How does Pornography affect us?
If you are concerned about your porn viewing, there are some warning signs to consider. You might have a porn addiction if:
- You are consumed with thoughts of porn even when you are not actively watching it.
- You view porn on your cell phone at work or in social situations where you might be seen.
- You feel ashamed, guilty, or depressed about your porn viewing.
- You continue to watch porn despite the harm it has had, is having, or may have on your relationships, work, or home life.
- You experience reduced sexual satisfaction with partners when pornography is not involved.
- You hide your porn and porn viewing from your partner and family members.
- You get upset when asked to cut back on or stop looking at porn.
- You lose track of time when viewing porn.
- You have tried to quit watching porn but have not been successful.
While porn addiction is not recognised as a distinct diagnosis, it does share some symptoms associated with addiction. Someone who compulsively views porn may meet at least two of the four clinical conditions associated with addiction, namely:
- Cravings to partake in an activity as well as failed attempts to cut down or control the activity (impaired control).
- Failure to complete major tasks at work, school, or home and/or have given up trying (social problems).
If your porn viewing has become compulsive, is interfering with how you feel about yourself, and has impacted your ability to function in your relationships, at work, and other aspects of your day-to-day life, know that you can get help.
Even though the psychiatric community does not consider porn addiction to be a true addiction, it’s important that you treat your compulsive consumption of porn as though it were an addiction.
Whether pornography addiction qualifies as a real addiction in the traditional sense, there are things that you can do to help cope if this behaviour is causing problems in your life.