You Can Recover From the Effects of Porn Addiction
Can you really have an addiction to what is, after all, the normal, naturally occurring process of sexual release? The elements of addiction are all there: a physiological “high”; the compulsion to seek out a “fix”; increasing tolerance of the “drug,” which requires increasingly bigger fixes;
But a newer view of addiction holds that addicts are first and foremost, caught in a web of expectation. They anticipate pleasure from getting a high, and an escape from anxiety and depression, and this anticipation creates a persistent state of semiarousal.
A screen-generated orgasm triggers a rush of “feel-good” chemicals, including endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. It does not, however, discharge oxytocin, the attachment hormone. ... Porn simply makes you want more porn.
To maintain equilibrium in the nervous system, the brain shuts down the receptor sites that take up dopamine, and response to dopamine slows down. This is like pleasure fatigue. As physiological tolerance rises, more and more stimulation - be it of cocaine, alcohol, prescription painkillers, sex - is necessary, just to feel normal, let alone high. In one study, Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny, neuroscientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, found that overeating rats resulted in dopamine deficits in their brains and further compulsive eating.
There is good evidence that avoidant folks are more susceptible to addictions in general. If you cannot find your way to healthy attachment, you go in search of a substitute.
Clinicians are finding that if men can abstain from porn for a period of time, their physiology eventually recalibrates, their sexual performance improves, and their libido rekindles.
Excerpts from the book, "Love Sense" by Dr. Sue Johnson. You can get the book here: Love Sense