Porn addiction: These are the tell-tale signs you might be addicted

Pornography, we all watch it sometimes—some more than others—but at what moment can it become a problem?

Porn addiction: These are the tell-tale signs you might be addicted
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Consuming too much of anything can be bad for anyone. Especially when it starts to take over your life. Here are the signs to watch out for if you suspect you might be suffering from a pornography addiction.

Pornography, for a very long time, has been a contentious topic in society as some deem it to be inappropriate, among other things. However, if used recreationally in a healthy manner, then it should not be a cause for concern or make you feel ashamed or embarrassed. After all, masturbation is a healthy part of everyone's life.

But what if you've noticed you rely a little too much on it? When regular sex doesn't fulfil your needs anymore because you require the visual stimulation (and everything it entails) of pornography—that's when you should be asking yourself a few questions.

Though 'addiction to pornography' has yet to be included as an official diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) it has been more medically accepted as a legitimate compulsion.

To be clear, the distinction between obsessions and compulsions is blurred because they are actually quite similar. A compulsion is defined as that which manifests itself in 'repetitive behaviours with no rational motivation' often used to decrease anxiety. Much like an obsession, compulsions also involve a lack of control.

What are the signs to watch out for?

Whatever the proper term, pornography can become problematic when various spheres of your life become negatively impacted. An obsession or compulsion with pornography can be observed when:

  • You are increasingly spending more time watching pornography
  • You generate a 'high' from watching porn
  • You feel overwhelming guilt when engaging in the act
  • You start to neglect other responsibilities to get your porn 'fix'
  • You no longer derive pleasure from 'regular sex'

What can be done to treat this?

Therapy, in various forms, whether with a psychologist or with support groups, are highly effective ways of treating compulsions and disorders similar to those of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Through dialogue driven therapy, one can facilitate understanding the root cause of their problems, how to detect it and how to stop it from taking over.

In more severe cases, or for people who also experience depression or other mental illnesses, prescribed medication might also be an effective tool in regulating the issue.

Sex addiction: How to tell if you have an unhealthy obsession with sex Sex addiction: How to tell if you have an unhealthy obsession with sex