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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I have recently come off antidepressants have been treated

Resolved Question:

I have recently come off antidepressants have been treated with CBT which ended in February 2010. It appears that I have some OCD personality traits. I have found myself looking at internet porn lately, to the point of obsession. This makes me feel so ashamed and I have started getting intrusive thoughts again. Not sure how to get out of this cycle?

Andrew
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.

Hi Andrew:

 

I hate to seem like I am copping out of this answer, but I really urge you to get back into therapy. And this is particularly true of you have any sexual abuse in your history. I see a lot of men in my practice who are in roughly your same boat, and the thing I am concerned with is that the machinery of addiction may have gotten fired up during the interim where you did not have medication or therapy to help you structure your coping strategies. So if you are experiencing stressors in your life, the porn may be the coping strategy which gives you a short-term payoff (arousal and orgasm) as a means to manage the anxiety which has fueled the OCD in the past. The problem is (and I think you totally get this), it can begin to erode other parts of your life, including by creating the shame to which you referred.

 

A therapist can not only pick back up on your CBT, but can also address issues of sexuality, the means by which you connect and react in emotionally intimate relationships in general (i.e., help you to organize and utilize your social support system), and the pathways by through which you identify and sooth stress in your life. Nothing dire yet, but I think you see where this propensity could lead if you are not careful.

 

I wish you well. You are insightful enough to ask the question, and have taken the necessary steps toward positive health in the past, so I feel confident that you will have a very strong prognosis. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.

Hi Andrew:

 

I hate to seem like I am copping out of this answer, but I really urge you to get back into therapy. And this is particularly true of you have any sexual abuse in your history. I see a lot of men in my practice who are in roughly your same boat, and the thing I am concerned with is that the machinery of addiction may have gotten fired up during the interim where you did not have medication or therapy to help you structure your coping strategies. So if you are experiencing stressors in your life, the porn may be the coping strategy which gives you a short-term payoff (arousal and orgasm) as a means to manage the anxiety which has fueled the OCD in the past. The problem is (and I think you totally get this), it can begin to erode other parts of your life, including by creating the shame to which you referred.

 

A therapist can not only pick back up on your CBT, but can also address issues of sexuality, the means by which you connect and react in emotionally intimate relationships in general (i.e., help you to organize and utilize your social support system), and the pathways by through which you identify and sooth stress in your life. Nothing dire yet, but I think you see where this propensity could lead if you are not careful.

 

I wish you well. You are insightful enough to ask the question, and have taken the necessary steps toward positive health in the past, so I feel confident that you will have a very strong prognosis. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience: 19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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