Sex & Pornography Addiction: the Impact of Being Alone

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Sex & Pornography Addiction: the Impact of Being Alone

I hear it from clients in almost every session – “Being alone is a huge trigger for me.” Managing time alone and the feelings that come with it are often a critical step in overcoming an addiction to sex or pornography.

Of course it makes sense that in order to look at pornography in an addictive state you’d be alone. But the loneliness that triggers pornography viewing, and sexual addiction happens long before the relapse or use. When you feel alone – maybe even in a crowded room – your mind starts to wonder. It starts to think about the beautiful girl across the room with the low-cut blouse, or the fight with your spouse this morning that still has you fuming, or any other trigger that you might have. And once the mind of a sex or pornography addict starts thinking about their addiction (either directly or as a way to escape uncomfortable feelings) the relapse is, unfortunately, “on.”

How do you avoid this all-too-common and all-too-unavoidable lonely state of mind? The first step is to be aware if/that it is a starting point for your use or relapse. Once you become aware of it, it’s time to monitor. When you begin to feel lonely or find your mind racing to unwanted thoughts of pornography, past sexual partners, sexual images or thoughts of someone you’ve seen or met, you HAVE to engage with other people to get your mind off these negative topics.

If you have a friend or partner that you can be honest with, create a “life line” agreement with them. This is the person you call when you feel lonely or feel a relapse coming on. They will engage with you, talk you off the ledge, do whatever it takes to keep you from relapsing.

There are many triggers to relapse. One that is common with sex and pornography addiction is loneliness.

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).