Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Why Is Porn So Addicting

Sensitised Pathways Remain Even When You Quit Your Addiction

Part 4: Dopamine: The Molecule of Addiction | Your Brain on Porn | Animated Series

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.

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.

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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Activities That Speed Up Your Reboot

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.

Altered Stress Response: Stress And Craving Reinforce One Another

Reasons Why is Pornography So Addictive?

In addiction, stress or any uncomfortable feeling has the tendency to become a trigger for cravings. The addictâs brain knows that the addictive behavior is the thing that always brought relief in the past. Cravings are so painful that addicts want relief NOW. Even minor stress activates sensitized addiction pathways.

On top of this, withdrawal from addiction activates stress systems in the brain. An overactive stress system is behind many of the withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, and insomnia.

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Scientific Studies Support The Addiction Model

According to Gary Wilson, at least 31 neurological studies support the porn/sex addiction model: No studies falsify the addiction model.

For a more thorough review of relevant research, I recommend the paper .

Most of the information in this post and some of the slides are from Gary Wilson’s site YourBrainOnPorn.com

This Experiment Demonstrates The Power Of Dopamine

If an electrode is implanted into the reward circuit of a rat, the rat will press that lever over and over again until completely exhausted. He will ignore food, females, whatever, just to press this lever until he dies of starvationânot because it feels good, but because it feels excited–like he is just about to do something really important, like eating some cheese or having some sex. But he’s not actually doing anything conducive to survival rather, he is in a chemical-induced state of perpetual seeking.

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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.

Why People Watch Porn: 7 Reasons Its Appealing

Part 1: Introduction | Your Brain on Porn | Animated Series

Keith Rose holds a Master of Divinity degree and BA in Sacred Music. Keith worked with the Covenant Eyes Member Care Team for 15 years. He has also served as a Bible teacher, pastoral assistant, and music director at his local church. He’s now the editor of the Covenant Eyes blog and the author of . He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina with his wife Ruby and daughter Winslow.

Why do people watch porn?

Does it seem obvious? But if you stop and think about it, sex is normally something you do, so why would you want to watch someone else? Why are people so readily drawn to images and videos of sex?

Article at a Glance:

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Hypofrontality: Impaired Thinking And Stronger Cravings

Hypomeans below-normal and frontalrefers to the frontal lobes and prefrontal cortex. These areas of the brain are largely responsible for things like rational thought, planning, reflection, prediction of consequences, and self-control and willpower.

Our frontal lobes comprehend the consequences of our actions â and try to inhibit impulses that we might later regret, such as punching our annoying boss, or screaming at our kids.

In addiction, these frontal lobes undergo chemical and structural changes that impair their functioning, making it even harder for an addict to control their behavior and recognize the consequences of it. Watch this video to better understand hypofrontality:

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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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.

Nerve Cells That Fire Together Will Wire Together

Why is Pornography So Powerfully Addictive?

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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You Have Brain Fog And Low Energy

Its difficult for you to concentrate and keep your thoughts in order. You cant remember what youre supposed to do or what you were just saying.

Its starting to affect not only your professional life but your personal one as well.

The thing about brain fog is that you dont know it when you have it. Brain fog is when everything seems so cloudy, unsure, and scary. The world always seems like a dark and dangerous place. Ive talked about a similar state of mind I experienced as an alcoholic.

The problem is that you probably dont realize just how messed you up.

The Reward Circuit Of The Human Brain

The reward circuit shapes our moods, colors our emotions, leads us to fall in and out of love, and decides what we do and donât like. In fact, we never make a decision without consulting our reward circuit. You might think of the reward circuit as an inner compass that continually influences all our choices.

Simply put, the reward circuit wires us

  • to avoid physical and emotional pain, and
  • to seek out pleasure and novelty.

Why are we wired to seek novelty? This is what makes us inquisitive and curious, driving us to find new territories, new sources of food, and new relationships

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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.

