Addictions of all varieties are prevalent in the United States. Everything from alcohol and drugs to shopping and pornography are now being labeled addictions, but they all may stem from similar mental conditions. Often addiction can be fueled by traumas, failed childhoods or mental conditions.
One of the most harmful addictions for a relationship can be pornography. The 10 billion dollar porn industry in the U.S. is fueled by a massive 68% of young men viewing porn online each week. This addiction can cause withdrawal from social relationships, depression and even suicidal behavior. Included here are a few indications your loved one may have a pornography addiction, and how to help them seek treatment.
Many people who become addicted to porn fail to interact with the outside world. They become withdrawn from loved ones and avoid social situations. They may spend their entire weekend on the internet at home. Their sexual life with their spouse will suffer and they may find themselves with problems such as erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation or failure to orgasm.
Addiction to porn can have a lasting effect on the way an addict views sex and relationships. They may no longer enjoy looking at porn, but find themselves drawn to it irrationally. Activities that don’t involve porn, such as school, work, family functions, and get-togethers with friends may no longer hold any interest for them.
They may become depressed, ashamed and isolated, but continue in their habit. Compulsive masturbation can even lead to physical injury in some cases. In some instances, the effects of a severe porn addiction can lead to suicidal behavior.
Often, illegal downloads of pornography can lead to financial trouble for the addict. Eventually their compulsive need to look at porn illegally can lead to legal trouble for them. They may even be dismissed from work or school due to pornography usage reprimands.
Additionally, for those who purchase porn online, or subscriptions to websites, costs can become astronomical. It can be difficult to maintain normal lifestyle responsibilities when feeding an addiction. Many pornography addicts also suffer from drug and alcohol use which can completely destroy any semblance of financial stability.
Like any other addicts, pornography addicts may have to seek alternative means to fund their addiction. This could mean borrowing money from friends or family, or they may steal valuables. Eventually, it can lead to breaking into homes or other petty theft. Those who are close to an addict should be able to notice these changes taking place and step in.
How to Help
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from a pornography addiction, simply opening the floor and talking about it can be the first step. There is a great stigma and shame associated with pornography that can work in favor of rehabilitation once the topic has been broached. Offer treatment options to the addict, as well as loving support to help them rehabilitate.