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:

  • chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
  • frequent relations with multiple partners, including strangers
  • lying to cover their addiction
  • preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, etc.
  • inability to stop or control the behaviors
  • putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior
  • engaging in illegal sexual activity with prostitutes, minors, or children
  • need for dominance and control in sexual encounters
  • feeling remorse or guilt after sex
  • other negative personal or professional consequences

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

 

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

 

  • You are unable to stop using porn or the behaviors associated with
  • porn, despite attempts to do so.
  • Become angry, hostile or irritable if you are asked to stop using porn.
  • You keep all or part of your porn use secret from loved ones.
  • You feel as though you live a double or secret life because of your porn use.
  • You continue to view porn despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or job loss.
  • You have lost track of large chunks of time because you've been absorbed in porn use

 

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:

  • You feel powerless to resist the urge to view porn.
  • You frequently spend more time or money on porn than you initially intended.
  • You've tried without success to limit or stop viewing porn.
  • You spend a significant portion of your time viewing porn, thinking about porn or engaging in activities that will enable you to access porn.
  • You neglect family, social or work obligations to view porn.
  • You continue to use porn despite negative consequences.
  • The more often you engage in using or viewing porn, the more you need to increase the risk so that you can gain the same satisfaction or thrill.
  • You've passed up opportunities, or have considered passing up opportunities, so that you have more time to use or view porn.
  • You become anxious, stressed or irritable if you are unable to access porn.

 

 

Videogame Addiction

 

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.

  • Chatting Online
  • Play Computer Games (Gaming) WOW, etc.
  • Watching Porn

 

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:

 

  • Gaming is a worldwide phenomenon and has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. In the United States alone, the sale of video games and related products reportedly grossed between $7 and $10 billion in 2004.
  • The average gamer is age 29 and averages between 6.8 and 7.6 hrs/week (Entertainment Software Association)
  • MMORPG (Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games) make up 9% of gamers play but are the most commonly seen games creating an addiction due to the high level of competition, highly social nature and interactive real time services.
  • Some research studies report approximately 10% of gamers meet criteria for videogame addiction.
  • Videogame Addicts often have high levels of emotional loneliness and difficulty with real life social interactions. They often find comfort in the virtual community while “trying on” new identities which often delays and inhibits real life emotional development.

 

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.

 

 

Internet Addiction

 

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:

  • Encourage other interests and social activities. Get your child out from behind the computer screen. Expose kids to other hobbies and activities, such as team sports, Scouts, and afterschool clubs.
  • Monitor computer use and set clear limits. Restrict the use of computers or tablets to a common area of the house where you can keep an eye on your child's online activity, and limit time online. This will be most effective if you as a parent follow suit. If you can’t stay offline, chances are your child won’t either.
  • Use apps to limit your child’s smartphone use. If your child has his or her own smartphone, it’s very difficult to directly monitor their time on the Internet. However, there are a number of apps available that can effectively do the monitoring for you by limiting your child’s data usage or restricting his or her texting and web browsing to certain times of the day. Most of the major carriers offer parental control apps. Other third-party apps are also available that eliminate texting and emailing capabilities while in motion, so you can prevent your teen using a smartphone while driving. See Resources & References section below for more information.
  • Talk to your child about underlying issues. Compulsive computer use can be the sign of deeper problems. Is your child having problems fitting in? Has there been a recent major change, like a move or divorce, which is causing stress?
  • Get help. Teenagers often rebel against their parents but if they hear the same information from a different authority figure, they may be more inclined to listen. Try a sports coach, doctor, or respected family friend. Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling if you are concerned about your child.

 

To arrange for an initial consultation, please email me at berkj1517@yahoo.com  or leave a message at 646-338-5424.

content © John Berkowitz 2015

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