Whats The Difference Between A Healthy Relationship With Porn And An Addiction
Since millions of people view erotic movies regularly, whats the biggest difference between a healthy relationship with pornography and one that can be labelled as an addiction?
For most people, it usually comes down to how pornography affects the rest of your life.
In a healthy relationship, you may view porn regularly and arouse to any depiction of erotic behaviour. But it shouldnt negatively impact other areas of your life, and you should be able to stop if you need to.
With an addiction, pornography can seep out into other parts of your life, and begin to negatively affect them.
For instance, if extreme consumption of sexual materials is beginning to cause issues with a partner, youre neglecting other responsibilities, or youre spending money that you cant afford to on porn, those could all be indicators of an unhealthy relationship.
More importantly, once you notice how pornography use is impacting you, you still arent able to stop watching it.
Five Steps To A Sober Lifestyle
See Your Specialist Alcohol And Other Drugs Service Or Local Doctor
Its important to talk to your specialist alcohol and other drugs service or doctor about reducing or quitting drugs. They can help you get appropriate help and support.
It takes courage for someone to admit they may have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Recognising you might have an issue and asking for help is an important first step to making a change.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, you can call the Alcohol and Other Drug hotline on 1800 250 015. It will automatically direct you to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service in your state and territory. These local alcohol and other drug telephone services offer support, information, counselling and referral to services. You can also visit a specialist alcohol and other drugs service or doctor directly.
If youve become addicted or dependent on drugs, it might be dangerous to quit on your own. Your AOD specialist or doctor can refer you to treatment such as detox, medication and counselling to help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
Remember, conversations with these services are private and confidential.
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Different Treatment Options For Recovery From Pornography
Virtual Treatment Programs:
Being addicted to porn may feel you ashamed. Unlike other addiction types, it may feel more embarrassing and humiliating to talk about it in front of other people.
Having individual therapy sessions and participating in specific groups from the comfort of your home may be easier.
You can start your recovery journey with a comprehensive and structured online treatment program through a secure telehealth platform.
Outpatient Addiction Counselling:
How To Accomplish Your Goals
After youve set your goals to either stop or cut back your drinking, write down some ideas on how you can help yourself accomplish these goals. For example:
Get rid of temptations. Remove all alcohol, barware, and other alcohol-related paraphernalia from your home and office.
Announce your goal. Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that youre trying to stop or cut back on drinking. If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you.
Be upfront about your new limits. Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served.
Avoid bad influences. Distance yourself from people who dont support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits youve set. This may mean giving up certain friends and social connections.
Learn from the past. Reflect on previous attempts to stop or reduce your drinking. What worked? What didnt? What can you do differently this time to avoid pitfalls?
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Staying With Someone Even When Its Unhealthy
Even when a relationship becomes potentially toxic or beyond repair, you may make frantic efforts to maintain it, DeMaria says. But these attempts to keep the relationship alive may prove self-defeating.
Not every relationship will work out, of course, and sometimes moving on is the best option for you and your continued well-being.
Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Affordable Online Therapy
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How Relationships And Addiction Are Connected
Love addiction or addiction to people arent formal mental health diagnoses.
In fact, the term addiction is no longer used in general. Instead, medical experts talk about substance use disorder.
But people and relationships arent substances, and they dont have the same effects on you.
Although not everyone agrees, some researchers suggest you could experience symptoms similar to those of someone living with substance use disorder.
- significant changes in mood, including feeling fearful or anxious
- neglecting other responsibilities and relationships
- having your life revolve around that person
- staying in the relationship even when experiencing negative consequences
- symptoms of withdrawal when apart from that person
But while emotional dependence can lead you to engage in behaviors that may mirror symptoms of substance use disorder, this isnt the same as addiction. The causes and processes in place are different.
because theres limited to no evidence for it. That includes relationship and sex addiction.
Researchers also distinguish between substance addiction and addiction in relationships because love, unlike substance use, is a desirable experience for most people.
Still, research from 2016 suggests that because romance can stimulate the reward centers of the brain in a similar way to substances, it could lead to certain patterns that mimic what some people call addiction or, more accurately, compulsive behavior.
When Your Addiction Is To A Narcissist
If you have an energy vampire, or narcissist, in your life and you are hanging on to the relationship to the point where your life is disrupted, this is called narcissistic addiction. And it is real! In fact, there are even biochemical changes in your body that take place, as with any addiction. Because of this, your brain chemicals can actually lock you into addiction to an energy vampire. Of course, if you already have addictive tendencies such as to drugs or alcohol you may understand the brain chemical aspect. It works like this:
You experience the release of dopamine when the narcissist is love-bombing you with gifts and compliments. You also experience the release of oxytocin when you are physically around your energy vampire, especially if you are in a sexual relationship. Then, when the energy vampire starts to exhibit unpredictable behavior, you experience adrenaline rushes. Finally, when you experience abuse at the hands of a narcissist you ultimately experience the effects of a constant stream of cortisol.
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Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
Focus On Your Deepest Passions
We typically indulge in addictions to take our mind off problems, painful emotions, or simply to hide our insecurities. These addictions provide us with a sense of control that helps carry us forward through to the next day.
