Many people view porn addiction in terms of black and white. You either have it or you don’t.
This approach, however, is not very practical. It forces most of the people to react by denying any form of porn addiction, until they are presented with undeniable facts, such as getting into legal trouble, or getting caught by their spouse or children.
In his book “Treating Pornography Addiction” Dr. Kevin B. Skinner suggests viewing addiction not in terms of black and white, but rather in terms of stages.
Stage 1. Mild exposure – once or twice a year, no affect on regular life.
Stage 2. Pornography use does not indicate addiction – occasional looking at pornography with increased interest.
Stage 3. Signs of trouble – person looks about once a month, usually tries to avoid, but occasionally urge get so strong that cannot be controlled, and person gives in.
Stage 4. Individual notices increased sexual fantasies, and attempts to control them, which results in stronger withdrawal symptoms.
Stage 5. Pornography impacting day to day living with significant portion of the day spend thinking about pornography.
Stage 6. Pornography dominates most of the day to day lives, affecting work, school, and personal relationships.
Stage 7. Pornography and acting out consumes most of individuals time, leaving him feeling completely out of control.
This “staged” definition of porn addiction is very practical, and it allows individuals to recognize the signs of trouble and begin seeking help prior to arriving to stage 7.
Similar approach could be used with almost all pleasurable behaviors such as drinking coffee, eating, and watching TV, and I believe it provides a simple, but effective definition of addiction.
P.S. Recommended Resources:
- Sex Addicts Anonymous
I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
- Mindful Habit Course by Coach Craig
Great advice from a great person.
- Free Podcast and Mini Course from Candeo Can
I owe my first 90 days of continuous sobriety to this program and highly recommend it.
- Internet Accountability Software
Using this software allowed me to get truly honest with my internet usage for the first time in my life. For some reason knowing that my every step was being observed and reported on, made it really easy to use internet only in a healthy way.
- Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner Ph.D.
I have read over 15 books on Pornography and Sexual addiction and this truly is one of the best books on the subject. The reason is I recommend this particular book is because it is full of excellent actionable steps. Other books do a good job describing the problem, but don’t really offer a realistic solution.
- Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens Ph.D.
I know that about half of visitors to our site are spouses of people who might be suffering with pornography and sex addiction. To the best of my knowledge this book is one of the most helpful books for the partners.
- Free Consultation from Coach Craig
Coach Craig has been a good friend and supporter of this site since January 2013. He has worked with people from all over the world, including famous musicians and other high profile individuals. Yet, he is only a phone call away and would be glad to give you a free consultation. Call him anytime, with any question you might have, and I am know he will be extremely happy to help in any way he can.
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