Does Porn Cause Anxiety? What Does Research Tell

Dr. Nick Nissen is a clinical fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. His interests are treatment-resistant disorders and care management. He lectures on topics such as mood disorders, sleep disorders, mindfulness, and addictions. He is also the host of the Brain Health with Dr. Nissen Podcast and collectively has 90K+ followers across social media platforms.

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One of the major psychological side effects of porn addiction is social anxiety. Read along to know more about this negative impact.

Does Porn Cause Anxiety?

We often find ourselves traversing a virtual labyrinth, a world that is full of screens and pixels. It’s a route that many go down a rabbit hole, and unexpectedly, it sometimes crosses paths with the difficult ground of social anxiety.

Confused what are we talking about?

Well, we are delving into the intriguing intersection of social anxiety and pornography.

Now, I know these topics might not seem connected at first glance, but stick around, and you’ll see how they share common ground. Honestly, there are startling similarities between the two issues.

And we’re here to determine how viewing pornography affects the development or worsening of social anxiety. We intend to make clear the connections that might exist between these apparently unconnected parts of life and, more significantly, what you can do to end this cycle.

So let’s get started by discussing four fundamental ways that pornography and social anxiety often coexist in a conversational and plain manner.

social anxiety

Like any other type of media, using pornography can project a variety of effects on people, including the ability to cause anxiety.

Can Porn Cause Anxiety ? 

While it’s crucial to remember that reactions to pornography may vary greatly from person to person, nevertheless, there are a number of ways that viewing pornography might increase anxiety for certain people:

1. Social Anxiety

The internet has made pornography easily available. As easy as it is to find with just one click, it is almost just as difficult to avoid. 

Every day, more and more research surfaces showing the negative effect porn is having on the community as a whole. Specifically two groups of people, teens, and couples. Almost every research conducted on this topic so far highlights the same thing.

The fact is that currently, young people and children are accessing problematic pornography on the internet at younger and younger ages. The age range only keeps diminishing.

This is alarming information, considering the negative impact excessive consumption of porn can have on one’s mental health. We as a society, seriously need to consider the impact of porn.

Think about the role it plays in our lives, our families, and our mental health.

Addiction to online pornography is most commonly associated with depression, anxiety and anger. Once you become self-aware of your addictive nature, the feeling of being out of control causes a large amount of mental distress.

It can make a person go from being an extreme social butterfly to avoiding every social gathering/event.

This is a result of social anxiety. In simple words, social anxiety is feeling uncomfortable around other people. People who experience it can feel that they don’t really have much to add to conversations.

It makes them feel like they don’t really know how to make conversations flow.

2. Discomfort

As a society, we are quite embarrassed to talk about the topic of pornography. We have surrounded it with so much stigma and taboo. Often when someone is dealing with this particular addiction, they shy away from speaking up.

Most young men and women have difficulty talking about this topic. The last thing they want is their use of porn to come up in conversations.

They feel ashamed and guilty about it. The patriarchal society makes it even more difficult and complicated for women. Due to this, the link between pornography and social anxiety becomes a vicious cycle of shame. 

3. Loneliness

Increased pornography use gives rise to loneliness and loneliness, in turn, leads to increased pornography use.

Research has significantly associated porn use with loneliness, it shows a clear two-way relationship between both the components. Increased feelings of loneliness can make a person uncomfortable with social situations.

As a result of this, they pull away from any form of social interaction and end up adding to the loneliness.

4. Disconnection

An obsession with pornography has a huge negative impact on relationships.

As humans, we are inherently social beings. This means we are wired to have relationships and build connections with the people around us. To survive and maintain stable mental health, we need social interaction and a sense of community.

Porn takes away from this and fills our minds with fake intimacy, which does not match the real deal. The more people become hooked to pornography, the more they start missing out on building connections in real life.

Moreover, as more and more individuals turn towards pornography and problematic sexual activities, they often start to lose the desire for real sex altogether. Sex becomes not as exciting as they watch porn on screens.

In such cases, before you know it, the viewer is dealing with serious sexual problems.

Emotionally, porn consumers become more withdrawn from those they love and stop caring about the relationships in their lives. Their addiction and the shame surrounding it pull them away from their friends and family.

This makes them miss out, and disconnect with those they love.

5. Depression

People with pornography or any similar addiction, often use their addictions as a temporary getaway from their feelings. Especially negative feelings like anger, sadness, loneliness, or even boredom. This habit can easily lead to serious cases of depression.

Once an individual falls into a pit of depression, they are quick to pull away from society. They tend to corner themselves, which in turn, feeds into their brain a long list of anxiety disorders.

As you numb your mind and body with graphic sexual desires and content, you end up missing out on building real relationships. You let go of your family, romantic partner, friends, and the community around you.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a parent considering how pornography is going to impact your child’s life or an adult who needs to consider their own or their partner’s use of porn. It is time to accept that it is an issue that is affecting us as a society. It is time to acknowledge the problematic behavior that results from this issue.

So, if you are struggling with pornography and sexual addiction, remind yourself that there is hope. You can use the Porn Blocker Chrome extension and Blockerx Android Find a close friend, support group, or therapist that you can talk to. However, the first step is to accept the situation. Begin by admitting you have a problem, you can move forward with your healing. No one should have to miss out on life because of their compulsions.

History

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we
update our articles when new information becomes available.

  • Current Version
    Dec 07, 2023

    Reviewed by

    Dr. Nick Nissen, MD

    Updated by

    Deepak Sengar

  • Aug 14, 2020

    Written by

    Bhanu Shree

    Edited by

    Chandraprabhudev K

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Bhanu Shree

Bhanu Shree

Bhanu Shree is a seasoned psychologist with over five years of specialized experience in child and adolescent psychology, particularly in addressing learning difficulties and ADHD. A respected mentor in mental health, she offers transformative guidance to adolescents facing various psychological challenges. Beyond her clinical expertise, Shree is an acclaimed author, contributing insightful perspectives on addiction and youth mental health issues. Her work is widely recognized for treatment in the mental health field.

About BlockerX

BlockerX is an adult content-blocking app for Android, iOS, desktop & chrome. In addition to blocking adult content, BlockerX also has a strong community of 100,000 members and courses that help you work on your porn problems, one step at a time.

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About BlockerX

BlockerX is an adult content-blocking app for Android, iOS, desktop & chrome. In addition to blocking adult content, BlockerX also has a strong community of 100,000 members and courses that help you work on your porn problems, one step at a time.