Gambling, Gaming and Porn Addictions

Gambling, Gaming and Porn Addictions

Video games have captured the imagination of humans since the 1970s, with the introduction of very simple games. Although the graphic features of these basic programs were primitive compared to today’s complex, multifaceted games, many children, teens, and adults quickly became enthralled with this new pastime. It soon became apparent that video games had the potential to consume a large amount of time as the players tried repeatedly to win. Today, video game addiction has been recognized as a process addiction similar to compulsive gambling, in which the rush of winning becomes one of the primary motivations for playing.


In the early days of video games, most games were available only on arcade machines, which were not accessible 24 hours a day. These days, games are one of the most popular features of social network sites, and they can be played almost continuously on handheld game devices, personal computers, or smart phones. Video games have become much more elaborate, with rich alternate worlds, multiple characters, and complicated storylines. Introverted children or teens may find that they can avoid interacting with “real”peers by engaging primarily with other online players, in the guise of characters with awe-inspiring gifts and powers.

Not all researchers agree that video gaming is a harmful or addictive activity. Many people, including parents, believe that video games expand the imagination, give children the opportunity to work collaboratively, and sharpen cognitive skills. Yet when young people spend most of their time playing video games at the expense of schoolwork, physical exercise, family events, or social activities, the benefits of gaming seem less certain.

There is some controversy over whether video gaming is an addiction comparable to gambling, drug abuse, or alcoholism.

Psychology Today states that the comparison between video gaming and gambling is flawed, because there are no financial stakes or material losses involved with video games. Winning a video game requires cognitive skills and sharp reflexes, while winning at gambling is a matter of luck.

However, according to WebMD, video game addiction can be considered a type of impulse control disorder.

Popular Beliefs About Video Games

There are many misguided beliefs and misconceptions about video games. In some schools of thought, these computerized programs are entirely negative, promoting violence, sexism, and social isolation among young people. Other perspectives hold that video games can be a valuable tool for education and character development, allowing children to simulate the roles of powerful heroes. In reality, video games have both positive and negative characteristics, and the effect of playing games often depends on the player’s attitudes toward games and life in general.

Parenting Science proposes that the compelling quality of video games may not be due to an addictive response, but to a psychological phenomenon called “flow.” Flow takes place when individuals become so immersed in an activity that they lose track of time. Any engaging activity — even work or school projects — can induce a sense of flow once a person is caught up in the process. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with being immersed in an engaging, educational game, this process can turn into a compulsion if the user is unable to stop, and if it takes time away from other important activities or relationships.

Compulsive video gaming can have negative effects on a developing mind or body. Adult players, too, may suffer from the effects of hours spent sitting on the couch or at a computer desk. Listed below are a few of the key concerns for younger players:

Sedentary lifestyle: Hours spent sitting at a computer or in front of a device can take a toll on a young person’s body. The lack of physical exercise involved in video gaming has led to public health concerns about weight gain, poor posture, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in America’s children and teens.

Lack of social engagement: Although video games require engaging with others in computerized environments, they don’t necessarily prepare children for the realities of socializing with their peers. Learning how to interact with others in a real-world setting is an important social skill that may be neglected by individuals who spend too much time gaming.

Problems with concentration and attention: There is some concern that the rapid movements and fast-paced action of video games promote a loss of concentration in players. Children who spend a lot of time playing video games may become less interested in reading books, for example, which requires more focused, prolonged attention.

Avoidance of developmental tasks: Adolescence is a time of self-discovery and personal development. In order to become mature adults who can take on the challenges of life, teenagers must learn how to confront painful emotions and awkward social experiences. When used appropriately, fantasy roleplaying video games can help children learn and apply valuable character traits that may help them in their interactions with others. But when video gaming is used as an escape mechanism, it allows children to avoid the developmental challenges of growing up.

Increased aggression or violence: Children and teens who devote a lot of time to playing video games that focus on combat, fighting, or violence may display more signs of aggression than those who don’t play these games. Parents must be aware of the content of video games, which are subject to a rating system similar to the one applied to films. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) posts guidelines and ratings for popular games based on the age of the player, as well as educational resources for parents and parental game controls.

Seizures and repetitive stress injuries: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article about the risks of video gaming for players who have epilepsy or other seizure disorders. The flickering graphics, lights, and colors of video game displays may trigger seizure activity in some players. There is also evidence that compulsive game playing may lead to repetitive stress injuries of the wrists or hands.


Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you're willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.

