Signs of Internet/Pornography Addiction

         Internet/Pornography Addiction Signs

Signs of Internet/Pornography Addiction. In recent years, more and more individuals that report having an internet and/or pornography addiction have emerged. A sex addiction is still a new concept and continues to have controversy around it. Regardless of whether this is a true addiction or if it is a compulsive behavior. Either way people are suffering and need help with the things that they are experiencing. Watching pornography is not in and of itself wrong, bad, or an addiction.

There are signs when someone is watching pornography to an excessive amount that needs to be addressed. If you are wondering if you or someone you care about has reached the point of possible addiction to pornography here are some things to consider:

1. The person you care about, or yourself cannot stop the behavior. It’s one thing to identify that you feel you can “stop at any time”. It’s another thing to stop that behavior. Maybe you’ve asked the person you care about to spend less time on the internet and more time connecting with others. If someone cannot stop a behavior, addiction to that should be considered.
2. Too much is never enough. When someone is struggling with addiction at first the behavior doesn’t seem that important or doesn’t take up that much time and effort. There then becomes a moment that what once was enough no longer is. More time is spent looking for something different. Something you haven’t seen before. Something exciting. Behaviors that create different and specific hormones in our systems can be just as addictive as an actual substance, especially sex and sexual orgasm.
3. There are significant periods of time lost. Most individuals can identify a time in which you were not mindful about something and wonder, “how did I get here”? Driving is a great example of this. We can go on autopilot if we go to the same places every day and have a specific route, routine, and schedule. We might get to our desired destination and wonder “how did I get here? Did I follow all the rules of the road? Was I safe?” The same goes for time spent on the internet or mindlessly looking at pictures, videos, and images. If you can’t remember what you did with your time or notice someone spending a lot of time checking out it should be questionable and addressed.
4. There is a loss of interest in sexual activity with others. This focuses specifically on if you are in a relationship. There can be multiple reasons why sexual activity might change within a relationship. Addressing what the root causes are for this is important to rule out any medical reason versus automatically assuming someone is getting sex or sexual activity elsewhere. However, with increased pornography use there can be a desensitization of other sex practices that hinder the connection with others. This can include a loss of interest in realistic relationships, attractiveness, and activities.
5. There is physical pain from continuing this behavior. This can include physical movements from the use of pornography like hand, wrist, arm or back mobility, strain on eyes from excessive computer/screen time. Also the physical pain of the financial burden can be a part of pornography addiction. Yes, there is a world of free internet pornography, but what happens when this isn’t enough? There are multiple other things on the internet that involve money or purchasing things that can get out of control very quickly without realizing it.
6. Your relationships are suffering. Maybe you’re becoming angered easier than before. Maybe you are not tolerating your partner’s behaviors or understanding where they are coming from. You’re being asked questions you don’t want to answer. Either way, your relationship is struggling and is becoming more difficult to maintain.
7. You find yourself making a lot of excuses. It takes a lot of work to maintain an addiction. Your making excuses for when others hold you accountable. You rationalize your own behaviors. You tell yourself “It’s not that bad” or “it could be worse”. “Pornography is free so what’s the big deal”? “Everyone watches it”. But here are the questions you need to ask yourself. Do you want it to get that bad and interfere with your day to day functioning? Do the interactions I watch on this screen depict true relationships? Are they safe, consenting, and healthy? If this is typical language that you use to justify your use of pornography? It might be time to start talking about these things with other people about the struggles you’re facing.

Signs of Internet/Pornography Addiction

Whether you are taking a personal inventory for yourself or for someone else above are some yellow and/or red flags warning you to take a closer look.  Continuing to ignore signs that something is wrong will not help make the situation better and won’t make it go away. If nothing else, the problem will likely continue to morph and grow to the point of great loss and destruction. Nothing is ever fixed or repaired by doing nothing. Whether that be with your relationships with others or yourself. Now can be the time to act. It can be the time to do something different. Learn to take control of a behavior that is not in alignment with your higher self.

Seek Help Today

Addiction of any kind is difficult to manage and change. This is something that you do not have to do alone. Working with a professional and your family and/or support system can increase your ability to make and maintain change. At High Expectations Counseling we have a talented staff ready to help you. If you want to learn more about this topic or others like it schedule a free 15-minute consultation.  There are professionals that can help you navigate through these sensitive topics.