Friday, February 23, 2024

How To Stop Getting Addicted To Porn

Engage In Physical Activity

Escaping Porn Addiction | Eli Nash | TEDxFortWayne

Engaging in physical activity has been shown to positively impact the reward center of the brain which promotes overall well-being. Exercise is known to improve the physical and mental health of individuals by controlling the reward impulse, which may help explain its ability to mitigate internet addiction.45

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.

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.

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Lack Of Interest In Sex Or Are Sexually Unresponsive

You will notice that there is a gradual decrease in your advances to physical affection and non-sexual touch. Even when you have sex, its only when your partner is initiating it. There might be some cases where you have trouble becoming sexually aroused . Furthermore, you feel largely dissatisfied post-sex.

Take A Second And Think Beyond The Images Or Videos Youre Looking At

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This is a person, a real woman, a human being created by God, just like you. Shes somebodys daughter, sister, or even mother. Think of what her life must be like in front of the camera day after day, exploited and made insanely vulnerable. Chances are good that shes a sex trafficking victim and your addiction is helping to fund this multibillion-dollar crime. She does not exist for your enjoyment. She is being held captive and more than likely is crying out for help.

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Dont Beat Yourself Up If You Fall Off The Wagon

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.

Delete Your Browser History

Those of you with a background in psychology will recognize this as a type of Pavlovian conditioning. Pavlovian conditioning as defined by Wikipedia :

Classical conditioning refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus is paired with a previously neutral stimulus . It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response that is usually similar to the one elicited by the potent stimulus.

The only way around this is to delete your browser history.

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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.

Activities That Speed Up Your Reboot

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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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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.

Nerve Cells That Fire Together Will Wire Together

Sensitisation and learning are governed by this simple principle: nerve cells that fire together will wire together. When nerve cells experience pleasure, nerve cells carry that message to the reward centre by join together. Overtime, this pathway that carries this message becomes fixed. When a memory or cue activates memories related to this pleasure, a powerful craving arises because the pathways that allow this pleasurable cue to reach your reward centre are well established.

This is illustrated by the image below:

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Psychological And Emotional Needs

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.

It Can Affect Your Partner’s Self

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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.

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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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.

Neuroplasticity: How New Reward Pathways Arise

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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.

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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?

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.

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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.

Enroll In A Support Group

How To Quit Porn Addiction

If you go off the wagon, dont be hard on yourself.

It takes time and effort to try to kick a habit or overcome an addiction. Unfortunately, you might find yourself reverting to old patterns during that journey. When it occurs, dont waste time criticizing yourself.

Do some research, test out more coping strategies and recovery possibilities, then get back on track.

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If Youre Concerned About A Loved One

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.

How To Join A Support Group

For most support groups, all that is required to join is a desire to begin recovery. Most people join a support group by simply walking in the door of a meeting near them. No invitation is required and there are no dues or fees. For members, there is often a voluntary collection.

That said, there are “open” meetings for members and non-members as well as closed meetings for members and prospective members only. Depending on the type of meeting, you might come across some of the following codes that indicate a more exclusive support group or additional services offered:

  • American Sign Language

You can still find a meeting the old-school way by looking up a phone number in the white pages of the local telephone book or online.

Some databases are detailed and allow you to see which meetings are for newcomers or are wheelchair accessible, non-smoking, or LGBTQ+-friendly, among other characteristics. Other pages are less detailed and may only have phone numbers or listings for you to contact the meeting organizers.

The following is a list of official mutual support group websites and their meeting listings. If you cannot locate a face-to-face meeting near you, there are many online meetings available.

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Disordered Eating And Food

Support groups for problematic food-related behavior include:

Get Some Online Accountability

Let’s Talk On PO*N ADDICTION

Use software to monitor your online activity. Covenant Eyes is a great resource. It allows you to receive your accountability partners reports weekly for the sites they visit and the searches they make. It lets you know when you need to follow up with each other on questionable activity. Finally, it allows you to celebrate with each other in putting online struggles to death.

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Sex Addiction Disordered Relationships And Abuse

Support groups for sex addiction, disordered relationships, and abuse include:

  • Love Addicts Anonymous: A 12-step program for those who have “distorted thoughts, feelings, and behavior when it comes to love, fantasies, and relationships.”
  • Sexaholics Anonymous: A 12-step program for those who want to “stop lusting and become sexually sober.”
  • Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous: Find a meeting by searching by state or province. This is a 12-step program for those with “an addictive compulsion to engage in or avoid sex, love, or emotional attachment.”
  • Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: A list of International SCA meetings in-person and online. This is a 12-step program.
  • Sexual Recovery Anonymous: A 12-step group for those who desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior.
  • Survivors of Incest Anonymous: A 12-step program for those who are over age 18 who were sexually abused as a child.

Implement A Reliable Filter Or Accountability Scheme

Youll need to develop some self-control throughout this journey because there are sexualized images everywhere around you, but that doesnt mean you cant treat yourself to a break when you can. Dont forget to install some safety restrictions on your TV as well. Download a filter or accountability tool like Covenant Eyes on every device you use, including your phone, tablet, laptop, and work computer.

These will assist you in avoiding triggers for binge sessions and clearing some time to concentrate on more crucial matters. similar to the following item on the list.

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Are There Treatment Options Available

Many individuals benefit from who can help them overcome emotional difficulties and make positive changes in their lives. Usually, treatment incorporates:

  • : This therapy focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and developing coping strategies that target current problems.
  • Individual therapy: One-on-one therapy sessions offer a unique and transparent space for those in recovery to express their challenges, emotions, and hopes.
  • Couples therapy: When behavioral addictions break apart relationships, both romantic and family ones, couples counseling can help restore trust and rebuild relationships, which can be essential for support in long-term recovery.
  • Group therapy: Speaking about challenges, emotions, and troubles in a group environment, can offer a sense of fellowship and support and provide a space to build sober relationships.
  • Self-help groups: Usually, addiction is a lifelong journey self-help groups can offer aftercare support once someone ends treatment. Usually, these 12-step programs provide a sense of structure that can help with long-term sobriety.

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