18 Feb 2018
When battling pornography and other sexual addictions, it’s not unusual for an individual to hear comments like, “If you really wanted it badly enough, you would do it!” “If you were more spiritual you could overcome this!” “You just need more willpower!”
None of these statements are true, nor are they helpful. In fact, this approach is a big part of the reason why individual’s are unsuccessful in breaking free. More willpower is not the answer. Doing battle in your mind to keep out sexual thoughts only makes the problem worse. Focusing on the avoidance of anything remotely sexual only brings failure. A different approach than traditionally used in the past is needed—one based on the true and effective principles of change; one that focuses on healthy sexuality; one that will literally build new brain circuitry that no longer seeks pornography.
You Must Break Out of Your Obsessive Compulsive Cycle
The over-simplified and naïve advice to “just quit!” actually deepens addiction! It’s the worst advice there is! Once you understand obsessions, compulsions, fear, and how the mind works, you will know why what appears to be “common sense advice” is so destructive. Understanding obsessions and compulsions is a powerful key in helping individuals overcome their pornography use and sexual addiction. The obsessive-compulsive dynamic is one major factor that keeps people trapped.
The more you try to force intrusive, unwanted sexual thoughts and images out of your mind, the more difficult and impossible it is to do so. These thoughts become obsessive. At times, it’s extremely difficult to think of anything else. Many struggling individuals describe these sexual thoughts as strong and relentless. Constantly “going to war” with these thoughts eventually wears the individual down. He discovers that “giving in” to self-stimulation, pornography, or some other sexual behavior gives him temporary relief from the battle. This “acting out” for temporary relief becomes a compulsion. It’s just like the individual who fears the thought of “germs” and fights to keep it out of his mind. Finally, exhausted by these obsessive thoughts, he gets temporary relief from the battle by turning to his compulsion—washing his hands.
A grand key to recovery success is learning how to break out of the obsessive/compulsive cycle. Rather than fearing and fighting sexual thoughts, and giving in to sexual addiction behaviors, one must learn the tools and skills to manage sexual thoughts and urges and direct them for good. You can live in a “sexualized world” without being trapped in pornography and sexual addiction. You can develop a “healthy sexuality” mindset and enjoy greater peace of mind and meaningful relationships than you ever thought possible.