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Signs and Symptoms of Porn Addiction: Everything You Need to Know

    Signs and Symptoms of Porn Addiction: Everything You Need to Know

    Engaging in pornographic material and sexual activities is normal. However, there are instances when these may be taken to extremes, and create negative effects that can cause harm to the individual. In this case, the individual may have a pornography addiction. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of porn addiction here.

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Porn Addiction?

    The inability to restrain oneself from partaking in pornographic material may eventually affect the person’s behavior, and lead to negative consequences. Following this, it is important to take note of the possible signs and symptoms of porn addiction.

    The signs of porn addiction include:

    • The individual is having difficulty in restraining themselves from viewing pornographic content. Lack of control is evident.
    • Being addicted to porn may be the cause of developing unwanted behaviors in the long run. These may affect a person’s intimate relationship with others.
    • Feelings of thrill and stimulation that occur before and during viewing pornographic material are replaced with feelings of regret, guilt, remorse, and sometimes depression.
    • The addiction may affect other aspects of the person’s life. For example, an individual will find themselves poorly performing in work or school and receiving consequences for it.
    • Another sign of porn addiction is being secretive about a person’s frequent use of porn. They constantly find themselves deleting their browser history because they are afraid that people might find out about their addiction.
    • Viewing pornographic materials has interfered with a person’s life. This eats up the majority of their time and hinders them from paying attention to their responsibilities, relationships, and doing the things they love.
    • A person who is addicted to porn will often think about porn when they are not engaging in activities in regards to porn. Also, they will start to think about the time in which they are going to view pornographic content again.

    The following may also be associated with pornography use:

    • Higher levels of depressive symptoms
    • Poorer quality of life
    • Frequent suppressive days that affect a person’s mental and physical wellbeing
    • Higher levels of anxiety
    • Development of a narcissistic personality disorder
    • Higher levels of compulsive and impulsive pornographic use

    Effects of Porn Addiction

    Once a person shows signs and symptoms of porn addiction, it is most likely that their way of living will gradually change to accommodate it. Below are some of the effects that porn addiction may cause:

    • Porn addiction has a high possibility of affecting one’s mental health. Depression, social anxiety, and having negative thoughts about their body image will develop. This may lead to people being diagnosed with eating disorders because they are unhappy about their bodies.
    • There is a feeling of numbness that starts to feel normal after use of pornography.
    • Porn addiction may interfere with a person’s life. For instance, it may affect work performance, or cause distrust to grow within their intimate relationships. Moreover, porn addiction will distract a person from reaching their goals because porn eats away at their time.
    • Social isolation
    • Mood disorders
    • Sexually objectifying other individuals
    • Involving oneself in risky behaviors
    • Sexual problems
    • Self-loathing

    Diagnosis and Treatment of Porn Addiction

    Porn addiction is not formally included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5). The DSM helps medical professionals, and other people related to this field, to identify, diagnose, and treat issues that affect one’s mental health.

    However, those who suffer negative effects from high levels of porn consumption are recommended to speak to a counselor. Some doctors add that more studies are needed to create evidence-based treatments for people who may suffer from high volume porn consumption.

    Currently, porn addiction is considered part of hypersexual disorder. Two criteria that must be present to diagnose hypersexual disorder include the patient being at least 18 years-old and has experienced the symptoms for at least 6 months.

    Key Takeaway

    While porn addiction may not be officially diagnosed as an addiction, it is very important to address this issue as it affects the wellbeing of individuals and those around them. It would be best to consult professionals with regards to having porn addiction.

    Learn more about Addiction here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Sexual Addiction, https://www.helenfarabee.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=49376&cn=1413

    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Signs of Pornography Addiction, https://www.utdallas.edu/counseling/pornaddiction/

    Accessed March 11, 2021

     

    Symptoms of Porn Addiction, https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1393&context=honors

    Accessed March 11, 2021 

     

    Effects of Porn Addiction, https://rewardfoundation.org/health/mental-effects-of-porn/

    Accessed March 11, 2021 

     

    Diagnosis, https://fightthenewdrug.org/why-isnt-pornography-addiction-an-official-diagnosis/

    Accessed March 11, 2021

     

    Treatment, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/pornography

    Accessed March 11, 2021 

     

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    Written by Jen Mallari Updated Jul 28
    Expertly reviewed by Jessica Espanto, LPT, MA, RPsy
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