Pornography’s Detrimental Impacts on Life, Relationships, and the Brain
By Brendan Cole
Feeling like you have an internet or pornography addiction? Being able to recognize that there is a problem is the first step to any addiction recovery. What many do not realize is the extent to which pornography can be harmful on a person, not only impacting their physiology, but their relationships, and even occupation functioning.
Believe it or not, pornography is been one of the largest growing industries in the past several decades. Pornography has increased in availability as well as popularity, mainly due to huge advancements in technology. Pornography has been a widely researched topic among neuroscientists in order to understand its sudden acceptance in society.
Just like other addictive substances, pornography floods the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that releases chemicals associated with pleasure and has several different pathways that have the capabilities in not only seeing the reward but motivating individuals to take action towards those emotional responses. However, no matter how rewarding the experience can be, too much of the same response will leave the individual slightly more desensitized than they were before.
Pornography does just that. An overload of these pleasure chemicals in the brain makes it increasingly difficult for an individual to feel those emotions. Not only that, but with a lack of receptors due to an overload of chemicals in the brain, the body struggles to make up the natural chemicals the body needs in order to respond to other simple pleasures, like romance, success at work, and motivation to complete tasks. With fewer receptors, even if the brain is putting off the same levels of dopamine in response to viewing pornography, the user can’t feel dopamine’s effect as much. [Hilton]
As a result, many pornography consumers find less satisfaction in relationships, discontent with their sex lives, and often impacts professional lives negatively.
Modules for Recovery:
As a therapist, I work with each individual and their unique goals and without judgment. In the end, my goal is to walk alongside you as we enable you to not only quit watching pornography but to outgrow it. As we approach this journey together, below I have listed my modules for recovery. These are here to provide a point of reference and to better understand what we are going to accomplish.
- Becoming informed on the impact pornography has on the body create an awareness and provides the tools to start the road to recovery.
- It’s important to remember you’re not alone. Creating a support system, either with me or a close friend counteracts the common symptoms of loneliness and depression associated with increased pornography use.
Forgiveness and Communication
- You are not defined by your actions, but they do shape you. Forgive yourself.
- What is your desired outcome? Let’s accomplish those goals together.
Spiritual Dimension (optional):
- Guilt and shame associated with religion and morals is often one of the bigger contributors to depression and loneliness. We would work through these issues together.
Together we will work through any internet addiction that you may be suffering from. I specialize in overcoming these addictions and I am here to help you through that. To set up a free, 15 minute consultation with me, please email me at [email protected] or give me a call at 616-379-9129. I am here to guide you and help you through your addiction to make you the best you, you can be.
Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography addiction—a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 91.