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Pornography Addiction (TW)

I am 18 years old and have suffered from an addiction to pornography for 6 years. I have been trying hard for about 3 years to stop but truth be told I haven’t gone more than 23 days without viewing pornography and masturbating in 6 years. It’s so hard. I’ve just messed up again tonight and I don’t know what to do. I’m a religious man and attend church every week. I have been working with my Bishop and attend an addiction recovery program each week also. I truly believe the program can and will help but I seriously do not no how or where to start in practice. How do I stop? What action steps are there for me to take right now? I’ve tried giving up my phone. I did for about a year. No matter how many passwords there are, how little screen time I get, I still manage to find a way. I’m pretty tech savvy. My willpower alone just doesn’t seem to be enough. I don’t know what to do. How do I start on the road to stopping, right now??

Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

Hi @Extra13277! Welcome to the forums!

Dealing with any kind of addiction can be so difficult. They can also be very hard to get rid of. Smiley Sad I think it's so brave of you to tell your story, talk to others about it and try to get some help for yourself. I think it's great that you have been working with your Bishop and attending an addiction recovery program. Smiley Happy Have they given you some practical tips?

I have heard some people recommend apps which can provide strategies for dealing with pornography addiction. Here are a few examples.
Habit tracker apps can also encourage you to reward yourself for not watching porn and allow you to see how many days you've gone without doing so.
It might also be beneficial to use a filter for your browser or phone. You can download apps which limit your ability to access particular websites or apps, or other apps which might help encourage you to spend less time on your phone, such as Forest.
There are also lots of online communities which can help motivate you and provide some tips for dealing with porn addiction, such as this one and this one.
You could also make a list of alternatives to watching porn. There are lots of examples in this thread. You could make a plan or keep a card with you that says something like, ''When I want to watch porn I will do activity X for 15 minutes'.

Have you tried any of these ideas? Do you think they would help you?

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Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

Hey cheers,

Far out. 6 years I’ve dealt with this crap. Man it feels good to know there are so many people out there that I don’t even know who got my back. Means a lot. This is the first time I’e ever turned for help online and it’s awesome to see an answer this quickly. Thanks for your suggestions. I’ve just downloaded a couple apps and those are some good coping/distraction methods that I’m gonna try. Thanks again, means so much

Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

That's a really long time @Extra13277. I'm sure you can beat this. Heart

I'm glad that the forums have helped you. Heart We're all about peer support on here, so feel free to let us know if you need additional support. Smiley Happy

Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

Hi @Extra13277, welcome to the forums!

 

I just want to say that addition is not a sign of low willpower. 

It can be a really difficult thing to deal with. 23 days is a pretty good record though!

One thing might be not to think of the 23 days as a failure to quit, but as a new "high score".

Like, if stopping completely is a long term goal, maybe a shorter term one could just be going without it for 30 days, or even just beating your previous score.

 

This thread is basically a list of ideas people have used instead of self harming.

I know it's not an exact match for what you're dealing with, however there might still be some ideas you can use in avoiding viewing it:

https://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Getting-Help/Self-harm-coping-strategies-and-alternatives/m-p/3536...

Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

Hey cheers mate 

Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

Hi @Extra13277 just wanted to check in and see how you are going? Have you had a chance to have a look at some of the resources mention above- what are your thoughts?

 

More than happy to keep talking it through Heart We are always here to listen

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Re: Pornography Addiction (TW)

I love this idea @Tiny_leaf, a new high score is a great way to look at it. Self-compassion I'd really important too. You obviously care a lot about beating this addiction @Extra13277, and in proud of you for seeking help on the forums

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“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down