What’s really behind a sex or porn addiction?

Behind every addict is a person or group of people who loves that addict. Whether you’re the addict or the loved one of an addict, you are probably curious about what is really behind an addiction to sex or pornography. To understand this, you should know the basics about sex or porn addiction.
 
Most importantly, you shouldn’t confuse yourself or your loved one as someone who is weak-willed, who’s simply given into pleasure and can’t get a grip. Most experts agree that addiction is about 50% nature (genetics) vs. 50% nurture (environmental). Addicts may not have full control over whether or not they develop an addiction or not but they do have a choice on how they handle it, recovery included.
 
The human brain is praised as being highly adaptive, which is ironically the very characteristic that lends itself so well to developing addiction. Addiction reworks brain chemistry causing a shift in homeostasis. The brain develops a new normal while adjusting its’ lines of communication. All of these things change the structures of the brain and alter their functioning. These changes that happen in the brain are responsible for many of the symptoms that are widely known as addiction symptoms.
 
Sex and/or Porn addiction works much the same as a drug or alcohol addiction. At its’ root cause, addiction has to do with brain functioning. The afflicted person has an addiction to the chemicals being released in their brain, not the activity that causes the release of these chemicals. This means, that if sex or pornography are causing a release of these chemicals, the addict will continue those behaviors much like a heroin addict will continue using heroin or an alcoholic will continue using alcohol.
 
As the loved one of an addict, it can be easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed with your loved one’s addiction. As the addict, you can easily feel the same way. You might be asking why you can’t just stop when you want to. The answer is simple; addiction is a complex brain functioning issue that is much harder to correct than it is to develop. If you or a loved one has an addiction to sex or pornography, please seek an evaluation from a qualified professional who can give you more information on treatment options that are available to you.
 
Reference
A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. . “Sex and Pornography Addiction – How Do You Get Addicted to Sex or Pornography – Biological “. Mental Health Services of Oklahoma. (Website). 2016

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