HELP! I Can’t Stop Looking at Porn

Pornography use has become an epidemic.

The governors of Utah and Tennessee have recently declared pornography a, “public health crisis.” The declaration that was passed in each of the states had bipartisan support (it had unanimous support in the House of Representatives in Tennessee). But why is it a problem under the definition of a “health crisis?”

The short answer is that pornography is a drug… and it extremely addictive. There is overwhelming evidence that pornography negatively impacts brain chemistry, leads to increases in rape and violent crimes, causes sexual dysfunction, and increases marital problems.

Pornography is an epidemic.

Consider these statistics:

  • In 2016, one pornographic website reported they had nearly 92 billion videos viewed, 23 billion visitors and 4.6 billion hours of video watched. That’s over 64 million website hits each day and 5,236 centuries of watched video in one year… and that was just one pornographic website. On top of that, the website reported an increase of 300 million views than the previous year.
  • Pornography is not only a man’s problem. A growing number of women state that they are addicted to pornography. 76% of women ages 18-30 say they view pornography at least once a month. [1]

Chances are, I could throw a stone into a crowded area and I would hit someone that has a pornography addiction. If you can’t stop looking at porn, then you are in good company.

If you can’t stop looking at porn, here are 3 things you need to know.

A pornography addiction does not mean that you are weak.

I’ve mentored many men through this issue. The people have ranged from officers in the military, to clergymen, to married men, and everyone in between. Every single one of these people practices discipline in their daily lives. Their career and vocations require discipline. They are not weak individuals. Pornography addiction is not merely a struggle with self-control. If it were easily conquered with self-control, then pornography use would not be an epidemic.

People succumb to the temptation to use pornography and masturbate because they are wounded individuals.

Pornography (and masturbation) are used because they release hormones and chemicals into our brain that act as a numbing agent for emotional pain. People become addicted to these chemicals and fall into the shackles of pornography. If the underlying emotional pain goes untreated, it will be near impossible to overcome the addiction.

Failure happens in isolation.

Falling to pornography happens when a person is alone. For this reason, the best defense against pornography and masturbation addictions is to come out of isolation. Someone else needs to know about your problem. It is much more difficult to overcome an addiction on your own.

This does not mean that you need to shout your shame to the world. There are many good reasons that a pornography addiction shouldn’t be public knowledge. These addictions have a social cost and that needs to be measured when sharing intimate details about addiction.

Because pornography affects the brain, self-control becomes more difficult. The action of self-control is managed by the brain. Pornography compromises a person’s rational thinking. In many cases, the addict needs another person in order to overcome the compromised capacity of the brain.

If you are addicted to pornography, reach out to someone.  A close friend, a counselor, a clergyman, a parent or relative… don’t keep this problem in the shadows. Pornography (and masturbation) addictions need to be brought into the light.

Freedom is Possible

A blog article is not going to offer anything but encouragement. There is only so much that can be communicated in a short article and there is no silver bullet solution to overcoming pornography.  Every person has different wounds that need to heal and that makes every person’s journey unique. The good news is that many people have successfully navigated this problem and they have overcome it. FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE!

A fair number of people are now speaking up about their problems and offering quality resources to support someone that is caught in the shackles of sexual sins. Below are links to several resources that I recommend.

Freedom: Battle Strategies for Conquering Temptation

Integrity Restored

Covenant Eyes

(Also make sure to read “15 Tips to Stay Hooked on Porn“).

[1] 2014 Pornography Survey and Statistics. Proven Men Ministries. http://www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/ (accessed Dec. 29, 2014).

______________________________

Everett Fritz is the founder and Executive Director of St. Andrew Missionaries. He authored the best selling book, Freedom: Battle Strategies for Conquering Temptation – a guide for young men trapped in the shackles of sexual sin. Everett speaks on the topics of discipleship, prayer and chastity. He and his wife Katrina reside in Denver, Colorado with their 3 children. To contact Everett to speak or to learn more about his apostolates, visit www.everettfritz.com or connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. I would add one more thing. Every man who has this problem has a fear of intimacy. I am in Notre Dame Parish, and we could have a talk about this some time. I’ve learned a lot about this. Walked with a friend who was affected by it for 5 years. An amazing journey.

    By Ginny McCready | 4 months ago Reply
    • Dear Ginny, may I ask you some questions about this issue? How can I contact you?

      By Jacob | 4 months ago Reply

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