You may have been struggling with pornography addiction for months, years, decades, or even your entire life. In a world where our phones are always connected, accessing pornographic materials online seems easier than ever before. But just because porn is accessible doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to give in. If you feel overwhelmed by how much time you spend looking at it, then perhaps it’s best to start by acknowledging that yes, you have a problem.
Pornography addiction is a real thing, and the more you struggle with it, the harder it is to overcome. But you can do it! If you've been struggling with pornography addiction, here are 6 steps to help you get started on your path to freedom:
We know that we shouldn’t judge ourselves, but if you find yourself craving pornography above other things, then it might be worth asking yourself why you think that way. Maybe you’re bored at home, lonely, or generally unhappy. Maybe you crave attention and validation or feel inadequate or insecure. Whatever the root cause of your predicament may be, you now have an opportunity to understand what exactly it is about pornography that keeps you coming back for more. Once you do that, you’ll be able to seek out ways to change your habits.
When we talk about pornography, we often throw around terms like ‘addiction’ and ‘compulsion’ to describe the unhealthy behaviors associated with its use. We could say that people who are addicted to pornography are driven by urges that they cannot control. And while that may be true, many of us do not doubt that we have to take charge of these urges—we need to set boundaries and stop acting upon them. So if you’re going to work on overcoming your pornography problems, it’s important to identify your primary motivation. What’s keeping you trapped? For example, maybe you really want to get laid, or perhaps you’ve promised someone else that you wouldn’t have sex with another person. You need to ask yourself why you’re using pornography in the first place. Are you trying to fill a void in your relationship? Are you using it to prove something to someone else?
Once you’ve identified your primary motivation, you can move forward and create rules for yourself. These rules probably won’t involve complete abstinence; rather, they will likely focus on limiting access to pornographic materials. As long as you make sure to enforce these boundaries consistently, it will become increasingly harder to look at pornography.
While setting up boundaries is critical to overcoming pornography problems, you still need support along the way. After all, you’re going through a major life transition, and it’s easy to slip back into old patterns if you aren’t getting proper feedback. One great thing about joining a community of like-minded individuals is that you can tap into their support system and gain advice about how to stay strong. You can check out groups created specifically for overcoming compulsive behavior on sites like Sexaholics Anonymous. Or, you can join a group that’s focused on helping others overcome sexual addictions.
If pornography began to shape your beliefs about yourself, then you can begin working towards changing those beliefs. For example, if you think that you’re unattractive, then you may come to believe that nobody wants to sleep with you. On the flip side, if you’ve got a positive attitude about yourself, then you may notice that it becomes easier to resist falling for the same temptations again. Even though you may not experience any immediate improvement in your self-esteem, changing your thinking can help improve your outlook over time.
If you’ve tried everything to combat your pornography addiction, then it may be time to consider seeking professional counseling. While you don’t necessarily need therapy to beat pornography, it may be helpful to see a therapist who specializes in treating addictive behaviors.
In conclusion, you should make a decision to change. We must decide to change if we want to achieve lasting success. If we don't put forth effort now, we will not succeed later.