Substituting Pornography or Sex Addiction for other Addictive Behaviors

Home/Addiction, Pornography Addiction, Stress/Substituting Pornography or Sex Addiction for other Addictive Behaviors

Substituting Pornography or Sex Addiction for other Addictive Behaviors

Recently I’ve been working with a guy who is struggling to overcome a pornography addiction – specifically to online chatting and texting. He’s making great strides and has been able to stop these destructive behaviors. It came up in session that his addiction to pornography followed some interesting life events.

The client had recently lost a significant amount of weight. He confessed to being a “stress eater” and having beat that bad habit and lost weight, improved his health, lowered cholesterol, etc. All that is fantastic work and good news for his health and longevity. The unfortunate part, however, is that he never really equipped himself with an effective way to manage or conceptualize his stress.

What makes that unfortunate is that his “new way” to manage stress was through a newly found pornography addiction. This addiction cost him thousands of dollars, pain in his marriage, shame and embarrassment, and isolation from friends. What he discovered was that he substituted one addiction – food, for another – sex, and that neither was healthy.

I’m happy to say that my client has made great strides in his marriage, socially and in stopping his unhealthy online activities.

The message here is that swapping one addictive behavior for another is not healthy and can have even more / different adverse effects. Critical to this client’s success was understanding the root cause (stressful times), being able to recognize it, and putting plans in place to manage it in a more healthy manner.

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).