Pornographic images have been around for years, archaeologist throughout the world have found images carved in stone. Within the last 30 years, how pornography is viewed has changed, from having to travel to a rough part of town to personally purchase a magazine or video, to the ability to obtain explicate videos on your phone. With the Internet, users are now able to access pornography anonymously, having access to millions of images, mostly for free. The accessibility, affordability and anonymity takes the effort, cost and public judgment out of the equation. In the last twenty years, pornography has moved into mainstream society.
Why does this matter?
Effects of pornography gathered from self-reports show users have difficulty reaching orgasm, experience delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and no longer are aroused by real people. While symptoms do improve when they stop visiting online sites research shows 1/3 of men, 18-30 years old, believe they are addicted to pornography or are unsure.
People who suffer from drug abuse often show outward signs, like dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes, increased pulse, erratic behavior and mood swings. On the other hand, those who suffer from alcoholism demonstrate a growing dependency on alcohol to perform daily functions, lack of inhibition and loss of control over their emotions and actions.
A porn addict however, more than likely has the appearance of a perfectly normal person—no increased pulse, or bloodshot eyes or lack of control over their emotions. Porn addiction, if left untreated, can lead to a life of loneliness and heartache, causing damage similar to that experienced from drug and alcohol addiction.
If you’re a fan of pornography, you’re likely watching it a few times in a week. Porn addiction, is one of the many forms of sex addiction, and could mean that you spend more than a few hours a day watching pornography, chasing after the “high” it provides. In some cases, sex addicts develop unrealistic expectations about sex due to their prolonged exposure to porn. This can lead them to act out in unhealthy and unrealistic ways or fantasies.It can also drive a wedge between the addict and a loved one, preventing true connection and intimacy.
There are many who find they cannot stop watching porn even though they want to. Porn addiction can affect an individual’s work, family, and ability to date or form intimate relationships. Hours on the internet can pass before the addict realizes they have neglected commitments. The internet has increased access to new sexual avenues and anonymous hookup sites. The wide availability of sex can be a problem for people who feel controlled by their sexual impulses.
We at Alpha NeuroHealth Clinic affirm the value of a healthy sexual relationship in people’s lives. Ironically, people may be attracted to porn because of this healthy, natural interest in sex – however, over time, using this false substitute, porn will diminish the enjoyment of real sexual relationships. Viewers of porn are ambushed with unrealistic bodies, contrived situations and degraded behavior, all far from natural. With time, expectations and desires may change to conform to the counterfeit sexuality that is displayed in pornography.
As in all addictions, users turn to an unhealthy behavior to pursue reward or relieve pain and stress. The individual uses the sexual response system to alter their moods much like some alcoholics turns to the bottle to cope rather than confronting their problems in a healthy way.
While there are varying opinions about whether pornography can be addictive. We feel there is sufficient research to explain how pornography can change the reward circuitry in a user’s brain, and evidence is growing to show that pornography causes significant changes in brain function.
The biggest sexual organ you have is your brain. Sexual stimulation releases the highest natural quantities of dopamine. When dopamine is elevated long term, it leads to brain changes that are associated with addiction. This results in an individual feeling a loss of self-control, a reduced ability to cope with stress, and a lowered response to everyday sources of pleasure.
Alpha NeuroHealth Clinic uses Neurofeedback to assist addicts in coping with cravings and impulsivity, helping to reduce relapse incidents. We teach the addict how to self-regulate during a craving, enabling them to move through the craving WITHOUT ‘using’.
In many cases, cravings are intense, debilitating, and often create a body response which leaves the addict with no other perceived choice, but to act out to get that “high”. To combat this, Neurofeedback is used to teach self-regulation of brain function.
Those who struggle with porn addiction report feeling a loss of control, a preoccupation with pornography or masturbation, and continue with the behavior despite negative life consequences.
As with any addiction Neurofeedback treatment has a high success rate, because what it does is teach your brain how to operate in a rational and calm state.
Please call us now at 435-574-5590 for an appointment!