Can You Cure Porn Addiction?

Dr R. Y. Langham

Sep 24, 2021

Is a “porn habit” preventing you from enjoying life? Does it feel like you’re never going to be able to stop the behavior?

If so, you’re not alone.

Perhaps, the porn use has caused trust issues amongst you and your spouse. Or, maybe you’re afraid your teenager will be irreparably harmed (or encouraged) after being exposed to porn on his or her laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone. Regardless, if porn is running amok in your life, and you don’t know how to banish it – you have come to the right place. A “porn habit” can provoke feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, but the truth is that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is always hope and porn addiction help available.

Although, studies indicate that porn-watching can have negative effects on your mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual health if you seek porn addiction treatment, these effects are only temporary. The best way to understand a porn addiction is to compare your porn-riddled brain to an injured or ill body – eventually, you heal from the ailment or injury.

Sometimes, your body can naturally repair itself, but other times, treatment may be needed for you to have a full recovery. For example, say you fall and break your ankle. Although, it’s a painful injury (one that may prevent you from walking for a while), eventually it heals. Your ankle may need surgery or it may simply heal on its own with rest, elevation, patience, compression, and ice. Well, the same concept applies to porn addiction. With porn addiction treatment, your brain will recover from the addiction.

In the past, researchers viewed addiction as a “flaw” or “personal weakness” – one that a person could overcome if they really wanted to. The common perception, at that time, was that addiction is a choice, and all that is needed to cure it is grit and determination. Today, addiction is largely considered a “disease” that requires treatment.

So, just like a physical injury or ailment requires treatment, so does a porn addiction. Would a doctor tell a person with a broken ankle to “chuck it up” (grit and determination) and continue walking or running on it, regardless of the pain and injury? Absolutely not! Why not? Because ignoring the pain isn’t going to make the fracture heal any faster. Being unable to walk or run on a fractured ankle isn’t a “flaw” or “personal weakness.” Just like being unable to stop viewing porn (without porn addiction help) is not a “flaw” or “personal weakness.”

So, give yourself a break, with porn addiction help, your brain will heal from the porn use. It may take time, effort, faith, support, and porn addiction treatment, but it will recover and you’ll experience a life that is even better without porn than it ever was with it!

So, is it possible to cure a porn addiction? Absolutely!

What is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is defined as an uncontrollable urge or impulse (compulsion) to view porn, despite any unpleasant consequences. Although some mental health professionals do not consider porn addiction a mental health illness or disorder, the symptoms resemble behavioral addiction symptoms.

The primary difference between a “fascination” with porn and an actual porn addiction is the harmful consequences or effects associated with it. A porn addiction involves spending excessive amounts of time viewing porn – so much time that you neglect relationships, work responsibilities, childrearing duties, personal hygiene, and household tasks.

A person with a porn addiction continues this behavior (viewing porn) even though it is wreaking havoc on their life – i.e., damaging relationships, experiencing job loss, negatively affecting his or her health and well-being, interfering with his or her self-esteem, depleting his or her funds, etc.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there is some debate over the effects of chronically viewing pornography, amongst experts. Advocates believe that porn can actually improve a person’s sex life by providing him or her with a release for built-up sexual tension. Opposers, on the other hand, suggest that porn not only destroys friendships and relationships but can also lead to unhealthy or dangerous behaviors, such as sexual aggression.

However, the good news is with porn addiction help, you can recover from a porn addiction and reclaim your livelihood.

Can I Cure My Porn Addiction with Self-Help Techniques or Should I Make an Appointment with My Doctor?

It depends…

The truth is it is possible to cure your porn addiction with self-help techniques, however, you may need to combine self-help techniques with professional porn addiction treatment to make a full recovery from porn. It largely depends on the severity of your “porn habit” or the frequency of your porn-watching.

