Phone numbers
Treatment enquiries: 0800 144 8969
General enquiries: 0800 138 8680
Make an Enquiry
Claire-Rimmer-360x246.jpg

This page was medically reviewed by Claire Rimmer(BA (Hons), Dip.Psychology, FDAD (NCAC)), Lead Addiction Therapist at Priory Hospital Altrincham in November 2021.

Here, we will outline what porn addiction is, what causes it, and the symptoms you may experience if you’re suffering from porn addiction.

What is a Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction, a subcategory of sex addiction, is characterised by an individual compulsively accessing and viewing pornographic material, and feeling a complete lack of control over their porn-viewing behaviours.

Whilst accessing porn isn’t necessarily an unhealthy behaviour in itself, when porn use becomes excessive and is having a negative impact on your life and your ability to function on a daily basis, this may be a sign that you have developed a harmful porn addiction.

Porn Addiction Symptoms

Using porn regularly doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from a porn addiction. Watching porn and craving intimacy is normal, but when your need to watch porn overtakes other aspects of your life, that’s when you could be struggling with  porn addiction symptoms

Some of the signs of porn addiction include:

  • Excessive pornography use, to the extent that this has a negative impact on your life or the lives of those closest to you
  • Increasing amounts of time spent accessing, downloading and viewing porn.
  • Lying about the nature and extent of your porn use
  • Becoming angry or defensive if you are confronted about your porn use
  • Feeling as though you are unable to stop using porn despite the negative consequences that this causes
  • Experiencing intense cravings to view porn
  • Feeling irritable or emotionally distressed when you stop using porn
  • Finding that you need to access progressively more bizarre or extreme types of pornography in order to be satisfied.
  • Online porn viewing gradually escalates to you using technology to seek out anonymous or paid-for sexual encounters, whether these are in person or via computer video cameras
  • Using pornography has a negative impact on your relationships
  • There are significant changes in your sexual behaviour towards your partner e.g. becoming more dominant, aggressive or emotionless
  • Finding that you need to view porn in order to alter and improve your mood e.g. to relieve stress or reduce anxiety

You don’t have to be struggling with all of the above symptoms of porn addiction to have a problem. Struggling with a few of these symptoms may indicate you have an addiction that needs treating.

FREE Addiction Assessment

Priory deliver expert addiction treatment and rehabilitation. To find out how we can help you to get your life back on track, call us today on 0800 144 8969 or enquire online. Book your FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

Book Now

Porn Addiction Causes

As is the case for many addictive behaviours, it’s likely that porn addiction develops as a result of a number of different factors, including psychological, biological and social influences.

Psychological causes of porn addiction:

  • Experiencing stressful life events particularly during childhood, such as trauma or abuse
  • Early exposure to sexual content during childhood
  • Suffering from an existing addiction or other mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress - porn is often used to try to escape from the symptoms of other mental health difficulties

Biological causes of porn addiction:

  • Having a close relative such as a parent or sibling who struggles with addiction, or a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression
  • Higher levels of the sex hormones, oestrogen and testosterone, have been found to increase an individual’s libido and thus, the likelihood that they will engage in excessive or compulsive porn use

Social causes of porn addiction:

  • Being rejected by a partner can lead to unhealthy ways of achieving sexual satisfaction
  • Influences from peers/the media, thus normalising porn use
  • Social isolation

Porn has also become more readily available in recent years and can be accessed on many mobile devices, including laptops and phones, anywhere and at any time. This immediate access to porn can also cause porn addiction.

Effects of Porn Addiction

Without expert addiction treatment, porn addiction can have a range of devastating long-term consequences, impacting on your relationships, work and quality of life.

The long-term effects of porn addiction may include:

  • Being unable to form and maintain meaningful social and romantic relationships
  • Long-term sexual dysfunction with partners, including erectile dysfunction, delayed/premature ejaculation and an inability to become aroused or reach orgasm
  • Breakdown of relationships with romantic partners, family and friends
  • Intense feelings of depression, shame and isolation
  • Loss of interest in activities that are not related to porn, such as work, hobbies, socialising with friends and family, and exercise, thus leading to social withdrawal and isolation
  • Experiencing trouble at work as a result of poor performance or watching porn using company equipment
  • Legal issues as a result of illegal porn use

Getting Treatment for Porn Addiction

If you believe that you, or someone you know, is struggling with porn addiction, it’s important to reach out and get help. We understand that it can feel embarrassing to reach out for porn addiction support as it’s still considered a ‘taboo’ subject, but it’s important to know that help is available and you’re not alone on this journey.

You can contact your GP to talk about your experiences, or come to a Priory specialist directly. Here at Priory, we offer a free no obligation addiction assessment to assess your symptoms and see how they are affecting your life.

After an initial assessment, a specialist will be able to discuss different addiction treatment options depending on the severity of your addiction. For porn addiction, treatment plans often involve intensive therapy, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.

It’s important to remember you don’t have to struggle with porn addiction alone; expert, established treatment is available.

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding work addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0800 144 8969 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

Find a Treatment Location
Find a Treatment Location for Porn Addiction
Contact Us
Call our Enquiry Line
0800 144 8969
ENQUIRE ONLINE FIND A LOCATION
Can't find what you're looking for?
Contact us by phone: 0800 144 8969 or Make an Enquiry