A Public Health Crisis

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Approximately 40 million Americans visit pornography websites on a regular basis. About 25 percent of internet search queries, or 68 million searches per day, are related to pornography, and 35 percent of all Internet downloads are porn-related. About one-third of pornography viewers are women.

Despite risks of job loss or legal problems, millions of people access pornography at work every year. Almost a third lose their jobs over their compulsive sexual behavior.

The causes of porn addiction can be psychological or physiological. Some people use porn to cope with mental illness such as depression anxiety or trauma. Some people use porn to counter loneliness, boredom or isolation.    

When people use porn to cope with unresolved psychological pain, they are at an increased risk of developing a pattern of compulsive porn use. People who have suffered trauma often dissociate from emotions and memories related to the trauma. Porn use can become a way to prolong or intensify these dissociative states.

Physiologically, what causes addiction to porn is the repeated pursuit of an exaggerated and euphoric state of arousal in combination with the need for avoidance of negative feeling of current pain or past pain.  Or in simpler terms, they become “addicted” to the feeling the chemicals the brain creates during porn use. 

The consequences of porn addiction can be severe. Frequent porn use can make it more difficult for men to experience arousal in response to sexual stimuli other than porn. Using porn significantly increases the risk of infidelity and loss of long-term relationships. Additional effects of porn addiction can include financial problems and job loss. 

Another consequence may be that those who are addicted to pornography often experience symptoms of depression and anxiety after using porn. Imbalances in dopamine and serotonin levels can be the result of over stimulation of these systems, increasing the symptoms of depression and anxiety in those who consistently view porn.  

Recently leading experts across a variety of disciplines agreed pornography use is in fact, addictive and a public health crisis.  It is now evident that what has long been classified as a harmless, personal expression of sexuality is actually a behavior that is destructive not only to the addict but also to his community and family. 

To get more information and resources to help those you care about find the help and healing they need, we invite you to attend the next Lone Star Coalition Against Pornography Conference: 

 “Porn is a human issue—deep in the heart of Texas”

October 19, 2019       9am-2pm 

Collin County Community College. Spring Creek Campus,  Plano, TX. 

Jody VanDrimmelen has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She has a private practice working as a Child and Family Therapist in Arlington and Plano.  Shortly after opening her private practice in 2012 she found many of her clients and their families were being destroyed by pornography addiction.  She has helped with the LCAP conferences in Dallas the past 3 years and continues to work to educate the community and work to restore families affected by pornography addiction.