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Porn addiction is not a myth. This is  a real problem, suffered by real people. Porn addiction causes untold damage in the lives of the addict, and those who love them. Addiction can result in the loss of jobs, the end of a marriage, or worse. And overcoming pornography addiction, in most cases, feels impossible for the addict. Most live a shameful double life, with little hope of recovery. If this describes you, we understand, and we’re here to help.

At Lifestar Therapy, we believe pornography addiction can be overcome—that addicts can rebuild their self-esteem, their relationships, and their lives. The recovery process is not easy, but we have over 20 years of experience helping people heal and recover from the damage done by porn addictions. Success in recovery first requires recognizing the problem, and admitting that you need help to overcome it.

What is a Porn Addiction?

A porn addiction, like any addiction, is a dysfunction in the reward center of the brain. In an addiction, the brain is tricked into releasing unhealthy levels of dopamine in response to a stimulus. That stimulus can be a substance (like cocaine or alcohol), or a behavior (like gambling). The brain learns to expect these heightened levels of dopamine from the stimulus, and takes steps to achieve it again.

Over time—sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly—that reward loop is reinforced, and conscious choice is overridden until the addict is effectively incapable of resisting the urge to repeat the activity. By this point, they have likely realized they have a problem, but repeated attempts to break the cycle prove fruitless.

A porn addiction is when this happens as a result of viewing pornography, which has the capacity to trigger an overwhelming dopamine release. Because of the way the addiction dominates behavior, rewrites priorities, and confuses self-worth, they can often be identified by the addict, by looking at the symptoms and side effects which, for a pornography addiction, include:

  • Intrusive thoughts of a sexual nature
  • Strong cravings or urges that are difficult to ignore
  • Decreased emotional connectivity and intimacy in relationships
  • Continued use despite severe consequences such as job loss or divorce
  • Losing track of significant periods of time due to excessive usage
  • Increased feelings of guilt, shame, or self-hatred
  • Unsuccessful attempts at ending the behavior
  • Increased secrecy, and repeated attempts to hide the behavior
  • An increase in severity of usage, including spending more time or money, or seeking harder material
  • In some cases, increased risk-taking, self-harm, or suicidal behavior

Does My Spouse Have a Porn Addiction?

If you are married—or otherwise connected—to someone with this problem, the struggle and difficulty they experience may have a negative impact on your life as well. While the experiences of loved ones of an addict are often painful, you can help aid in the journey toward recovery. Your loved one may have a porn addiction if you have seen:

  • Changes in behavior, such as increased emotional distance, irritability, and inattentiveness.
  • Decreased interest in favored hobbies and pastimes.
  • Decreased interest in intimacy with partner, or an increase in aggressive demands for intimacy.
  • No regard for the feelings and needs of others.
  • Denial and anger when accused of suffering from an addiction.
  • Increased irritability at the discussion of the topic in general.

How Do I Break a Porn Addiction?

Once you’ve identified the problem you may, because of previous failed attempts to quit, believe that recovery is impossible. Don’t give up hope. You can reclaim your life and fully heal from the addiction. It will take hard work, humility, and perseverance, but success is possible.

There are a number of different strategies to recovery, and every individual will require a slightly different approach to reach their goals. We’re here to help by providing counseling and support along the way. We offer the much-needed therapy that can help addicts get to the root of their problem and overcome it. The road is long, but we’re here to help you through the journey.

For more information, give us a call and download your free ebook today.

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