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8 Actionable Tips To Quit Porn for Good

Pornography addiction is an epidemic that is rarely talked about. There are reasons for the silence, even though this is a massive problem that has spanned generations and only gotten worse with the availability of the internet.

Given the omnipresence of online pornography, the tendency of many men to keep quiet about their problems, and a general cultural acceptance of porn, it has slowly become as accepted as it used to be stigmatized.

What Causes Pornography Addiction?

According to information from a 2019 survey, 80 percent of men and 30 percent of women regularly view pornography. Of course, not everyone who watches pornography becomes addicted.

This is where cognitive dissonance occurs. We see that pornographic images are everywhere, and most people have at least experimented with watching porn.

So why is it that only some people develop a compulsion? And why is it so hard to quit? These are tricky questions when it comes to addiction in general.

Truthfully, we don’t exactly know why some people are addicted, and some can indulge occasionally. However, one truth is evident: pornography is designed to be addictive, and there is big money to make from those who just can’t stop watching.

First, studies have shown that those who habitually engage in porn watching have some of the same brain activity as those addicted to substances like alcohol or drugs. This is important information because it reveals that a porn addiction may be physiological and emotional/psychological.

Underlying mental health conditions may be a factor as well. Some people seem to use pornography to escape feelings of depression or anxiety. This is about as destructive as you can get as a coping method.

Another potential indicator is a struggling relationship or trouble getting into and maintaining a relationship. Those with healthy and happy relationships may still watch porn, but most won’t become addicted. On top of this, pornographic material has become so ingrained in our culture that it just seems completely normal.

What Do the Experts Say About Pornography Addiction?

Mental health and medical experts disagree about whether or not pornography addiction is “real.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) doesn’t include pornography addiction. As such, there are no official diagnosis measures.

Despite this, some professionals are trained in sex addiction and addiction to sexual materials such as pornography. A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) will likely tell you that becoming addicted to pornography is a real problem, whether or not the DSM-5 officially recognizes it.

Some experts still disagree because porn addiction is different than an addiction to drugs or alcohol, in which the physiological addiction is so strong that stopping could hurt the person struggling.

Whether you think of problematic pornography viewing as an addiction or a compulsion, recognizing it as a problem is the first step to changing your habits. We have some tips to help you cut the cord and get back to being who you were before porn took over.

What Are Some Tips for Quitting Porn for Good?

If you’ve tried to stop before but have fallen off the wagon a time or two, we have some ideas that might help.

1. Drop the Shame, and Know You’re Not Alone

One thing that keeps people from getting help with their porn addiction is the shame factor. It’s an interesting paradox because porn has become ubiquitous in our society.

Most people aren’t ashamed of watching porn, but they are ashamed that they aren’t in control, and they might not realize that many people suffer from this. Talking to someone you trust can shed some light on the problem and help you realize there’s a way out of the darkness.

2. Do Some Research

Grab that laptop, but this time for a positive purpose! It won’t hurt to read up on porn addiction or addiction in general. Knowing more about addiction can help guide you on your wellness journey.

You may also find information about support groups, local CSATs and AASECT-certified therapists, and other resources through an online search.

You might consider checking your local bookstore if you’d rather just steer clear of the technology altogether. Look in the personal development section, and don’t forget about step one. No one is judging you!

3. Install a Good Filter on Your Device

If you can’t access porn, or if it is difficult to access it, you may be able to get the distance that you need to quit. In the long run, you will need to develop some self-control and willpower, but if you can give yourself a break, you will be much better off.

4. Keep Yourself Busy

This tip can take on many different forms. However, one thing that all porn addicts can agree upon is that watching porn takes up a lot of time. Most people report that a solid porn binge takes between one and four hours.

Join a local softball league, start knitting, hit the gym, or attend yoga classes a few times a week. Most people watch porn when they are alone and bored at home. Do you know that saying about idle hands? You will be much better off if you keep yours busy but away from the laptop and the phone.

5. Join an Online Community

The internet got you into this mess, but if you use it for good, you may be able to stop your porn habit. Pornography addiction has become so widespread that there are online groups, forums, and communities designated just for those struggling in this area.

The “NoFAP” community is geared towards stopping people from watching porn and masturbation. A website called Fight the New Drug offers resources to help as well. You can even find online support groups and chat forums.

6. Learn New Coping Methods

If you are addicted to porn, that doesn’t mean you are broken. It also doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. It does, however, mean that you could be using porn as a replacement for something or as a means to try to be happy.

Porn addiction is common in people who are suffering from depression or anxiety. If you’re feeling sad, anxious, or bored, it’s time to figure out a better way to cope.

You might consider journaling about your struggle or practicing meditation when the urge strikes. Either way, learning to identify your triggers and finding other ways to feel better will make a huge difference in your life.

7. Find a Local 12-Step Group

You might find that you are more successful when you have some accountability. Find others who understand what you are going through with a local 12-step program.

The fellowship of these groups differs from what you might find among your regular friend group, and you will be provided with some structure to help your recovery right from the start.

Some people shy away from 12-step programs because of a religious component, but that doesn’t need to make or break your experience. There are plenty of people who find success with these programs who don’t have any religious affiliations.

8. Seek Out a CSAT Near You

Although there are no official diagnosis criteria for pornography addiction, there are specialists who are trained to handle those who are struggling with psychological issues of a sexual nature. These therapists believe in the reality of pornography addiction and want to help those in need.

Certified Sex Addiction Therapists are not only able to help those who are addicted to the action of sex, but they are also able to help with pornography addiction and compulsion. Similarly, AASECT-certified therapists (The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) have the training to manage several sexuality-based concerns.

Conclusion

Although you may sometimes feel like you would be lost without porn, there is a way out. You don’t have to be ashamed because you are not the only person going through this.

Find some people you can talk to, whether with a support group, a 12-step program, or a therapist, and consider picking up a new hobby to keep yourself busy.

Porn addiction can be harmful not only to the individual who is suffering but to their relationships and families as well. You can do it; just start with small steps and go from there.

Sources:

Porn addiction is ruining lives, but scientists aren't convinced it's real | CNET

How to Identify and Treat a Pornography Addiction | Healthline

6 Tips If You're Having a Hard Time Giving Up Porn | Grotto Network