Monthly Archives: June 2016

Pathways

Reprinted from BBC News Beat with Robert Hudson
Hear the broadcast http://bbc.in/1M7s76y

Porn addiction: €˜I couldn't focus on everyday activities'
Daniel Simmons is a 23-year-old recovering porn addict.

He says he couldn't have sex or concentrate on everyday things and yet, he says, he couldn't stop.

I was 15 when I started watching porn after my parents bought me a laptop. I did what pretty much any teenage boy does and look up porn websites, he tells Newsbeat.

It became an everyday thing very quickly. I was watching porn for two hours a day.

He then moved onto watching pornographic content that disturbed him.

WARNING: This article contains graphic content of an adult nature

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I found a website dedicated to porn addiction and I felt like I had an epiphany. I felt like I wasn't alone any more.

I did 100 days of porn abstinence and masturbation abstinence.

It's exactly like going cold turkey. The first two weeks were pretty awful with lots of mood swings.

It was rough, it was really rough. There were sleepless nights. There were nights where I'd wake up in cold sweats.

There would be days where I'd just start shaking for no reason.

My whole body was just shaking and I didn't know why.

I'd have really bad social anxiety and then other days I'd feel on top of the world and be able to do anything.

There's been a few relapses of course but not particularly bad ones. I've not binged or anything.

I've been able to get back to my routines and I've been OK but it has affected my erections.

When I'm with a woman I've noticed it's softer down there and I'm not as excited.

I started meditating regularly every day and I've not watched porn now for about a year and a half.

I had decreased concentration. I simply couldn't focus on normal, everyday activities. I had no idea I had a problem with porn. I was completely in denial but I was addicted for six years.

I'd say I had a porn addiction but perhaps masturbation addiction was a part of it.

I couldn't get erections any more with real women when I tried because I'd watched so much porn.

It wasn't exciting anymore to be with a real woman.

It felt terrible. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I just thought I was this complete weirdo.

I wasn't able to feel anything for anyone sexually. I had no libido. My libido felt like a fake libido.

I'd have a libido for porn but not for real human beings.

You watch things you really wouldn't ever watch. Everything is available at your fingertips.

I was watching things that disturbed me that weren't in keeping with what I knew my sexuality was, things like transsexual porn and gay porn.

I had decreased concentration. I simply couldn't focus on normal, everyday activities.

I had no idea I had a problem with porn. I was completely in denial but I was addicted for six years.

Daniel says he has not watched porn now for a year and a half.

A lot of things changed when I started recovering, he says.

I started realising what was important.

I know that there are a lot of guys and girls out there who are suffering from this.

There are certainly many out there who are hiding and have a problem and talking about it something I want to do because I feel it's necessary.

What the expert says

Robert Hudson is a sex addiction therapist. He says Daniel clearly shows signs of having sex-related addictions.

Using porn isn't a real problem. It's a bit like drinking. Most people can have a drink safely.

When it starts having severe consequences is when [porn] starts taking over your life.

It's a problem when you start cancelling family events or meetings with friends because you want to go home and look at pornography.

Robert says there are steps to help people who self-identify as porn addicts.

The first thing we ask them to do is stop masturbating for 90 days. They allow their system to slow down and stop looking at porn.

You're not cured then but what it helps you to do is notify you're not using the porn because you're aroused or excited.

You probably use porn because you're bored, stressed or lonely.

If you'd like any more information on addictions visit BBC Advice.

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Filed Under: Sexual Addiction

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Change is Possible

Knowing you are a sex addict doesn't mean you are bad or perverted or hopeless. It means you may have a disease, an obsession from which many have healed. Dr. Patrick Carnes

At The Hudson Centre we specialise in treating sexual addiction with a particular emphasis on rebuilding healthy relationships with oneself and others. Rest assure that our therapists will not judge you and are there to help you better understand your behaviours so that healthier change is possible.

If you or someone you love has a sexual addiction, the first step to seeking help can be challenging. Part of the problem relates to the defence mechanism known as denial, coupled with shame connected to personal sexual behaviours. However, reaching out to an experienced and professionally trained sex addiction therapist can be an important step in creating happy and healthy change. Remember, what you share in therapy is completely confidential.

One of the fundamental problems with diagnosing and treating sexual addiction is that there is no visible scarring like other addictions (drugs, alcohol, food, gambling), as a result it can go underground for many years and forces the sexual addict to live a double life.

Three questions that may help you decide if you should talk to a trained psychotherapist €¦

  • Is your sexual behaviour compulsive, uncontrollable, obsessive?
  • Is your sexual behaviour causing you serious problems? (e.g. losing jobs or relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual offenses)
  • Are you excessively obsessed with sex? (i.e. you think about sex ALL the time)

Behaviours Common in Sexual Addiction

  • Multiple anonymous sex partners
  • Compulsive cyber-sex
  • Frequent use of sex workers
  • Compulsive use and reliance upon adult video
  • Simultaneous affairs outside of primary relationship
  • Co-addiction to a substance (i.e. alcohol, crystal meth, cocaine).

The key word to keep in mind regarding all of these behaviours is compulsive. In short, people who have a sexual addiction compulsively engage in activities that place themselves and/or loved ones at risk personally, physically and financially.

Treating Sexual Addiction

Before recovery can take place the person has to want to change. They must recognize that the negative consequences associated with their behaviours outweigh any perceived benefits. After this realization, the treatment generally involves a number of approaches, including individual sexual addiction treatment, couples counsellingand group therapy.

Robert Hudson, Clinical Director and Sexual Addiction Specialist at The Hudson Centre says I strongly believe that the group environment provides a space for individuals to intimately discuss and share experiences in a confidential setting. This is where recovery is very likely to be initiated.

The Hudson Centre offers a unique and pioneering One Week Intensive Programme that is a highly effective and targeted therapy workshop. The 7 day outpatient programme focuses on sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity and Internet-related sexual problems and delivers one week of intensive therapy that is equivalent to 45 hours of therapy. You can see our upcoming Programme's here.

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