Gambling can stimulate the brain's reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets that lead to losses, hide your behavior, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction.

Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many people who struggle with compulsive gambling have found help through professional treatment.


Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling (gambling disorder) include:

Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money

Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill

Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success

Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling

Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression

Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)

Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling

Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling

Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money

Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away

Unlike most casual gamblers who stop when losing or set a loss limit, people with a compulsive gambling problem are compelled to keep playing to recover their money — a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time.

Some people with a compulsive gambling problem may have remission where they gamble less or not at all for a period of time. However, without treatment, the remission usually isn't permanent.

When to see a doctor or mental health professional

Have family members, friends or co-workers expressed concern about your gambling? If so, listen to their worries. Because denial is almost always a feature of compulsive or addictive behavior, it may be difficult for you to realize that you have a problem.

If you recognize your own behavior from the list of signs and symptoms for compulsive gambling, seek professional help.


Exactly what causes someone to gamble compulsively isn't well-understood. Like many problems, compulsive gambling may result from a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors.

Risk factors

Although most people who play cards or wager never develop a gambling problem, certain factors are more often associated with compulsive gambling:

Mental health disorders. People who gamble compulsively often have substance abuse problems, personality disorders, depression or anxiety. Compulsive gambling may also be associated with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Age- Compulsive gambling is more common in younger and middle-aged people. Gambling during childhood or the teenage years increases the risk of developing compulsive gambling. However, compulsive gambling in the older adult population can also be a problem.

Sex- Compulsive gambling is more common in men than women. Women who gamble typically start later in life and may become addicted more quickly. But gambling patterns among men and women have become increasingly similar.

Family or friend influence- If your family members or friends have a gambling problem, the chances are greater that you will, too.

Medications used to treat Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome Drugs called dopamine agonists have a rare side effect that may result in compulsive behaviors, including gambling, in some people.

Certain personality characteristics- Being highly competitive, a workaholic, impulsive, restless or easily bored may increase your risk of compulsive gambling.


Compulsive gambling can have profound and long-lasting consequences for your life, such as:

Relationship problems

Financial problems, including bankruptcy

Legal problems or imprisonment

Poor work performance or job loss

Poor general health

Suicide, suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts


Although there's no proven way to prevent a gambling problem, educational programs that target individuals and groups at increased risk may be helpful.

If you have risk factors for compulsive gambling, consider avoiding gambling in any form, people who gamble and places where gambling occurs. Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help prevent gambling from becoming worse.


Treating compulsive gambling can be challenging. That's partly because most people have a hard time admitting they have a problem. Yet a major component of treatment is working on acknowledging that you're a compulsive gambler.

If your family or your employer pressured you into therapy, you may find yourself resisting treatment. But treating a gambling problem can help you regain a sense of control — and perhaps help heal damaged relationships or finances.

Treatment for compulsive gambling may include these approaches:

Therapy Behavior therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial. Behavior therapy uses systematic exposure to the behavior you want to unlearn and teaches you skills to reduce your urge to gamble. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on identifying unhealthy, irrational and negative beliefs and replacing them with healthy, positive ones. Family therapy also may be helpful.

Medications Antidepressants and mood stabilizers may help problems that often go along with compulsive gambling — such as depression, OCD or ADHD. Some antidepressants may be effective in reducing gambling behavior. Medications called narcotic antagonists, useful in treating substance abuse, may help treat compulsive gambling.

Self-help groups Some people find that talking with others who have a gambling problem may be a helpful part of treatment. Ask your health care professional for advice on self-help groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous and other resources. Treatment for compulsive gambling may involve an outpatient program, inpatient program or a residential treatment program, depending on your needs and resources. Treatment for substance abuse, depression, anxiety or any other mental health disorder may be part of your treatment plan for compulsive gambling.

Coping and support

These recovery skills may help you concentrate on resisting the urges of compulsive gambling:

Stay focused on your No. 1 goal: not to gamble.

Tell yourself it's too risky to gamble at all. One bet typically leads to another and another.

Give yourself permission to ask for help, as sheer willpower isn't enough to overcome compulsive gambling. Ask a family member or friend to encourage you to follow your treatment plan.

Recognize and then avoid situations that trigger your urge to bet. Family members of people with a compulsive gambling problem may benefit from counseling, even if the gambler is unwilling to participate in therapy.

Preparing for your appointment

If you've decided to seek help for compulsive gambling, you've taken an important first step.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

All the feelings you're experiencing, even if they seem unrelated to your problem. Note what triggers your gambling, whether you've tried to resist the urge to gamble and the effect that gambling has had on your life.

Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.

All medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you're taking, including the doses.

Other physical or mental health disorders that you have and the treatments.

Questions to ask your doctor to make the most of your appointment time.


What can we do about it problematic, excessive use?

The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder and many other apps has become the cornerstone of modern communication and connection as it allows users to create a sense of belonging and redefine their way of being. Despite the many positive benefits and impacts of these sites, the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has reignited discussions about the place of social media and social networking sites in our lives..

From a mental health perspective, concerns have been raised about the negative impact of excessive use of social networking sites on the health and wellbeing of users, especially that of young people, who are enthusiastic users of this technology. Back in 2011, Dr. Daria Kuss and I were the first academics to systematically review the scientific literature on excessive social media use. Although there were few studies at the time, we did find that for a small minority of individuals there was a significant detrimental effect on many aspects of their life, including their real life relationships and academic achievement among those still in education. We argued that such signs are indicative of addiction.

Over the past five years there has been a proliferation of studies assessing how excessive social media use can impact negatively on health. In a recent paper Dr. Kuss and I again reviewed the latest research on the topic and showed that social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction. Because social media is most frequently accessed via smartphones, their usage is intimately intertwined and their mobile nature contributes to excessive checking habits, which often derives from what is commonly labelled as the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).

The good news is that very few people are genuinely addicted to social media. However, many people’s social media use is habitual and it can start to spill over into other areas of their lives and be problematic and dangerous, such as checking social media while driving. Other behaviors may be annoying rather than dangerous, but may be indicative of problematic social media use, such as checking social media while eating out with friends or constantly checking your smartphone while watching a movie at the cinema. Others may snub social contact with their loved ones or friends and prefer to check out social media on their smartphone instead (so-called ‘phubbing’). If you want to check whether you may be at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask yourselves these six simple questions:

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?

Do you feel urges to use social media more and more?

Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?

Do you often try to reduce your use of social media without success?

Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?

Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?

If the answer to all six of these questions is “yes,” then you may have or be developing an addiction to using social media. We say “may” because the only way this can be confirmed is through a diagnosis from a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist.

If you answered “yes” to a few of these questions, it is more likely that you are a habitual social media user and that what you should do is engage in ‘digital detox’ strategies that simply allow you to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. This can include simple steps, such as turning off sound notifications and only allowing yourself to check your smartphone every 30 minutes or once an hour. Other simple steps include having periods in the day where there is self-imposed non-screen time (such as during meal times) and leaving your smartphone in a separate room from where you sleep (just so you don’t get the urge to check social media before bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up).

At a societal level, steps need to be taken by governments or organizations to help minimize and (in some cases) prohibit the use of mobile devices. Some such steps are in place in many countries, such as the banning of smartphone use while driving. Given the loss of productivity in both the workplace and educational settings, employers, schools, and colleges need policies in place to ensure that individuals are focused on what they should be doing. Many schools ban the use of smartphones in the classroom. Prohibition in other contexts such as workplace settings may also be justified if it is practical to do so. Some restaurants are now providing discounts on food bills if customers refrain from using their smartphones during their meal. These positive reinforcement strategies may well be the way forward in trying to decrease time spent on smartphones checking social media.

Digital literacy and awareness of the effects of excessive social media use need to be embedded with work and educational settings. More controversially, social media operators (such as Facebook) could start using their behavioral data to identify excessive users and provide strategies to limit time spent on their products. This is already being used in the online gambling industry and could easily be applied by social networking sites.

For the small number of individuals that are genuinely addicted to social media use, treatment is warranted. However, the goal of treatment for this type of addiction (unlike many other addictions) should be controlled use rather than total abstinence, as it is not feasible to stop someone from using devices that have Internet access (i.e., their smartphone). The most successful type of treatment for online addictions appears to be cognitive behavioral therapy (which is a talk therapy designed to help people change the way they think and behave), although there are relatively few published studies examining its efficacy in relation to internet addictions. Other more specific ways of how to treat individuals with excessive and addictive Internet use, including social media use, have also been outlined elsewhere.

When it comes to solving the problem of reducing individuals’ use of social media there is no magic bullet. While individuals are ultimately responsible for their own social media use, policymakers, social media operators, employers, and educational establishments all need to play their part in reducing excessive social media use.

