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Porn Addiction Treatments Options

Porn addiction can cause immense pain and suffering to the person with the addiction and their loved ones. You likely feel tired, frustrated, and perhaps even hopeless. You’ve tried everything to get your loved one to seek porn addiction treatment, and you feel stuck. You may feel like you’re losing someone you care about. You want to help them in any way possible. 

The decision to seek porn addiction treatment can be an overwhelming and challenging one to make. Help is out there, but the person with the addiction has to be ready to seek it. The good news is that you can help encourage and support their decision to seek treatment. It just takes some empathy and patience.

What is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is when a person’s porn consumption habits interfere with daily responsibilities and relationships.

The person’s porn consumption likely started casually but escalated over time to the point that they feel out of control of their urges and actions.

Porn addiction shares its roots with other behavioral addictions, such as gambling, and can have severe repercussions. Some people lose relationships and even careers. 

Symptoms of porn addiction include:

  • Feeling driven to watch porn, even when they know they shouldn’t 
  • Difficulty or inability to experience sexual satisfaction with partnered sexual activities
  • Viewing porn in inappropriate places, like at work
  • Using porn to deal with adverse feelings like stress or anxiety
  • Avoiding social activities in favor of watching porn alone
  • Increased isolation from previously enjoyed activities
  • Ignoring other responsibilities to watch porn
  • Feeling guilt or shame because of porn viewing

If these sound like someone you love, they may have a porn addiction.

What Causes Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is a trauma response. When a person experiences trauma or traumatic memories, they need a way to cope with those emotions. The release of the feel-good-pleasure-chemical dopamine helps them feel better. 

Many activities cause the release of dopamine, such as a hug, eating fatty food, or having an orgasm. So, some people turn to pornography to get a dopamine release to cope with negative emotions.

Consistent porn access floods a person’s brain with high levels of dopamine it can’t process. This flooding causes those dopamine receptors in the brain to shut down. The shutdown leads to a reduction in dopamine processing, creating a need for more or greater stimulation and escalating porn use over time. 

There is a way to break the cycle of porn addiction. The person can seek porn addiction treatment with qualified teams that can support their healing journey. 

Signs Someone Needs Treatment for Porn Addiction

Your loved one with porn addiction must decide to seek treatment for themselves. Behavioral addictions can be difficult to overcome because the person has to want to change.

Signs your loved one needs porn addiction treatment include: 

  • Abandoning responsibilities to use porn
  • Feeling guilt or shame after viewing porn
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop using porn
  • Sexual dissatisfaction
  • Increased cravings to view porn
  • Porn use negatively impacts relationships
  • Having financial issues because of addiction to porn

Using porn can be a normal and healthy part of adult sexuality, but it’s a problem when a person becomes reliant on it.

How to Get a Porn Addict to Go to Treatment

If your loved one has a porn addiction, you can’t force them to seek treatment. You can encourage them to admit they have a problem and ask for help.

Ed Tilton, Chief Operating Officer at Begin Again Institute, said a person with porn addiction has to get honest with themselves before they’ll be ready to seek treatment. He said:

“The lies a porn addict tells themselves often become the strongest delusions and hardest behaviors to change. Once they’re able to find honesty with themselves, they start to acknowledge a desire for change.” 

The best way to encourage someone to seek porn addiction treatment is to remind them that their recovery is their choice and responsibility. Only they have the power to create change and get their life back on track. 

How You Can Encourage a Porn Addict Seek Treatment

You can subtly encourage a porn addict to decide to seek treatment in many ways. These ways start with small changes you can make to help them feel safe discussing their addiction with you.

To help encourage treatment, you can: 

  • Explain what you see and experience with the addiction, how it impacts you, and how it affects your relationship with them
  • Learn about porn addiction, so you can communicate intelligently about it
  • Avoid being judgmental
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Explain the impact of their dependence on you and everyone around them
  • Remain firm in not accepting the addiction in your life
  • Don’t blame yourself
  • Check on them regularly
  • Help them find treatment
  • Seek support for yourself

As someone who cares for someone with porn addiction, you want help the best way you can. To do this, set boundaries and stick to them. Otherwise, you may become an enabler to their addiction. Ed said:

“Helping someone see their need for help through treatment is best achieved by honest, clear, and consistent communication. The communication has to be specific and involves acknowledging the person while stating the specific behaviors associated with the addiction that have caused pain and betrayal. You then have to set a boundary and follow through with it.”

You also can help remove triggers from their environment. Then, replace those things with more positive and helpful resources. 

Things to Avoid When Encouraging Treatment

There is a fine line between encouraging someone and pushing them. When you push someone with an addiction to seek treatment, they’re likely to avoid it and resent you.

When encouraging treatment, avoid:

  • Criticism. Porn addiction isn’t an ethical lapse. It’s a mental health issue. Criticizing a sick person is wrong. It may cause them to feel worse and avoid you.
  • Enabling. There is a fine line between enabling and being supportive. Make sure you don’t step over that line.
  • Shaming. Masturbation is a perfectly healthy part of human sexuality. It’s not the fundamental behavior that’s the issue. It’s the dependence on it.
  • Threatening. Leaving abruptly or threatening a person with an addiction can trigger a trauma response. Lay out the conditions for your support with love and concern rather than threateningly.

Be there as a pillar of strength and a safe place for them to seek non-judgmental support. Doing this can help them feel confident in their choice to seek porn addiction treatment. 

Porn Addiction Treatments Options

Porn addiction treatment can be a long road. You can give your loved one a promising start by choosing the right porn addiction treatment program. Institutes may offer therapy, support groups, and even residential treatment options near you.

Porn addiction treatment is all about breaking habits. Therefore residential programs tend to have a higher success rate. Begin Again Institute’s 14-day Men’s Intensive is an excellent foundation for a healthy and sober life. 

If your loved one is ready to start treatment, contact us today.

  • Category: Pornography Addiction
  • By Begin Again Institute
  • August 3, 2022

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