Break the Habit

1)  Admit the Problem

  • Many people do not realize they are actually addicted until they try to stop.  
  • It is your choice—no one else can assume responsibility for your recovery.  
  • First admit you have a problem, and then seek help.  People cannot be helped in isolation.
  • Understand that help needs to include: 
(1) a counselor who understands pornography addiction,
(2) help from an ecclesiastical leader,
(3) a support person or group.  (More information is included below.)

2)  Seek Help
  • Become informed, find support, and work very hard to improve the quality of your life and relationships with others.  
  • Determine the reason behind this habit.   For many people, porn fills a void.  You may feel empty inside, and don’t draw comfort from human relationships, having not learned to do that at a young age.  Pornography may be a comfort which temporarily removes unpleasant feelings.  You may seek love in pornography, but will discover that there is no love there, only lust; because there is no real intimacy, only the illusion of it.  So, you spend hours and hours lost in the fantasy of flirting, looking, and the possibilities of what might happen.  
  • There are 4 main sources of help to deal with this problem.  Engage in all 4 sources together for the greatest chance in overcoming an addiction.  
1)  Rewire Your Own Brain.   Learn how to reprogram your brain to change a habit or addiction.  Read the subtopic "Working with Addictions and Compulsions," by Jana Squires Flake, M.Ed., LPC, under the “Addictions” topic on this website.  

2)  Ecclesiastical Intervention.  Attend Church every week.  Talk to and work with a religious leader who can help you have faith and hope in Jesus Christ and reduce your shame.   The Savior will give you assistance and strength beyond your own to help you change, because He desires your happiness.  

“God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with
the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  (1 Cor. 10:13)    

3)  Professional Intervention. 
Find a counselor who has experience and training in working with sexual addictions and treating the underlying issues.        

The 12-step programs are very effective if coupled with counseling, because they not only encourage you to look to a higher power for help but they help the individual step by step to advance in obtaining control of the problem.

4)  Support Groups, or a support person.  Find a support group, and attend intervention  therapy with other addicts in an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding.  Surround  yourself with family, friends and mentors who will support and encourage you.

3)  Life after the Addiction
  • There is help.   Lots of people have overcome a porn addiction; but it will take time, because it will be a long process.  Experts call the Internet the “Crack Cocaine of Sexual Addiction,” because porn is a very difficult addiction to get on top of.
  • Pornographic pictures will not be forgotten.  Once in your mind, the images will return again and again even when totally uncalled for.  You may have to kick porn images out of your mind every day for the rest of your life.  The mind can only entertain one thought at a time.  The key is to decide immediately to quickly replace bad thoughts with good ones.  
  • Avoid cyber sex and internet affairs which are a betrayal to your spouse, when you begin flirting with someone and revealing emotions and things to that person that should be exclusive to your spouse.  
  • As you make changes, you will see improvement in your self-worth.  Your relationships with God and others will improve, you will feel joy and peace—and you will become transformed.  You will begin to heal as you heal from your past, feel better about yourself, and see yourself the way God sees you—as a person of great worth whose welfare and happiness matters to God and many others.   

  • About 68 percent of young men and 18 percent of young women view pornography every week. In fact, more than 1 in 5 Google searches are for pornography.  (Covenant Eyes, 2016) 

  • 107 million Americans now visit adult websites each month, compared to 58 million 10 years ago.  (Time magazine, March 2016) 

What You Can Do
  • Women can fight porno by asking their husbands and boyfriends if they view pornography. 

  • Churches need to see porn as a war worth winning, and make a plan.  Men, women and children have porn addictions.

  • A growing number of men who, scared to death by the long-term effects they are encountering, are sounding an alarm and forming support groups to help each other kick the habit of viewing pornography.  many men who grew up watching porn as children and teenagers have started a movement against it, hoping to shed light on the sexual material’s power to harm Americans.

    Little hard-science research is being done to study the effects of this "massive social shift" on developing young minds.  It is difficult to study, because it is virtually impossible for scientists to assemble a control group consisting of people who have never been exposed to it.  Second, if you were to find enough people for such a group, the study would have to expose them to pornography and measure its effects.  No ethical scientist would ever conduct a test study like that.  However, to the many people who are looking to escape their addiction, there isn't much confusion.  They are clear about the harm it has done.  Marriages have been undermined or destroyed by pornography, even if there was no sexual involvement with a third party. 

    Experts weighed in on what American families can do to help their children avoid pornography, or how to help their children who may stumble upon it accidentally.  Dr. Harold Koplewicz explained that parents should work to let their children know they will answer any question their youngster has, and tell them that pornography is a hypersexualized and unrealistic interpretation of sex. 
    (See "How to Talk to Your Kids About Porn,"  
    (“Porn, Why young men who grew up with Internet porn are becoming advocates for turning it off,” by Belinda Luscombe, Time magazine, March 31, 2016; and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert who signed a resolution declaring pornography a "public health crisis" in April 2016) 

Additional Resources

“Clean - a proven PLAN for MEN committed to sexual integrity,”
by Douglas Weiss, PhD, founder of Heart to Heart Counseling.  Begin recovery by being honest.  Pride and keeping the secret prevents people from becoming clean.   When porn addicts reveal their secret, then they begin to recover and protect their families. This book contains help for overcoming the addiction to pornography for yourself and those you love.   (Dr. Douglas Weiss, 700 Club, June 2013)