Power Over Pornography

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How do you know if you’re addicted to pornography?

I think the answer to this question is easy but the psychotherapists struggle with it. The “Am I addicted or not?” debate involves frequency of use, impact on health and the types of life activities that are given up by the porn viewer. Some also believe that because there’s no physically addictive substance involved that there can be no addiction. Here’s my view:

If you view pornography and your fundamental values say that you do not view pornography, then you are addicted, regardless of frequency and duration. I know some will disagree with me but infrequent viewers suffer the same consequences as other viewers but just to a lesser degree.

Many of them rationalize that they don’t have a problem because they only view occasionally. That’s like saying, “I burn myself with fire every other week instead of every day. Maybe the damage won’t be so extensive or so severe but the burn damage will still be there.”

Infrequent viewers deserve the same help to overcome their viewing problem. They deserve to have their “I’m not addicted” rationalization confronted just like the everyday viewer does. If they believe their rationalization, they won’t seek help and won’t be able to leave behind the horrible and potentially severe consequences of porn viewing and masturbation (viewing and doing).  Consequences that not only they suffer but their family suffers as well. They won’t be able to experience the increased ability to love and to develop and maintain relationships. They won’t experience the increased self-confidence and the rebound in their personal happiness.

Let’s lower the bar for defining “pornography addiction” so that more viewers can lay aside their “rational-lie-zations” and finally do something about their porn problems.  If you’re an occasional viewer, you’re still a viewer and will be amazed at the positive change in your life when you’re porn-free.

2 Comments

  1. Jerry Basford

    ON March 11th, 2014

    I agree. I have studied addictions for some time and for quite a bit of that time I tried to explain to others what “addiction” was. I have come to the conclusion that an addiction is doing anything you don’t think you should do. The frequency or degree of use is not as much an issue as the fact that you couldn’t stop yourself from doing it.
    Based on that definition I have discovered that I have many addictions and I work on them every day. By doing so, I have come to have a more loving life.

    Reply

    • Brian Brandenburg

      ON March 12th, 2014

      I love the phrase, “I work on them every day.” The key to avoiding relapse is practicing, or working on our addictions every day. Keep up the great work and keep living a more loving life.

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