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Symptoms of pornography addiction

Symptoms of Sexual and Porn Addiction

Once a person realizes it is getting out of control, he or she may try to decrease these sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors, but in vain


Unlike other addictions that include substance use (e.g. alcohol, food), or behavioral addictions (e.g. gambling), sexual addiction is not included in the 5th version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). Why is that so?


The term “hypersexual disorder” or “hypersexuality” may not be a totally appropriate description of the mentioned problem, because it doesn’t necessarily include the act itself. This behavior is more oriented towards the intensive search and pursuit of sex. Sadly, today there is some doubt in the severity of hypersexuality as a clinical condition, despite its association with relationship dysfunction, unplanned pregnancy, divorce and, finally, sexually transmitted disease. Also, let’s not forget anxiety and depression, which are common symptoms in this (like in any other) addiction.


''If one repetitively engages in intense sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors (like masturbation) that require a great amount of time, that person could be struggling with sexual addiction''


Yet, the question remains whether this increase in human hypersexuality research, and the escalating number of people seeking therapeutic and self-help, mean that this behavior is indeed a diagnosis waiting to be inserted in the next version of DSM. According to experts, that would lead to the replacement of words such as "pervert" or "nympho" with an appropriate diagnostic category and, consequently, a greater chance of proper treatment.


According to Mayo Clinic, here are some indications that could mean a person is dealing with compulsive sexual behavior, and that in that case help-seeking would be beneficial. If one repetitively engages in intense sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors (like masturbation) that require a great amount of time, that person could be struggling with sex addiction. Another symptom is the feeling of control deficiency and that your own behavior cannot be easily regulated. A person probably feels attracted to certain sexual behaviors and could feel relaxation afterward, but then unpleasant emotions of guilt and regret appear. Furthermore, once a person realizes it is getting out of control, he or she may try to decrease these sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors, but in vain. One can use compulsive sexual behavior in order to escape from other personal issues, such as loneliness, depression or stress-related problems.

Other porn addiction symptoms

Several symptoms can be noticed when talking about porn addiction. These include spending more and more time watching pornography, lying about the extent of porn consumed, or covering it up completely. One could easily get irritated or angry at their closest ones if asked to stop with this behavior. Also, the interest in sexual activities with spouses or partners may be impaired due to excessive pornography use. It isn’t uncommon for porn addicts to feel lonely and separated from others, and to start abusing drugs or alcohol. Extreme behavior could manifest in the use of internet for anonymous sexual hookups, or engaging in prostitution.


Unfortunately, people sometimes continue to engage in sexual behaviors and experience serious consequences due to that. Some of them include a risk of receiving or giving someone else a sexually transmitted infection. More common is the loss of important social relationships, work-related problems, financial strain or even troubles with the law. However, according to Mayo clinic, not only do porn addicts lose existing relationships, but they have difficulty establishing new ones, that are “healthy” and not sexual-based.