Sunday, June 9, 2024

How To Help Porn Addiction

Psychological And Emotional Needs

Escaping Porn Addiction | Eli Nash | TEDxFortWayne

It is important to remember when working towards recovery that your addiction is routed in complex emotional and psychological causes.

You may need to alter your life in other ways to help you in your recovery. There may be certain relationships or habits in your life that jeopardize recovery.

It may also be necessary to consider how you process and express emotions and how you communicate with those around you. A professional treatment centre will help you to do this.

Acceptance And Commitment Therapy

ACT is similar to CBT in that it helps you identify thought patterns that affect addictive behaviors, but ACT emphasizes acceptance as a way to manage negative thoughts.

Group therapy is also a helpful option for anyone who is dealing with compulsive sexual behavior. Research has found that connecting with others who are experiencing similar issues can make you feel less alone, and decrease shameful feelings.

Tips For Staging An Intervention

1. Dont Do It Alone. A professional interventionist is always the most qualified to guide a successful intervention. Also, rely on non-addict family and friends especially those who have a close relationship with you or the addict.
2. Research Ahead of Time. Its best to do plenty of research ahead of time to gather insight on the addiction and how it affects the addict. Also, be prepared with local resources for getting help.
3. Write Out Your Statement. During the actual intervention, emotions will likely be running high, so its best to have a statement of how the persons addiction has impacted you and your relationship with him or her. These statements should be honest, yet written from a place of love no personal attacks.
4. Offer Help. Its important for everyone attending the intervention to offer tangible help and support as the person works through detox and rehabilitation.
5. Set Boundaries. If the person refuses to seek help and take the next steps outlined, its important that they understand that everyone present will end codependent and enabling behaviors.

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A Bad Solution To An Underlying Problem

While some are more prone to addictionbinge eating, gambling, substancesthan others due to genetics and brain chemistry, the initial driver for most folks is situationalthe addiction serving as a bad solution to another problem, such as depression, PTSD, or anxiety. Unfortunately, the addiction works: As soon as Jack clicks onto his favorite websites, he feels better. So, starts the downward spiral.

Neuroplasticity: How New Reward Pathways Arise

Overcoming Pornography Addiction

Forming new brain pathways in this manner is known as neuroplasticity. This is how we learn and how we become addicted. Overtime, old brain pathways weaken. This is known as forgetting or breaking a bad habit. Creating or weakening brain pathways is often known asrewiring the brain. Thus, neuroplasticity allows the brain to adapt as a result of experience.

Although they didnt know it, they had been seduced into pornographic training sessions that met all the conditions required for plastic change of brain maps.

If youre looking for addiction recovery books, check out our guide on the best books on addiction recovery »

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Understand The Nature Of The Battle

There is more knowledge about how the brain works now than ever before. Sexual addiction is not just a moral problem it is also a brain problem.

We can develop a brain problem with moral implications that cant be healed by moral solutions alone. We cannot just read our Bibles more, pray more or attend more small groups. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and we must find healing for our wounds.

So where is healing found?

Can Affect Daily Functioning

Being glued to a screen displaying pornographic material can be very obstructive to your daily flow. It can hinder productivity in the workplace, at home, and in social settings.

The overwhelming need to watch others engage in intercourse can become more important than the meeting scheduled with a client, attending the doctors appointment, or even taking much-needed time to relax and enjoy the day.

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The Reward Circuits Of The Brain

The reward circuit of the brain is also known as the limbic system or primitive brain. This refers to our evolutionary ancient structures contained in the brain. These structures are involved in almost all emotional and physical function you may think of. These structures essentially keep us alive.

Changes in the reward circuits may affect any aspect of behaviour and may even physiological functions. The reward circuit shapes are moods and colours our emotions. Fear, joy and rage all arise from these evolutionary ancient structures. Most of our desires and drives arise in the reward circuit, such as hunger for food, power or sex. The reward circuit also allows us to become addicted to certain behaviours.

Alterations to the reward circuits are responsible for most mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and social anxiety.

Reward circuit structures such as the hypothalamus and the Amygdala influence or control major functions such as male sexual behaviours, erections, the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. The bottom line is that chemical or structural alterations to the reward circuit may result in wide and varying effects.

Show Some Love And Empathy

Sick and tired of trying to quit porn? Youre not alone | Covenant Eyes

If youve gone through addiction yourself, it is probably easy for you to understand what your addicted loved one is going through. You know that they need love and empathy as much as anyone else. But even if you havent gone through an addiction, you have probably gone through some major trials or struggles in your life. Maybe youve lost a loved one, gone through a divorce, or experienced a particularly traumatic event.

