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Porn Addiction Jan. 30

Recovery From Porn Addiction

Porn addiction can be a debilitating condition.

It can have a range of severe psychological and emotional effects. It can damage the addicted person’s relationships, their personal life and their professional standing. However, with the right support, lasting recovery from porn addiction is an achievable goal.

Our last blog discussed some of the common signs of porn addiction. This one will discuss the recovery process. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be struggling with porn addiction, understanding this process can be a crucial step towards achieving it. We will focus on the requirements of recovery and the different phases of the process. We will also discuss the effect of porn addiction on the brain and how it can be reversed over time through treatment.

While sex addiction and porn addiction are often linked, they can also exist independent of one another. These blogs focus exclusively on porn addiction. We previously published a blog on the common signs of sex addiction and  everything we know about sex addiction.

Effective Treatment

While pornography addiction is a complex and debilitating condition, it can be overcome with effective treatment. The psychological and emotional aspects of porn addiction can be very deeply embedded. The addiction is also often linked to other addictions and concurrent mental health disorders. This means that treatment must be evidence-based and client-centred, confronting the underlying causes and consequences of the addiction rather than approaching the addiction in isolation.

Individual therapy alongside skills and process groups help addicted people to identify and address the causes of their addictions. They allow them to develop methods for coping with the specific challenges they face. Ultimately, effective, holistic treatment will provide the addicted person with the strongest possible foundation for recovery.

Effect On the Brain

Excessive use of pornography will have a range of effects over time. As discussed in our previous blog, it can have serious consequences for relationships and for your life at home and at work. However, it also has a range of effects on the brain.

Over time, porn addiction alters neurotransmitters. This means that the brain will come to depend on the chemical surges elicited by pornography. You will therefore require more and more to achieve the same effect. It also means that the brain’s response to other stimuli will be reduced. This makes it extremely difficult to end your use. The brain will demand the response provided by porn.

Initial Withdrawal

As discussed above, pornography addiction creates an intense psychological, physical and emotional dependence. This means that, as with most addictions, an addicted person in the early stages will experience withdrawal symptoms. Unlike withdrawal from alcohol or opiates, withdrawal in porn addiction does not pose a direct, physical danger to the addicted person. However, if you experience this process, you may experience a range of emotional and psychological side effects.

You may feel physical cravings, intense agitation, anxiety or depression. You may also experience insomnia. These withdrawal symptoms may last a number of weeks, but will usually diminish as you progress in your recovery. Withdrawal can be an intensely difficult experience. However, once you have made it through the process, you have made a very significant step towards lasting recovery. While you may still experience psychological and physical cravings, you will be in a much better position to resist them. This is particularly true if you are in evidence-based addiction treatment, which will help you to develop methods for coping with cravings and relapse triggers.

Treatment Effect On the Brain

Holistic, evidence-based treatment will allow you to address the underlying causes of porn addiction. It will also help you to develop practical, progressive methods for dealing with the daily challenges of recovery. As you progress in your recovery, the effects of pornography use on the brain will gradually diminish. This means that the brain will no longer demand the stimulus provided by pornography and that its response to other stimuli will gradually increase. While you will still face potential relapse triggers and other recovery challenges, this will make recovery much more sustainable.

Psychological and Emotional Needs

It is important to remember when working towards recovery that your addiction is routed in complex emotional and psychological causes. Treatment must identify and address these causes. It is also essential that you maintain a focus on these causes as you continue your recovery. You may need to alter your life in other ways to help you in your recovery. There may be certain relationships or habits in your life that jeopardize recovery. It may also be necessary to consider how you process and express emotions and how you communicate with those around you. Treatment will help you to do this. Good treatment centres will also offer aftercare  services which will help you to maintain your focus on recovery.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be struggling with porn addiction, or if you have any questions on the subject, contact Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres today.

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