Knowing how to recognize internet sex addiction is often the first step in overcoming it. In this day and age, internet porn and its use is a fact of life. According to safefamilies.org, for instance, over 70 million hits are registered on pornographic websites monthly. Compounding the issue is the fact that each person’s sexual habits are unique, making it tougher to define what an internet porn addiction actually is. There are, however, a few generally-agreed-upon signals of an unhealthy amount of internet porn use.
- The mildest symptom is a loss of time awareness when using internet porn. Though each person’s normal habits are different, there is something to be said for spending large chunks of time surfing the internet for porn. If you consistently find yourself losing track of time for hours while looking at porn, then it may be worth looking at some other symptoms of porn addiction to determine whether you might have more.
- The internet porn addict will often have a feeling of shame or guilt during or after its use. Though many people have inklings of this feeling because of old values ingrained in them during childhood, the porn addict’s negative feelings will usually be quite intense. Often, it is because their sense of self-worth and confidence are diminished in the process. In essence, guilt and lack of confidence are both a cause and a symptom of internet porn addiction for many.
- In addition to shame and guilt, those who suffer from porn addiction will typically feel powerless to stop it. Though they know it’s taking a toll on their “real lives”, so to speak, a porn addict will often give up all hope for being able to control their use of it. The negative results of their obsession are often ignored, as they tend to accept them as part of their lives and focus on the next porn “fix”.
- One of the key signs of internet porn addiction is damage to real life relationships. This is especially true if the addict has a significant other or spouse. Their time spent compulsively surfing the web for pornography tends to erode upon time spent with friends, family, and loved ones. It is a two way road of negativity, as the addict will often feel guilty for ignoring them, and those around him or her will feel neglected.
- Internet porn addiction often manifests itself along with other psychological issues. Depression, for example, commonly accompanies an internet porn addiction. If the only way for a person to feel “whole” is to be viewing internet porn at a given point in time, it is likely that their porn addiction is related to a deep rooted psychological issue.