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“You cannot defeat the demons you enjoy playing with”
The effects of pornography on the brain, include influence on the reward pathways, release of neurotransmitters and stimulation of the brain in a manner like that of drug use.
Over the last 20 years, the porn industry has grown into a mainstream business with an annual revenue exceeding 12 billion dollars.
Ted Bundy the day prior to his execution, states that addiction to pornography was the single biggest influence in his sexual addiction escalating to the level of serial murder. He speaks frankly about the dangers of society tolerating pornography and the exposure on youth, in an interview that was held 30 years ago. It’s disturbing to realise that society 30 years ago was barely tolerant compared to the present day, and that the level of violent pornography he is talking about, is now available to any 8-year-old with a smart phone.
Underage exposure to pornography is a form of sexual abuse, as children do not have the emotional maturity to deal with the subsequent arousal. This leads to children acting out obsessively on these impulses, often re-enacting with siblings, friends, neighbours and other close family members, which in turn leads to shame and guilt and other compulsive behaviours. The average age of exposure to pornography at present is approximately 11 years, although even 8- or 9-year olds are exposed.
The effects include:
- Physiological effects.
- The reward centre of the brain (striatum) shrinks
- It weakens the cingulate cortex, the area responsible for moral & ethical decision making, so it actually weakens your willpower
- Social effect
- Increased loneliness
- Decreased sexual pleasure
- Disconnection from relationships
- Start to objectify women
- Desensitization to cruelty & perversion
- When one uses pornography to reach climax, the brain desensitizes to the images, habituates to them, and eventually becomes bored.
- An increase in the variety of images and/or time spent on the Internet is required to maintain stimulation levels – this progression is a classic symptom of addiction.
Pornography ultimately has an impact on all levels: spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and marital.
How can you recover from addiction to pornography?
- ACCOUNTABILITY: you need to be honest and open-minded, and able to confide in someone.
- SOFTWARE: accountability apps are available for computers and smart phones, blocking access and providing open accountability.
- MINDFULNESS & SPIRITUALITY: Firstly, you need to retrain your brain (Romans 12:1 – 2) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Start by taking thoughts captive: 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.
Replace these with Philippians 4:8 “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
By Belinda Bilton
Adult Centre Counsellor