FacebookTwitterYoutube

Tom Scotus

Porn Addiction Destroys Child-Like Joy

Andrea Vaccaro - Loth e as filhasLarry will never forget the first time he saw hardcore pornography. It was the early 1970s and he was about 10 years old. In his schoolyard at recess, he saw a few kids his own age, huddled around a somewhat older boy. They were taking turns, looking at something in the older boy’s hand. Larry’s curiosity got the better of him so went over to see what they were looking at. The older boy showed Larry two explicit pornographic playing cards. The effect was potent. Larry was excited and alarmed at the same time, and he can vividly recall those images decades later.

A few years later, as an adolescent, Larry borrowed a deck of black and white porno cards from a friend and took them home. This time, the effect was even more potent, probably because he was able to masturbate. He later had to give the cards back, but he strongly desired to see more porn. Without realizing it, he was already addicted. At the time, hardcore porn was much harder to get, especially for a 14-year-old boy. However, a few years later, he found a steady supply and became a hardcore addict for several decades. Everyday life, for him, eventually became boring. By his 40s, the only things that he really looked forward to were watching porn, masturbating and frequenting prostitutes.

Larry remembers how much he had enjoyed life when he was a child. Eating his birthday cake on his backyard porch, the warm sun, the pleasant breeze. The wonderful, cool water from the park drinking fountain on a hot summer day, full of happy play. The good feeling of just "hanging out" with a close friend. Why, he wondered, did experiences like these not give him much pleasure anymore?

Larry finally realized that his porn addiction was the main reason for his doldrums. He did some homework and discovered that compulsive behaviour, consisting of such things as drug abuse, pornography consumption, masturbation or gambling, over stimulates the brain’s reward system. Over time, this has a numbing effect – the brain becomes less sensitive to "everyday" pleasurable experiences. Addicts may loose interest in ordinary life as they become more and more focused on their addiction as their only source of pleasure. Therefore, they may become depressed and anxious.

There is some good news: When the addictive behaviour ends, the brain gradually becomes more sensitive to everyday pleasure. However, quitting a well-entrenched addiction can be extremely difficult. After many, many failed attempts, Larry finally stopped using porn. He attributes his success to "divine intervention." After about a year of being porn-free (not counting a few relapses), Larry found that he was beginning to perk up and enjoy life more.

"There’s no short circuit to happiness," Larry says. "The devil will use porn, drugs, whatever, to enslave you. You’ll always be chasing that first high and you’ll always come up short. Turn yourself over to God. He might not deliver you, right away, but stay faithful. If he could rescue a ‘lost cause’ like me, He can rescue anyone."