Pornography Addiction Series: Breaking Through Denial

Apr 03, 2012 No Comments by

One of the most uncomfortable things for people to admit is that they’re struggling with some form of addiction.  Often, alcoholics and drug addicts are among the very last to know they fall into that camp.  Pornography addiction may be even more difficult to acknowledge for a number of reasons.  Beloved author and spiritual leader Henri Nouwen once wrote, “It is obvious that our brokenness is often most painfully experienced with respect to our sexuality.  My own and my friends’ struggles make it clear how central our sexuality is to the way we think and feel about ourselves.  Our sexuality reveals to us our enormous yearning for communion.  The desires of our body – to be touched, embraced and safely held – belong to the deepest longings of the heart, and are very concrete signs of our search for oneness” (Life of the Beloved).  That sexual things are difficult for us to talk about is not particularly hard to understand given how core they are to our being and our personal sense of self.

What’s more, in America, and in our little corner of Lynchburg, VA, people are even less open to discussing sexual matters because of cultural norms and social mores, and yet even less open to discuss any kind of sexual struggles.

In 2010, I became aware of a group of persons in the Lynchburg area struggling with sexual addictions, and wanting to form a recovery group that was a central meeting place for them in town.  Almost every church they contacted turned them down for a meeting space.  This is sad.

Looking for help with pornography addiction in Lynchburg?  Call us today at 1-855-55-CHANGE (1-855-552-4264)!

So, what should you do if you are struggling with porn addiction in Lynchburg?  Where should you begin?  The first and most basic task is to breakthrough the walls of denial, shame, and guilt, and to admit there is a problem.  Here are 10 warning signs from Dr. Patrick Carnes, world-renowned sexual addiction expert, and the author of “Out of the Shadows”, a ground-breaking book about sexual addiction.

You may be addicted to pornography if:

1. You feel that your behaviour is out of control
2. You are aware that there may be severe consequences if you continue
3. You feel unable to stop your behaviour, in spite of knowing the consequences
4. You persistently pursue destructive and/or high risk activities
5. You want to stop or control what you’re doing and taking active steps to limit your activities
6. You use sexual fantasies as a way of coping with difficult feelings or situations
7. You need more and more of pornography in order to experience the same level of high
8. You suffer from intense mood swings around sexual activity
9. You spend more and more time either planning, engaging in or regretting and recovering from pornography use
10. You neglect important social, occupational or recreational activities in favour of sexual behavior

If these sound familiar, you likely have a pornography addiction.  In the book, Facing the Shadow, by Dr. Patrick Carnes, is an exercise that asks the reader to make a “problems” list and a “secrets” list, and then to examine the connections between these items.  This too, can be a powerful tool in helping you come to grips with your struggle.

WARNING!  Once you begin to examine these kinds of things, there is little room for denial of the problem.  Addiction and the issues that brought you to this point cannot be addressed until you obtain a clear picture of reality.   Once you get a clear picture, the question is…how badly do you want out?

Call us today at 1-855-55-CHANGE (1-855-552-4264)!

You can be free.  You do not have to struggle with this for the rest of your life.  We can help!  90-Days to Change is a program specifically designed to help with addictions!!!

Resist the urge to shame yourself or to run and hide.  Don’t wait another moment.  Call today!

Nervous about that first call?  No problem!  You can also send us a confidential email at contact@changegroupcounseling.com!


The Change Group Blog

About the author

Ryan Thomas Neace is the co-founder and managing director of The Change Group, and holds a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. He brings nearly 10 years of mental health experience to The Change Group. He is also an official blogger for the American Counseling Association.
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