How do I know if I’m addicted to porn?

This question is like asking “How do I know if I’m addicted to alcohol?”

So, let’s say as a Christian you feel the freedom to have one or two glasses of wine a week. You enjoy that with your spouse, at dinner, when you go out, or maybe for a business dinner. You enjoy it, it’s pleasurable, but you don’t drink two or three glasses, you don’t think about it all the time, and you don’t sneak a drink. You don’t have to drink every night and you don’t have to drink every week. If you have a drinking problem, you will start having more and more issues with your spouse, with your job, with your concentration, and with your productivity. All of those things indicate there’s a drinking problem. If other people in your life are saying something about it, it’s a problem for them (that means it’s a problem for you too). The same applies to pornography.

First off, I don’t recommend pornography to anybody. Pornography is dehumanizing. It relies on the slave trade and human trafficking for production. Even in those cases where it’s amateur porn, you’re still watching somebody debase themselves by doing something they should only do in front of their spouse or with their spouse. You’re peeping on something which is supposed to be private, so porn is never healthy.

If you look at porn on a given night and realize it was wrong and then seek out accountability. You talk with your spouse; share with a couple of brothers, and put some things in place to guard against porn access (and then do well for one or two years) –you’re probably not addicted to porn.

The way to know if you’re addicted to porn is if you see some of these signs in your life:

  • Do you think about porn a lot?
  • Are you using porn even without consciously intending to go there?
  • Do you carry guilt or shame?
  • Do you feel more and more isolated from people or from the Lord?
  • Within your own heart, do you feel defiled?
  • Do you feel like you’re doing something you know isn’t quite right even if you don’t know all the reasons for it?
  • Have you been unable to stop, no matter how many times you’ve tried?

Those are indicators you may be addicted to pornography.

Pornography is highly addictive. A lot of people don’t realize continued porn use changes the male brain. It reconfigures and creates new neural pathways to facilitate the flow of dopamine and serotonin and a lot of the feel-good chemicals in our bodies. We become addicted to the chemical release which happens during porn.

It’s not just the porn – there’s a neurochemical addiction which is a part of porn addiction.

If you find yourself addicted, trying to fix it yourself is not going to work. How many times have you done that and failed? You have to share with somebody.

You have to open up to a brother who you can trust and who is willing to hold you accountable to the Lord. You also have to determine you want real sex, healthy sex, good sex, and married sex, and you won’t accept any other substitute.

Need to Talk To Someone About a Struggle With Porn?

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