“If he would only read his Bible or pray more” has been the encouragement of many a well-meaning addiction recovery group. Tey are not wrong, but the answer is incomplete. Treating a pornography addiction as wholly a spiritual problem, when there are serious emotional and physical aspects as well.
For example, many assume that the porn addict is hedonistically enjoying every moment. Reveling in the unholy pleasure. But when research has been done on addictive behavior, the experience of the addict is not so much one of pleasure. Rather, it is a feeling of craving. I can attest to this in my own experience. I would often come away from a session of looking at porn feeling very disappointed in it. Why I would expose myself to that kind of shame for such a small payoff. I wish someone had told me that I was experiencing not a hedonistic desire for pleasure but rather a craving they had dug itself into my mind. How helpful it would have been to look at it and see it for what it was, a craving that would not satisfy (for more information on this, I would recommend the excellent book Change Anything:The New Science of Personal Success).
It has been useful to me since learning this. When I am tempted. I can name the temptation for what it is: a craving from my past that won’t pay off. Of course this doesn’t fix everything, but it is one of several tools that, when all working together, make the addiction beatable. Knowledge of my adversary is key.
Recently I was introduced to a wonderful series of videos called the Conquer Series. These five DVDs were by far the most thorough treatment of all three aspects of pornography addiction. It takes into account the emotional, the physical, and the spiritual. If you do what Ted Roberts says, you will eventually overcome your porn addiction. Dr. Roberts says it take about 2-5 years. It took me more like 8 years, so I guess I’m kind of slow.
A warning, some of you will go to the website and watch the trailer. The special effects will look a little corny to you and the interviews will sounds too Christiany. You will then decide that this series really isn’t worth a look. That is a mistake. Take it from me that this DVD series is gold and you are a fool to turn it down. If you would like to overcome your pornography addiction, find a conquer group and watch the series.
You will thank me one day.
The Sideways One above is courtesy of Daniel X. Niel and is used with permission.