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Taking small steps is the cure to addiction

Last Updated: April 11, 2015

Guest Author

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Addictions, as you might already know, are behavioral or substance-based dependences. While some can form nearly instantly—such as in the instance of class-A drug addictions (crystal meth, heroin)—other dependencies take time to grow and settle in.

Porn addiction is certainly a good example of this latter kind of addiction.

The Downward Spiral

Rarely do people watch porn and feel a need to consume it again instantaneously. It’s more likely that they stumbled across it in the first place out of meagre interest, or perhaps from feeling sexually unconfident, anxious, or unsatisfied.

However, it’s again the latter of these attractions which can eventually make porn watching a compulsive behaviour, something people feel utterly compelled to do.

Eventually, they’ll become desensitised to the compulsiveness of their viewing, perhaps flippant about the number of times they watch it and maybe even withdrawn from real relationships as a result of it. If caught, they might feel shame or resentment towards those who caught them and questioned them—whether that be a friend or loved one.

As you can see, there’s a pattern here, full of emotion, which gradually ends up spiralling into what we know as a behavioral addiction. These kinds of addictions take time to break—and this is why rehabilitation programs come in steps.

Small Steps, Not Giant Leaps

Addiction recovery programs take small steps to overcome the problem because withdrawing the stimulus can be a shock to the system. This approach can make an individual feel like they’ve done something wrong and that they’re being punished for it.

In either kind of addiction— behavioral or substance-based—it’s important to address firstly that a problem exists, before then investigating the underlying symptoms and attempting to treat them.

While the number of steps it takes changes from program to program, most of them follow a simple pattern: acknowledging the problem, begin to make changes, deal with the emotions and consequences of these changes, review, and move on.

Taking small steps encourages the person with the addiction to gradually work their way out of their addiction.

Techniques: Cure to Addiction

The techniques employed to bring someone out of addiction are varied but informed by many studies and practices, and these techniques are tailored for the individual who needs help.

The most important tools however, above all, are communication and understanding. The person undergoing the treatment for their addiction should feel that they’re able to understand their emotions, reason with themselves, and openly discuss how they’re feeling about their progress.

It’s futile for the patient to not be honest with the addiction course provider or counsellor as they’re only more likely to slump back into addiction and secrecy. Secrecy, too, is the thing that they’ve probably been keeping enough of, so it is not positive to encourage it any more.

While the time it takes also varies from person to person, it’s important to remember that each step of a given-program represents a significant milestone on the journey leading away from addiction. Its also a path that can be picked up and started again, as and when needed.

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Jill Dickens 
loves to write about issues that plague society. Pornography has always been a hush-hush topic which is never openly discussed. She hopes that by writing she can reach out to people and help them understand different aspects and effects of pornography.