Porn Addiction Treatment – The Ultimate Guide (2022)

Dr R. Y. Langham

Apr 01, 2022

Although porn addiction is not officially recognized as a mental health condition, it is a real diagnosable condition that can still wreak havoc on your personal life (self-esteem and self-confidence), friendships and relationships, work prospects, school and/or job success, finances, social and sexual health, etc.

Porn addicts crave sexually-explicit material (porn). They may also shirk their personal, relationship or marriage, parenting, work or school, and/or household responsibilities in favor of viewing porn. Because of the addiction, these individuals may also engage in self-destructive behaviors to keep using porn.

According to a 2019 study, online “porn use” is linked to availability, affordability, and anonymity. These factors play a tremendous role in the development and maintenance of porn addiction. They also make it hard to permanently stop using porn. Even though, porn addiction is often dismissed, ignored, or shunned, porn addiction help is available. In other words, there are tons of porn addiction treatments that can help you get a grasp on your “porn habit.”

Researchers suggest that a multi-treatment approach is the most beneficial for porn addiction. This treatment approach may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and psychosocial and psychodynamic therapies, and/or pharmacologic methods. Therapy, medication, self-help tools, lifestyle changes, mindfulness, yoga, and hypnosis are just some of the methods used to treat porn addiction.

If you want to learn more about porn addiction treatments, so you will know what to expect should you take that very important step towards porn addiction recovery, keep reading. Listed below are the various types of porn addiction treatments that can stop “porn habits” in their tracks.

What Medications Can Treat Porn Addiction?

Certain medications can be used to combat sexual addictions, like porn addiction. These medications focus on treating comorbid (co-occurring) mental health conditions and addictions, and/or hypersexual or compulsive sexual behaviors, like “porn use,” with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

SSRIs are usually prescribed for mood disorders, like depression, however, they can also be prescribed for “off-label” conditions, like anxiety and porn addiction. SSRIs boost your body’s production of serotonin, a hormone/neurotransmitter, responsible for transmitting emotion-regulating messages throughout your body. Researchers suggest that SSRIs (increased serotonin) can reduce porn urges and behaviors.

Listed below are medications that can regulate your brain chemistry so you can have a “porn-free” life:

SSRIs

If you struggle with a mood disorder, like depression, an SSRI (antidepressant) may help reduce or “cure” your porn addiction.

Common SSRIs are:

Other medications that are sometimes used to treat porn addiction include:

Opiate Antagonists (Suppressants)

If you suffer from drug or alcohol abuse or addiction and porn addiction, you may be prescribed naltrexone. Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is an opiate antagonist or suppressant primarily used to reduce drug and alcohol urges and cravings. However, it is also sometimes prescribed for “off-label” behavioral addictions, like porn addiction, when alcohol and/or drugs are also present.

Naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol and drugs (i.e., euphoria, the feeling of being “high,” low inhibition, etc.), so you do not feel compelled to turn to porn. This is especially important if you use drugs and alcohol to combat the shame and guilt of using porn.

Without the “numbness” of drugs and alcohol, you are less likely to view porn. This medication also blocks porn-related “pleasure” signals from being sent to your brain and transferred throughout your body. Naltrexone is best used with porn addiction therapy, support groups, self-help tools, and lifestyle changes.

Mood Stabilizers

Sometimes, mood stabilizers are prescribed to help people with bipolar disorder combat urges to view porn. Thus, mood stabilizers, like SSRIs, can help improve your mood and stop the urges and compulsions (ritualistic behaviors). If your mood is stable, you will be less likely to turn to porn when you become stressed, upset, overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.

Common mood stabilizers are:

Anti-Androgens

Anti-androgens are sometimes prescribed to people, who suffer from excessive androgens, and porn addiction. Anti-androgens are designed to “dull” the effects of androgens (male sex hormones). Experts believe that anti-androgens can help reduce or eliminate sexual or pornographic thoughts, urges, and behaviors.

Common anti-androgens are:

What Therapies Are Used to Treat Porn Addiction?

The first line of treatment for porn abuse is porn addiction therapy. However, porn addiction treatment may involve several therapies and methods.

Porn addiction, like other behavioral addictions, can affect your brain. Thus, porn addiction treatment typically involves therapy – sometimes several therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), couples or marital counseling, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and/or psychodynamic therapy.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is not only one of the most researched psychotherapies but also one of the most effective ones. One of the benefits of CBT is that it can be applied to a wide range of mental health conditions and addictions. CBT is effective because it focuses on changing the way you think.

    The belief is that if you can change the way you perceive a situation, event, experience, and thoughts, you can change your behavior. In this case, if you can change the way you view porn, you can change your behavior towards it (i.e., reduce or stop your “porn use”). Studies suggest that CBT can effectively address personality, mood, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Researchers have also found that CBT can effectively treat internet addictions, like online porn addiction.

