Pornography addiction, also called cybersex addiction, is a behavioural disorder characterised by excessive, problematic viewing of graphic, sexually explicit material. Viewers are now able to get online with a variety of devices in almost any setting. This unparalleled accessibility of explicit content via the internet is a major contributing factor in the recent recognition of this disorder, particularly among teens and young adults.
How Do You Know If It’s a Problem?
Pornography addiction is not only characterised by inordinate time spent consuming explicit material, but also the consequences of such consumption. When the intake of graphic content causes a person to become disassociated or isolated, develop unrealistic or harmful expectations, or to attempt to fill emotional or social voids, the use becomes problematic. Some symptoms of pornography addiction include:
- Long periods of time being spent viewing pornography
- Lack of interest in other activities, including those previously enjoyed
- Feelings of shame or depression regarding use; attempts to keep frequency of use hidden from others
- Inability or disinterest in forming lasting romantic relationships
- Isolation from friends and family
- Trouble at school or work due to misuse of technology
People with a cybersex addiction often display a gradual increase in symptoms over time, which creates problems in daily life and relationships. While there is some debate over whether this behaviour constitutes an addiction or a compulsion, there is consensus that when negative results occur, this is a key indicator that intervention and treatment is needed.
What Treatment Is Available?
Treatment methods for pornography addiction vary, with many focusing on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Changing habits or patterns of behaviour is critical, as is developing relapse prevention skills. Discussing your concerns and symptoms with a therapist is an important first step in determining how to address a pornography fixation.
At The Edge, we promote a holistic approach to effectively and successfully treat pornography addiction. This includes combining specialised behavioural management techniques, individual and group therapy, and physical activity. Our resort-like inpatient centre offers participants an environment away from triggers and temptations so that they may focus on recovery. The intensive athletic and group work elements of our treatment help to reconnect participants with the physical world and foster connections with fellow participants, drawing them outside of virtual reality and rewarding them with the benefits of interpersonal relationships and tangible interaction with the world.
If you are concerned about the impact pornography is having on your life, call The Edge today for a free and confidential conversation about how we can help.