/ By KHTS

In her book, Dopamine Nation, renowned psychiatrist Anna Lembke talks about the addiction crisis in America. Some addictions are better-known than others: alcohol, opioids, sugar. But porn addictions are becoming more prevalent, resulting in more lives being destroyed by the instant gratification that internet porn delivers. Are you dealing with a pornography addiction? Desert Solace runs an inpatient pornography addiction treatment program in southwestern Utah. Among the strategies we suggest patients use to overcome an addiction to pornography include self-binding techniques.

In her book, Dr. Lembke talks about how people become addicted to a drug or habit and some of the ways they are prevented from overcoming that addiction. One is continued exposure to triggers. Addicts often beat themselves up over what they interpret as a lack of willpower. Why can’t I stop using drugs, drinking, watching porn, etc.? But as you have likely discovered, the solution isn’t as simple as stopping.

Life Is Too Easy

Dr. Lembke talks about how our brains are wired much the same way as they were thousands of years ago — to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Back then, humans mostly used their brains to find food and escape the danger presented by mastodons in order to stay alive.

Today, our lives are much more advanced and complicated. But they are also more satisfying. Most people in the U.S. do not have to worry much about how to get food, shelter or clothing, or how to stay safe. We have unlimited supplies of clean water, food, housing, clothing, indoor plumbing, medical care and entertainment. It’s true you need money to get all these things, but most people have access to enough money to satisfy at least their most basic needs and desires.

This leaves many people bored. They lackadaisically channel surf and scroll social media. They seek out hookups and one-night stands on apps created for this purpose. They engage in watching porn and self-pleasuring to the point of neglecting their health, work and families. They drink and take drugs to feel happy and relieve anxiety and tedium. These strategies work, but only temporarily. And their effectiveness wanes over time.

The Pain-Pleasure Balance

As Dr. Lembke explains, our brains contain a pain-pleasure system that can be envisioned as a seesaw. When too much pleasure (alcohol, drugs, porn) is piled onto one side, it upsets the balance, and our brains work feverishly to restore homeostasis. So the high only lasts for a while before we are back to normal.

Worse, if we continue these behaviors, the brain learns them and begins to more efficiently counteract their effects — meaning you derive less pleasure from your addiction. Even worse than that is that when you try to overcome your addiction, it takes time for your brain to understand what you are doing. In the meantime, it’s loading up the pain side of the seesaw in expectation that you will be loading up the pleasure side at any moment. That is how withdrawal works.

Breaking an Addiction to Pornography

As you probably know firsthand, breaking an addiction to pornography is difficult, and you may have already failed several times. Sadly, there are no drugs to help you with this addiction as there are for heroin and some other substances.

In porn addiction rehab, you will learn how and why you became addicted to porn. This will help you overcome your addiction to pornography by understanding the reasons behind it and addressing them.

In the meantime, an important strategy you can use to help you succeed is to employ self-binding techniques. These include barriers between you and your triggers.

Porn addiction has some common triggers, but beyond these are your own personal triggers that you must be aware of. Below, we list some common self-binding techniques you can use in your pornography addiction recovery.

How to Beat Pornography Addiction

  1. Get rid of all porn videos. This includes CDs, downloads, streaming services, etc. If you have print magazines or erotica books, throw these away as well. To avoid pulling any of it out of the trash, throw it away the day the trash will be collected in your neighborhood.
  2. Restrict cable access. Call your cable company and ask that all adult video content be blocked. This is a common request from parents, so you do not need to feel fearful or ashamed to take this step.
  3. Adjust the settings on your phone. Similarly, many parents restrict their children’s access to porn by adjusting the settings on their phones. To prevent yourself from changing the settings back, enlist the help of a trusted friend, relative or therapist to set the code for you and not tell you what it is.
  4. If you take business trips, ask the hotel to remove the TV from your room before you arrive. It is common for hotel guests to ask that the TV or minibar contents be removed from their room. Not everyone wants to be tempted by alcohol, candy and unhealthy entertainment.
  5. Address your personal triggers. These could be anything, but we will tell you about some triggers past patients have dealt with so you have some examples. For instance, if mainstream movies that include sex scenes are a trigger, avoid watching these. One patient found that going to the gym or to yoga classes where he could see women in tight clothing was more than he could handle. The same might be said of the beach or pool, or even dance clubs.

Although addiction recovery is hard, you will not have to avoid exercise or dancing for the rest of your life to recover from a porn addiction, the same way alcoholics can eventually tolerate others drinking around them without imbibing. It’s a first step, and it’s incredibly helpful to your recovery.

Without these self-binding strategies, you are setting yourself up to fail. You must get used to your new lifestyle before you will have the strength to resist your addiction.

Contact Desert Solace today for pornography addiction help.