The word “addiction” has a strong and scary sound to it for many people. It is often associated with behaviors and people who are out of control. Teens are especially concerned about having the term “addiction” associated with their behavior problems. It is common for teens and their parents to avoid accepting the label of “addict” as it sounds so negative. In some cases, both the teen and their parents can be in denial that a pornography addiction is present. Instead, it is thought of as a “bad habit” or “typical teen behavior”.
Addiction can be defined as a state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. To further add to the understanding of term addiction, consider this definition: any behavior or activity that is repeatedly engaged in and used to avoid having to deal with the reality of life. As mentioned, addiction is often associated with people who use drugs or alcohol to alter their mood in an attempt to deal with their life problems. Behaviors such as gambling, over-eating, shopping and even working can turn into addictions and, most certainly pornography use can spiral into an addiction. People who repeatedly use these behaviors to avoid having to deal with their life responsibilities could be considered addicts.
Using the analogy of comparing life to crossing a river, an addiction would be the equivalent of a whirlpool. If you have ever seen a whirlpool, you will know that anything in the river that gets caught up in the current of the whirlpool gets sucked into it and pulled relentlessly downward. Once in the whirlpool, any power or control that was once enjoyed is quickly lost and taken over the by the swift and strong pull of the whirlpool. Getting out of a whirlpool can be nearly impossible without help, and many have lost their lives and drowned in the grasps of a whirlpool. People familiar with the power of a whirlpool go to extremes to avoid even getting close to a whirlpool or anything that even has the mere appearance of a whirlpool because they know how deadly it can be.
An addiction can have the very same effect. People who get caught in an addiction quickly lose control and find themselves completely subjected to the addiction. Any control or freedom they once enjoyed is quickly lost, and without help, it is nearly impossible to break free from the addiction. People familiar with the strength of addictions know how powerful and dangerous they can be, and just as is the case with a whirlpool, know that simply becoming involved with anything close to or having the mere appearance of an addiction should be avoided at all costs.
In recent years, there has been increased attention placed on different types of sexual addictions. One of these types of sexual addictions is pornography addiction. For many years, professionals who have worked with people addicted to pornography have known that the addiction is real. In recent years, there has emerged scientific evidence of the reality of the power of a pornography addiction. For many people with a pornography or sexual addiction, it is easy to justify the addiction by embracing the thought inside their head, “at least I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol.” This thought occurs only because they either don’t yet realize the power of the addiction or they are in denial they are addicted. Being in denial about pornography being an addiction is common because it can be so easy to view without getting caught and often, the consequences are not immediate.
Our message to both parents and teens: Don’t be fooled by being able to swim at the top of the whirlpool. Now is the time to ask for help, before the whirlpool has pulled you under the water. Treating a pornography addiction in its early stages is the best time to get help. Don’t put if off and wait until later in life. If you have a child struggling with pornography addiction, call us today at 435.862.8273.