Porn isn’t just a moral problem

Is porn addiction just a moral problem? If you answered yes, you’re wrong. I bet most, if not all of you, disagree with me. I will explain why this idea of pornography only being a moral problem is not only wrong but detrimental to the recovery process.

First of all, the initial choice to look at pornographic material for the first time is a choice. For me it was curiosity about the female body and curiosity about sex that caused me to want to look at porn. I knew it was wrong on some level but curiosity or my sinful nature overruled any concerns about right or wrong.

What most people don’t understand is that it doesn’t take much exposure to pornography to change the structure of the brain to the point of obsession and addiction. I am going to be brief and try to keep it simple because a full and in depth explanation would be book length and full of scientific jargon and explanations.

 

The same chemical reaction a person has during sex with a partner occurs when viewing pornography. The chemicals released are 4-5 times stronger than morphine and heroine. If you think it’s difficult to quit heroine then you can imagine how hard quitting porn is.

Studies have been done to compare the brains of pornography and sex addicts to the brains of other addicts. The did scans of the participants’ brains and found that the brains of porn addicts look the same as the brains of cocaine addicts.

The part of the brain responsible for impulse control, the prefrontal cortex, is full of holes and blood flow to those areas is diminished. When this part of the brain is damaged it becomes extremely difficult to stop the addictive behavior.

When someone repeats an action or thought the repetition creates pathways in the brain. This pathways make a lot of our actions automatic. This is designed to be a good thing. Remember learning to tie your shoes? You had to think about every step but now you don’t have to think about it and can have a conversation at the same time.

This same process saves your life when you drive more often than you think. When someone learns to drive they have to think about what they’re doing. After awhile there isn’t much thinking involved (if you have driven in Florida you know exactly what I mean). In some instances that isn’t good but when someone stops short in front of you you don’t have time to think. And how many times do you drive home and not remember the drive home.

My point is that the brain of a porn addict does the same thing. With repeated exposure the pathways that are created become so ingrained that an addict sometimes doesn’t know he’s headed down the path to a relapse. The reason is that there are triggers that cause the brain to start down the pathway to “acting out”.

Repeated exposure to porn can make almost anyone an addict. Some people become addicted simply by watching porn. But the number one reason is having wounds or trauma in life, especially childhood. Pornography, like any drug becomes a way to medicate the pain from those wounds.

Sometimes it is molestation or some violence that the person witnessed. It could be physical or verbal and emotional abuse. Sometimes it’s the absence of one or both parents. It could also be a parent who is present but emotionally distant.

For me, it started out of curiosity and I quickly began using pornography and masturbation to medicate any emotional pain I would feel. If my parents were fighting I would turn to porn. If I was anxious about a test, porn. If I couldn’t sleep, porn. If I was angry, porn. If I was bored, porn. Any time I was forced to feel anything I would turn to porn.

Before you start to think that it’s hopeless and a lost cause let me tell you it isn’t. And I really don’t want anyone who struggles with this to think they don’t have to take responsibility and can just blame your brain. You can’t.

At the end of the day you have to choose to change. It will be difficult but you can change and break free. The same process that makes the destructive pathway of addiction can be used to create a new pathway of freedom. It takes anywhere from 2 to 6 years to completely break free. There are no shortcuts.

It takes a structured program, accountability and the renewing of our thoughts and habits. I recommend that anyone looking for help join a Conquer Series group (https://conquerseries.com/join-a-conquer-group/) as a start. Don’t think you can take the 5 week series and be fixed. You need to find a group of guys to fight alongside you.

I have tried doing it alone. It DOES NOT work. I have been in a group for over a year and am definitely not fixed. I am just now starting to get past the shame and into feeling the love of Christ. I may still struggle but I am starting to have freedom.

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2 thoughts on “Porn isn’t just a moral problem

  1. So very true on so many levels. The struggle for freedom is real. It’s hard! It’s painful! But is oh so worth it!!

    I, too, tried on my own. Didn’t work. I kept falling. It wasn’t until I became accountable to a select group of men that it all changed for me.

    Keep it up brother! There is freedom!

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