Porn addiction

While porn is a hotly debated subject, many people believe that engaging in moderate porn viewing can be a healthy and normal part of a person’s life. In fact, according to a YouGov survey, at least 8% of respondents reported watching porn two or three times a week and had no trouble controlling their viewing. However, if things get out of hand and lead to a porn addiction, significant problems that may interfere with everyday life can arise.

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What is porn addiction?

Porn addiction is characterised by an inability to control the urge to watch porn. This compulsion may interfere with every area of your life such as work, school or relationships and you may begin to lose interest in activities previously enjoyed.

Pornography is by no means a new phenomenon but the easy access to porn through the internet is fairly recent and can pose significant problems, particularly for children or young teens who may not understand what they are watching.

In some cases, the urge to watch porn may be so severe that an individual will engage in pornography in inappropriate places such as work, which can have significant implications on their career or even incur legal problems.

How do people become addicted to porn?

Behavioural addictions, such as gambling, the internet, or porn, are associated with the rush of chemicals the person feels during the activity. These chemicals, such as dopamine, cause intensely pleasurable feelings, but the ‘high’ doesn’t last. This means they need to watch more porn to achieve the same feeling they once did.

For many people, the root of porn addiction lies in mental health. You may be dealing with unresolved mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, or perhaps you have a history of trauma or neglect and you use porn to help escape temporarily from those negative emotions.

Porn addiction can start to develop when a person feels low, stressed, lonely or depressed. The activity may initially fill a void, but when it becomes out of control, it actually causes further problems. It’s common for individuals living with porn addiction to feel shame or guilt after watching porn, which can lead to additional mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

Unfortunately, the nature of addiction means that by the time you recognise the problem, it’s likely to have already taken hold, making it extremely difficult to give up.

Recognising a porn addiction

Just watching porn, even regularly, doesn’t mean you have an addiction if it’s within your control. However, if your porn use feels out of your control and you do it compulsively, this could indicate a problem. Indicators of porn addiction can include:

  • You crave porn a considerable amount of the time
  • You increase the amount of time spent watching porn
  • You feel shameful after watching porn
  • You spend many hours watching porn
  • You isolate yourself due to watching porn
  • You have neglected responsibilities or previously enjoyed activities to watch porn
  • You feel you need to watch porn before having sex
  • You know that porn is causing problems in your life but you continue to watch it anyway
  • You have tried giving up watching porn but you were unable to

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The impacts of porn addiction

If left untreated, porn abuse or dependency can wreak havoc in a person’s life and impact many areas of their well-being.

Living with an unaddressed porn addiction can interfere with relationships, leading to arguments, distress and relationship breakdowns. It can also impact a person’s ability to engage in a healthy sex life and some people may neglect their jobs or educational commitments with financial and academic implications.

Treatment for porn addiction

Unfortunately, the stigmatisation of porn and addiction can make it very difficult to reach out for help. However, advancements in the understanding and treatment of mental health disorders mean there is now a better understanding of this condition.

At Linwood House, we recognise that porn addiction is unique to the individual and we will help you to understand the roots of your conditions during rehab treatment. Our porn addiction rehab includes individual and group sessions and alternative therapy options which address the underlying causes of your porn addiction so you can achieve sustainable recovery.

Working with a skilled therapist, you can address these issues and build on your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Our treatment programmes are based on the 12-Step method which will allow you to work through issues related to your porn addiction while reflecting on your motivation to recover.

How can I reduce porn usage?

Aside from porn rehab, there are other things you can do to reduce your porn usage at home:

  • Start by removing all pornography from your computer and phone. This includes saved tabs and search history.
  • After that, try creating a strategy for when you have the urge to watch such as engaging in another enjoyable activity to distract you.
  • If you relapse and slip back into porn use, don’t be hard on yourself. Remind yourself why you are working on your recovery and what you will gain from a life free of porn addiction.

How to get help

Nobody should suffer with porn addiction alone so if you or a loved one needs help, we can provide an initial consultation to discuss your concerns in a safe, non-judgmental environment and get you started on the road to recovery.

Frequently asked questions

What does recovery from porn addiction look like?
Recovery is living life in healthy ways with a change in heart. It starts when a person makes the connection between their pornographic use and how it affects their relationships and quality of life. The first step to healing is acknowledging that there is a problem.
How can I find a qualified therapist?
The best therapists for helping people overcome a pornographic addiction will have specific education and experience in treating sexual addiction. Inquire if the service provider offers group therapy as well as individual addiction counselling, both of which Linwood House offers.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

03301 736 751 
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