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Pornography Addiction : From Identification to Treatment

January 31, 2022

5 min read

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Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
Pornography Addiction : From Identification to Treatment


Pornography addiction is when a person can’t stop watching and consuming different kinds of pornographic materials. Pornography addiction can affect the social well-being of a person, who may isolate themselves and withdraw from social activities. Excessive stimulation of the body can impact physical health. It is also mentally distressing because of the guilt and shame attached.
Pornography addiction is the pattern of compulsive sexual activity associated with the public consumption of pornographic material. Regular and extensive porn watchers often have high urges for sexual activities to the point that it interferes with their work, health, and relationships.
For someone suffering from pornography addiction, there are higher chances of:

  1. Depression
  2. Willingness to isolate themselves
  3. A dip in personality and productivity
  4. Financial consequences, too, because of the excessive time spent on the internet or purchasing pornographic content

A point to note is that “porn addiction” is not a diagnosis that has been recognised officially by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) yet. 

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What is Pornography Addiction?

Pornography addiction is a kind of behavioural addiction. An excessive and compulsive sexual activity characterises it because of unrestricted access to pornographic material. 
An individual addicted to porn bears several physical and emotional manifestations. They may tend to procrastinate often, feel shame, isolated, and even depressed. 
Pornography addiction has many adverse outcomes and can be rather distressing. 
Despite knowing the consequences and legal risks, there are about 200,000 who view porn at work very frequently every year. In America alone, there are 40 million individuals who regularly visit porn sites, which is a considerable number.
Due to the higher risks and negative impact of pornography addiction in individuals, some experts propose putting it in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, the DSM later excluded it from the manual because of a lack of evidence holding up its insertion.

How to Identify if You are a Porn Addict?

In psychological, psychiatric, and treatment communities, porn addiction has been a hotly debated topic for a long time. To identify whether people are addicted to pornography, take note of some signs.
Observation of pornography addiction tells with a few simple signs and symptoms. People concerned about their watch times must look for the following signs. 

  1. Not able to stop viewing porn even after intending to do so
  2. Feeling addicted and craving for more
  3. Loss of attraction for a partner
  4. More demanding about sex ideas in the bedroom and frustrated easily
  5. Losing time without any accomplishment or completing any significant work
  6. Experiencing physical pain because of excess stimulation
  7. Feeling distracted and lost 
  8. Irritation and loss of patience
  9. Experiencing the loss of interest in real-time sexual activity

Five Treatments Proven to Work for Porn Addicts

Pornography addiction is not clearly defined as a mental illness yet, but the treatment is available because of its profound impact on individuals. Some of the proper therapies which are available for people dealing with pornography addiction are :

  1. Behaviour Modification: It challenges individuals to change their thinking process and behaviour through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy works wonderfully and can help voice any concerns and face issues. Compassionate treatment and acceptance, along with open conversations, can go a long way. Choosing the right therapist is essential for getting good treatment. Contact a therapist from UnitedWeCare today. 
  2. Group Therapy: Group therapy includes grouping up and connecting with others suffering from a similar condition; it helps with this addiction. 
  3. Hypnosis: Hypnosis widely uses meditation, which creates a peaceful state where one can work through more profound issues.
  4. Finding Alternatives: Finding alternatives and healthy venting methods is valuable to porn addiction. A healthy lifestyle keeps one distracted. Exercise, music, and dancing can work as great alternatives to watching porn. It will also give an endorphin rush and provide much-needed physical activity. 
  5. Medication: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are widely used as an effective medication for pornography addiction.

5 Treatments Proven To Work For Porn Addicts

  • After the first step of acknowledging addiction to pornography, finding a way to justify and overcome this particular issue is a must. 
  • One of the critical things for any addict is to wean them of any pornographic material. 
  • Removing all access to pornographic material is essential for recovery and preventing relapse. The person must not apply to any pornographic material, which can cause temptation and distractions. Removing pornographic material from the physical vicinity and blocking sites can be beneficial. 
  • It’s crucial to remember that recovery often takes time. Giving yourself time is essential. It may range from a few days to a few months, but it is a long term process. Looking for little victories, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, is a sign of progress.


Porn addiction is still not considered a diagnosis in DSM-5. However, its effects and aftermath mean no less than any other addiction. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pornography addiction is not good enough to list DSM-5 disorders. The role of pornography in youth development and children’s growth is still unknown because of the lack of factual studies. Being emotionally dependent on pornography will interfere severely in relationships of individuals with people around and hinder their ability to function well.
Pornographic addiction can have long-term outcomes if not recognised early on. Understanding the signs early and looking out for help is the first step for moving forward. Getting help from professionals, groups and understanding friends and family is essential.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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