by Kristen Jenson
A therapist who specializes in pornography addiction recovery sees kids who became addicted to pornography by the age of 12.
But the pornography industry, which earns $93 billion annually, has no interest in revealing the truth that pornography addiction is real. Much like the tobacco industry deniers of yesteryear, porn producers adamantly argue that porn addiction is a fantasy.
- Tell that to my friend Brian (name has been changed) who was shown pornography at the age of seven, and felt compelled to search for more images of nude women. The Internet fueled his fascination into a full-fledged pornography addiction that took years, a 12-step program, and the accountability of a therapy group to overcome.
- Tell that to a woman I met whose father gave up everything, including his marriage and family relationships, to his pornography addiction and took it with him to his grave.
A pornography addiction is a hellish trap because the brain makes its own drug! The vile images are trapped inside the memory, and there’s no way to flush them out. And even without Internet access, a person can still recall the memories of porn to feed their addiction.
Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself, says this about pornography addiction:
“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction…and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.”
Just another level of hell: Intensely craving something you find disgusting.
3 Powerful Truths to Protect Against Pornography Addiction
Internet safety for kids is worth every effort and it starts with them understanding the danger of Internet pornography. These three tips will fortify your kids against the trap of addiction.
- Teach kids that their brains can be hurt by looking at pornography. Pornography is powerful and tricks the brain into strong feelings and desires to see more and more images. An addiction occurs when the brain becomes locked into wanting to see more and more intense images. An addiction actually changes the physical structure of the brain; scientists have actually measured the harmful effects of pornography using MRI scans.
- Teach kids healthy ways to deal with their feelings. Some kids use pornography to deal with negative emotions, like when they’re bored, lonely, angry, stressed or tired (BLAST), but doing so can lead to an addiction. Imagine if every time a person felt BLAST, their brain created a craving to see pornography? Pretty soon, pornography could become the most important thing in that person’s life.
- Teach kids to tell a trusted adult about any and all pornography exposure. Pornography has a stronger pull when it’s kept secret. Explain that when pornography is brought out into the light and discussed openly, its power is weakened.
The access to Internet pornography is easier than ever before. While filtering software can help, the only way for kids to avoid the risk of a pornography addiction is to decide for themselves to protect their brain. And in order to make that decision, they need to be informed before their hooked.