How Desensitisation Occurs

Part 5: Pornography Addiction Test | Your Brain on Porn | Animated Series

To understand desensitisation, you must understand how individual nerve cells communicate. Dopamine-producing nerve cells affected by desensitisation originate from the beginning of the reward circuit and make connections with other nerve cells in the reward centre. Nerve cells send messages using chemicals such as dopamine. Nerve cells bond to each other to form a reward pathway.

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Lack Of Real Relationships

Sexual desire and sexual curiosity are wired into human beings. It can motivate even a chronically indecisive and overly cautious person to enter a committed marriage relationship. But something is changing. Not only has the average age of marriage gone up,³ but studies indicate fewer people are involved in relationships period.4

This shift away from real relationships correlates with . Whether they dont want to or cant is unclear, but todays generation is less inclined to find committed relationships than ever.

A recent college graduate writes:

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.

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Addictive Behaviors And The Chronic Brain Disease Of Addiction

The American Society of Addiction Medicine acknowledges that engaging in addictive behaviors, apart from alcohol and other drug use, can be a common manifestation of the chronic brain disease of addiction.

The following are excerpts from ASAMs long definition of addiction highlighting these behaviors 3:

  • Excessive use and/or engagement in addictive behaviors, at higher frequencies and/or quantities than the person intended, often associated with a persistent desire for and unsuccessful attempts at behavioral control.
  • Excessive time lost in substance use or recovering from the effects of substance use and/or engagement in addictive behaviors, with significant adverse impact on social and occupational functioning
  • Continued use and/or engagement in addictive behaviors, despite the presence of persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems which may have been caused or exacerbated by substance use and/or related addictive behaviors.
  • unsuccessful attempts to stop
  • impairment in social and occupational functioning
  • the presence of persistent or recurrent physical and psychological problems

Can Affect Daily Functioning

Porn addiction: Why Americans are in more danger than ever

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 Chemistry Of Addiction

All addiction can be characterized as a hijacking of the brains reward system. The human brain is designed to reward us for activities that help us survive and succeed in life. It does this primarily with a chemical called dopaminea hormone that both makes us feel good and motivates us to seek out the thing or activity that made us feel good. Dopamine release constitutes a high, and we experience it when we eat good food, laugh at a joke, engage in sexual activity, or achieve the aptly-named runners high.

Why are people addicted to porn? Its in large part due to this dopamine reward.

In the normal pattern of reward, we perform an activity that makes us feel good, our brain rewards us with dopamine, and then begins building memories of where that good feeling and dopamine release came from. In the future, we seek out those things that gave us a dopamine high in the past and repeat them. This is how we develop habits, preferences, and hobbies.

Why Sex Is So Addicting

Sex is a beautiful thing, and sex is a powerful thing. After all, God created it!

And its important for you to know that the reason God puts restrictions on sex is not because He is a cosmic killjoy who hates to see us having fun. Thats not it. The reason He has restricted it is because sex has a very powerful purpose in life.

The purpose for sex is to create a supernatural bond between a husband and wife that will never be broken. In line with this, sex is actually designed to be addictive!

Sex creates a nuclear-powered desire for a husband to be with his wife. It makes him think about her throughout the day. It makes him eager to be with her. It makes him want to serve her and to love her. And for the woman, it helps her to feel the closeness of their relationship as they become one in the marital act. Sex is the atomic bond that holds a together.

Nuclear radiation can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. It can be good when it is used in a controlled environment for a specific purpose. It can be used to provide energy to a city, heal a person from a disease, or to heat a cup of coffee in sixty seconds.

But when nuclear radiation leaks from a controlled setting, it can become very dangerous and even disastrous. Think Chernobyl.

God wants husbands and wives to be addicted to one another for life. Lets trust in Gods plan and allow that to be our guide to ultimate fulfillment.

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Neuroplasticity: How New Reward Pathways Arise

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 »

What Is Sensitisation

Part 3: The Reward Circuit | Your Brain on Porn | Animated Series

Sensitisation is a form of unique and powerful Pavlovian conditioning that alters the physical and chemical nature of your reward structure. Instead of salivating to the sound of a bell like Pavlovs dogs, your reward circuits are stimulated when you turn on a computer monitor or when you see a sidebar banner of a semi-naked women on a non-pornographic website.

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