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“Perhaps he is stressed at work, or perhaps he is bored with his life and looking for some excitement,” says Houck. He is using pornography as a substitute for real human relationships, and he is suffering.” Factors that may lead to the development of a porn-viewing habit include stress, marital conflict, profound self-centeredness, or the “pleasure principle,” a Freudian term for the drive to avoid pain and seek immediate gratification.
“Whatever the case is, it begins with his false perception that the women and images he will see on the Internet will satisfy his needs. Sometimes there is a contributing cause in what Fitzgibbons calls “marital loneliness.” “The couple has drifted apart in the home,” Fitzgibbons says.
That’s the worst mistake.” Other emotional and character conflicts that can lead to addiction include poor body image, an excessive sense of responsibility, a lack of balance in life, mistrust of others, social isolation, lack of acceptance by peers, and repressed anger.
Often these traits are rooted in negative formative experiences of childhood.
Horrified, Hannah ran and told her mother, and this now-disillusioned family suddenly had some very serious issues to face. While pornography has been around for centuries, the problem of addiction to pornography has increased dramatically in recent years largely due to its vast presence on the Internet. Patrick Carnes, who in 1983 first advanced the idea that a person could become addicted to sex, calls the addiction to Internet pornography “the crack cocaine of sexual addiction.” Like crack, it doesn’t take long for an Internet porn user to become hooked, often a matter of just a few weeks.
And like crack, habitual viewing of online porn creates an intense cycle of addiction that is extremely difficult to break without expert assistance.
An Internet porn habit may begin out of curiosity, by clicking on a racy advertisement or e-mail or happening upon a site by accident.
Some estimates put porn use among churchgoing men at 50 percent, a figure that differs little from use among the adult male population at large.
He always worked long hours, both at the office and at home, but in recent months he had shown signs of wearing down.
To his wife and children, he seemed distant, irritable and gloomy, and he was spending longer and longer hours at the computer.
He often missed out on family outings, saying he needed to work.
Even his co-workers noticed a change for the worse in his mood, efficiency and productivity. Everything came crashing down late one evening when Henry’s 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, walked in on him as he watched an Internet video of men and women engaging in sexual acts.
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Sometimes I add a fourth A, addiction,” says Peters.