Addictions however only hold power over you when you simply have nothing else to use as a substitute. In other words, you are prioritizing your addictions over other aspects of your life. Your addictions essentially become more important than anything else you could even fathom doing in that moment.
However, Im sure you have some healthy passions. You may even have an inkling of your lifes purpose. Possibly you also have some big goals you want to achieve. What are these things in your life? Do you even have a bucket list?
Why not create a bucket list of things you would like to do this year, this month, or maybe even this week? What things are you passionate about that you could add to your bucket list? What hobbies would you like to try? How else could you distract yourself from your addictions?
When you start giving more priority to your lifes passions and hobbies, your addictions will gradually start fading off into the distance.
Plan Out Positive Changes
Admit There Is A Problem
The hardest part to recovery is admitting you have an addiction. Substance use disorders affect the brain causing it to look for excuses and justifications to keep using.
Admitting a problem shows you have the courage to face your addiction and its underlying causes.
There are several places to turn to for help however, having a solid support system is essential in any treatment approach you choose. If you are not ready to turn to friends or family, consider talking to a therapist, doctor, or rehab facility.
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Treatment For Porn Addiction
If you think you have a porn addiction, then simply trying to stop watching porn will prove to be incredibly difficult. So the first thing to do when considering treatment for porn addiction is to speak to a therapist. They will be able to recognize if you do indeed have an addiction and plan the next steps to take with you.
This typically includes a combination of psychotherapy and, in some cases, medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used approach with people who are living with addictions. CBT aims to help you recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors.
Acceptance and commitment therapy is another popular form of psychotherapy used in addiction treatment. ACT focuses on helping you identify and accept the urges associated with watching porn and use value-based interventions to manage urges and symptoms.
What To Do If Someone You Love Is Abusing Marijuana
If someone you love is abusing marijuana, they may be in denial about the drugs potency, or their addiction. Through open communication, you may be able to help them realize they need to quit using. Here are some reasons to quit marijuana:
- Physical reasons to stop smoking pot to feel better, reduce the risk of lung cancer, and be more energetic
- Psychological reasons to stop smoking pot to reduce anxiety, get back to being happy without pot, and reduce depression
- Relationship related reasons to stop smoking pot to get out of the relationship rut that comes from smoking too much pot, find new friends, and heal from the fights or pain that marijuana has caused you and your loved ones
- Financial reasons to stop smoking pot to free up the money spent on marijuana, so you have more money to spend, put into savings, or use to pay bills
- Legal reasons to stop smoking pot to stay out of trouble with the law
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Popular Substance Abuse Recovery Programs
When a person with an addiction seeks treatment, odds are they will be directed to a 12-step recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous , Narcotics Anonymous or similar spiritual approach to recovery. The AA model was developed by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935, and remains the traditional model for addiction recovery in the U.S. It works like this: You admit that you are powerless over the substance or situation, you recognize that a higher power can restore your sobriety, you examine past mistakes with the help of a sponsor and make amends, then you learn to live by a new code of behavior and agree to help others who suffer from the same addiction.
There are other popular out-patient addiction recovery approaches as well. These include motivational techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy and SMART Recovery, a support group model that employs a 4-Point program of building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and living a balanced life. Unlike AA, SMART Recovery does not accept that individuals are powerless, but rather helps participants find their strengths and use them.
When all else fails, there is jail! Of course, this usually is not a solution.
Benefits Of Quitting Marijuana Use
Quitting marijuana provides significant benefits. Some of these are noticeable right away, while others might take a few weeks or months to take effect.
Some of the physical and mental benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Healthier lungs and heart
- Positive, balanced mood
When a person decides to quit smoking marijuana, improvements in work or school performance, relationships, financial situation, and overall health become apparent.
Some things may take time, such as sleep problems. However, these will eventually improve after a few weeks or months.
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Alvarado Parkway Institute Can Help You Overcome Drug Addiction
For over thirty-five years, Alvarado Parkway Institute has provided addiction recovery services to the San Diego community. Our intensive outpatient programs for chemical dependency are scientifically designed to help break the cycle of addiction. With support from our dedicated team of health professionals, you can achieve long-lasting sobriety and a healthy, happy life. Call us at and get on the road to recovery today.
Replace Watching Porn With A Healthy Habit
A trusted way to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit whenever you begin to feel the urge to indulge in that bad habit. For instance, going for a run when you feel the familiar urge to watch porn is a great way to healthily distract yourself.
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How Can Therapy Help
According to DeMaria, a therapist can offer support with:
- uncovering the underlying cause of your preoccupation with love
- finding new ways to practice self-love and self-care
- addressing unhelpful and unwanted behavior patterns
- building up self-esteem, which can promote a healthier approach to future relationships
Your therapist might recommend different strategies or techniques, depending on what they determine lies behind these relationship behavior patterns.
CBT can help address persistent thought patterns driving compulsive behaviors, while DBT can help you learn new strategies for managing and coping with emotional distress instantly and more effectively regulating emotions in the future.