Psychologists Identify Phenomenon That May Explain Why Many People Are Distraught About Their Porn Habits

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Aliyah Kovner 22 Aug 2018, 22:44

“And then they feel guilty and ashamed of their behavior, and angry at themselves and their sexual desire to watch more porn,” he wrote. “[This] moral conflict over your porn use (PPMI) does turn out to be really bad for you. But not because of the porn. Instead, higher levels of moral conflict over porn use predict higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, diminished sexual well-being, as well as religious and spiritual struggles.”

For example, one of the studies examined by the quartet of authors found that men who used pornography but disapproved of it on religious grounds were more prone to experience increases in depression over the six-year follow-up than those who had no moral opposition.

Moving forward, the authors hope that therapists and other mental health professionals treating patients with self-described pornography issues will begin trying to differentiate PPMI from the separate entity of addiction – diagnosed as a type of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD). Thankfully, even if these concepts remain murky in clinical practice, the team notes that the widely used approach of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is effective for both behavioral change and addressing self-stigma and shame.

[H/T: Psychology Today]

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