Habit/Addiction?

This is an abridged test from the the American Psychiatric Assosication, usually used for substance abuse and not porn addiction.

It does, however, give you an idea whether or not your internet porn use is really just a ‘habit’ that you can ‘give up any time you want’ or a (chemical) addiction that needs more than willpower to kick.

Just remember, internet pornography addiction has nothing to do with being weak or having a character flaw – we’re talking about science here. And whether you like it or not, science also applies to you, and the chemistry of your brain.

If you answer ‘Yes’ to more than 3 of these questions, you may be addicted to porn:

  1. Tolerance: has your internet porn use increased (more time spent) or escalated (more extreme porn) over time?
  2. Withdrawal: When you stop using internet porn, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal?
  3. Difficulty controlling your use: Do you sometimes use internet pornography  for a longer time than you would like?
  4. Negative consequences: Continued even with negative consequences to mood, self-esteem, health, job or family?
  5. Neglecting or postponing activities: Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work or household activities (in favour of internet porn)?
  6. Desire to cut down: Do you ever think about cutting down or controlling your internet porn use?  Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or cut out porn?
  7. Spending significant time or emotional energy: Do you ever conceal your use, think of schemes to avoid getting caught?

All addictions have this in common:

  1. A ‘numbing’ of the reward circuitry in your brain
    • Dopamine dysregulation – so it becomes harder to stimulate the rewards circuitry, i.e. you feel less pleasure, which leads to more craving
  2. Rewiring of your brain circuits
    • Stronger ‘go for it’ circuits – adding to the craving to do the same behaviour; and the more you use these circuits, the stronger they get
    • Weaker ‘control’ circuits – breaking down your willpower; the less you use these circuits, the less control you have over the addiction

Well (ladies and) gentlemen, internet porn has every quality mentioned here.  100%.   Now you decide…

Remember, either way, whatever you want to or don’t want to call it, it’s unlikely that you’ll wake up tomorrow with your porn cravings having disappeared all by itself. To eliminate porn from your life and to overcome your porn addiction/habit/ fetish/whatever, you’re going to have to take some action.

If you’re ready for the next step, then click here for the solution.

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