Porn Addiction Symptoms: 6 Common Symptoms of Porn Addiction in Men

Porn Addiction Symptoms: 6 Common Symptoms of Porn Addiction in Men

What are the most common porn addiction symptoms? How do you tell if someone is addicted to porn? Where can porn addicts get help? Is it possible to recover from porn addiction? If you are looking for answers to these and more questions about porn addicts, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I am an online support group facilitator with more than ten years of experience. Part of my work involves facilitating addiction support forums where men discuss different issues related to addiction, including porn addiction symptoms.  This gives me a firsthand view of the effects pornography use can have on men and how being part of a support group can help overcome porn addiction symptoms and enhance the members’ quality of life.

If you want to learn more about porn addiction symptoms, this article has all the necessary information.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

Porn Addiction

Porn Addiction

Porn addiction is a hypersexual disorder often described as compulsive use of pornography despite it negatively affecting your life; and porn addicts are simply individuals exhibiting porn addiction symptoms like the inability to control the urge to watch porn.

Unlike other addictive behaviors, healthcare, psychiatric professionals, and mental health organizations do not view compulsive porn use as a true addiction, hence the lack of specific treatment. However, behavioral neurosciences explain that porn addiction symptoms are strikingly similar to those of other forms of substance use disorders and behavioral addictions such as opioid use, substance abuse, and alcohol abuse.

Not everyone who watches porn is a porn addict. Viewing porn is said to be an addiction when the viewer develops a keen porn habit despite the negative consequences of the behavior.

One of the most common signs of porn addiction is spending a great amount of time viewing pornographic material. This affects their social, personal and professional life. A porn addict finds it hard to quit porn even when it harms their relationships, career, and well-being.

Considered by most people as a type of behavioral addiction, porn addiction is characterized by obsessiveness with watching porn material. According to some experts, the functionality of a porn addict is different from that of a drug addict. In contrast, others cite it as the same, so it is controversial when it comes to validating it as an addiction.

Porn addiction is a highly controversial topic, especially when trying to validate whether it is a real type of addiction. Skeptical experts cite that porn addiction cannot be an addiction since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) under the American Psychiatric Association does not list sex addiction or porn addiction as a disorder.

Ultimately, porn addiction symptoms are different in different individuals. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), most mental health professionals disagree about the effects of porn addiction. Some believe that porn can benefit people’s sex life while offering a safe outlet for their sexual desires. Others believe that porn addiction damages relationships and can lead to unhealthy, destructive behavior while contributing to sexual aggression.

Some porn addicts compare porn addiction to nicotine addiction. This is because porn addiction causes an obsession with sexual thoughts and habits and high dopamine when the need is met. The same way a nicotine addict gets cravings for a cigarette. Many men and women have lost control over their sexual addiction and identify as porn addicts.

You can also read our article Porn Addiction Problems and follow mensgroup.com now!

Most Common Porn Addiction Symptoms

Inability to stop

No matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to stop yourself from viewing pornography. This means that you spend much more time on the internet watching online pornography than doing other meaningful things.

Urge for more

As you dive deeper into the addiction, a common porn addiction symptom is a craving for more porn content. You find it incredibly hard to go for a long time without watching porn. Sometimes, you sneak away from important events just to watch porn.

Lost time

As a porn addict, you easily get carried away with porn and spend a lot of time doing it. This leads to wasted time and a hard time accomplishing your obligations. The habit greatly affects your productivity and even your home life.

Lost interest in sex with your partner  

As a porn addict, you are likely to lose interest in sex with a real-life partner. Sometimes, you compare your partner to porn actors, making you less attracted to them. Once you become unresponsive to romance or sexual advances from your partner, you find comfort in masturbation and only experience ejaculation only from porn.

Unrealistic sexual demands

Watching porn places unrealistic expectations in your brain when it comes to sexual activity. You find yourself demanding more from your partner during sex and get easily frustrated when they do not meet these demands.

