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Treatments of pornography addiction

Sexual and Porn Addiction - Treatments

Therapists focus on improving social skills to help porn and sex addicts in creating healthy relationships and reconstructing the ones with family and friends


In general, addictions are often difficult to treat. An endangered person sometimes doesn’t want to admit that a problem exists, and justifies their own behavior and thoughts. Especially in the case of this particular addiction, people could easily deny the problem and label it as normal pattern of behavior in modern society. Currently used treatments aim to decrease excessive needs to engage in sexual activities (such as watching pornography while masturbating or other activities), and encourage patients to form healthier relationships with others.


''Therapists want to eliminate the patients' destructive thoughts in order to adopt more realistic and healthier ones''


There are several treatment options for sex and porn addicts, such as psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and self-help. When talking about individual psychotherapy for sex addiction, the most common approach is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), along with psychodynamic therapy. CBT is very popular in treating addiction in general; it primarily focuses on what goes on in our mind. This approach emphasizes the importance of how people think and what they think about, as determinants of life-quality. Striving to improve those thought processes makes dealing with psychological issues much easier. Therapists want to eliminate the patients' destructive thoughts in order to adopt more realistic and healthier ones. CBT also focuses on the identification of triggers that prompt compulsive masturbation while watching pornography or other sexual behavior, and reshaping cognitive distortions into a healthier way of thinking. Therapists teach clients how to avoid “paths” which lead to sexual activity or pornography. They even focus on improving social skills to help pornography and sexual addicts in creating healthy relationships, and reconstructing the ones with family and friends. On the other hand, psychodynamic therapy is more oriented towards past experiences of the addict. Psychodynamic therapists believe in the existence of core conflicts that are in the background of unhealthy sexual expression, such as shame, anger, and impaired self-esteem. Other kinds of therapy may help too, such as family or couples therapy. They might return the feeling of trust, reduce shame, and form a healthy sexual relationship between two people.

Pharmacothertapy

How about pharmacotherapy or the usage of medication? There is no medication for compulsive sexual behavior that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are believed to play a role in the reduction of sexual urges and preoccupation. However, trying to decrease compulsive sexual behavior with SSRIs can sometimes create sexual dysfunction through their side effects, which is not effective. It has been suggested that addicts who have a better response to SSRIs are usually suffering from another psychiatric disorder, perhaps anxiety or depression.

Community

A few self-help organizations for sexual addiction have been established – Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.


They created 12-step programs to help people in self-controlling this condition. Also, the support of family and friends is essential for addicts who are recovering from this disorder. Unfortunately, this is not so easy to accomplish because significant others often suffer due to damage in the relationship, and find it hard to understand the addicts’ condition. Nonetheless, a strong support-based social network helps in decreasing the risk of relapse.