Pornography addiction is diagnosed when an individual engages in the overuse or abuse of pornography to the extent that they experience negative consequences. In 1990 Aviel Goodman proposed a general definition of all types of addictions in order to extend the specific disorders included in the DSM-III-R. While not explicitly in the context of pornography, Goodman explains his criteria for addiction as a “process whereby a behavior, that can function both to produce pain and to provide escape from internal discomfort, [and] is employed in a pattern characterized by:
- Failure to control the behavior (powerlessness)
- Continuation of the behavior despite significant negative consequences (unmanageability)
Symptoms or signs of a pornography addiction will vary depending on the person and the availability of pornographic material, but there are symptoms that are often present for many patients seeking treatment:
- You are unable to stop using porn or the behaviors associated with porn, despite attempts to do so.
- Become angry, hostile or irritable if you are asked to stop using porn.
- You keep all or part of your porn use secret from loved ones.
- You feel as though you live a double or secret life because of your porn use.
- You continue to view porn despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or job loss.
- You have lost track of large chunks of time because you’ve been absorbed in porn use.
We provide a comprehensive approach to aid in the recovery associated with an addiction to pornography. Part of this therapy includes education that teaches you to make healthier choices in your life and to replace your previous behaviors with positive ones.