason Mathew

Photo Credit: Kevin Gibbs