Is Porn Addictive? Yes. Here is How.

For a long time, those in the field of addiction medicine debated the legitimacy of “process” addiction or behavioral addictions. Can you be addicted to an activity, like watching pornography or gambling?

In this video, I talk about why a shift has taken place in addiction medicine, confirming the existence of things like porn addiction.

Can’t see this video? View it here.

Some people argue as follows:

  1. Only drugs can be addictive.
  2. Porn isn’t a drug.
  3. Therefore porn can’t be addictive.

The first thing we need to do is define our terms. What is addiction? The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) says that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain.

The brain contains and creates millions of neurocircuits that are for memory and rewarding behaviors, and addictions are dysfunctions in brain circuits where a person is pathologically pursuing neurological rewards.

Recently the ASAM society expanded and clarified the definition of addiction to include, not just substance addictions—things you inhale, inject, etc.—but also behavioral addictions. Why? Because certain behaviors can impact our neurocircuits just like substances can.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Donald Hilton says this idea that porn can’t be addictive is hopelessly out of touch with what we now know through modern neuroscience.

Here’s the evidence:

  1. Hook someone up to a brain scanner who is verifiably addicted to cocaine or meth: the brain scan will show a loss of volume in their brain, especially in the frontal lobes of the brain. When you have shrinkage in this area of the brain, people experience uncontrollable cravings. When their impulses kick in, this area of the brain that is meant to throw on the breaks and control the impulse is so weak, the person’s body begins gearing up and they experience that “gotta have it” feeling. A few recent studies now show the same phenomenon in the brain when it comes to someone who is a sex or porn addict.
  2. Over the last several years there have been dozens of studies showing how overuse of the Internet in particular can lead to addictive behavior, whether it be centered around gaming or gambling or porn. These are all behavioral addictions where the behavior has become so hardwired in the brain that the person has similar sensations as someone addicted to a drug. Both drugs, like meth or alcohol, and behaviors, like porn, are tapping the same neurocircuits.

Your Brain on Porn - SampleThe good news is that evidence shows that the brain can heal itself, so that even if you’ve been addicted to porn, or are addicted to it, take courage. It’s possible for you to renew your mind and make great changes.

If you want to learn a whole lot more about this, go to covenanteyes.com and download the free e-book Your Brain on Porn.