    The goal of CBT is to help you identify and better understand how your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, urges, and feelings are connected to your behaviors (“heavy porn use”). CBT can also help you identify triggering thoughts and cues (i.e., sexually-explicit videos or movies, erotica books, boredom, distress, etc.), so you can stop or avoid them when they arise.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapists believe that it is easier to identify and change the unhealthy thoughts, urges and beliefs fueling the “porn use,” rather than trying to tackle the “porn use” directly. More specifically, cognitive-behavioral therapists believe that reframing negative feelings and thoughts can help you change how you behave (“heavy porn use”).

    Common CBT approaches and methods include challenging thoughts and beliefs about sex, intimacy, and sexuality that may contribute to your porn addiction. Other methods may involve moving your electronic devices to public spaces, telling a friend or loved one about your “porn habit,” and installing anti-porn programs on your computer, laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone. During CBT sessions, you will learn how to identify and cope with porn triggers, so you don’t return to the behavior during hard times.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

    Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a “type” of CBT that is sometimes used to treat porn addiction. DBT was created to treat personality disorders, like borderline personality disorder. However, nowadays, DBT is also used for other conditions, such as substance use disorder, trauma or PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and porn addiction.

    During DBT sessions, you are taught how to regulate your emotions and social interactions, and improve your patience. These important skills are largely based on cognitive processes and mindfulness. DBT also teaches you how to identify and accept intrusive or upsetting thoughts, urges, images, and emotions – without feeling as if you must act upon them. DBT methods usually involve “grounding” and stress-management techniques.

    Moreover, DBT can teach you how to accurately observe situations without judging them. This psychotherapy is beneficial for porn addicts, who are ashamed of their “porn use.” DBT teaches you how to practice “radical acceptance” and how to be non-judgmental towards situations and people. More specifically, this psychotherapy teaches you how to challenge unhealthy internal narratives that are driving your feelings of guilt, shame, and/or self-doubt.

    Note: For some, “heavy porn use” is a distraction. In other words, these individuals turn to porn to avoid or “escape” from their sexual issues.

  • Couples or Marital Counseling

    Porn addiction can damage or destroy romantic relationships. The deciding factor? Whether or not both partners engage in porn-watching or if only one partner uses porn. “Porn use” can reduce your sexual desire, decrease sexual responsiveness, and/or trigger a decline in libido in one or both partners. Porn can warp the way you perceive sex, intimacy, and healthy romantic relationships – leading to problems in and out of the bedroom.

    It is for these reasons that this type of counseling is the first-line treatment for couples, who are experiencing a disconnect due to “porn use.” Most couples counselors typically use a variety of approaches, techniques, and methods to help partners get a grasp on the “porn use” and reconnect with each other – personally, sexually, and emotionally.

    Some of the approaches used in marital or couples counseling include marriage and family therapy (MFT), individual counseling, group therapy, porn addiction therapy, and/or structural therapy (a type of therapy that focuses on identifying and addressing “unspoken rules,” factors, and dynamics that could be triggering dysfunction in your relationship).

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

    Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is another “type” of CBT often used to treat porn addiction. First, an acceptance and commitment therapist helps you identify triggering thoughts, emotions, images, beliefs, and urges. Then, he or she teaches you ways to “accept” these thoughts – without responding or reacting to them. ACT does not require that you change the way you think, rather, the goal is to change how you respond or react to your thoughts. One study found that people, who receive ACT for their “porn habits,” may experience an 85% reduction in the time they spend viewing porn.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

    Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unearthing the origin, “fuel,” and motivations behind your “heavy porn use.” Psychodynamic therapy involves a variety of approaches. However, almost all of them involve early childhood experiences and how they influence your adult behaviors (porn-watching). This psychotherapy is especially beneficial if your porn addiction is the result of childhood experiences or trauma.

    When your “porn use” or porn addiction stems from childhood experiences, psychodynamic therapy can help you better understand what led to your porn addiction and why you continue to return to it now. Once you understand how your childhood experiences are linked to your porn addiction, you can address the trauma and let go of the negative emotions associated with it. Once the negative emotions have been reduced or eliminated, you are less likely to turn to porn as an “escape.”

    If your “heavy porn use” or porn addiction stems from past incidents in which you were made to feel “ashamed” or “embarrassed” about your sexuality, psychodynamic therapy can help you figure out why you were initially drawn to porn. In this case, a psychodynamic therapist can help you link your feelings of shame, guilt, stress, distress, and/or anxiety to your “heavy porn use” or porn addiction. The belief is once you have addressed these negative emotions, your “porn fixation” will diminish.

