How watching porn can result in social anxiety

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Self esteem and porn addiction

So many porn addicts report a lower self esteem and increased social anxiety for days after they watch porn and masturbate. In a previous article about porn addiction and self esteem i explained how the brain changes that happens as a result of porn addiction can have a dramatic impact a person's mood and behaviour.

But apart from those chemical changes , which i thoroughly covered in the article i referred to above, what could be the possible reasons that lead to such lowered self esteem?

In order to understand how this happens you first need to get a basic idea about the way self esteem works. Self esteem is all about beliefs. If you believe that making certain achievements will make you worthy then certainly you will feel worthy after achieving them.

If on the other hand you believe that failing to do a certain thing can make you less worthy then you are going to have a low self esteem and as a result you might develop social anxiety.

In short , self esteem is all about your own private calculations that take place inside your brain. If those calculations were in your favor then you will have a high self esteem while the opposite will happen if those calculations weren't in your favor.

The conflict that happens inside the brain of the addict

After watching porn or masturbating many people feel guilty. Now the reason those people feel guilty is that a part inside them tells them that those habits are bad ones. As a result of those beliefs those people usually feel bad about what they did. See How harmful is internet porn addiction.

As those people keep repeating those habits over and over they start to believe that they can never break them. Those feeling of helplessness lowers the self esteem greatly as a person realizes he is unable to help himself.

In addition to that the person starts to believe that he has a low will power that can't help him break bad habits. In addition to all that the person might realize that he is wasting a lot of time on this habit yet unable to stop it and this makes him feel even worse. See also why watching porn can lead to perversion.

All of those thoughts, in addition to many others, change a person's beliefs about himself until the person starts to believe that he is not worthy.

And because our beliefs determine how we act around others as soon as a person who has those beliefs encounters people he might feel socially anxious as he will be sure that he is not as good as those people.

Does this happen to everyone?

Of course no. If a person thinks that Porn is a great thing then probably none of this will happen. But wait.
This is not all.

In the ultimate guide to getting over porn and masturbation addiction i said that even if a person thinks that porn is great he will lose self esteem because of a totally different reason. As the person becomes less sensitive to the chemical Dopamine , which is produced by watching porn, he will start to experience more social anxiety and less self confidence.

Dopamine is a chemical that controls so many functions in the brain and when disturbances happen in its production the result can be low self esteem, depression, increased social anxiety and many other bad side effects.

In short whether you believe porn addiction is good or bad it will still harm you.

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