Financial loss

With time, most people with online porn addiction start spending money on what they think to be higher-quality content. This can place them in financial hardship as they pay for the expensive habit. Even with the money problems, most people are unable to control their spending on porn.

Other symptoms include:

  •       Intrusive thoughts – constantly thinking about watching porn, even when doing other activities.
  •       Shame and guilt – you feel ashamed of the habit and have an increased sense of guilt, but you still cannot stop.
  •       Risky consumption – you may watch porn in inappropriate settings and times, like at work.
  •       Hiding – you try to hide your porn-watching lifestyle from your family members because you imagine they would disagree with the habit.
  •       Mental health disorders – most porn addicts develop mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
  •       Withdrawal symptoms – you exhibit signs of withdrawal symptoms like mood swings and agitation whenever you try to quit porn.

You can also read our article Porn Addicts and follow mensgroup.com now!

How to Reverse Porn Addiction Symptoms

How to Reverse Porn Addiction Symptoms

Acknowledge that you have an addiction

The first step to overcoming porn addiction symptoms is acknowledging that you have an addiction. Accepting that you have a problem will make your mind consider possible solutions, including finding an accountability partner.

Get rid of all porn access

You need to make it harder for yourself to access porn. You can start with unsubscribing from all the porn sites you were subscribed to and delete your account. Installing a porn blocker on all your devices can also offer a little barrier to stop you from giving in to moments of intense urges. While you can still bypass the blocker, it will give you time to reconsider giving in to the cravings to watch internet pornography.

See a therapist for ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

ACT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment plan that focuses on accepting thoughts and urges while sticking to actions that align more with values important to you.

Through ACT, you learn how to stop denying, avoiding, or struggling with your inner thoughts and urges and instead learn to build a better relationship with them. This makes it easier for you to acknowledge when the urge to watch porn starts and discover a better way to divert the thoughts.

ACT is a form of research-supported professional help plan for problematic pornography viewing that can be used to reduce the use of porn material by up to 90% over a 12 sessions period

Join a local 12-step recovery program

These can be inpatient or outpatient. For most people looking to beat porn addiction symptoms, having an in-person community is essential for the recovery journey. Most 12-step programs are anonymous and readily available to new members in different states and cities, on social media or offline.

These in-person communities provide a non-judgmental environment to connect with other people just like you and get helpful medical advice and treatment options. Going through the 12-step program can go a long way in helping you overcome your battle with porn addiction and live a healthy, addiction-free life.

Join an online support group

If you are not comfortable joining an in-person 12-step program for pornography addiction, an online support group is your next best option. These online spaces offer a community to meet other like-minded individuals going through the same struggles as you.

If you are a man looking for a reliable online support group for porn addiction, Men’s Group can offer all the help you need.

More About Men’s Group

Men’s Group

Men’s Group is a men-only online support group that offers peer support to men looking to connect with others as they fight various issues, including porn addiction symptoms. At Men’s Group, men can talk about their triggers, shortcoming, and failures in their recovery process.

This is a forum for mutual acceptance, self-discovery, and understanding amongst peers. Participants can join chat rooms or meet with other porn addicts through video calls. With Men’s Group, you, or your loved one, do not have to go through problematic pornography use alone.

Conclusion

Learning how to stop watching porn requires you to learn more about porn addiction symptoms to understand the condition better. This article presents relevant and helpful information to get you started.

Like any other addiction, porn addiction requires behavioral therapy and guidance for one to recover. If you are a porn addict, joining a men’s support group like Men’s Group is essential to finding healing and recovery from this addiction. Doing it with others like you calls you to be accountable and improves your chances of making the change you seek.

*Sources:
1. What to know about porn addiction
2. Common Signs of Porn Addiction
3. Pornography Addiction: Signs, Causes, and Statistics
4. 11 Signs You May Be Addicted to Porn
5. Is pornography addictive?

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