I can't control my use of internet pornography...
As you are probably aware, the internet is a powerful tool for getting information, including pornography. It would seem that you can be anonymous and find whatever you desire with a click at a time when you want it.
It may be that you are using the internet to explore and satisfy your sexual needs, but on the other hand, you may feel that your use of pornography now feels out of hand.
What are the symptoms of addiction to pornography? The signs may be subtle but includes:
- Not being able to function well on a day when you have not accessed pornography
- Often finding yourself losing a sense of time (e.g. You planned to work but instead spent 4 hours looking at pornography and neglecting work)
- You keep looking for an opportunity to watch porn sometimes at high-risk to yourself (e.g. through your workplace computer)
- You find yourself constantly fantasising about the pornography you have seen and thinking about having sex with people you meet
These signs may indicate sexual addiction behaviour. Perhaps you are already depressed with the pain of addiction in your life, feel bad about yourself and your inability to take control of your compulsion to use pornography. It may be that your partner has found out about your use of pornography and it is causing a strain in your relationship.
Talking through your thoughts and concerns with a psychotherapist is the first step towards your recovery. Research has shown that recovery from sexual addiction rarely happens on your own as secrecy forms part of the difficulty. Your psychotherapist can listen to you in a confidential and non-judgemental way and help you understand your addiction to pornography, and how they may affect you and those around you. Your therapist will also help you to look at how your sexual fantasies and behaviours may mask other issues in your life such as the need for closeness, intimacy and relationship. You may discover how your addiction to pornograpy has become a substitute to managing feelings of depression, boredom or loneliness. In time, together with your therapist, you will hopefully find recovery from addiction to pornography and feel in control of your behaviour.
Related articles from our experts
- The four R's for addictions
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- Living with addiction; practice makes permanent
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- Two essential elements for positive, long-term change
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