Years later, “smartphone addiction” and “screen addiction” — closely tied to social media addiction — have become fairly common concepts. In a 2017 paper, we revisited the latest research on the topic and showed that social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of other psychological problems as well, including anxiety, depression, loneliness and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

While a relatively small number of people are diagnosed as addicted, the negative impact of social media is apparent whether it’s deemed clinical addiction or not. Most people’s social media use is habitual enough that it spills over into other areas of their lives. It results in behavior that is problematic and dangerous, such as checking social media while driving.

While the majority of our behaviors around social media may be annoying rather than dangerous, they are nonetheless indicative of a societal problem. Steps need to be taken now, while the number of social media addicts is still small. We shouldn’t wait to see if it becomes an epidemic.

Given the loss of productivity in both the workplace and educational settings, employers, schools and colleges need better policies to ensure that people are focused on their required tasks and activities. Many schools ban the use of smartphones in the classroom. Prohibition in other contexts such as workplace settings (where practical) is also justified.


Porn addiction, which is a subset of sex addiction, can refer to a range of behaviors that are done in excess and negatively impact one’s life. “Porn addiction” is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-5). However, an addiction to porn can lead to serious consequences in many aspects of one’s life.

Is Watching Porn Healthy?

This is a topic for debate–there is no clear answer. Some individuals, experts, and communities will contend that watching porn to any degree will have negative effects on one’s life. However, others will suggest that there are healthy dosages, and types, of porn to consume.

Signs and Symptoms of Porn Addiction

Excessive viewing of pornography.

The definition of “excessive” depends on what you consider healthy, or it is the point at which pornography starts to have a negative impact on some aspect of your (or someone else’s) life.

Watching pornography interferes with normal daily behavior or responsibilities.

More time spent watching pornography, or searching for more stimulating types of pornography, is needed to get you aroused or to climax, i.e., you develop a tolerance.

There is a sense of emotional distress, or feeling of withdrawal, when porn use is stopped.

Continued use pornography despite serious consequences (e.g., loss of relationship or job, contraction of a sexually transmitted disease or “STD”).

Compulsive masturbating.

Sexual dysfunction (e.g., impotence, premature ejaculation).

Use of pornography negatively affects your relationships, for example:

It is more difficult to become aroused by your partner.

Romantic or sexual behavior between you and your partner changes (e.g., becomes more aggressive, dominant, or emotionally disconnected).

You watch porn as a way to alter your mood (e.g., obtain a “high”) or avoid other unpleasant feelings, like anxiety or depression.

It is always recommended to speak with a healthcare professional if you are seriously concerned about your behavior. A healthcare professional will be best suited to help you understand your behaviors and treatment options.

Is Watching Porn Healthy?

Porn addiction, like other substances or “things” that people can become addicted to, can be understood through principles of “operant conditioning.”

This is where a certain behavior, watching porn in this case, is “reinforced,” or rewarded, which in turn makes you want to do it again (and again).

Lots of different things can be reinforcing, and thus influence our behavior, but porn can be especially reinforcing because the reward taps into a very basic instinctual drive–sex. Therefore, it is very easy to become addicted to porn–it is accessing a fundamental (and very enjoyable) natural drive. It is also much easier to obtain than going out and finding a “mate” to fulfill this drive.

The problem occurs when seeking sexual pleasure becomes excessive, impulsive, or comes at the expense of other valued behaviors. Then we might say that one has a porn addiction.

Other Factors Influencing Porn Addiction


Early-life environmental factors, including adverse events like abuse or exposure to sexual content, can contribute to some of the underlying traits involved in porn addiction behaviors.

Mental health:



Personality disorders.

Poor impulse control.

Performance anxiety.

Other mental health issues might contribute to porn addiction behaviors.


You may have a genetic predisposition to impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, or sensation-seeking behavior.

You may have a predisposition to other characteristics that are associated with sexual addiction, like anxiety or depression.

As you might expect, higher levels of sex hormones like testosterone or estrogen can affect libido.

If you are inclined towards impulsive behavior and have high levels of sex-related hormones, you may be more likely to engage in excessive or compulsive porn watching.


Rejection in relationships and social circles can lead to other, less healthy ways to find sexual gratification.

Social isolation:Not only does social isolation increase one’s likelihood of seeking inappropriate ways of being sexually gratified, it also leads to a host of other problems–like depression and physical maladies–that can contribute to porn addictions or unhealthy sex behaviors.

Peer influence:If others around you are doing something, you are more likely to do it, too. Having a friend, or a group of friends, for example, who engage in excessive porn viewing can influence your behavior.

