What is Considered an online pornography addiction?

One of the fastest growing forms of digital addictions (or tech addiction) is porn addiction. No longer relegated to old Playbook magazines that needed to be surreptitiously bought and stored in covert hiding spots, modern porn is now instantly available and ubiquitous. Porn sites such as PornHub have hundreds of millions of users that allow a person to view graphic sexual content discreetly and on demand—without stigma, effort or any real human interaction.

1 in 5 internet searches on a mobile device are for pornography.

Having sex the old-fashioned way—with another person—required time and effort. And it also required navigating certain social minefields that could be full of emotional pain as a person needed to overcome any social anxiety or fear of rejection to engage in a healthy sexual relationship.

But in the last 15 years, many people have found that they can explore their need for sexual gratification without the fuss and hassle of any sort of social interaction. Even more problematically, because so many young people have been raised on screens and are, in fact, digital natives, they have under-developed social skills—while having increased impulsivity and instant gratification tendencies. A very bad combination.

“Unfortunately, it seems that we, as a society, have entered into a Faustian deal. Yes, we have these amazing handheld marvels of the digital age – tablets and smartphones – miraculous glowing devices that connect people throughout the globe and can literally access the sum of all human knowledge in the palm of our hand. But what is the price of all this future tech? The psyche and soul of an entire generation. The sad truth is that for the oh-so-satisfying ease, comfort and titillation of these jewels of the modern age, we’ve unwittingly thrown an entire generation under the virtual bus.”
-Dr. Kardaras

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    Online Pornography Addiction Treatment Program at Omega Recovery

    Pornography addiction is a type of addiction that involves obsessive sexual behavior combined with the consumption of pornographic content, despite the apparent detrimental effects to one’s physical, emotional, social, or economical well-being.

    And we also know that porn—like sex—activates the dopamine reward center of the brain in ways very similar to drug use, so it can very easily lead to habit-forming compulsion.

    But what happens to young people who become so compulsively driven to the dopamine stimulating allure of pornography? Several things actually. In addition to a staggeringly high percentage of young people (teens and young adults) who frequently view online pornography, you now also have a much higher number who have developed a self-destructive porn addiction—compulsive porn viewing that’s adversely impacting a person’s life. This can look like a strained marriage or relationship (as the intimacy is compromised), or adverse work or school impacts because of the amount of time devoted to porn.

    We also have seen some young people who have been so over-exposed to extremely graphic sexual contents that it not only desensitizes them to more normalized in-person sexual relationships, but it could lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Indeed, many pediatricians have discussed the prevalence of a new and growing phenomenon that they attribute to our porn saturation: adolescent erectile dysfunction. This had never been a clinical issue before the ubiquity and pervasiveness of online porn.
    Finally, we have also seen some young people who are severely impacted psychologically by the content of extreme porn. Oftentimes violent and misogynistic imagery becomes seared into a person’s mind as they report an inability to remove the intrusive imagery from their thoughts—days, weeks or months after viewing the intense imagery. And this imagery oftentimes can and does shape a person’s views of sexual relationships in ways that are very, very toxic.

    Evidence-based Modalities for Online Porn Addiction Treatment

    ” So just pulling the plug on the games doesn’t really count as porn addiction treatment—it doesn’t address what’s driving the compulsive behavior and the need to escape into a porn fantasy world.”

    Online Porn Addiction Help

    In our Community Integrated Treatment Model, our Omega clients are engaged in living in the real world once again—and we make it fun as we help them to find their passion! Oftentimes, the porn can be a substitute for a person who feels bored, lost, depressed, adrift and lacking any real sense of purpose or direction. Omega Recovery helps them to find that meaningful sense of passion, purpose and direction in their lives. By living cooperatively in a treatment house in a vibrant community in the thriving city of Austin, we use all the social, nature-based, cultural, educational and economic opportunities available in an amazing city like Austin.

    The recovering porn addict gets the full clinical impact of an inpatient program in a more comfortable, alternative to traditional inpatient treatment. Dr. Kardaras has found that this type of treatment setting has better recovery outcomes as it is a more authentic and organic living and therapeutic environment.  This which translates into a smoother transition post-treatment.

    Towards the end of treatment, the client works with their therapist to slowly begin to reintegrate mindful tech usage back into their lives. We help create a “digital re-entry” plan so that our clients and their families have a clear road-map of the transition back to our highly technological world. The recovered porn addict needs to know how to balance healthy tech usage back into their lives as they look to get back into school, get a job or pursue any other passion that they may have. We assist our clients in post-treatment transition planning that includes aftercare, case management, peer coaching, job placement, recovery housing and much more.

    Shame is frequently associated with compulsive pornography usage, and this emotion might discourage people from seeking porn addiction treatment. Many porn addicts are afraid to open out to others about their difficulties, so they keep their porn use a well kept secret. Others avoid discussing it with intimate partners who are aware of it for fear of escalating confrontations.

    Get Help

    There is help if you feel your pornography addiction is causing problems.
    Porn Addiction Treatment is Available at Omega Recovery, in Austin, TX.

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    Traditional Outpatient (OP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) & Partial Hospitalization

    Live at home, maintain your work & family responsibilities, and receive extensive addiction treatment at one of our outpatient rehab facilities in Texas
    We’ll design a recovery plan to address your specific addiction, background, and mental health needs.
    Depending on the severity & length of your addiction you’ll be assigned to one of three levels of care
    Live at home, maintain your work & family responsibilities, and receive extensive addiction treatment at one of our outpatient rehab facilities in Texas
    We’ll design a recovery plan to address your specific addiction, background, and mental health needs.
    Depending on the severity & length of your addiction you’ll be assigned to one of three levels of care
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    Getting Help For A Loved One

    Addicts often find it very difficult to take the first step to recovery on their own. We’ve treated hundreds of people with mental health, technology, and substance abuse addictions. Many claim that it was a loved one who first recommended them to our outpatient rehab program.
    Here’s why we’re highly recommended:


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    are sober after 6 months