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Old 09-13-2020, 02:08 AM   #1
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Mad Iím ashamed of myself

Hello everyone,

Iím having a lot of shame regarding the porn Iíve need watching and habits Iíve been keeping... theyíre so difficult to break.

I started watching porn at a young age... Iím 30 now and Iíve noticed my porn went from fairly Ďinnocentí topics to quite taboo. It caused a lot of shame for awhile, now Iím a bit desensitized. I think about porn all of the time. If Iím not watching porn, Iím sexting with strange men, (trading photos, videos, etc)... I need more and more taboo things to keep me satisfied. Just a moment ago, I watched porn and got off extremely hard but then I had a huge panic attack, Iím still trying to calm down from it. Itís that feeling of no control and I absolutely despise it and it terrifies me to death. I used to get panic attacks OFTEN and I ended up in the hospital a few times because I was so revved up, I feared Iíd hurt myself or others, if that makes sense. (I donít WANT to cause any harm to anyone!) I havenít felt that way in so long, so tonight really scared me.... all over porn and shame. The feeling of no control because Iím trying so hard not to watch it and it just makes me crave it more. Iím completely alone in my house. I locked my door out of fear Iíd hurt myself feeling as amped up as I did, but it was just anxiety. But why? How do I stop? How do I feel less ashamed? What are my underlying issues that Im struggling so hard? This hasnít happened in so long and this masturbation/porn thing is incredibly new to me.

Iím so confused, lost, scared and paralyzed... that feeling of inadequacy
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honestly but I signed up on here and was hoping I could get feedback.

Thank you for reading this awfully winded post, I appreciate it.

Last edited by bluekoi; 09-14-2020 at 08:49 PM.. Reason: Add trigger icon. Add trigger code. Descriptive content edit.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:01 PM   #2
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Smile Re: I’m ashamed of myself

Hello kaylynnxx: I see this is your first post here on PC. Welcome to Psych Central.

Unfortunately I don't think I can be of much help with regard to your concerns. Perhaps there will yet be other PC members who will have some feedback they can offer. My only suggestion would be, if you're not already doing so, find a mental health therapist you can work with who is experienced in treating clients who have porn addictions.

Here are links to 5 articles, from Psych Central's archives, that may be of some interest:

What It's Like to Be a Porn Addict? An Interview with Noah Church (Part 1)

What It's Like for an Addict to Quit Using Porn? An Interview with Noah Church (Part 2)

Understanding Porn Addicts: An Interview with Noah Church (Part 3)

The Power of Porn: Attention, Hyperfocus and Dissociation

How Much Porn is Too Much Porn?

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: I’m ashamed of myself

Hi kaylynnxx, welcome to psych central! I hope this finds you well, and that I can provide some sort of assistance. First, I want you to know, you're not alone. There's a lot of us out there struggling with our porn consumption habits. I myself came to psych for this problem. If you want to read up on my own struggles with porn, I shared quite a bit in my own post. You might find some parallels there, some insights. I'm still struggling with my addiction, but it's better than it was, and I feel better about myself now than I did before, so that's a win for me. I tell you about this because there is hope, you can come back from this point in your life, no matter how hopeless you might feel. Pornography/Erotic Literature Addiction
Alright, so lets get to the good stuff. Here's an article that was extremely informative for me, it provides a lot of information about how porn becomes addictive, how it gets worse the longer it goes untreated, how porn interacts with our brain, etc. The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Internet Porn Addiction Now, take this article with a big grain of salt, most of it makes sense to me, but some of what it states has been disputed. Unfortunately, porn addiction is not a well studied disease like other addictions, and a lot of people still dispute even the idea that porn can be considered addictive. Another problem plaguing studies on the subject is how frequently they are tainted by bias because of what groups often fund them: religious groups. So watch out when doing your research, and prepare for a bit of frustration.
Something that was incredibly helpful for me when I was trying to stop watching porn in the beginning was practicing mindful awareness. Seriously. If you're having trouble stopping yourself from watching porn, if you find yourself berating and kicking your own teeth in all the time over your failures or how hard your struggling to stop yourself... pause. Take a deep breath. Accept it. And know that this will pass. Believe me, I know this sounds weird or kooky, but it works, at least it did for me. And you're going to fail. Perhaps a lot. But accept it. You have an addiction. It really really sucks. During a moment of craving, every fibre of your physical being will be screaming for a dopamine kick and you know porn works for that, or at least your body certainly does. Take a breath. Practice your deep breathing. And don't try to fight it, don't try to focus on something else like your grandma or a task that absolutely sucks your libido away, this doesn't work. It only makes it worse. Acknowledge the craving. Embrace the suck. Be in that moment and focus on that feeling you're having while you continue taking in deep breaths. But don't give in. Don't ignore it, or try to make it something that it's not. But don't give in.
The moment will pass. And all of a sudden, even if for a brief moment, you'll get what I liken to a breath of fresh air. It'll be crisp, full of clarity, and you'll realize: "I resisted. And the feeling passed." This moment is great. And it might be only for a minute before your next craving hits... but you'll have it. It will be yours. And you can achieve it again. Even if in the next moment you cave and allow your habit to take over, it won't change the fact that you had a moment that was truly yours, and it can't be taken from you. Remember that moment, and try to get there again. I know you will, and you can.

