Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life
& Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author
of “The Law of Sobriety” which
uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your
copy of “Manifest Holistic
Health
” from Sherry’s Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at sherry@sgabatherapy.com for webinars,
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Porn addiction has received a lot of time in the press
particularly as well known and well loved celebrities become identified as
individuals struggling with this type of addiction. There is no longer a doubt
that the viewing of pornography can become an addiction as it changes the responses
in the brain to sexual images. According to the American Society of Addiction
Medicine any type of activity that “is a primary, chronic disease of brain
reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry” can be considered an
addiction.  In other words those that
become addicted to pornography seek a brain based reward that is similar to
non-addicted individuals, just without the balance in place to stop the
behavior.

One reason why pornography addiction has become so prevalent
is because it is so readily available. Soft core types of pornography are
available on your own television and what is termed as “hard core” or
highly explicit pornography is easily available through online websites.
Individuals that view pornography may find that the addiction builds over time
or it may start with the first exposure. How fast the addiction develops depends
on the individual’s background, stage of development and their understanding of
the role of sex in getting their emotional and physical needs satisfied.

People that have an overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to
view pornography know, at some level, that it is socially unacceptable. This is
why it is a hidden addiction since there are no visible symptoms, at least to
those outside of the family. Those within the family and the addict’s circle of
friends will notice changes in personality, increased isolation, increased time
spent online and growing chaos and disorganization in the addict’s life. Partners
will notice a change in intimacy and a much more secretive and distant
emotional relationship.

Pornography addiction can be hidden for years. When
pornography addiction is suspected it is important to seek an addiction
counselor or therapist that has training in this specialization. Expect
denials, expect excuses but remember that the behavior is motivated by a true
addiction, not a simple choice of what to view.

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