Effects of Pornography Addiction and How to Heal
If you’ve made it here, you or a man you care about is struggling with their relationship to pornography. First of all, congratulations on taking this first step in understanding this addiction and seeking help. My name is Dr. Gregory Crow, and I am humbled you are considering taking your recovery journey in my practice. With over 35 years of experience as a psychologist specializing in men’s issues, you can rest assured that I will be here for you every step of the way to discuss the feelings and experiences you’ve had with pornography addiction, as well as create an actionable plan toward recovery as you navigate them.
It is important for you to know that you are not alone. Researchers surveyed over three hundred men ages 18 to 73. They found that more than 80% were considered to be regular watchers of pornography (viewing once a month for at least six months), averaging three to four times per week at 15 to 30 minute intervals. In this day and age, it is easier than ever to access pornography, so it is no wonder it is such a common struggle for many men. It is a struggle that can be beat with the right combination of therapy, action planning, and regular progress monitoring. While you may not see marked improvement tomorrow, or a week from now, I can assure that over time, and with your commitment, I can help you to overcome it.
Pornography addiction can affect all areas of a man’s life, especially but not limited to his romantic, professional, and familial relationships.
We are designed to be in relationship and community with others, and are born with an innate desire for human connection. Connection means to build intimacy with a partner, be vulnerable, and do life together. The problem is that pornography is not intimacy. It can fool your brain into thinking you are sexually satisfied the way you would be with a real life partner. However, in actuality, creates unrealistic expectations in unnatural sexual scenarios that do not translate successfully onto real relationships. Many men, especially younger generations of men, falsely attribute characteristics of real love and healthy partnerships to erotica designed only to profit off and addict the viewer.
Another negative effect of pornography is that it can create a vicious cycle of loneliness. Loneliness induces porn use, but it is only a temporary vessel used to distract from that very feeling. Upon returning to “real life,” you are re-acquainted with the isolation from others and lacking fulfillment and closeness afterward, creating a repeated desire to temporarily remove yourself from those feelings. Together, I can teach you how to seek comfort and closeness with real life others and develop realistic, healthy expectations of your sexual, familial, and professional relationships.
Pornography can also negatively affect you through the time spent going back to it over and over again for that temporal escape from loneliness and the feeling something is missing. As you spend exponentially more time with it, as if to a drug, you become addicted. The emptiness you feel begets further spiral into this addiction. Pornography, therefore, robs you of time away from important people and events in your life, and the capacity to create close, genuine relationships with them. It may even affect your professional life, distracting you from productivity at work and using company property to engage in the addiction. I will teach you skills and develop a plan with you for how to refocus your time and energy in healthier, more productive ways.
Do you feel ready to get serious about getting help because of the devastating effects of pornography addiction? Despite the challenges you have faced and the overwhelming nature of this compulsion to view and engage in pornography, there is hope. You are not doomed to a future of unsatisfactory partnerships, lost productivity, and shame.
I look forward to creating a partnership with you to achieve success in overcoming the negative effects of pornography addiction.