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Helping Teens Cope With Porn Addiction

 

teenage boy on computer addicted to porn

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” A teenager struggling with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her cravings (e.g. drugs, sex, gambling, etc.) above all else. Addiction, also known as substance use disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. Porn addiction is characterized by an inability to control urges to view pornographic material. Though porn addiction is not explicitly listed in the DSM-5 as a diagnosable condition, research indicates that porn addiction is exceptionally similar to substance use disorder. 

Signs and Symptoms

In order to offer your teen the most effective support, it is imperative to be aware of possible signs and symptoms that could indicate a porn addiction. There are both emotional and physical signs and symptoms associated with porn addiction, so it is important to be on the lookout for both. Some examples include but are not limited to any combination of the following, provided by Education Empower Kids:

  • Self-imposed social isolation
  • Habitual masturbation 
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age
  • Drawing pornographic images
  • Anger or irritability when discussing healthy sexual behaviors
  • Irregular sleep habits
  • Sexualized language
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Anxiety 

When left untreated, a teenage porn addiction can lead to detrimental consequences. The complete disregard for potential short and long term effects resulting from a teenager’s porn addiction can wreck havoc on his or her life and the lives of his or her loved ones. Relationships can become strained and daily responsibilities ignored. Addiction, of any kind, including porn, must be taken seriously and its recovery warrants sincere attention and steadfast commitment. Providing your teen with the support needed to battle porn addiction can make a world of difference and lead to sustained recovery. 

How You Can Help

As a parent, it is common to want to help your child in any and all ways possible especially when witnessing your child suffer. It is helpful to remember that asking for outside support and guidance, in some situations, can be the most advantageous thing you can do in support of your child’s recovery. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we offer a residential treatment program that utilizes a variety of therapeutic approaches. The treatment modalities that are used at Pacific Teen Treatment include, but are not limited to: talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Pacific Teen Treatment works with each of its residents to develop a tailored and unique treatment plan. Each treatment plan will cater to the specific needs of the client to provide the best possible recovery outcome.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at info@pacificrtc.com.

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