John Berkowitz, LCSW and associates - Psychotherapist
Family Healing Center - Livingston & Teaneck, NJ
Sex and Porn Addiction
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction is a compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the kind of “fix” that an alcoholic gets from a drink or an addict from a drug. Sex addiction can be a highly dangerous and destructive condition. Like drug or alcohol dependence, it affects the addict’s mental health, personal relationships, quality of life, and safety. It is somewhat common, but is often not diagnosed.
Usually, a sex addict seeks out multiple sex partners or may also have relations with children, animals, or objects. The addiction may include a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations. The addict may significantly alter his or her life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day. A sex addict cannot control his or her behavior, despite severe negative consequences.
What Are the Symptoms of Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction can be difficult to spot from the outside. Most addicts become skilled at hiding their behavior and can even keep the addiction secret from spouses, partners, and family members. They will do this by lying about their activities or engaging in them at times and places where they won’t be found out. But, sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person might have a sex addiction if he or she shows some or all of the following signs:
As sex addiction can be hard to diagnose, it’s important to remember that enjoying sexual activity does not make one a sex addict. Enjoying sex is normal.
A sex addict is typically someone who has a compulsive need to perform sexual acts and appears to have no control over these impulses. His or her sexual appetite cannot be quenched and nothing can stand in the way of their trying to fulfill this need. Even the love one has for a spouse can be put on the line when there is a sex addiction. Like other addictions, it is a disease and can change a person in many ways.
Porn addiction can be defined as a behavioral addiction that is characterized by an ever-growing compulsion or need to view pornographic content or material. In the past, a person suffering from an addiction to pornography would satisfy his or her craving for pornographic content by viewing and/or storing pornographic videos, magazines and photos. The tools available to feed a porn addiction have since evolved along with technology, by providing unlimited pornography at all levels of explicitness. Today's porn addiction is also enabled by a range of devices, such as the Internet, social media and phones. These devices are enabling for a porn addict because they allow you to store and view porn in higher volumes than ever before while leaving little or no visible physical evidence of your porn use.
Is Porn Addiction Really an Addiction?
Although some medical professionals do not treat the compulsion to view or use pornographic material as an addiction, the signs and symptoms of porn addiction are often similar to those that signal an addiction to drugs or alcohol. For example, people suffering with a porn addiction tend to ignore, replace or neglect significant relationships because of their fixation or obsession with pornography, just as a drug addict would replace these things with his or her drug of choice. Porn addicts will also isolate themselves just as those addicted to chemicals or substances will do to engage in viewing porn. Someone who is addicted to porn can spend several hours alone simply viewing pornographic images or content.
Symptoms or signs of a porn addiction will vary depending on the person and the availability of pornographic material, but there are symptoms that are often present for many patients seeking treatment.
Signs of Porn Addiction
A diagnosis of porn addiction by a medical professional is often dependent on several key factors. To determine whether porn addiction treatment is necessary, you may be asked to consider which of the following statements are true for your situation:
What is Videogame Addiction
A disorder that involves online and/or offline computer usage and consists of at least three subtypes:
Excessive gaming, Sexual preoccupations, and Email/text messaging.
Internet and video game addicts miss out on real conversations and real human development; they often see their hygiene, home and relationships deteriorate. They often don’t eat or sleep properly and don’t get enough exercise. They often avoid intimacy with peers and delay the expansion of identity development in the outside world.
Videogame Addiction Research Data:
Video Game Addiction Treatment
Video games have become a major source of entertainment. People not only play them at home, but also on hand held devices that they can take anywhere. This ease of access makes it even easier for people to develop addictions to these games. Like any other addiction, this can take a heavy toll on a person’s relationships, career, and health. I use personalized video game addiction treatment plans to help individuals overcome their obsessions.
Therapy and counseling for Internet addiction
Therapy can give you a tremendous boost in controlling Internet use. Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides step-by-step ways to stop compulsive Internet behaviors and change your perceptions regarding Internet, smartphone, and computer use. Therapy can also help you learn healthier ways of coping with uncomfortable emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
If your Internet use is affecting your partner directly, as with excessive cybersex or online affairs, marriage counseling can help you work through these challenging issues. Marriage counseling can also help you reconnect with your partner if you have been using the Internet for most of your social needs.
Helping a child or teen with an Internet addiction
It’s a fine line as a parent. If you severely limit a child or teen’s Internet use, they might rebel and go to excess. But you should monitor computer and smartphone use, superviseonline activity, and get your child help if he or she needs it. If your child or teen is showing signs of Internet addiction, there are things that you can do to help:
content © John Berkowitz 2015