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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How do you know you are a porn addict? Hello all please dont

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How do you know you are a porn addict?
Hello all please don't judge me put I have collected and watched porn for years on my computer. I am a 24 year old female professional artist, I am single but always looking and I work part time in an art museum. Up until now I never thought much about my liking porn, it was just something I did to unwind after a long day, but a month ago my mom discovered a video I had left on my desk top and looked at me like I need to be exorcised. Thankfully we decided not to make an incident of it (although I could tell it bothered her) and we have not spoken of it since, but it made me start to worry about my habits and made me start to worry weather or not I was a porn addict. I watched porn every-night as part of my routine. I don't pay for it thank god and I only do it at night after everything I have to do that day is done and as fair as my mindset goes I never give it a thought during the day until I go to bed so I do not feel like my thoughts are consumed by it. I have not watched porn since the incident with my mom, but I still feel the urge to watch it and have been thinking about it more and more but is that because I am truly addict or is it only because I am so worried that I am an addict that I can't stop thinking about the problem. Its not the watching sex thing that bothers me, its the idea that I might have no control over myself or that my practice will escalate until it interferes with work and relationships or that it is effecting me in ways that I am not even aware of. I have read articles on the internet and I do not find them helpful, they very from extremely liberal let-it-all-hang-out style to bible thumping thought-shalt-not-masturbate-on-pain-of-death style. I explained my problem on chat room's about my concerns and it is them same thing. Half the people said I was an addict and needed help and the other half said I was completely normal and would grow out of it. They also talk a lot about finding out through interaction with your partner, but I have yet to be in a serious relationship so I can't make a judgment from that perspective. Not through lack of trying, I just can seem to meet the right guy. In any case I am trying to be truly honest and objective about myself and the truth is I just don't now. Should I endeavor to stop watching porn all together, should I seek help or should I not worry and simply do what I want.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Porn itself is a way to escape. It allows you to leave the world behind and focus on something that brings you pleasure without having to involve your feelings. In that way, it can become addicting. However, if you are aware of the issue, you can decide on how to resolve it.

It sounds like porn has become a habit for you. You mentioned viewing it at night when everything you need to do is finished for the day. And it has become part of your routine. So in that way, it has become the way you release your stress, much like someone would drink beer and watch a game. It's a way to wind down.

You mentioned that since you have stopped viewing it after your mother saw you, it has been on your mind. Part of that could be the shame you felt having your mother know about what you were watching. Since it is still on your mind, this could be mean that you miss the routine of being able to unwind with watching porn. It could also mean there is some addiction behaviors. However, if you were addicted you might not be able to stop yourself from watching porn even if your mom is fully aware of you doing it.

Addictions tend to be very strong almost uncontrollable urges that cause anxiety if you do not follow through. If you feel that way about porn, then you may have an addiction. But if you just think about it but are able to stop, then you probably are just used to the routine and miss it.

If you want to stop viewing porn, one of the ways to address your habit is to try to slowly replace it with another pleasurable activity. So for example, if you usually view porn for an hour each night, stop viewing after 50 minutes. Then do something else you find fun. Keep increasing the time you cut the porn off until you don't feel the need to view it anymore.

You can also do something you find uncomfortable or irritating when you view the porn. For example, sit somewhere you don't usually sit, maybe on the floor or in an uncomfortable chair. The idea is to associate watching porn with something bad.

This is only if you want to stop watching porn. It is up to you. The only concern is how it will affect you in a relationship. Porn can sometimes interfere with a person's ability to be close and intimate with their partner because it introduces unrealistic expectations into your sex life. However, if you find that is occurring for you, you can always talk with a therapist to work it through.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate





May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
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Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!

Take care,
Kate

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