12 August 2020
How pornography can impact you
By Renee Yam
Pornography…..society has accepted it as a normal part of sexuality and it has become young people's prominent form of sex education. So what does that mean for individuals, couples, relationships and our understanding of healthy sexuality?
Pornography is anonymous, affordable, and accessible and is viewed by men and women alike. At the click of a button, our eyes fill with constant images and videos that seek to arouse us. It entertains us, keeps our mind off our problems, alleviates boredom, stress, feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Pornography can become like a band-aid effect, a quick fix approach to ‘feeling good’. It can seem easier to use pornography to help yourself feel better, a quick way to get out of the negative mood, than to address the root of the issue.
Pornography is not an effective coping strategy for our internal struggles.
Continuous viewing can give a person ‘brain fog’. It becomes hard to concentrate and things don’t seem as appealing as before. We can spend more time viewing, think about porn throughout our day or even become late for work, school or social outings because we got carried away in watching porn. The over stimulus of digital media can cause our social anxiety to increase and our interest in real-life sex to decrease.
Porn rewires your brain, can take you into unexpected territory, become a compulsion, impact your sexual tastes, and your sex life.
Its often not the easiest thing to speak to your mate about or share with someone you respect, like your partner, pastor or leader. We can prefer to keep it to ourselves and deal with the struggle on our own. May you be reminded, its never too late to reach out and get help! To start down the road of healing, here are some things to consider:
BREAK THE SILENCE
Tell someone you can trust about your struggles. Break the silence and bring it into the light. It is hard to overcome this when you are dealing with it on your own.
After you have decided you want to stop viewing, cut all avenues off to the possibility of viewing by installing software protection on ALL your devices. You may need to delete certain Apps that lure you into viewing when you weren’t intentionally looking for it such as youtube or social media pop-ups. One software protection option is
SET UP ACCOUNTABILITY
Find 2-3 trustworthy people in your world (who are not also struggling in this area) to keep you accountable. Give them permission to ask you how you are going, or to ask you the tough questions. They could help you through encouragement and being a support person.
For online community support, check out www.joinfortify.com/
TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLOR
A professional counsellor or psychologist offers a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space for you to talk through the challenges you have and help you to understand yourself better. They may help you understand your triggers, why you view and what healthy coping strategies you can put in place as an alternative to viewing pornography. In therapy, you can receive the support you need to work through any trauma, grief or underlying mental health conditions. Counselling can be a valuable and helpful experience.
Knowledge is power. Inform yourself of the impacts of pornography on your mind, body and relationships, to be empowered to make healthy choices for your present and future. Educating yourself is an opportunity to renew your mind about healthy sexuality, relationships and your personal wellbeing.
Check out the podcast epidsode ‘SEX & THE MIND | Porn and mental health’ from STRONGER | with Jeremiah Jacob Podcast
Some resources that could be helpful:
The Porn Trap by Wendy and Larry Maltz
Note: These steps are not a replacement or substitute for talking to a registered psychologist or counsellor who can help you navigate the issue.
No portion of any content on this website, in part or whole is to be interpreted as medical advice. If life is in danger call 000 (Australia) or call 13 11 14 for crisis support or visit lifeline.org.au