  • Group Therapy

    Some porn addiction therapists use group therapy to address underlying issues – issues that could be prompting your “heavy porn use.” Group therapy meetings can also help you feel as if you “belong” somewhere while helping you recover from previous traumas – traumas fueling your porn addiction. The best thing about group therapy is it provides you with some much-needed porn addiction support. Group facilitators help you connect with other people, who are experiencing something similar to what you are experiencing.

    Group therapy not only fosters emotional intimacy but also helps you explore how past trauma has affected you – personally and sexually. Once you have a better understanding of how past trauma spurred your “porn use,” you will be more equipped to tackle it. During group therapy meetings, you will learn (from the facilitator and other group members) tips that will work for you and tips that will not. Most of all you will develop comradery with your fellow group members that will last for many years to come.

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Therapy

    Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy is usually an eight-week mindfulness therapy course. MBSR was created in 1979 for chronically-ill people, who do not respond well to conventional treatments, like therapy and/or medications. Thus, MSBR is used to treat a variety of chronic ailments and conditions, such as “heavy porn use” and porn addiction.

    Researchers have found that MSBR can effectively address chronic stress, pain, anxiety, and depression. The consensus is that MSBR changes the way you emotionally respond to situations, people, events, etc., by altering your cognitive-affective processes. In the case of “porn use” or porn addiction, the goal of mindfulness-based stress reduction is to reduce or ease your stress level, so you do not feel compelled to turn to porn to “escape” from your problems and/or reduce your stress and anxiety.

    Studies indicate that MSBR may reduce anxiety and stress symptoms for up to 3 years. Although MSBR stems from spiritual teachings, it is not a religion-based therapy. Rather, MSBR is largely based on research (psychological and medical research).

    The objective of this therapy is to help you focus on the here-and-now. This therapy approach also promotes self-awareness, so you can exercise good judgment and make wiser decisions. Another benefit of MSBR? You can include it in your daily routines. Thus, MSBR is designed to help you become more “present” and self-aware of your breathing, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

    MSBR techniques can also prevent or stop you from “ruminating” or obsessing over past experiences. While attending MSBR therapy sessions, you will learn how to effectively respond to and cope with your stress and anxiety, so you do not overreact and turn to porn for respite. Lastly, MSBR can help you make positive lifestyle choices by teaching you healthier ways to react to stress and anxiety (besides turning to porn).

  • Compassion-Focused Therapy

    Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) encourages people to be more compassionate or empathetic towards themselves and others. It was created to prevent, stop, or reduce feelings of shame and self-doubt – negative emotions that can accompany mental health issues and addictions.

    CFT is especially beneficial for people, who feel “stuck” by guilt, shame, and/or low self-esteem and self-confidence. CFT has shown tremendous promise in the treatment of panic attacks, hoarding disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), self-harm, psychosis, personality disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, like depression.

    CFT is also sometimes used to treat “heavy porn use” and porn addiction. Any issue that stems from past abuse, neglect, domestic violence, bullying, or trauma (even if the issue is a “fixation” on porn) may be resolved with the help of CFT. This is important in cases of “heavy porn use” and porn addiction because extreme or chronic self-doubt, shame, and guilt can reduce the effectiveness of other porn addiction treatments.

    Compassion-focused therapists believe that there are three emotion-regulation systems – danger/survival, drive/thrill, and happiness/security. According to therapists, these “internal systems” not only remain active throughout your life, but can influence your current thoughts, emotions, behaviors, actions, and beliefs.

    Thus, the primary goal of CFT is to restore a sense of safety, compassion, and reassurance to people, who were raised in dangerous, critical, disapproving, abusive, and/or neglectful environments. When it comes to porn, CFT helps “porn users” and porn addicts forgive themselves for their actions. It also helps remove the shame and guilt normally associated with “heavy porn use” and porn addiction.

    The goal, in this case, is to remove the stigmas associated with “porn use,” so people, who are addicted to porn, can stop using porn and heal from their addictions. The aim is to help people with “porn habits” accept that they have a problem with pon, so they can commit to the treatment process.

  • Individual Therapy

    Another therapy that may be beneficial for people suffering from porn addiction is individual therapy. More specifically, individual therapy can help you identify the root cause of your porn addiction. It is common for porn addicts to use porn to hide mental health and emotional issues and concerns.

  • Skills and Process Therapy Groups

    Skills and process therapy groups involve both individual and group sessions with a porn addiction therapist. During the group sessions, you meet other people, who also struggle with porn addiction. You also learn healthy coping strategies, so you do not experience a porn addiction relapse. These groups typically meet once or twice a week with the goal of “uniting” people, who have a problem with porn or sex. Skills and process therapy groups may include stress-management exercises, and/or in-session and homework assignments (designed to ease or eliminate feelings of shame and guilt and boost your insight and self-awareness).

