Hooked to porn? Try these 5 tips to break the ‘addiction’

Morally, there may be nothing wrong with consuming pornography, but if you are doing it excessively, here's how to stop watching porn!

How to leave porn addiction
A UK news report states porn addiction has increased among people in the recent past. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Radhika Bhirani Published on: 24 August 2022, 22:23 pm IST
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From satiating curiosity and avoiding boredom to self-exploration and stress reduction – there can be several reasons why people turn to watching pornography. If a recent UK report is to be believed, porn viewing increased amid the remote working culture in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. More people sought treatment for what was deemed a ‘porn addiction’. If you want to know for yourself or want to help someone to know how to stop watching porn, read on!

To some, watching or not watching porn may be a moral issue. For some, as we mentioned earlier, it may just be a way to release stress. And whether we like it or not, there is a very thin line between people who just consume porn for ‘pleasure’ vis-a-vis those who may be ‘addicted’.

Consuming porn excessively or as a result of a feeling of uncontrollable compulsion, can be problematic. While many people may fleetingly call it porn addiction, it is not officially recognized as a mental health issue as such, by the American Psychological Association.

A variety of studies over the years, however, have looked into the negative impact of watching porn content. One of the biggest side effects of watching porn is its tendency to develop distorted perceptions about what to expect from sex. The difference between what you see and what you do, begins becoming the problem area.

If a person tends to watch pornographic content excessively, they may face difficulty in feeling aroused without it, feel sexually inadequate, have unrealistic expectations from partner, experience decreased sexual satisfaction and more.

But the question to ask is if you’re hooked to it, how to leave this porn addiction? Come, let’s find out.

Tips on how to stop watching porn

Dr Divya Jain, Head of Psychological Services for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis National Mental Health Program, suggests the following tips to control your urge of porn use.

tips to avoid watching porn
Internet access has made it easier to watch porn. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Note the impact

“You must recognize the impact that viewing excessive pornography is having on your work and relationships

,” says Dr Jain. Watching porn excessively can disrupt your focus from work and even have an emotional impact on your relationship. If you feel that your urge to watch porn is hampering your personal relationship, the first step is to acknowledge that it is a problem, and then communicate it.

2. Know what you’re watching isn’t real

According to Dr Jain, once people really accept and understand that the content they are viewing is “distorted, unrealistic and fake”, it can wean their interest. It may be tempting to be in a fantasy world, but if you stay too far from reality, it is bound to bring problems into your life.

3. Stay busy

“Follow a regular daily routine and engage in other meaningful activities
,” says Dr Jain. This will help you stay away from the temptation of engaging in porn use. Block the platform from your phone or computer, and put your mind to more creative or fruitful pursuits.

4. Find alternate ways to release stress

Who isn’t under stress nowadays? But there can be better ways to release stress and anxiety than watching porn, isn’t it? “Develop alternative healthier ways to cope with stress and manage emotions effectively,” says Dr Jain. You could try doing meditation, change your surroundings or engage in a workout!

Also read: We got a psychologist to reveal how much porn is too much. You’re welcome!

Healthy ways to release stress
Meditation is a better way to release stress than to watch porn! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

There may be a whole lot of stigma around porn use or porn addiction, but if you find it hampering your life, reach out for help and speak to a mental health professional!

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About the Author
Radhika Bhirani Radhika Bhirani

Content Head for Healthshots.

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