How to overcome pornography addiction

Pornography addiction is a very real problem facing millions world-wide. Like any addiction, it can destroy lives. Thankfully, like any addiction, it can also be overcome. Here are six steps to help you or a loved one defeat pornography addiction.

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  • Addictions are difficult to overcome. As a society, we make it even more difficult with the stigma we place on those who are overcoming an addiction. Pornography is no different, and yes, pornography is addictive.

  • Millions of people world-wide have found themselves trapped by their baser desires, without any idea of what they can do to escape. There is an acronym developed to help people work through and overcome this addiction: PURIFY. Here is a brief overview of each step to overcoming pornography addiction.

  • Prepare for struggles

  • We all have struggles, and we generally know what we struggle with on a regular basis. Realize what these struggles are and prepare yourself. When you prepare yourself, you remove your problems' ability to catch you unawares. This will allow you to face your problems head on.

  • Understand your body

  • This may sound odd, but it is important. Learn to understand what your body is telling you. Recognize your emotions and how you are feeling inside. Try to understand what your emotions are telling you. For many people who are trying to overcome addiction, they generally begin the downward spiral of feeling negative emotions a couple of days before their actual relapse. Listening and understanding your body is a skill that takes time to learn, but it is imperative that you do so.

  • Responsibility (take it)

  • This can be a very difficult step; it means that you take responsibility for your actions. You also need to take responsibility for overcoming your difficulties. Do not blame others for your choices or situation. When you take responsibility, you'll begin to understand yourself better, which will make it easier to bridle your passions.

  • Identify your triggers

  • This means that you need to understand what “sets you off." In other words, identify what drives you to your difficulty. Socrates stated “Know thyself”. How many of us really know and understand ourselves? The entire PURIFYacronym requires you to become more familiar with yourself and understand what things in your life are contributing to your addiction. Be honest; don't let shame or denial keep you from improving your life.

  • Fortify yourself

  • Once you have identified your triggers, prepare yourself to be able to withstand your temptations. The way people do this is called "coping," and the skills that are used are called "coping skills." Everyone has different coping skills. They may include listening to music, going outside and enjoying nature, exercising, or reading a good book. Surrounding yourself—in your home and workplace—with virtuous things, such as pictures, paintings, gifts from loved ones, items that make you laugh, or things that help us recall meaningful memories, will also benefit you and help you cope with your desires.

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  • You are in control

  • Remember, you are in control. In other words, be in control of your life and your struggles, do not be controlled by them.

  • When we really work to PURIFY ourselves, we will be stronger, and will be able to handle whatever we encounter.

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Russell Gaede is a licensed mental health professional. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology. He is the Executive Director for the Life Enhancement Center.


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