  • Virtual (At Home) Therapy

    An often-overlooked porn addiction therapy approach is virtual (at home) therapy, also referred to as “online therapy.” Shame and guilt can accompany porn addiction. And, unlike other addictions, like drug and alcohol addictions, it can be even more embarrassing and shameful to talk to someone, especially a partner or loved one, about a “porn habit.” But it is important to “bite the bullet” and talk to someone you trust about what you are dealing with.

    Because that is the only way you will be able to determine the root of your addiction and heal from it. The truth is in this age of coronavirus, virtual (at home) therapy may be the easiest and safest therapy choice. Virtual (at home) therapy allows you to seek help for your addiction in the comfort of your home or “safe place.” You can start the porn addiction recovery process with a comprehensive online porn addiction treatment program.

Is Porn Addiction Treatment Inpatient or Outpatient?

Both! Porn addiction treatment can be inpatient or outpatient.

Both inpatient behavioral programs and outpatient behavioral programs provide people with porn addiction help – i.e., valuable resources, guidance, suggestions and tips, support, therapy, medications, etc. However, an inpatient behavioral porn addiction program provides the services on campus or residential rehab center. While an outpatient behavioral porn addiction recovery program provides these services in a non-residential setting (i.e., spending an hour or two at the rehab center on predetermined days).

Information about inpatient and outpatient treatment programs is listed below:

  • Inpatient Treatment Programs

    An inpatient treatment program involves living 24/7 at a hospital or rehab center for a pre-determined amount of time. Once you have completed the inpatient treatment program, you may move into an outpatient treatment program. Or, you may be instructed or encouraged to try self-help tools, like Stop Together, an online porn addiction recovery program, adopt a healthy diet, exercise more, spend extra time with friends, your partner, child, and other loved ones.

    An inpatient program is not only effective but also beneficial for people suffering from porn addiction. While at the inpatient facility, computer, smartphone, laptop, and tablet access are either supervised or non-existent. Electronics are highly discouraged and confiscated if they are brought into the treatment facility. During your time at an inpatient treatment center, you learn the origin of your porn addiction, how to control your porn cravings, and the steps you can take to stop using porn and improve your life.

    Most of all you will be blocked from accessing porn sites – with no exceptions. Repeatedly sneaking porn into the facility or hacking into an electronic device to watch porn will ultimately get you kicked out of the program.

  • Outpatient Treatment Programs

    Outpatient treatment programs typically focus on helping you to identify your porn triggers and beliefs about using porn. This non-residential program is designed to help you make healthier lifestyle choices and develop positive coping skills to combat any urges or cravings to use porn following porn addiction treatment.

  • Luxury or 5-Star Rehab Centers

    If you have the money, you can enter a luxury or 5-star inpatient rehab center. These pricey treatment centers offer lavish accommodations and top-notch addiction treatments. One major difference between this type of porn addiction treatment and the standard inpatient rehab treatments is that luxury or 5-star rehab centers typically offer limited access to computers, the internet, tablet, laptop, and/or smartphone, so you can still work, while at the center.

    Keep in mind that this access is monitored to ensure that you do not enter or attempt to enter any porn sites. Luxury or 5-star rehab centers also offer first-class amenities like the ones you get at the highest-rated hotels. These centers focus on making sure you are having a good time while getting porn addiction help.

    Because, luxury or 5-star rehab centers focus on your total well-being, “residents” are “gifted” with in-house massages, stellar housekeeping services, superior gyms, and delicious, chef-prepared meals. Thus, the ultimate goal is to keep “residents” happy, comfortable, receptive, and committed during the treatment process.

Are Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab Treatment Programs Beneficial for Porn Addiction?

Yes, impatient and outpatient treatment programs are very beneficial for “heavy porn use” and porn addiction.

Researchers have discovered that both inpatient and outpatient rehab treatment programs are beneficial for drug and alcohol addictions. These programs help addicts safely “detox” and withdrawal from whatever “substances” they are addicted to while teaching them how to stop their urges and cravings, prevent relapses, in their tracks, and identify underlying or undiagnosed mental health conditions.

While some drug and alcohol addiction interventions cannot be applied to porn addiction, there are some counseling approaches (i.e., individual counseling, couples or marital counseling, group therapy, CBT, ACT, etc.) and therapeutic methods (i.e., stress-management techniques) that may be beneficial for “heavy porn users” and porn addicts.

Understand that some rehab centers may be unable to adequately help a person with porn addiction. Some rehab centers will not admit you into their programs if you suffer from a porn or sex problem. So, it is important that you thoroughly research various inpatient and/or outpatient treatment centers and addiction programs to ensure you receive the right porn addiction treatment for you and your addiction.