If you are leaning towards trying the self-help route first, you may want to try the self-help tips listed below:

  • First, you’ll want to delete any pornographic downloads you have stored on your electronic devices.
  • You’ll also need to throw any pornographic magazines, books, and hardcopy images in the trash.
  • Next, head out to your local store (i.e., Office Depot, Staples, Walmart, Target, etc.) or head over to Amazon.com and purchase anti-porn software. Ask a friend or loved one to install the software onto all of your electronic devices. Instruct this person to withhold the password from you so you can’t uninstall the software when the urges hit.
  • Make a plan. In other words, make a list of things you can do when you start to have urges to view porn. The list may include calling a friend, taking a walk or jog around your neighborhood, attending a porn addiction support group, going shopping, working on a hobby, playing with your child or pet, cooking, going to the gym, exercising at home, etc.
  • Making a list of the advantages and disadvantages of viewing porn to remind you how porn is damaging your life.
  • Determine your triggers and stay far away from them. For instance, if boredom causes you to turn to porn, then try to stay busy. Wash clothes, get out of the house, socialize, go to work, take a stroll, take your dog to a dog park, houseclean, etc. Do something productive with your time so you don’t become bored and turn to porn.
  • Tell someone about your “porn habit” and ask this person to hold you accountable for your actions by frequently checking up on you, monitoring your internet use, making sure you don’t have access to porn, etc. You’re going to need porn addiction support if you are going to kick this habit.
  • Lastly, purchase a weekly planner to track your progress and setbacks. This will help hold you accountable for your actions and give you something to cheer about when you make progress. Note: When you accomplish a goal (i.e., not viewing porn for 24, 48, or 78 hours), reward yourself with something that makes you happy (i.e., your favorite meal, date night, a massage, etc.).

Will I Need Therapy to Cure My Porn Addiction?

Possibly…

If you suspect that you have a porn addiction, you should probably consult a mental health professional if for no other reason, but to receive guidance or suggestions on how to cope with your porn use. A therapist can provide you with some much-needed porn addiction support. Think of therapy as an outlet or a way to share your concerns, fears, hopes, and goals with someone else – without judgment.

You and your therapist will develop a porn addiction treatment plan that will help you quit porn and get your life back on track. If your porn use is negatively affecting various areas of your life, your therapist may also recommend individual, family, couples, and/or group therapy to help you work through issues and heal from the addiction. Therapy sessions can help you better understand the origin of your porn addiction, so you can prevent it from returning once you have healed from it. A therapist can also teach you healthy coping skills so you don’t feel the need to return to “bad habits.”

Would It Be Beneficial to Attend a Porn Addiction Support Group?

Yes, it would definitely be beneficial to attend a porn addiction support group!

To successfully conquer your “porn habit,” you’ll need porn addiction support.

Just the idea of joining a porn addiction support group can feel daunting, embarrassing, and/or horrifying. You may question how sharing your “secret” with others would be beneficial for you or them. However, sharing your concerns, problems, and mistakes with others and listening to their stories can make you feel less alone and provide you with some much-needed support.

Porn addiction support is vital to recovery. A support group can offer you a light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, it can provide you with a glimmer of hope – even when your world feels overwhelmingly bleak and dark. Understand that it’s normal to experience fear and angst when first joining a support group, but over time, these negative feelings dissipate, allowing you to reap the benefits of the support.

The key to success when joining a support group is being open and receptive to the process. This includes being committed to the process, being brutally honest with yourself and others, being willing to listen to others without judgment, and having faith that things will eventually get better. The purpose of a porn addiction support group is to create a culture of acceptance and support. And, the goal is to reassure you that you’re not alone.

In other words, you’re not the only person, who has ever had a “porn habit” or addiction. Support groups (i.e., Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Porn Anonymous, Foundations for Recovery – Sex and Porn Addiction, Sexual Recovery Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, etc.), can help you understand that there have been others in your shoes who beat a porn addiction. These individuals experienced challenges, but with dedication, persistence, effort, patience, and faith, they persevered and kicked the habit.

