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Porn Addiction, Withdrawal, Symptoms, and Therapy

As with any addiction, porn addiction can result in severe psychological and emotional distress. The good news is that recovery is possible, and those who suffer can go on to live healthy, fulfilling lives free from their active addiction. At Clinic Les Alpes, we help those addicted to pornography overcome their withdrawals and effectively cope with the symptoms associated with this crippling addiction.

The Prevalence of Porn Addiction

For many people, enjoying porn from time to time — either alone or with a partner — is perfectly harmless, but for others, addiction is a serious risk. In most individuals, pornography releases dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin, resulting in feelings of elation and triggering a response that’s similar to what’s felt when using heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs. For those at risk of addictive behaviours, this neurological response often leads to a need for more pornography. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pornography is among the top concerns for those with internet addictions. This problem affects individuals from around the world of all ages and genders. With advancements in technology and a steady increase in the amount of porn that’s available online, it can only be expected that these numbers will increase over time. 

Signs That Porn Enjoyment Has Turned to Porn Addiction

It’s hard to talk about porn addiction. Often, those who suffer from it feel a sense of shame or humiliation. As a behavioural addiction, it can also be hard to diagnose. In some cases, what you think is an addiction may actually be classified as a compulsive behaviour, or a repetitive action with no rational motivation. Addiction, on the other hand, is classified by a compulsion that’s accompanied by an inability to stop the behaviour.

Signs that a person is addicted to porn include: 

  • Acting secretive about online behaviours
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Watching porn for growing periods of time
  • Feeling an incessant need to watch porn
  • Feeling a “high” after watching porn
  • Neglecting responsibilities or self-care, including sleep, in favour of looking at pornography
  • Insisting that a sexual partner watches porn with them or asking them to act out pornographic scenes
  • An inability to enjoy sexual activity without watching porn first
  • An inability to resist watching porn
  • Allowing pornography to negatively affect school, work or relationships
  • Feeling guilty about the consequences of watching porn but feeling incapable of stopping

Porn Addiction Symptoms

Withdrawal from porn addiction is generally a bit easier to combat than withdrawals from drugs or alcohol, but that isn’t to say porn addicts don’t experience arousal addiction withdrawal effects after they stop watching pornography. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

Pornography is often used as a coping mechanism, and without it, feelings of anxiety, sadness, and irritability become common. Feelings of sadness are also triggered by a decrease in the levels of oxytocin and dopamine. Although research hasn’t often linked chronic depression with pornography addiction, temporarily feeling depressed or fatigued during recovery is common. 

Loneliness is also common in recovering porn addicts, as they feel a lack of connection with those around them and a lack of sexual stimulation. Residual effects of this symptom include a lack of desire for sexual intercourse and difficulty forming or maintaining intimacy with partners.

In addition to these psychological symptoms, the porn addiction withdrawal process can often lead to an addict seeking other means of coping with their everyday stresses. That can, unfortunately, lead to drug or alcohol abuse in some, as well as other behavioural addictions such as shopping, sex or gambling.

Overcoming a Porn Addiction

Porn addiction recovery is possible. At Clinic Les Alpes, we frequently work with individuals who are battling behavioural addictions, including addiction to pornography. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with porn addiction, it’s important to accept the problem honestly and seek help from a trusted professional. Our facility is licensed by the Swiss Health Department, and our team of counsellors and caregivers is skilled and equipped to provide the care you need to overcome this addiction successfully. We offer care in English and French, and we’re able to provide treatment for those with co-occurring addictions and mental health concerns. Addictions we treat include: 

  • Prescription drugs
  • THC
  • Club drugs, including methamphetamine and ecstasy
  • Hallucinogenic drugs
  • Nicotine
  • Sugar dependency
  • Behavioural addictions, including gambling, co-dependency, shopping and sex

How Does Treatment Work? 

At Clinic Les Alpes, we offer residential treatment and booster stays for those who’ve already completed a round of treatment. Our patients typically stay with us for a period of 28 days, during which they’ll take part in individual and group therapy, family therapy and 12-step programmes whenever necessary. Our team of addictions experts provides services such as detoxification, medication management, case management and therapeutic treatment.

During your stay with us, you’ll be provided with a private bedroom that features a private ensuite, as well as a dietician-supervised meal plan. Your tailormade treatment plan is included in the cost of your stay, and any necessary detox periods are handled in-house. 

Therapy techniques are based on your preferences and needs. They may include art therapy, somatic experiencing, horse-assisted therapy or outings in nature. Our facility is located in a calm, secluded area that’s conveniently close to necessary amenities while providing you with the privacy you need to succeed in treatment. Medical care is available 24 hours a day, and activities are planned daily. 

Aftercare is provided and includes follow-up care and calls with your therapist.

Privacy and Discretion at Clinic Les Alpes

When you stay at our treatment facility, your privacy is our utmost priority. Our caregivers and administrative staff are trained to treat you and your family respectfully while protecting your privacy in all matters. We understand the need for discretion when receiving treatment for any addiction, and we take every possible measure to ensure it in all interactions.

If you’re ready to seek help for your porn addiction or want to learn more about Clinic Les Alpes, contact us today.

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