SAMHSA has an inpatient and outpatient treatment directory to help you find the best treatment for you!

What is Better Inpatient Porn Addiction Treatment or Outpatient Porn Addiction Treatment?

It depends on your circumstances.

Most porn addiction rehab centers offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Inpatient porn addiction treatment is not only intense but also comprehensive. This form of treatment typically involves “detoxing,” medical interventions to handle withdrawal symptoms, therapy, lifestyle changes, and/or self-help tools. Conversely, outpatient porn addiction treatment is less in-depth and extensive. This form of outpatient porn addiction treatment typically involves attending therapy sessions on a specific day and at a specific time, and/or taking medications.

Inpatient porn addiction treatment is best for people, who are experiencing significant distress from “porn use” or porn addiction. Remember, “heavy porn use” and porn addiction can destroy relationships, break up families, lead to unemployment, and damage your health and self-esteem. And, in severe cases, “heavy porn use” and porn addiction can trigger suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Outpatient porn addiction treatment is better suited for people, who are in the earlier stages of addiction (i.e., “heavy porn use”) and or who have recently completed an inpatient treatment program (needing to downscale treatment).

Another determinant is your work and home responsibilities. If you can afford to take time off from work to focus on your porn addiction recovery, you may want to opt for an inpatient treatment program, However, if you are unable to pay your bills and care for your family without working, you may want to go with an outpatient treatment program.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing (MI), also commonly referred to as “strategic questions” is a behavioral modification technique used to help “better yourself.” During motivational interviewing (MI), strategic questions are used to guide you towards self-improvement. MI helps you pinpoint the pros and cons of your porn addiction, and encourages you to make positive changes in your life that will improve it. The goal of this porn addiction technique is to promote self-awareness, so you are more cognizant of your thoughts and behaviors.

Are There Any Faith-Based Porn Addiction Treatments?

Yes, there are.

Christians and other religious porn addicts tend to experience shame, guilt, embarrassment, anxiety, depression, fear, and physical discomfort when viewing porn. These negative emotions stem from a conflict between their porn-watching and their faith and/or religious beliefs. Faith-based treatments are available for religious people, who are struggling with porn addiction. This treatment is commonly used in couples, marital, and individual counseling. Faith-based porn addiction recovery programs can help porn addicts incorporate their faith into the recovery process.

Can Support Groups Help Me Stop Using Porn?

Yes, they can.

Listed below are support groups that can help you put an end to your pesky “porn habit”:

Twelve-step porn addiction recovery programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, and Sexaholics Anonymous are the most common porn addiction support groups for men, women, and adolescents. These peer support groups are usually free and modeled after traditional alcohol and drug twelve-step addiction recovery programs, like Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

In regards to “heavy porn use” and porn addiction, peer support groups do as the name implies – offer porn addiction support. These groups can also help porn addicts feel more “accepted” and “understood” through fellowship and a feeling of being a part of something, specifically, “a family.” During support group meetings, you “unite” with other people, who have become dependent on porn.

Because you and your group members share similar life experiences, you are more likely to value their words, suggestions, ideas, and past experiences. In other words, you can relate to and connect with people who best understand you and your situation.

Twelve-step porn addiction recovery programs provide support, compassion, anonymity, guidance, resources, and valuable self-tools while emphasizing acceptance, commitment, and personal accountability. They also help you come to terms with having a “porn problem,” so you can seek porn addiction treatment.

Are Porn Addiction Support Groups Beneficial?

Yes!

Many people, who struggle with porn addiction, are afraid of being exposed. More specifically, they are afraid of being criticized, judged, or shunned by other people, so they hide their porn-watching behaviors. Sometimes, fear and anxiety prevent porn addicts from seeking porn addiction help. On the flip side, talking with other addicts, who are experiencing something similar to what you are experiencing can be “healing.” Porn addiction support groups can also encourage people to admit there is a problem and seek help for it.

Porn addiction support group meetings can also help you rebuild damaged relationships, while taking steps to stop your “heavy porn use” and better yourself – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, personally, sexually, and physically. With support, personal narratives, therapy, and tips and suggestions, you can achieve porn addiction recovery.

Listed below are support groups that can help you win your fight against porn addiction:

The groups promote responsibility and guidance and offer a sense of “family” with others, who understand where you have been and where you want to go in life. These factors can boost the odds that you will recover from your “porn habit.”

Are There Addiction Support Groups for Partners?

Yes, there are!

It does not matter if you are in a romantic relationship or a marriage, “porn use” or porn addiction can damage or destroy (in some cases) your bond with your partner. It also does not matter if you watch porn by yourself or with your partner, because continuously watching porn can cause problems in your relationship either way – if not immediately then over time. But even if you think that your “porn use” is not affecting your partner or someone you are sleeping with or casually dating, it probably is – even if he or she does not say it.

