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5 Ways a Porn Habit Can Harm Your Mental Health

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Porn is so widely accepted as a “normal” habit or go-to for passing time, but what isn’t as widely known are the negative effects that result from the isolating habit.

Casual consumers probably know the feeling: loneliness or incompleteness, losing interest in the things once loved, and feeling generally hopeless. We wouldn’t wish these downer feelings on anyone after their temporary porn-high, yet frequent porn consumers’ habits make them susceptible to these negative and heartbreaking effects on the daily.

The porn industry would like our generation to believe its product will make anyone happy, satisfied, and well-versed in the world of sex and romance, but it actually ends up robbing consumers of intimacy, love, and genuine connection. Now, that is truly heartbreaking.

Related: Can Watching Porn Make Existing Mental Health Issues Worse?

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Escalating depression

Pornography behaves like other addictive substances by temporarily masking feelings of pain, loneliness, and even depression while also increasing the possibility of making those same problems much worse in the long-term. This should come as no surprise since other self-medicating substances can also fuel or lead to depression, which can make it difficult to see which comes first: pornography or feeling down.

When pornography promises instant gratification, it’s hard to keep the big picture in mind, but keep fighting and opt for alternative ways to pull yourself up like joining a healthy community or taking up a productive hobby.

Increased isolation

Think porn will make you feel more connected to people? Think about this.

Some consumers cling to pornography in moments of loneliness because they think they won’t feel as isolated and disconnected, but this proves itself to be cyclical thinking. Keeping a dependency on porn a secret can cause the consumer to withdraw emotionally from their relationships and feel crippling shame. The result? More isolation, fueled by porn, which fuels more isolation.

Related: 4 Lifestyle Changes That Helped Me Quit Porn And Live A Healthier Life

Harmed relationships

Consuming porn is a surefire way to hurt important relationships, romantic or otherwise. The partners of porn consumers often report feeling betrayed when they find out their partners spend their alone time getting aroused by airbrushed strangers on a screen. And given that porn shows a false portrayal of what sex and relationships are like, a constant habit can often lead to unrealistic expectations and feelings of inadequacy.

Self-esteem and trust can also take a toll on the relationship, and while they can often heal over time, it’s best to avoid this heartbreak in the first place, right?

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Lack of intimacy

A common misconception in our sex-obsessed society is that porn can somehow increase intimacy between you and your partner.

The reality is that pornography can harm the genuine, deep connection that is needed in relationships to express intimacy with one another. Studies have shown that consumers who were exposed to softcore sexual material were significantly less happy with their partner’s looks and sexual performance. Even casual exposure to porn can make people feel less attracted to their significant other. What is so sexy or relationship-enhancing about that?

Loveless industry

There are a couple of requirements to building and maintaining real love, you know, like an emotional connection to an actual person.

Related: 10 Big Differences Between Healthy Sex And The Sex Porn Portrays

Porn takes out the real part of relationships and replaces it with often violent, synthetic representations of fake love and false connection. Porn makes consumers believe airbrushed beauty is better than the real beauty of real relationships. The saddest part? Industry executives couldn’t care less. Porn industry pros continue to see massive amounts of traffic to their sites. So long as people are buying the “porn-is-cool” toxic lie, they’ll continue to produce their false, violent portrayals of love and sex.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, you can avoid certain heartbreak by dodging porn. Experiencing heartbreak from real relationships can be worth it, but heartbreak from porn never is. Choose what’s real—choose real love.

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