We created five questions that any porn viewer should ask themselves. Even if you feel like porn is not an addiction for you, it can still cause you to have unhealthy views of people, love, and relationships. Studies have shown that even a one-time exposure to porn leads to the user objectifying those around them and reporting less satisfaction in their real relationships.
If you answer yes to one or more of the questions below, you just might be addicted to porn.
1. Is the porn you watch now more graphic, extreme, and explicit than when you first started looking at porn?
When porn addicts look at porn, they find themselves progressively looking for more images, more often, and in a more hardcore version. This is often a sign of desensitization that happens in the pleasure centers of the brain as someone becomes addicted. If you find yourself in the process of viewing something arousing, then becoming bored and moving on to something else again, and again, and again, then that is a sign that your porn use is escalating. If you find yourself looking at harder material than when you first started, this is a sign as well.
2. Do you spend a lot of time looking at porn?
When you look at porn, do you end up viewing for much longer than you originally intended? Those who are addicted to pornography, have a hard time controlling their urges to look at porn and find themselves consumed in the material for large chunks of time. The process of constantly finding new material is time consuming and may be creating a problem in your daily schedule, even though looking at porn seems to be part of your daily routine. If using porn makes you late for school, work, or other activities, this is a big sign that your porn use is getting out of control.
3. Do you think about looking at porn even when you’re not looking at it?
The definition of compulsion is that you find yourself preoccupied with something that you feel you must do. In most cases, depression or anxiety set in if these compulsions are not satisfied. If you find yourself frequently thinking about the next time you are going to use porn, things might be getting out of hand. Pornography is a memory based drug and can be almost impossible to completely get out of your mind. Porn addicts are almost constantly thinking of when they last viewed porn and how they are going to view porn next.
4. Do you feel shame, remorse, cloudiness, anxiety, or depression after looking at porn?
Be in tune with yourself and follow your vibes. If you get any of the above negative feelings after looking at porn, it’s a solid bet that you feel you have a problem or that you know it is not a healthy behavior. Positive activities are almost always reinforced with positive feelings. If you find yourself feeling cloudy or down after using porn but keep doing it anyways, your porn use may be out of control.
5. Have you promised yourself or others that you’ll never look at porn again, only to keep looking at it?
The fifth and final question might be the most telling of all. If you’ve ever told yourself you were done using porn and promised to never look at it again, only to end up viewing it just a short while later down the road, then your porn use might be out of control. Addicts have a hard time keeping promises of sobriety to others, but especially to themselves. If you have told yourself or others, “I could stop if I wanted to,” but quickly found out otherwise, it might be time to get some help.
This post is taken from Fight the New Drug. You can find the original post here: http://fightthenewdrug.org/am-i-addicted-to-watching-porn/