Porn does not just wreak havoc on relationships, it also causes “problems” in the bedroom (i.e., a physical disconnect, emotional detachment, and/or sexual problems like erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE)). These factors alone can lead to an unhappy romantic relationship or marriage. The truth is it can be hard to live with someone, who is obsessed with porn – even if you enjoy watching it from time to time.

Porn addiction can cause your partner or spouse to feel unappreciated, unloved, and undesired. It can also cause him or her to doubt himself or herself and/or wonder why you do not find him or her sexually enticing – i.e., wondering why you would rather masturbate to porn than have real-life sex with him or her.

“Heavy porn use” can also cause your partner to feel betrayed, lonely, angry, and frustrated towards you and your “porn habit.” This could lead to low self-esteem and self-confidence – all stemming from your “porn use” or addiction. And, over time, your “porn use” could become too much for your partner, causing him or her to become unfaithful and/or break up with you. That is why both you and your partner/spouse need to attend support groups (porn addiction treatment – for you, and porn addiction partner support group – for your partner or spouse).

Partner support groups can provide your loved one with support, resources, and tools to help him or her cope with your porn addiction in a healthy way. It can also provide your partner or spouse with a sense of “family,” so he or she does not feel alone. Thus, partner support groups can provide a platform for your partner to share his or her true thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and concerns, and ask important questions about porn addiction.

During group meetings, you learn how to cope with your partner’s or spouse’s “porn use” and how to practice self-care so you don’t become too overwhelmed with your partner’s or spouse’s “habit.”

You also learn how to communicate better with your partner or spouse so your needs are also fulfilled. Lastly, a porn addiction partner support group can help you heal from feelings of betrayal, neglect, and abandonment.

The goal of these support groups is to help your partner or spouse heal from the damage that porn has inflicted on your relationship.

Listed below are porn and sex addiction support groups for partners and spouses:

Can I Call a Hotline for Porn Addiction Help Before Seeking Porn Addiction Treatment?

Yes, you can.

Like attending porn addiction therapy sessions, attending porn addiction support groups can be nerve-wracking. Stigmas linked to “porn use” and porn addiction can prevent addicts from seeking help – for fear of being “outed” by others.

The good news is there are other ways, besides going to therapy sessions and/or attending support group meetings, to “heal” from porn addiction. Porn addiction hotlines provide you with a way to tell someone about your “porn use” without fear of judgment. Hotlines are anonymous, which means that you do not have to tell people in your inner circle about your “porn habit” until you feel ready.

Listed below are hotline numbers you can call if you are struggling with porn addiction:

Porn addiction hotlines are usually available 24 hours a day and 7-days-a-week. These hotlines provide emergency counseling, treatment programs, stress-management tips, porn addiction support group resources, and porn addiction support.

Can I Use Self-Help Tools to Combat My Porn Addiction?

Yes, you can.

Millions of people, throughout, the world struggle with “heavy porn use” or porn addiction. Porn addiction is considered a “process and behavioral addiction,” so it is not as prominent as drug and alcohol addictions. This adult form of entertainment is also more taboo than drug and alcohol addictions, so it is rarely talked about in “polite society.”

It is even hard to talk about porn, “porn use,” and/or porn addiction with close friends and family, let alone a porn addiction therapist. Sometimes, it is easier to make lifestyle changes and try self-help remedies before seeking porn addiction treatment. The good news is there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate your “porn use” or porn addiction.

These steps are listed below:

  • Trying hypnosis and mindfulness meditation – Hypnotherapy uses guided meditation (hypnosis) to induce a trance-like state, so you can explore deeper issues (i.e., past experiences and traumas) without external factors. The goal of hypnosis is to enter a subconscious state, so you can identify the origin of your porn addiction.

    Mindfulness meditation is a mental exercise that teaches you how to slow down your thoughts, focus on the present, let go of negative emotions, thoughts, and experiences, and “quiet” your mind and body. Researchers suggest that mindfulness meditation, when combined with therapy, can reduce urges to view porn and improve sexual desire.

