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Porn and Sex as Medication

Written by on August 24, 2012 in Sexual Addiction - Comments Off on Porn and Sex as Medication

When a person first is exposed to pornography or sexual behaviors it is often done through curiosity. However, due to the high amounts of addictive neurochemicals that are released, particularly with internet pornography, it can quickly become addictive. Students in the Candeo program report going from curiosity, to using it recreationally, then as a source of self-medication, and some to dependency. With dependency, a person’s brain starts viewing these behaviors as a necessity — such as food and water. They also report that they found themselves needing it more and more – just as it was a drug. And they found themselves being led to other types of risky sexual behaviors — which put their physical and mental health in danger, as well as damaged their relationships.

If you have found yourself in this situation, a fundamental key to protecting yourself from unwanted outlets, is your willingness and ability to take care of yourself. This means that you recognize your basic needs, and you consistently go about meeting those needs. When you take care of and nurture yourself, your brain is more calm and is better able to take control for effective problem solving, logical and rational thinking, and the productive pursuit of worthwhile goals. When you neglect your daily self-care, your brain becomes agitated and needy, pushing you into unhealthy self-medicating behaviors and outlets for escape. When you don’t take care of yourself, you create what Dr. Page Bailey, a neuropsychologist called a “failure environment.” Here’s a story Dr. Bailey used to illustrate how we set ourselves up for self-medication, escape and addiction:

The Poorly Prepared Boxer
“Years ago, I watched a championship boxing match. I don’t remember the details, but there is one thing I’ll never forget—the dramatic differences in the two fighters. One was in excellent condition—healthy, trim and well-trained—he seemed to float effortlessly around the ring. The other fighter was noticeably overweight and out of shape. After the first round, he was breathing heavily and moving slowly. Finally in the fourth round, the superior fighter wore him out and knocked him to the canvas where he remained face-down long after the 8-count. Here was a man who foolishly neglected his self-care and his training program and grossly underestimated his opponent.

As I thought about this fight, I have often compared it to overcoming unwanted sexual outlets and behaviors. Many people fall prey to habits of self-medication and escape because they consistently neglect their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Like the careless fighter, they are ill prepared to face a powerful opponent—the sexual thoughts, urges and triggers that come at them head-on. Too often, they’re overpowered and end up face-down on the mat.”

If you neglect your self-care and allow yourself to become physically, emotionally or spiritually weak, you won’t have the confidence, strength or stamina you need to face the struggles, challenges and stresses of life. When you neglect self-care, you put your brain on “high-alert” and in your weakened state, you’re far more likely to seek self-medication and escape through unwanted sexual outlets.

Students use this and other Candeo tools to help protect themselves from seeping into the funnel of addiction or give them the power to get out. Sexual addiction is a slippery slope, but with some education, awareness, and support — it can change.

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