Imagine the feelings you felt of sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness that you felt during that time. Those are the feelings that almost every addict feels when they are stuck in an addiction that they cant escape. Usually, the addiction is the only thing that makes them feel temporarily better, despite all the harm and damage they may be causing to others.

Scolding an addict, or trying to make them feel ashamed or guilty for their actions usually just backfires and is unhelpful. Your loved one probably already feels intensely ashamed for their actions but doesnt understand why they cant stop.

If a loved one comes to you and discloses addictive behavior, the best thing you can do for them is to show appreciation for their courage in choosing to reveal something that was probably very scary to talk about. Try to see this as a call for help and a request for love and support. You may feel some disappointment or shock, but recognize that those are your own judgments and that isnt what your loved one needs at this moment.

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Meet The Coolidge Effect

Internet porns endless supply of sexual novelty is an unnatural stimulus exploiting something thats been termed the Coolidge effect. This effect is best explained by an example. When you drop a willing female rat into a males cage, the male will continuously mate with the rat until he becomes bored. However, when you drop a different female rat into the cage, the males sexual appetite is awoken once more. You may repeat this process over and over again until the male rat collapses in exhaustion.

Why do the males become bored with the same female? Well, because the brain excretes less and less dopamine in respect of the current female, but a surge in dopamine occurs in the males brain when a new female is introduced. This mechanism helps promote genetic diversity and ensures no female goes unfertilized.

Deltafosb And Genetic Survival Via Memory And Repetition

Sensitisation begins with high levels of dopamine. This tells our primitive brain that this activity is really valuable and you should engage in this activity again and again. Dopamines goal is to have us remember and repeat behaviours that further our genetic survival. Dopamine achieves this by triggering a protein known as DeltaFosB. DeltaFosB remains in the brain for around eight weeks following your last binge.

DeltaFosB also activates certain genes that change the physical and chemical structure of the brain. As DeltaFosB levels rise, this protein begins to rewire the brain to crave for the substance or behaviour that led to a rise in DeltaFosB levels in the first place. This creates a circular process where wanting causes doing. This causes a surge in dopamine which leads to even more DeltaFosB being accumulated. As DeltaFosB accumulates, so does the urge to engage in the behaviour that created its accumulation in the first place. And so this cycle continues until you make a conscious effect to cease the addictive behaviour.

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How To Find The Right Treatment Program

Here are a few questions to ask: What is the programs philosophy? What kinds of treatment are used? What is the programs success rate? How much does the program cost? Is there insurance coverage? What is the programs hours of operation? How long is the program? What is the programs average completion rate? What is the programs placement success rate? What is the programs average completion rate? What is the programs placement success rate? What is the programs staff to patient ratio? Which professionals are on the staff? Are they licensed and/or certified? What is the programs success rate?

If Youre Concerned About A Loved One

Personal Filtering

It may be a problem if you notice that your loved one:

  • watches while at work or at other inappropriate places and times
  • is unable to keep up with their social, occupational, or other important obligations
  • is experiencing relationship difficulties
  • has tried to cut back or stop, but cant keep themselves away from it

If someone you care about shows signs of a compulsion or addiction, it may be time to open the lines of nonjudgmental communication.

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Sensitised Pathways Remain Even When You Quit Your Addiction

Thus, its really DeltaFosB that causes sensitisation and it does this by creating stronger and more powerful nerve connections in the brain. Long after an addict has quit using and DeltaFosB levels have returned to normal, these sensitised pathways remain. This explains why alcoholics who have been sober for many years may still suffer from strong cravings when they walk into a pub.

What Are The Consequences Of All This Dopamine

If you have managed to read this far, you may be wondering what damage all of this dopamine has on your brain. The consequences are mainly in the form of brain changes. These changes cause the symptoms and conditions listed earlier. These symptoms and conditions are physical and psychological in nature.

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Reward Circuits: Seeking Pleasure And Avoiding Pain

At its most basic level, the reward circuit allows us to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. Our very survival depends on the avoidance of pain and the repetition of pleasure. To this end, the reward circuit encourages us to engage in activities that either further our survival or the survival of our genes. These activities include sex, eating, bonding, achievement, play, novelty and taking risks.

We literally do not make a decision without consulting our reward circuit. The reward circuit emotionally justifies what we do like and what we dont like. When you are addicted to something, your reward circuit is out of balance. This affects your mood, your perception and your decision-making powers.