Treatment for Porn Addiction

It is important to seek treatment or support if you feel that you are struggling with an addiction to porn or an addiction to sex. Different types of treatment are described later on this page, including individual, group, 12 step, couple’s, and inpatient therapies.

If you are struggling with an addiction to porn, call to speak with a treatment support specialist and start your recovery process today.

Effects of Addiction to Pornography

Sexual dysfunction.

Impotence (inability to form or maintain an erection).

Premature ejaculation.


Preoccupation with sexual thoughts throughout the day.

Guilt, shame, confusion.

Ambivalence about stopping, or cycles of stopping/restarting.

Tendency towards other impulsive behaviors.

Depression, anxiety, or other co-occurring psychological disorders.


Not wanting to seek person-to-person (real life) sexual contact, or diminished patience for sexual contact (e.g., wanting to have sex right away, or fantasizing or obsessing about sexual contact with random strangers).

Decline in romantic or sexual interactions with partner, such as:

Inability to become aroused.

Increasing need for more aggression or dominance.

Emotional detachment.

Porn Addiction in Teenagers

Due to the accessibility of sexually explicit material on the internet, porn addiction is becoming a growing concern in teenagers. With the click of a button they can be exposed to endless pages of adult content.

Porn Statistics in Teens

9/10 boys are exposed to some form of pornography before the age of 18.

6/10 girls are exposed to pornography before 18 years old.

On average, a male’s first exposure to pornography is at 12 years old.

71% of teens have done something to hide what they do online from their parents.

Teenage boys, 12-17 years old, have the highest risk of developing a porn addiction.

Viewing pornography can have negative consequences on teenagers down the line, affecting both their psychological and physical wellbeing. These ramifications include:

Increase in high-risk behaviors.

Skewed view of the world.

Decrease in ability to build healthy relationships.

Normalization of sexual violence.

Increase in aggression towards women.

Research reveals that teenagers exposed to sexually explicit websites are more likely to be promiscuous and more likely to have used alcohol or other intoxicating substances during their last sexual encounter. This puts them at a higher risk for developing a substance abuse disorder or mental health disorder.

Is My Husband Addicted to Porn?

Pornography addiction does not only affect the addict. It can also negatively impact the wellbeing of the individual’s wife or girlfriend. The addiction can cause the following feelings within the wife of a porn addict:









The majority of the women married to husbands addicted to porn meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a serious mental disorder, and require treatment.

Can Porn Addiction Be Treated?

Yes. Porn addiction, like other addictions and mental health issues, can be treated through a number of different approaches.

Individual/Group Therapy

Individual or group therapy with a qualified mental health professional is always a safe approach. Individual therapy will usually consist of 30-60 minute sessions, focusing on your behaviors related to porn addiction and any related issues.

Group therapy will allow you to be in a community of others who are struggling with a similar experience.

Mental Health Disorders

Evidence reveals a high correlation between porn addiction and psychiatric conditions, specifically mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.

Studies have indicated that pornography viewers have higher levels of depressive symptoms and a poorer quality of life. This explains why antidepressants can be effective in treating porn addiction.

Clinical depression, which porn addicts commonly suffer from, is a severe mental health illness that requires professional treatment. Typical symptoms include:

Suicidal thoughts or attempts.



Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.


Inability to concentrate.

Sleeping too little or too much.

Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable.

Continuous sad, anxious, or empty mood.

If you are addicted to porn and think you suffer from clinical depression, contact your medical provider immediately. It is vital that your treatment plan addresses both your depression and sex addiction.

Substance Abuse

Research indicates that the use of pornography can cause sexually compulsive and dependent behaviors, which can lead to the development of a sex addiction as well,. There is also a significant correlation between sexual addiction and substance use disorders.

According to some research, an estimated 40-64% of sex addicts also have a substance abuse disorder.

Alcohol abuse is most common, present in 30-40%, followed by marijuana abuse, present in 18-21.7%.

Furthermore, teenagers who view sexually explicit material are more likely to have used alcohol or other illicit substances during their most recent sexual encounter. The earlier someone begins using a substance, the more likely it is that he or she will become addicted. Therefore, teens who develop a porn addiction are at a greater risk for developing a substance abuse disorder as well.

One study has revealed that frequent use of pornography by boys aged 18 years old has been associated with co-occurring problematic behaviors such as consuming alcohol more often and selling sex.

Treating co-occurring addictions is a complex process. Medical professionals must assess the pattern of drug use and pornography viewing and how they relate to each other. Once the interaction of both addictions is assessed, then appropriate treatment can be administered.

