Thursday, April 18, 2024

Why Is Porn So Addictive

Altered Stress Response: Stress And Craving Reinforce One Another

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

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.

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

Cultural And Societal Norms

They say that youre a product of your environment. Unfortunately, this holds when it comes to how people perceive themselves, their relationships, and sex. Certain cultural and societal norms create a stigma around sex. People are led to believe that they should look and act a certain way during sex. Theres also pressure to enjoy and engage in certain types of sex.

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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

This Experiment Demonstrates The Power Of Dopamine

Why Porn Addiction is Not About Sexual Desire: Part 4

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.

Read Also: How To Know If You Are Addicted To Adderall

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.

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.

Read Also: How To Talk To An Addict

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:

Scientific Studies Support The Addiction Model

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

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

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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 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.

Also Check: What Do Drug Addicts Use Batteries For

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