A porn addiction support group is also a good way to get genuine feedback in a caring and nurturing environment. More specifically, you can get porn addiction support from other porn addicts, who truly understand how you feel and think because they are experiencing something similar. Some experts have categorized porn addiction as an attachment disorder, which makes sense on some level. Many porn addicts admit feeling bored and lonely most of the time – even when they are surrounded by people.

A support group can provide you with a sense of community – a sense of belonging. It can help you come out of isolation and connect with others, thereby, reducing or eliminating boredom and loneliness. Lastly, porn addiction support groups can teach you effective and healthier coping skills, so you don’t feel the need to return to your “porn habit” when you become distressed or overwhelmed.

Thus, the ultimate goal of support groups is to provide you with support, help you address the root cause of your addiction, and teach you healthy coping mechanisms, so you can move on with your life. Support groups are designed to help you heal from the wounds inflicted on you by porn.

Is Hypnosis Effective for a Porn Addiction?

The jury is still out…

More specifically, research is limited and results are mixed as to if hypnosis is effective for a porn addiction. There is, however, some evidence that hypnosis is effective for other addictions, such as drug addiction, alcoholism, and nicotine addiction. In fact, A 2008 study found that 90% of hardcore drug addicts (hooked on opiates), who attended 10 hypnotherapy (hypnosis) group sessions, remained “drug-free” six months later. And, 70% of these former drug addicts were still “clean” one year later.

Similarly, another study found that veterans, struggling with substance abuse (drug and alcohol addiction) experienced a boost in self-esteem, fewer episodes of anger and rage, and an overall feeling of calmness after receiving hypnosis five times a week. And, a 2007 study found patients, who were “smokers” and hospitalized for other conditions, quit smoking after six months of hypnotherapy. These patients reported fewer nicotine cravings and an honest dislike of nicotine and smoking after “going under hypnosis.”

Hypnotherapists typically use hypnosis (guided meditation) to put you into a trance-like or sleep-like state (subconsciousness), where you feel “free enough,” “relaxed enough,” and “safe enough” to address upsetting issues like a porn addiction. During hypnosis, you gain a heightened focus, awareness, and concentration, so you can understand the root cause of your addiction and make changes to stop it.

What About an Online Porn Cessation Program – Could that Help?

Absolutely!

Online porn cessation programs can help cure your porn addiction. More specifically, the “Stop Together,” program can help you successfully conqueror your “porn habit.” The “Stop Together” app can help you recover from a porn addiction by reducing the number of hours you spend viewing porn, managing your urges and impulses so you don’t turn to or return to porn, reframing how your see porn, respecting your privacy, helping you reevaluate your perception of sex, encouraging you to take a break from porn to regroup and heal, and helping you focus on your sexual health and repairing your sex life.

The “Stop Together” program also teaches you how to stay “porn-free” well after therapy ends. This porn cessation program is not only affordable but also accessible. You can have a customized therapy session from the comfort of your home! You can even do the sessions in your pajamas while eating dinner if you want. The best thing about the “Stop Together” program is you can use it as a decoy or distraction – instead of turning to porn you can turn to this program!

What Will Happen If I Don’t Seek Porn Addiction Help for My “Porn Habit?”

If left untreated, a porn addiction will likely take over your life. There is also a good chance it could damage or destroy various parts of your life, from your self-confidence to your relationships (romantic, familial, and friendships) and/or sex life.

More specifically, a porn addiction could lead to dysfunctional romantic relationships, sexual dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, social isolation, loss of income (job loss), family conflict, significant weight gain or weight loss, anxiety or depression, reckless behaviors, mood swings, shame and guilt, headaches, neck and back pain, blurred vision, debt, poor hygiene, hypertension, chronic stress, substance abuse, and/or health problems like low libido, porn-induced erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), or performance anxiety. It can also cause suicidal ideation (thoughts and attempts).

Thus, not seeking porn addiction treatment can lead to a host of devastating and life-altering consequences. That is why you must seek porn addiction help if you suspect that you are struggling with a “porn habit.” The good news is you’re not alone. Porn addiction support is available. You can cure your porn addiction – all you have to do is seek help.