Are You Caught in the Internet Pornography Epidemic?

Does Internet pornography play a significant role in your life or the life of someone you care about?  Do you find yourself drawn to it, especially in times of stress?  Does it become a preferred activity as opposed to human contact?  Is it affecting your relationship or marriage? Does it threaten your relationship or marriage?  I’m finding more and more people are contacting me for professional therapy because they answer “yes” to these questions.

Impact of Internet Pornography

Cyber porn is a very large piece of the web and more accessible than ever.   Pornography hurts adults, children, couples, families, and society, yet people very often can’t explain why they are so drawn to it.  Many say it is becoming a more and more significant part of their life.  It will ultimately interfere with a relationship as it causes patterns of withdrawal from a partner.  Many believe their partners are “cheating” on them through the overuse of pornography.  Feeding the compulsion can lead to other forms of sexual acting out as well, such as the use of sex computer_pornclubs, prostitutes, or infidelity.  For singles, Internet pornography can act as an alternative to attempts at genuine intimacy.  Why risk rejection when you can log onto a fantasy?  Quite simply, pornography is an addiction – one of epidemic proportions.

* 40 million American people regularly visit porn sites
* Every 39 minutes a new pornography video is being created in the United States
* 35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography
* About 200,000 Americans are “porn addicts”
* 40% of “sex addicts” lose their spouses, 54% suffer considerable financial losses, and about a third lose their jobs

Internet pornography can take on the features of other addictions such as alcohol, drugs, overspending, or gambling.  In many cases, it should be addressed as an addiction, including the use of Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), a 12 step program.  Simultaneously, it needs to be understood by the individual – with a clear focus on the impact that it’s having on their lives and the lives of others. The reality is, cyber porn is a business similar to drug sales.  Someone is making money off of your addiction and will gladly have you come back for more.  Also alarming are the number of people who report that they “drift into” images of minors or even children – child pornography.

Treatment for Internet Addiction Disorders

If any of these issues are a concern for you or someone you care about, having a private, confidential place to discuss them in person will help you understand the motivational characteristics of pornography use, while helping address the specific issues more directly.  Twelve-step programs can also help individuals who feel they have gone too far; letting them know they are no longer alone in their addiction.

I welcome anyone who feels their life has been adversely affected by Internet pornography and wants to reverse or arrest the pattern through behavioral therapy.
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