Sex and Porn Addiction are Real: Here’s Why

It’s easy to find validation for dismissing sex and porn addiction as excuses or compulsions. But in doing so, one is falling into a socially constructed discourse rather than one informed by science.

Sex and porn addiction have tried on several names seeking validation from authorities:

  • hypersexual disorder
  • sexual compulsivity
  • pornographic compulsion

But these attempts are reminiscent of linguistic hurdles experienced by gambling, alcohol, and smoking when waiting for science to catch up.

Diagnosis Issues

One of the main issues in addictive sciences are disagreements in symptomatic behaviors and without large-scale studies (which take considerable time and funding), it is understandable that connotations of sex and porn addiction are popular.

Thankfully, addiction science is a growing field. Researchers recently found a similarity between brain activity triggered by drug addicts and in people with compulsive sexual behavior.

And there are criteria which have been tested for high reliability and validity in diagnostic sex and porn addiction:

  • A recurring pattern (6 months or longer) of sexual behaviors, urges, and fantasies that are independent of any other condition, such as mania or depression, or the use of alcohol or drugs
  • An established dependency on sexual activity as a way to escape stress or depressive states
  • An inability to stop participating in sexual activity despite the person’s belief that the activity is problematic, and
  • Instances where sexual activity has ruined relationships, caused job loss, or other personal sufferings.

A diagnosis can be made now in the United States: using ICD-10 and DSM-5. But the American Psychiatric Association still refuses to accept it.

It’s progress, but until there is widespread acceptance in the field of medicine, the social aspect will continue to suffer.

Social Issues

People with this addiction still do not receive the social support that people do with other addictions.

This is problematic because, without validation of an addiction existing, it can be very difficult for someone to seek help, whether from family or professionals.

Any Google search for addiction brings up site after site for alcohol and drug addiction, some gambling addiction sites, but that is really it.

In fact, it’s easier to find help with smartphone addiction than it is for sex and porn addiction.  It even has a name: nomophobia, fear of being without your smartphone.

Sex and porn addiction, however, suffer from a negative stigma.  And it is this stigma that often keeps addicts from admitting there is a problem and seeking help.

Validation for sex and porn addicts must come from friends and family.  Addiction is a chronic disease which affects neurotransmission and the brain’s reward system.

It is important that if you, your friend, or a family member has an addiction, that you or your loved one approaches it with the same care, love, understanding, and support that one would give a drug or alcohol addict.

Here is a list of signs that sex and porn addicts may exhibit.

Final Thoughts

In the end, an addiction means someone is struggling.

For the sex and porn addict, the help, validation, and support may not appear readily or easily.

If you or someone you know is struggling, be a voice of validation and support. It can save a life.

Contact our Admissions Team Today
See how we can help you or your loved one continue their journey in recovery.

Zach Lindley—Admissions Team

866-425-4673 | Contact Us

 

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