Activities That Speed Up Your Reboot

Sex and Pornography Addiction: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approaches to Recovery

Hypofrontality also reverses, but this takes time. You may speed up this process by engaging in activities such as meditation that are known to engage your frontal lobes. This will help reverse hypofrontality and thus strengthen your willpower. This will mean urges will become easier to ignore and healthy choices such as exercising and socialising will become far more appealing.

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What To Expect During Treatment

Depending on the type of program you choose, you may spend anywhere between six weeks and six months in treatment. During this time, you will meet with a therapist on a weekly basis and participate in group therapy and other activities as necessary. You may also be assigned homework to help you work through your individual issues and progress through the treatment process. You may also have to participate in daily practices, like mindfulness and journaling, to help you process your experience in treatment. Before entering treatment, you may be required to undergo medical testing. This is to ensure that you do not have any infections or other conditions that may make treatment unsafe or problematic. Additionally, you may be required to submit to a polygraph test in order to ensure that you are being honest about your past use and future intentions.

Set Some Strong Boundaries And Stick To Them

That said, this doesnt mean that you have to put up with addictive behaviors that are causing you harm.

What are boundaries? If youve never heard of boundaries, theres a good chance you have an addict in your home who is taking advantage of the lack of restrictions. If you have heard of boundaries but you still have an addict in your home that you are frustrated with, theres a chance that you arent enforcing your boundaries.

The best way to describe a boundary is that its either something you wont do, or something you wont allow others to do to you.

Something that is important to know about boundaries is that they arent used to control other people. I will repeat that because this is the most misunderstood concept about boundaries: Boundaries are not used to control other people.

So whats the point of a boundary if I cant use it to control someone else? A boundary is used to protect yourself and your values.

Ill give you one example of an inappropriate boundary and one example of an appropriate boundary:

A lot of people are scared of what might happen if they set a boundary and their loved one breaks it. They dont want to deal with the consequences of enforcing the boundary. Remember, enforcing a boundary is a way to show love and respect for yourself. Important tip: if you set a boundary and you arent prepared to deal with the consequences of that boundary, then you havent really set a boundary.

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Seek More Than We Are Satisfied

However, our dopamine system is stronger than our opioid system. This means that we seek more than we are satisfied. Seeking is more likely to keep us a live compared to sitting around in a satisfied heap. In summary, dopamine compels animals into action. This is why scientists refer to dopamine as the seeking circuit. Dopamine provides the motivation for us to pursue our wants and desires.

We receive a bigger burst of dopamine when we look at foods containing a bigger proportion of sugars and fats. This is because these foods are most likely to keep us alive when we are threatened with starvation. This is why you believe you are full until the waiter offers you that chocolate pudding. The anticipation for that pudding is fuelled by dopamine. Dopamine surges thus override feelings of satiety.

Dont Beat Yourself Up If You Fall Off The Wagon

The Day My Father Went Public About His Porn Addiction

Trying to break a habit or recover from an addiction is a journey. Unfortunately, on that journey, you might find yourself slipping back into old habits. Whenever that happens, dont waste any time beating yourself up.

Do your research, try more coping mechanisms and treatment options and get back on the wagon.

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Access The Wound That Makes You Return To Unhealthy Addiction

We live in a broken, fallen world. You can grow up in a perfect family with tons of support and still get hurt. Some people can process their pain relationally with others, but many of us cant do that. We dont know how. We find ways to numb our pain, and those can become addictions.

Ultimately, you must go on the journey of exploring your own life and ask, “Where have I been wounded and how do those wounds affect me today?”

Have you been hurt by abuse? Divorce? High school? If we dont identify these wounds, well end up treating the symptoms rather than the root problems. You must explore your own story with safe people. Discover where youve been wounded and allow yourself to process that pain. Then you can find healing.

It Can Affect Your Partner’s Self

When a partner observes their partner drawing away physically, preferring instead to turn to pornit can be a heavy blow to their self-esteem.

Questions around their abilities in bed, the interests of their partner, and what other areas they may be falling short might consume the significant other of a person with this hypersexual disorder.

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Install A Good Filter Or Accountability Program

Along this journey, youre going to need to gain some self-control in the face of sexualized images everywhere, but that doesnt mean you cant give yourself some reprieve when you can. Download a filter or accountability program such as Covenant Eyes on every device you use phone, tablet, laptop, work computer and dont forget to put some safety controls on your TV, as well.

These will help you avoid gateways to binge sessions, as well as find some space to focus on more important things. Like the next thing on the list.

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