What Makes a Porn Addict?/Dorothy Hayden, LCSW


Many factors go into the psychological make-up of a porn addict

 

Some people believe that mature, well-balanced person with no “issues” can get addicted to porn because the porn itself is so intrinsically addictive.  They hypothesize that when they acquire the skills necessary to get it out of their live, BOOM.  Case closed.  They’ve had successful treatment.  That could be true for them.

I’m of a different mind.  I think that there are certain attitudes and behaviors, that beginning in childhood (ages 13-17),  become sexual “imprints” in their minds that stay forever without therapeutic intervention.  Some of the key elements in the development of porn addiction are:

  • Starting at a young age
  • Controlling or protective parents
  • Uninvolved parents
  • Exposure to an unhealthy model of relationships,
  • A Negative Social system
  • Early childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse

A majority of people who struggle with addiction have lived in homes where their parents were strict, rigid, and controlling, OR they were disinterested, disengaged in the child’s lives.

Other homes can be full of chaos.  Parents who are emotionally wounded themselves project their self-hatred onto their children in the form of shaming them.  A shamed child is a self-hating child.

In light of his fear of living in a dysfunctional family, the child seeks SAFETY — a reprise from feeling fear, loneliness, inadequately and self-hatred.

Then pornography gets into the scene.  Instant relief; a safe place to hide where he can feel OK through pleasure.  He turns away from people as a source of nourishment and support.  He turns within himself and creates a fantasy world that magically meets his every need.

I think that’s part of what makes for a porn addict.  More thoughts about this to come.

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