Porn Addiction Can Lead To Depression

Experts estimate that there are now about five million people struggling with porn addiction, with depression often appearing as a form of comorbidity.

Absolute numbers are not known because of the shame-covered subject matter, therefore a high number of unreported cases is suspected. Other studies say that with every 10,000 Internet users we have 80 Internet sex addicts worldwide and most of them are male.

Digitalization allows limitless consumption

The advancing digitization can be seen as a catalyst for the spread of addiction. In the old days, pornography offered only a limited range of really new things, but the acquisition involved some barriers, such as going to the video store or going to the store buying a magazine over the counter.

For psychologists, porn addiction is a relatively new phenomenon. It was only in 1996 that the first case of experienced loss of control through pornography became known.

With the spread of the Internet, the porn landscape changed. The danger of addiction compared to other drugs is that the “substance” is usually available for free, at any time and in virtually unlimited quantities.

The intensity with which the porn sites fight for users has also changed. The porn platforms publish a large number of videos every day. Many of them are available free of charge, allowing for continuous consumption. For this purpose, the user can act anonymously on the Internet, which reduces the inhibition threshold. All these factors favor the addictive behavior.

Porn addiction – what effect does it have?

During orgasm, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and endorphins are released in the brain. Above all, the dopamine ensures that addicts always get the desire to pursue their addiction. Over time, less dopamine is produced in the reward center and the number of dopamine receptors decreases. Among other things, this can lead to impaired functioning, impotence and, in some cases, lead to depression as well.

In many cases, porn addiction followed by depression can typically be solved through simple treatment. In general, this is achieved through abstinence, which can be designed in different stages: The abstinence of pornography is a prerequisite for the success of the therapy, whether you must also abstinent from masturbation or abstinent from sexual intercourse, depends on the severity of dependence.

But it’s important to consider that porn addiction is often a symptom, rather than a cause. In these cases, it’s not possible to ‘cure’ the addiction without addressing the depression. Talk therapy and medication are first-line treatments for depression, and as the treatment progresses, other symptoms begin to fade.

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