how harmful is internet porn addiction

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Dopamine, happiness and porn addiction

Do you know that internet porn can lower your self confidence, suppress your happy feelings and make you depressed?

Because this sounds like a bold claim let me explain how internet porn affects your brain so that you get the whole idea.

Dopamine is a chemical responsible for evaluating the intensity of an experience. Your brain will get a dopamine rush if you went through an exciting experience.

Because your brain records the amount of dopamine released from each activity it gets motivated to pursue the ones that help it produce more of it.

So dopamine is the chemical that controls how the reward circuits work in your brain. Ever asked yourself why do people get bored when they keep doing the same exciting activity over and over?

Or in other words, why is the first experience always more exciting and emotionally intense?

Its because the more dopamine that gets released in your brain the more will be your resistance to the release of dopamine or in other words you will need a much more exciting event in order for your body to release the same amount of dopamine.

So what does this has to do with porn addiction or self confidence?

How porn addiction numbs your dopamine response

Because internet porn can be very stimulating the amount of dopamine released in the brain is usually too high to be matched by any other experience. As a result your brain will become less sensitive to all other life pleasures because it got used to a certain amount of dopamine!

Because the brain gets stimulated by novelty internet porn helps people create very exciting experiences with few mouse clicks.

If watching a natural scene, playing an interesting game or watching a movie releases a less amount of dopamine than the porn you watch then you will find all of those activities much less exciting than they used to be! (see also boredom explained).

The brain of those who keep watching internet porn keeps changing its structure slowly until it becomes numb to most of the experiences that used to make them happy or excited.

That's why its too common for porn addicts to feel bored, unhappy and even depressed.

How to reverse the harm of internet porn

The good news is that, just like any other kind of addiction, this dopamine resistance could be fixed. If you stopped watching internet porn then within sometime (weeks or months depending on your case) your brain will restore its normal dopamine response.

In other words, you will start to find life more exciting, your activities more interesting and you will become happier.

People who gave up on porn for few month reported an increased self confidence, a better social life and an improved over all mood.

Masturbation might seem like a harmless habit because no one has proven that it has bad physical effects on the body but when you get to know more about what happens inside your brain you will find that masturbation is a deadly habit.

Once again it seems that religious scriptures (of all kinds) were right when they asked people not to watch porn.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply.

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