If you think that you have issues with both porn addiction and substance addiction, it is critical to your recovery that you find a treatment center that can cater specifically to your needs. Call today.

Is My Child is Addicted to Porn?

There is no official medical definition of pornography addiction but there is extensive medical literature focused on the topic. That being said, there are some behavioral signs that often co-occur with excessive porn use:

ADHD symptoms:

Impaired concentration.

Easily distracted.

Struggle to follow instructions.

Does not seem to listen when spoken to.

Anxiousness: Mental distress or unease.

Withdrawn or isolated.

Anger and impatience.

Seems depressed.

Avoids previously enjoyed pursuits.

Additionally, there are some signs associated with computer use that a parent should be aware of when evaluating for porn addiction:

Your child spends large amounts of time online (especially at night).

Your child turns off the computer or quickly changes the screen when you enter the room.

Your child locks the door while on the computer.

Your child lies about computer use.

Your child erases his or her search history.

You find pornographic pictures on the computer.

What Should I Do if My Child is Addicted to Porn?

Due to the increased accessibility of porn on the internet, children and teens are at a higher risk for developing an addiction to porn than in the past. Porn addiction is especially traumatizing for children and teens, as their brains are still developing. It can cause emotional disturbances and mental health issues if left untreated.

If you suspect that your child is addicted to porn, you may want to approach them in a calm and nonjudgmental fashion. You can begin by asking your child the following questions:

Have you ever viewed internet pornography? If so, when did you begin viewing it?

How often do you watch it and for how long?

Why do you watch internet pornography/

When was the last time you viewed internet pornography?

It’s extremely important to maintain open communication and to make sure your child feels comfortable talking to you about his or her addiction. This will ensure a positive healing environment for your child or teen.

If you are worried about a sudden change in your child’s behavior and suspect that it is related to porn use, there is hope for recovery. Call to speak to a treatment support specialist and learn about treatment options for your child.

How to Help Prevent Your Child From Developing a Porn Addiction

As a parent, it is crucial to have open communication with your child. It is not recommended that you avoid the topic of sex, as your child may have many questions pertaining to sexual relationships and development. There are some important factors to consider when attempting to prevent your child from developing a porn addiction:

Maintain a communicative and honest parent-child relationship.

Provide sex education and guide them to appropriate resources.

Utilize parental controls and carefully monitor internet use.

Lead by example and limit your own technology usage.


Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Quitting is also likely to improve your mental wellbeing. If you’ve had depression in the past, your chances of quitting for good are about the same as someone who hasn’t had depression. If you’re experiencing depression now, it can make quitting more challenging, but with the right support, you also have a good chance of quitting smoking successfully..

Getting Support:-

Having a strong support network around you is really important if you have decided to take action to change your drug and alcohol habits. Support from friends and family is essential; they will provide reassurance and encouragement when you need it most..

Advice for family and friends

Supporting someone who is using drugs and alcohol can be really hard. Often you see things that the other person cannot; the changes in their thinking, their mood and the way they act with you and other friends or workmates. You might want to tell them to stop using, and you might have tried this, but you can’t force them to change – they need to make that choice for themselves.

Be supportive and respectful. This does not mean that you have to support their drug or alcohol use; it means that you are supporting them emotionally. You can listen, talk about what is going on and let them know that they are not alone.

Help them stay connected with friends that they share positive relationships with.

Encourage them to continue doing things that help to improve their mood naturally – drug and alcohol free. Activities might include sport, music, learning a new skill, volunteering or getting outdoors.

Ask them what you can do to help them. Often providing practical support, such as helping with cooking or household chores, can take the pressure off.

Encourage them to talk with you or someone they trust about what is worrying them. These worries might be what triggers their drug and alcohol use.

Help them find information and advice about drug and alcohol use online, over the phone or in person. If they are not interested you might suggest it again sometime, but be careful not to hassle them about it. You could also encourage them to contact the beyondblue Support Service for support.

Encourage them to use safely to minimise the risks of them hurting themselves. If you are not sure what precautions they should take you can learn more together online.

Remember that change takes time. Be patient and acknowledge their achievements, no matter how small, even if you do not understand what they are doing and why.

Supporting someone who is using drugs and alcohol can be exhausting. It’s important to take care of your own health and wellbeing during this time. Look after your physical health, take time out to do things you enjoy, and have your own supportive friends to call on when you need it. You might also find that at times you need a break, and that’s OK too. Just make sure your friend or family member knows how much time you need so they do not feel rejected or alone.


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