How to Get Over Porn Addiction

Porn addiction impacts between 5% and 8% of adults. With over 40 million people admitting to viewing pornography regularly and countless others indulging privately, the risk of developing a porn addiction is on the rise.

With internet porn entering the scene in the ’90s, finding a variety of sexually explicit images and videos has never been easier. What starts as an innocent hobby, stress reliever, or even a form of foreplay, can quickly spiral out of control.

But how do you know if your porn habit is truly an addiction? There’s a fine line between compulsion and addiction. If you’ve become emotionally or physically dependent on pornography or it’s interfering with your ability to function in daily life, you may be addicted. Other warning signs of porn addiction include damaged relationships, social isolation, mood swings, and shirking major responsibilities in your personal and professional life. 

If any of these symptoms describe you, keep reading. Here we’ll offer some helpful tips and advice on overcoming porn addiction once and for all.

Identifying Your Addiction

Admission is the first step to recovery. Before you can start the healing process to get over porn addiction, you need to identify the problem and its source. This isn’t always an easy task but here are a few things to consider.

How Often Are You Viewing Porn?

Try keeping a journal of how often you’re consuming pornographic material. That includes looking at photos, watching videos, reading erotica, or even fantasizing about sexual scenarios. Try to catch yourself each time you’re engaging in addictive behavior. Take note of the time, the duration, the type of porn, and what triggered your urge. All of this information is extremely useful for overcoming your addiction. 

The online therapy program Stop Together, utilizes tools like a trigger journal and mindfulness techniques to help you recognize and gain control of your addiction.

Is it Affecting Your Personal Life?

Chances are if you’re addicted to porn, it’s negatively affecting the relationships in your life. These include friendships, your bond with family and loved ones, as well as your romantic relationships. Partners of porn addicts often report a lack of intimacy, a dramatic change in their sex lives, and frequent arguments.

Porn addicts often become defensive about their habits. You may lose interest in sex with your partner or pressure them to perform sex acts you’ve seen in videos. You may also find sex less satisfying and prefer to view porn and masturbate. You may also experience mood swings over the inability to indulge your urges or as a defense mechanism for the guilt and shame you feel. 

Many porn addicts withdraw from family and friends to hide their addiction or indulge in private.

Is it Affecting Your Professional Life?

Aside from your personal relationships, your career and job responsibilities are often the next casualty of porn addiction. Missing deadlines at school or work, not performing to your abilities, showing up late, or calling out sick to watch porn are all signs that your compulsion has become an addiction.

Watching porn during working hours is another dangerous behavior that could cost you your job.

How to Overcome Porn Addiction

Once you’ve identified and admitted that you have an addiction, it’s time to take healthy steps toward recovery. No two addicts’ journeys will look the same, but there are several tips and tricks that may be beneficial to your recovery process.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Breaking from any addiction requires some major lifestyle changes. You need to remove yourself from the negative environment and adopt healthier routines.

For starters, if you’re using porn as a form of stress relief, it’s time to find an alternative. Exercise, yoga, and meditation are all great ways to reduce stress and empower yourself. In addition to exercise, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can do wonders for both your mood and overall well-being.

Social isolation is another common side effect of porn addiction and can lead to depression. Start to slowly engage with others outside the house. Join a local group, sports team, or volunteer in your community. Instead of declining invitations from friends, start socializing again. Simply getting out of the house and away from your computer or phone can help break the vicious cycle of porn addiction. You’ll also discover you have increased energy and a more positive, optimistic attitude and outlook.

Eliminate Distractions and Temptations

While you can’t predict and eliminate every temptation, you can make it more difficult to indulge in your porn addiction. Set up website blockers and other security measures to prevent yourself from visiting pornographic websites. Avoid daydreaming about porn or having explicit fantasies. Don’t watch movies or television shows that involve intense sex scenes or nudity. All of these small adjustments will add up to big changes in your life. 

While it’s recommended you reduce temptation as much as possible, you can’t control every trigger or urge you have. In fact, you need to test yourself at times. That means intentionally facing a trigger or temptation and using your mental strength and resources to acknowledge it and let it go. Each time you overcome an urge, you’ll be that much stronger the next time temptation rears its ugly head.

Get Support

Most addicts need help to quit and porn addiction is no different. While you may feel embarrassed about your addiction, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some addicts aren’t comfortable sharing their porn addiction with family and friends. This is a personal choice and one that only you can make. 

Even if you choose not to include your loved ones in your recovery, you can still attend group therapy sessions, work one-on-one with a therapist, or enroll in an online treatment and recovery program. The latter is a preferred resource for addicts who crave anonymity as they navigate the recovery process.

Be Patient with Yourself

Getting over porn addiction won’t happen overnight. Depending on the severity of your addiction and how long you’ve struggled, it could take several months or even years to fully break the hold porn has over you.

Be patient with yourself. Understand that relapse happens and there’s still hope after a setback. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people who have your best interests at heart. It’s important to stay mentally strong while also being kind to yourself. Addiction recovery isn’t easy, but it can be achieved with the right resources, mind frame, and support.

Life After Porn Addiction is Possible

Don’t let your porn addiction define you. Be honest with yourself about your addiction including the root cause, triggers, and severity.

Whether you choose to go it alone or include your loved ones in your recovery journey, you can kick your porn addiction for good and start living a life of meaning and purpose.

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