Eventually, you'll find those moments of craving... get easier. Not easy, I don't think they ever are... but you'll find they're not as bad as they were when you started quitting. And you can get through them, you can resist them, and you will find yourself feeling better on the other side of them. What were impossible to ford rivers before, that swept you away as soon as you found yourself on their bank, you may find in the future you will have the strength to swim, and then even stride across. They're still rivers. Just not rivers you believe you can't cross. And you know what, you're gonna try to cross rivers that will surprise you. You'll mis-gauge them, not prepare adequately, or just not have time to address them properly, and they'll sweep you. You're gonna get battered through rapids, sucked through whirlpools and back eddies, and it's gonna suck. They're still rivers. But you'll survive them. And you'll learn from them. Maybe not the first or even the tenth time. But you'll learn. You will adapt. And you will overcome.

Which brings me to the next trick. Standing up again. I struggle the most with this part. After getting raked over the rocks, at times there's nothing I'd like more than to just close my eyes and be done with it. Give up. Not try anymore. And I even do... for a while. But then I shake it off and drag myself back to my feet to get back to whatever I need to be doing to get where I want to be (or get help). I hate it. But I do it anyway, because this too passes and I can live with myself again. It's just hard to remember that at these times. And it's hard not to beat myself up at these times as well, which doesn't help. When the river has just drug you over the rocks, the last thing you should be doing is adding more bruises and broken bones. Try to refrain, and focus instead on healing. Do so by accepting your failure, try to identify why you failed this time, and implement changes to help you overcome the next crossing.

And perhaps the hardest part: overcome your fear of asking for help. This is not an easy struggle to ask for assistance in, and with good reason. There's a lot of shame around this topic, a lot of misinformation, and a lot of people who will refuse to recognize it as a problem... often because they themselves somehow struggle with it and they don't want to recognize that. This leads to a lot of mockery and negative judgement just out there in the open, which in turn makes it very difficult for us to ask for help. I have been very fortunate in that I have a loving fiance who wants to help me beat this, and even so I still struggle all of the time in asking for help because even she, without meaning to, makes me feel great shame over my failures, and it's difficult to get past that. I did look for support groups online to help me in dealing with this, but I must confess... I kinda gave up after the first two I looked at, because what I found was quite discouraging. I shall try again, and share with you if I find some good ones if you so desire. I don't know how you might tackle this problem, but it is one I feel you will have to face. Because I have noticed one of the most common, if not ever present, factors in my failures has been isolation. Anytime I've been alone has been when I was most vulnerable. And I know that having someone I can reach out to for strength and comradery in these moments when I am struggling most would be a massive benefit and asset. I sincerely hope you have or can find someone you can confide in or call at your hardest moments, someone with whom you don't feel alone. It makes it easier, and any help one can get is good.

Sorry if this drug, I tend to be long winded for which I apologize. Feel free to message me with questions or what have you, I may take a while to respond, but I do try to check in on here every few days at least.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Iím ashamed of myself

I think these are definitely good questions and issues to explore in therapy. There can be a lot of reasons that drive compulsive sexual behavior including unmet needs, self-esteem issues, or even just habituation and routine. It's not an easy think to unpack or solve on your own. I'd definitely recommend looking into a provider that has some experience in this area. If it's causing you distress then it's important that you find ways to tackle it so you feel some relief.
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