We tweeted out two articles today, here and here, that are worth reading. One focuses on the stories of two men in Oregon who struggle with porn use, and how they’ve begun to tackle their problem. The other discusses pornography addiction from the point of view of mental health counselors in California. We like these stories because they reach a similar, and important, conclusion about the importance of connecting with other people as a first step to addressing problematic porn use.
People who struggle with porn use have a hard time asking for help. It’s embarrassing to admit that porn has taken control. Often, it feels like the only people trusted enough to keep a porn use problem secret are also the ones who would be most hurt by the revelation. And, for many, porn is a crutch, a shield against negative emotions that feel impossible to face.
We know that struggle firsthand. We lived the delusion of problem porn use. We made attempts to find help for years, only to give up again and again when it seemed too risky to reveal ourselves in an online forum, too painful to reveal our problem to loved ones, too impossible to get away from our lives to a treatment center or faraway therapist, too alien to talk to a faith leader outside of our background. It didn’t occur to us that “sex addiction” groups could help us, or that 12-step groups for people dealing with other addictions would welcome us. We didn’t realize that even if there weren’t any resources nearby, we could connect with people around the world by Skype, or conference call, who share our difficulties. We allowed ourselves to believe we were alone in our struggle, that telling someone about our problem would be unbearably humiliating and destructive, that if we couldn’t help ourselves, no one could.
That delusion nearly destroyed our lives.
We founded PornHelp to prevent you from wandering alone through the dark hell of compulsive porn use like we did. If you are struggling with porn use, the resources listed here exist to help you make a connection with another person who understands. It doesn’t matter which person you choose - a member of a 12-step group, a faith leader, a therapist, or a fellow problem porn user. It doesn’t even matter, for now, how you connect - in person, by phone, by Skype. The only thing that matters is that you make the connection. Now. Right. Now.
Still doubt there's help for you? Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here for you. We care about you. We will help you find someone to talk to. You are not alone.
Longer-form writing from the PornHelp team on current topics relating to problem porn use and recovery.