Why Porn Addicts Relapse

Porn

Porn addicts relapse because porn addiction is a serious addiction that is similar to drug or alcohol addiction. The desire to stop is not enough for porn addicts. While it was once thought that the addictive drugs altered the makeup of the brain, current research indicates that porn addiction and other “natural” addictions have a similar effect on the brain. The changes in the brain as a result of addiction are what makes so difficult for people to recover, in many cases, ultimately leading them to relapse. Professional help is required on the part of the addict.

The desire for pornography gradually sneaks up on people until they become addicted. It may be helpful to look at the stages of addiction in order to better understand how the addiction develops over time. Understanding the steps will be done on some light on why addicts relapse. The stages, according to Gene McConnell and Keith Campbell in “The Stages of Pornography Addiction” on the Focus on the Family website, are avpockie.

1. Early exposure – “Most guys who are addicted to porn start early. They see stuff when they are very young, and it gets its foot in the door.

2. Addiction – “Later comes addiction. You keep coming back to porn. It’s a regular part of your life. You’re hooked. You can not quit.”

3. Escalation – “After a while, escalation starts. You start using more and more graphic porn. You start using porn that would have been disgusted you when you started. Now it excites you.”

4. Desensitization – “Eventually, you start to become numb. Even the most graphic, degrading porn does not excite you anymore. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again but can not find it.”

5. Acting out sexually – “At this point, many people make a dangerous jump and start acting out of sexually. They move from the paper and plastic images of porn to the real world.”

….. For. For. For. Sexual In healthy people, the brain rewards natural behaviors such as eating and sex because they are important to survival of both the individual and the species. However, in addicts, the reward system gets changed because of the over-stimulation of the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. As Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD puts it, “When we overuse the pleasure centers, the cells that produce dopamine are overworked, and in what can be a defensive reaction, the brain decreases the amount of dopamine available for use and also causes shrinkage in the cells that produce the dopamine in the frontal control areas. Paradoxically, the pleasure cells in the nucleus accumbens may actually enlarge in the addictive state, because they have less dopamine pleasure for available and every possible atom extracting to seek.

This process is what makes it so hard for porn addicts to overcome porn addiction. The brain is essentially making it impossible for the addict to fight the compulsion to engage in the addictive behavior due to its craving for dopamine.

“Thus, in addiction, normal pleasures are not enough to alleviate the craving for dopamine, and this craving in the new reset pleasure thermostat in the brain is likely to be in the desire to relapse,” states Hilton.

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