  • Learning Healthy Coping Skills – Learning healthy coping skills can help you effectively deal with stress, anxiety, and distress, so you do not feel the need to turn to porn to receive relief from whatever is bothering you. Try to find more positive ways to cope with anger, frustration, distress, etc., like venting to a close friend or loved one, going for a walk around the neighborhood, going for a run or to a gym, journaling, getting out of the house, practicing stress-management techniques, etc.
  • Making It Hard to Access Porn – One of the most effective ways to get a grasp on your porn fixation is to make it hard to access porn. You can accomplish this task by installing anti-porn programs, parental filers, or porn blockers on all of your electronic devices or by using your electronic devices in public spaces, such as a coffee shop or the living or family room in your house. Doing this can safeguard you when your willpower (to not use porn) begins to waver.
  • Removing All Traces of Porn from Your Home – Removing porn (i.e., magazines, downloads, etc.) from your home can help you stop using porn. If porn is not readily accessible, you will be less likely to use it. The time it takes to find new porn images or videos and download them or purchase more porn magazines will deter you from using porn. Most people prefer to use porn immediately, so by the time you have replenished your porn collection, your urge to view porn will have likely dissipated.
  • Installing an anti-porn blocking program on your electronic devices – Anti-porn blocking programs can make it extremely difficult to view porn on your smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. The goal of these “blockers” is to make it hard, if not impossible to access porn sites.

    Because, accessing porn is so difficult, your porn cravings are likely to diminish or disappear before you can hack into your device(s). And, because you are unable to watch porn as you would like, you are forced to find something else to do – something that is hopefully healthier and more positive than viewing cyber-porn.

  • Setting a Timer – You can curb or stop your “porn use” by using a timer to monitor how much time you are spending on the internet. The key to making this tip work is only using the internet at certain, pre-determined times. Set the time anytime you use the internet for causal browsing, conducting google searches, and/or for entertainment purposes. When the timer buzzes or beeps, stop using the internet. Pay attention to when you typically use the internet and what you are looking at while on the internet because this may help you identify your porn triggers.
  • Developing a Strong Support Group – There is nothing more valuable than a strong support system, especially when you are dealing with something “heavy” like porn addiction. Spending quality time with your friends and family can help you spend less time viewing porn and more time connecting with the people you love. So, surround yourself with friends and family, who will not only encourage you to quit your “porn use,” but also support you as you work towards porn addiction recovery.
  • Finding Something Positive to Do – “Excessive porn use” is considered a “bad habit” that often stems from boredom, loneliness, and/or distress. In other words, you have nothing to do or anything to ease your distress, so you turn to porn to entertain you or help you “escape” from someone or something. Finding a time-consuming hobby or doing so something positive and productive may squash your “porn habit.”

    So, instead of turning to porn, volunteer at an animal shelter, charity, or non-profit organization, sign-up for a cooking, music, academic, and/or sports team. More specifically, focus on improving yourself – i.e., self-esteem and self-confidence, skills, attitude, behavior, etc. And, if you tend to view porn alone, get out of the house and interact with other people.

  • Asking a Partner, Friend, or Loved One to Hold You Accountable for Your Behavior – Asking someone to hold you accountable for your porn activities is a good way to curb or reduce your “porn use.” If you know someone is “watching” you, you will be less likely to view porn. And, if you have to report to someone else about your porn-watching, you will be less likely to use it. So, ask someone you trust to monitor your behavior and address your “porn use” with you if he or she suspects you are still accessing porn.
  • Replace Your “Porn Habit” with a “Healthy Habit” – An effective way to get rid of your “porn habit” is to replace it with a “healthy habit,” when the urge to view porn arises. For instance, go for a run or help a neighbor, friend, partner, loved one, or stranger with something – i.e., mow the lawn, purchase, deliver groceries to someone in need, etc.
  • Finding Healthier Ways to Receive Sexual Satisfaction – People, who struggle with “heavy porn use” or porn addiction, typically have a hard time connecting with their real-life partners. Porn can replace real-life connections, in and out of the bedroom, leading to sexual complacency and dissatisfaction. You can protect your sexual health and preserve physical intimacy in your relationship by focusing on foreplay and/or trying new things (i.e., new positions, new locations, role-play scenarios, sex toys, etc.) with your partner or spouse.
  • Signing up for an online porn addiction recovery program – Online porn addiction recovery programs, like Stop Together, offer a wealth of self-help tools, such as expert content, therapy sessions, audio recordings, unlimited access to course content, mindfulness meditations, and post-therapy support. These resources not only help you quit porn, but also restart your life.

What Are Some “Holistic” or Natural Treatments Available for Porn Addiction?

Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are essential for emotional, physical, mental, and sexual health.

Your diet plays an important role in how your brain and body function from day to day. It can affect how you think, feel, and behave. If you overindulge on sugar, salt, and/or processed or junk foods, you are more likely to experience health complications. You are also likely to become restless, irritable, frustrated, and/or easily agitated. Negative emotions and the desire to stop them can lead to “porn use” and eventually porn addiction.

Consuming unhealthy foods can also cause “brain fog,” which can contribute to poor judgment and decision-making skills, such as viewing porn. An unhealthy lifestyle can also trick you into believing that you need porn to feel good. On the flip side, a healthy diet can increase the amount of blood flowing through your body, especially to your brain and genitalia, thereby, reducing your urges to view porn.

