Self-Esteem and Sex and Pornography Addiction

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Self-Esteem and Sex and Pornography Addiction

What do the two (self-esteem and addiction) have to do with each other? Surprisingly, more than most people think.

One view of addiction is a self-medication hypothesis. In this model individuals use their addiction as an escape from the stress of the world. I have a tough day at work, for instance, and I head home and drink until I don’t think about it anymore. I stress out over the amount of work I have to do (or any other stress inducing trigger) and I start daydreaming about sex or pornography and as soon as I can get away, I’m online viewing porn or engaging in some form of sex. It’s a story I’ve heard over and over.

Self-esteem – How does it factor in? There’s a belief in the psychotherapy world that people with high (or healthy) self-esteem have within themselves something that allows them to handle stress and other uncomfortable emotions differently. They find less of a need for an escapist addiction from the difficulties of life because they have other tools to handle the difficulties. The tough times, people with high self-esteem realize, are just “times” – they will pass. The tough times are not a reflection of a bad person or a troubled individual. High self-esteem allows these people to believe in themselves and weather the tough times better.

If you have an addiction to sex or pornography, consider taking a hard look at yourself. Does your self-esteem waver? Do you believe you are a good person with needs equal to others? Do you believe you have what you need to overcome life’s tough times? If not, find a therapist who understands sex and pornography addiction and one who will help you build a stronger, more healthy self-esteem.

About the Author:

Dan Gabbert holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist (CSAT), a rigorous certification issued by The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).