Porn Addiction Side Effects

Porn playing on black Android smartphone on gray bed sheet

Pornographic Dopamine

Porn addiction is a behavioral problem characterized by an uncontrollable compulsion to view pornographic content or material. With the internet providing easy access to thousands of sources, it is not difficult to lose your grip and become hooked!

Porn addicts are unable to stop engaging in porn despite multiple attempts at doing so. Their cravings fuel their addiction, turning into a frustrating process; they become angry when loved ones ask them to stop.

Porn addicts will deny their addiction much like substance abusers; their impulses remain secret-like. Porn addiction is known for promoting secrecy in relationships, further impacting the addict’s psychological well-being. Because addicts do not reveal their addiction, they often feel as if they’re leading a double life by hiding their porn viewing; this promotes guilt and shame.

Porn addicts may continue to view porn despite broken relationships or job loss. Relationships suffer because an addict loses intimacy and sexual satisfaction with their partner; they become emotionally distant because their partner no longer provides the desired satisfaction. And some addicts must watch porn during work, affecting their job performance and promoting failed careers.

Porn addicts may be so addicted that they spend most of their waking hours watching porn! This can result in tolerance, requiring more hours spent on more intense pornographic material to achieve the desired pleasure and satisfaction.

As with any addiction, porn releases large amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine from the nucleus accumbens (reward center) in the brain; when porn is not available, the addict feels low and quickly returns back to watching porn, leading to a new dopamine surge! And this is how the cycle of addiction continues.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Locked In By Compulsions

A pyromaniac setting a fire in the middle of the night

What is Pyromania?

Pyromaniacs are individuals who enjoy setting fires and derive pleasure from it. The disorder begins in childhood; these children may display truancy, running away from home and delinquency. They may enjoy watching fires in their neighborhoods, setting off false alarms and collecting firefighting paraphernalia. They obtain gratification or a release during the act of fire setting and they show no remorse for life or property damage; the destruction actually satisfies them! These individuals may be drunk, experiencing sexual dysfunctions, have below-average IQs, suffer from personal frustration and may be bitter toward authority figures; some of them even become sexually aroused by setting fires!

What is Kleptomania?

Kleptomaniacs are individuals who have a recurrent impulse to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or monetary value; they often steal from retail stores or from family members. It’s a chronic illness beginning in adolescence and continuing into adulthood. The stealing is not due to anger or revenge and is not associated with delusions or hallucinations. They may also suffer from mood disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Oftentimes, they either return the objects or give them away.

What is Internet Compulsion?

Also known as internet addiction, these individuals spend most of their day on a computer surfing the web. They have repetitive and constant strong urges to spend time on the internet shopping, watching porn or playing games; they are unable to resist their urges.

What is Trichotillomania?

This is a chronic disorder that occurs more commonly in women, characterized by a repetitive compulsion of pulling hair out; it may even involve the eyebrows! Sometimes they chew or swallow their hair, resulting in a potential complication known as a trichobezoar – a hairball that becomes stuck in the intestines.

What is Mobile Phone Compulsion?

These individuals have a repetitive compulsion to use their cell phones to call friends, acquaintances or family members. They usually come up with reasons to justify calling others, but it is believed that these individuals suffer from a fear of being alone, are dependent on others or are undoing a hostile wish toward a loved one, “I just wanted to make sure that everything is okay with you today.”

As you can see, many people suffer from compulsions that manifest into a mental illness. That is why we need to come together and help each other understand our stories, so we can more effectively help one another deal with the emotions and pain that result in our suffering; this is one of the goals of The DSM Ready Movement.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

What Is Compulsive Buying?

Compulsive buying of shoes and bags in a lit display collection inside a dark room

When Onionmania Strikes

Compulsive buying usually begins at age 18 and is more common in women. It is a chronic condition that involves uncontrolled excessive buying without the ability to stop. Patients do not usually seek treatment until their 20s or 30s when they realize that they have developed serious financial problems; some even declare bankruptcy.

Compulsive buyers usually have many credit cards they use for their urges to buy items. They can go on shopping sprees every hour or as infrequently as once a month. Many try to stop their behavior on their own but are unsuccessful.

Compulsive buyers have a maladaptive preoccupation with buying or shopping. They experience irresistible, intrusive or senseless impulses to buy. They frequently buy items that are too expensive to afford or are not needed. They also shop for longer periods of time than intended.

Compulsive buyers are distressed because their behavior is time consuming, significantly interferes with their social or occupational functioning and results in financial problems. It is important to note that compulsive buyers are not experiencing hypomania or mania during their shopping behavior.

Treatments that have shown some success:

  • Limiting access to shopping, credit cards, home catalogs, the internet and home shopping networks
  • Psychotherapy (CBT, psychodynamic therapy, insight-oriented therapy, supportive therapy and behavioral techniques)
  • Medications such as Luvox (antidepressant), Lithium and Depakote (mood stabilizers)

If you or anyone is suffering from compulsive buying, feel free to share your experience on The DSM Ready Movement, so we can come together and help each other.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)