Exercising can also help you get a handle on your “porn habit.” Moving can improve your sexual health, especially if you suffer from sexual issues like porn-related erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), low libido, and/or sexual performance anxiety.

Another “holistic” or natural porn addiction home remedy is sleep. Sleep is extremely important for combating porn addiction because without it you are likely to experience mental confusion, poor judgment, irritability, mood swings, frustration, anger, anxiety, aches and pains, and/or daytime grogginess – common triggers of “porn use” and porn addiction. During sleep, your brain and body repair themselves, so you can awaken re-energized and refreshed. Thus, to successfully conquer porn addiction, you need a rested and revitalized mind and body.

Are There Any Books I Can Read on Porn Addiction?

Yes, there is!

Porn addiction books can help you better understand your “porn habit.” They may also offer you valuable tips, suggestions, and guidance that can help you achieve “porn sobriety.” The best way to beat porn addiction is to research it and learn everything you can about it. If you understand porn addiction, you can stop it by avoiding triggers and seeking porn addiction help.

Books that can help you with porn addiction include:

Can Porn Addiction Forums, like Reddit Forums, Help Me Quit Porn?

Maybe…

Porn addiction forums can provide you with porn addiction support while you address your porn problem. However, these forums, including Reddit forums, should be used with caution because, in some instances, they can make your porn addiction worse. Keep in mind that the people on the forums are likely “laymen” (not professional counselors or porn addiction therapists or specialists) so their answers to your questions may be inaccurate or misleading. Still, forums can provide you with an outlet to share your fears and concerns, and ask questions.

Popular porn addiction forums include:

Is It Possible to Quit “Cold Turkey?”

Yes, it is but stopping your porn use this way may be challenging.

Simply abstaining from porn is one way to start the recovery process, however, this approach will not be fast or easy – for most addicts. Going “cold turkey” may come with a host of triggers, withdrawal symptoms, and complications – all of which can make becoming “porn-free” challenging. Withdrawal symptoms could affect your ability to function and concentrate on tasks and/or lead to future porn addiction relapses.

If quitting porn “cold turkey” seems like an impossible feat, you may want to try weaning off of porn instead. Reducing your “porn use” little by little may be the best way to stop it – if you are not ready to officially seek porn addiction treatment. For example, try shortening your “porn use” by an additional 30 minutes each week – i.e., 30 minutes the first week, 60 minutes the second week, 90 minutes the third week, and so on. This approach can help you gradually get used to going without porn, so there is less of a chance of a relapse.

When Should I Seek Porn Addiction Treatment?

You should seek professional porn addiction help if…

  • You have tried multiple times to stop watching porn but have been unsuccessful.
  • You are continuously thinking about viewing sexually-explicit images and/or videos, and masturbating to them, even while working or spending time with other people.
  • You feel that you must hide your porn activities from your partner, spouse, friends, and/or family members – for fear of being ostracized or criticized.
  • Your “porn habit” is preventing you from experiencing sexual satisfaction with your real-life partner or spouse.

Truth be told, trying to “quit” porn can feel like a daunting task, especially if you try to do it alone. As mentioned above, porn can affect your brain chemistry and function, making it feel even more impossible to kick. However, with the right treatment, you can become “porn-free.” But it will take effort, persistence, determination, acceptance, and commitment to do so. The first step in long-term porn addiction recovery? Seeking porn addiction treatment!

What Happens If Porn Addiction is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, porn addiction could become a highly destructive force in your life. It can also cause a tremendous amount of damage to your relationships, especially your romantic and sexual ones.

However, ignoring or dismissing porn addiction signs and symptoms can also lead to other problems, such as:

  • Unhealthy or Dysfunctional Relationships
  • Sexual Dissatisfaction
  • Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
  • Sexual Dysfunction

An untreated “porn habit” can also lead to job and/or money problems, especially if you are watching porn at work and/or shirking your marital, parental, family, and household responsibilities.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Porn Addiction?

It depends…

The length of time it takes to recover from porn addiction depends on a variety of factors, such as your support system or the amount of help you have during the porn addiction recovery process. Psychotherapists and porn addiction specialists can teach you how to alter your thought processes (porn obsession) and behaviors (porn-watching).

Support group members, including a porn addiction recovery sponsor, along with your friends, partner, and/or loved ones can help hold you accountable for your actions – or lack thereof. During support group meetings, you learn how to set realistic porn addiction recovery goals – and keep track of them. You may also learn what caused you to turn to porn and why you keep returning to it, despite the negative consequences.

Although porn addiction never completely goes away (it is always lurking in the background ready to pounce at a moment’s notice), healthy coping skills and strategies can help redirect your intrusive and upsetting thoughts (obsessions) towards more positive ones, so you can avoid, reduce, or stop the rituals and routines (compulsive behaviors).