During COVID-19 pandemic, we offer in-person, telephone & virtual meetings 7 days a week.

Dr. Cassidy Blair, Psy.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist | PSY 22022

Dr. Cassidy Blair, Psy.D.

Sex Addiction
Seeking Help For Pornography and Sex Addiction

Addiction comes in many forms. Although commonly linked with substance or alcohol abuse, addiction can involve many things, including everyday habits and activities such as eating, having sex, and engaging in social media. If these are “natural” things that everyone does, how do you know if you have a problem?

At Blair Wellness Group, we want to help our readers understand the difference between having an intense interest in something and being clinically addicted. There is a clear difference between the two, and knowing that can help you understand the importance of seeking help.

Today’s discussion will focus on a specific kind of addiction — one that has been steadily increasing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are spending more time at home. Pornography addiction and sex addiction can cause serious mental and emotional problems and have a detrimental effect on your personal relationships. Although it may be difficult to talk about, it’s important to understand the seriousness of these conditions and get help from a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in this area so you can get the guidance and treatment you need to overcome your addiction. 

What Is Addiction?

Before we explore sex and pornography addiction, it’s helpful to get a better understanding of addiction in general — regardless of the type. Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I’m addicted to X” or “X is my new addiction”? Using terms like addicted, addiction, and addict are sometimes used to describe an intense like or desire for something — but in a clinical sense, true addiction is something much more. 

Addiction is a psychological condition that activates regions in the brain and alters the body’s motivation and reward system. In other words, when someone uses an addictive substance or engages in addictive behavior, the brain receives a rush of the feel-good chemical known as dopamine. This neurotransmitter creates instant feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Unfortunately, those desirable feelings are often short-lived and for people with an addiction who may already have lower levels of dopamine, discontinuing the mood-boosting behavior can be quite a challenge.

Sex Addiction

Sex is a natural and normal part of life. The pleasurable feelings associated with having sex help promote the biological need to reproduce for the survival of our species. For people struggling with sex addiction, however, there is a constant need to feel that rush and get that “fix” and therefore they often have the compulsive need to perform sexual acts. 

Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction can involve various forms of behavior and may manifest differently in people, but one thing is constant — sex addiction can create mental and physical problems, negatively impact relationships, and dramatically impact your quality of life. The following are some examples of the symptoms people may experience with sex addiction:

  • Obsessive sexual thoughts
  • Engaging in sex with multiple partners
  • Engaging in behaviors despite their interference with work and relationships
  • Participating in dangerous sexual behaviors
  • Feelings of guilt after sex
  • Engaging in sexual activities despite wanting to stop 

Pornography Addiction

Similar to having sex, pornography addiction also activates the biological system that creates feelings of pleasure. The difference is that pornography is often easier to obtain and requires less effort than seeking out a partner. Unfortunately, as someone engages in the behavior more frequently, the body’s dopamine system is altered and they may have to go to greater lengths to feed their addiction.

Symptoms of Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction can include a wide variety of symptoms that range from depression and other mental health issues to very serious and potentially illegal activities. Pornography addiction is different for everyone, but the following is a list of some of the most common symptoms:

  • Neglecting work or personal relationships to view pornography 
  • Feelings of guilt or self-hate after watching porn
  • Engaging in progressively more extreme pornography to get the same fix
  • Feelings of withdrawal when you’re not watching porn
  • Continuing to watch pornography despite wanting to stop
  • Spending large sums of money on porn at the expense of other necessities

Change Is Possible

Sex and/or pornography addiction can negatively impact your personal and professional life. It can create relationship problems, financial troubles, and spawn additional mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and promote unhealthy mechanisms for coping. Fortunately, if you or a loved one is struggling with sex addiction or porn addiction, there is hope. It’s important to seek professional help from someone with experience in pornography addiction and sex addiction so you can break free of its grasp and live a more healthy and fulfilling life.

Treatment For Sex and Pornography Addiction

At Blair Wellness Group, patients seeking help for their addiction will find a welcoming, supportive, and judgment-free environment where they can get the treatment they need to achieve their wellness goals. Dr. Cassidy Blair is a licensed clinical psychologist who takes a personalized approach to treatment using a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities to help her patients regain control of their lives. Using various therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) patients can learn how to respond to thoughts or feelings with healthy coping strategies. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a rise in addictive behaviors, sex and porn addiction included. This is because more people are looking for an escape from the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty that is around them. This, combined with social isolation and a lack of support structure has created the perfect storm for increasing one’s risk of developing a mental health disorder. 

Contact Blair Wellness Clinic in Beverly Hills

If you would like to regain control of your life and want to seek help to overcome your addiction, Blair Wellness Group of Beverly Hills can offer you a safe, effective, and confidential means to do so. Through our concierge-style of therapy, clients can pay for care directly instead of going through insurance. This is just one of the ways we make it easier to get the help you need while protecting your privacy.   

For your convenience, we also offer lunch, evening, and weekend appointments — both at our clinic or through our teletherapy services. Your health and safety is our top priority, so we want to be there for you whenever and wherever you need us. Change is possible — all you have to do is take the first step. Contact Blair Wellness Group of Beverly Hills today. 

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We offer evening and weekend appointments for our concierge patients and all patients upon request. Call us today at 310-999-4996 to discuss how Blair Wellness Group can help you overcome addiction,
depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and other disorders.

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In-person, Teletherapy, Online, and Telepsych Available 7 days a week.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Cassidy Blair and team of professionals are available to provide a variety of psychological services, therapy, and Concierge treatment during weekdays, evenings, and on weekends.