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Seeking help with pornography addiction ..

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Seeking help with pornography addiction ..

Postby Chapitaan » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:14 am

I'm addicted to pornography. I'm not sure where to go with this.

I've been looking for a place to find help for a quite a while. I've had trouble w/ pride/shame, and couldn't bring myself to talk to anybody about it. I've spent the last few years attempting to quit on my own, cold turkey. It only works for so long. I can go for months at a time without looking at anything, but when I do look it rips into me like a compulsion that I can't help but give into.

Every time I'm triggered I spend days at a time browsing through every free moment. The longer I browse, the deeper into the websites I get and the more depraved the material becomes. Quite honestly, before I realize it, the things that are popping up on my screen repulse me to the point that I close my browser and end up wallowing in shame for weeks at a time. There are some terrible things to be found online, and my addiction tends to throw me into them. It comes to a point that the browsing feels aimless and without 'reward' .. just consumption for the sake of consumption.

I think I see a pattern in triggers .. I don't do well when my partner and I are fighting or when work is not going well. If I can keep these two things in check I can generally do well with staying away from it all. However, these things both also suffer even more once the compulsion to browse online is triggered. I've lost jobs, and I'm certain my partner has suspected.

I have an amazing family and fantastic career that are regularly torn apart by this disease and I have no idea how to deal with it. I couldn't bare the shame of having my family find out because the compulsions won't quit.

I want to speak with a professional in person, but don't know where to start and am honestly not sure what to expect.

Please help. :(
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Re: Seeking help with pornography addiction ..

Postby cog_girl » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:56 pm

Hello Chapitaan,

My partner (male) of over 10 years had a similar compulsion. It was as a result of a lot of things in his childhood that happened that were basically screwed up.

I knew he watched a lot of porn because unfortunately it is something that I really don't like and I have checked his computer for years. I knew from the content and the number of times it was accessed that something was wrong but I didn't know what. This formed a sexual addiction which has all the elements you talk about, compulsion, more extreme content, shame and then the self loathing. He also used sexual imagery, even to get through work and always in social situations. It was about trying to escape how desperate he felt and so that few seconds where your mind is blank took away the problems but of course only to emerge again very soon after, a vicious circle.

You'll be pleased to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel if you can commit yourself to getting help. My partner went to a counsellor who specialised in Cognitive Behavour Therapy (CBT). She taught him coping mechanisms for when he felt bad and how to cope and use other methods to avoid going back to that trigger.

It took about 12 sessions of therapy and then putting everything he had learnt into practice, altogether I would say about 12 months from the start of the therapy. You don't have to promise not to use porn, you just have to understand what the reason is you want to. Is it just a sexual release and it's "normal" content or is the addiction creeping back in which is just masking an underlying problem.

You need to understand the deep down reason why you have the addiction and the counsellor will help you to find that. You don't have to tell them chapter and verse about your life unless you want to, they are just interested in helping you change your life.

I still don't know if it was the right thing for him to tell me everything after the event, it really damaged my confidence and self esteem, I also went to the counsellor separately, you might need to talk to your partner. She'll probably be horrified but then so are you when you look back at your internet history, knowing you need help is the first step and you've already done that :D

It's been 18 months since the start of the counselling and he says he feels like a new man, uses the techniques he was taught, no longer uses sexual imagery.

I hope this helps and good luck with taking control of your life, you've already made a start towards it.

Best wishes

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Re: Seeking help with pornography addiction ..

Postby TheYellowMonkey » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:00 pm

Hi Chapitaan,

Start by contacting a therapist with experience treating sexually compulsive behavior. If the first one you speak with can't help you, ask for a referral.

In my experience, the biggest obstacle to treating sex and pornography addiction is that the sufferer starts out by wanting to set limits on treatment, e.g. "I want help, but nobody else must ever know about it". For me that was a recipe for failure. This is an isolating disease, fed by shame and secrecy. It can't be successfully treated in isolation and secrecy.

Most likely the people close to you already sense something is wrong, but may not know exactly why. It may take considerable time, but I find people will respect you more for being brave enough to seek help. It's not to say that you have to wear a T-shirt saying that you're a porn addict--coworkers, acquaintances, most people don't ever need to know. But I have been amazed at the positive support I've received from my close friends and family. I couldn't do it without their support, and the support of other addicts--I know this because I tried for many years on my own.

Best wishes for a successful recovery. Feel free to PM me if you want.

Recovering sex and pornography addict
The magic of asking for help is not in the help, but in the asking.
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Re: Seeking help with pornography addiction ..

Postby Chapitaan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:09 am

Thank you for your supportive replies.

I slipped again tonight. However, I thought about this thread and closed all of it. At least there's that. I'm feeling shameful. I don't feel I can continue to type at the moment. I'll be back soon to post. I need to keep up with something until I can find the courage to speak with someone.

I'm thinking of installing a web filter. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Again, thank you.
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