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How is Porn linked to Social Phobia? Part -2

In the previous article, we had discussed about how porn watching behaviour lead to social disconnection . This article will further delineate how that social disconnection resulting out of porn watching behaviour leads to social phobia.

Most people feel that problematic porn watching behaviour will make people socially phobic. But the relationship isn’t that simple.

Time and again research has shown that social isolation increases the risk of developing mental health disorders, manifold. Like any other mental health concept, the distinct pathways of social isolation haven’t been discovered, but studies suggest the causative findings.

Social isolation could possibly be a result of various conditions- lifestyle, habits, work pressure, work schedule, geographical factors and others.

Humans are social beings and taking away the social aspects from the human life is never possible. Socialization brings about an equilibrium in people’s life, and if by any way socialization gets away from people’s life, it disrupts an important functionality of people’s life.

Social phobia

What is Social Phobia?

People have a wrong perception that, if someone is not wanting to go outside and meet people is called social phobia; or one has social phobia if he or she is scared to interact with people. Well, the second statement is a casual idea, but social phobia is much more serious condition than that.

Social phobia technically is a type of Phobic Anxiety Disorder, according to ICD 10, in which an individual experiences heightened anxiety evoked only by certain specific situation that are not potentially dangerous.

How Social Phobia looks like

Social phobia is characterized by irrational fear of being scrutinized by people. The distress is so strong that they avoid all sort of social interactions and they endure with dread. The nature of social phobia is such pervasive that it is associated with low self-esteem and a fear of criticism.

This fear of criticism should not be confused with the usual disappointment criticism brings about to us. The clinical picture involves a fear of vomiting in the public place, difficulty in maintaining eye contact in the social interaction is stressful. People suffering from social phobia may also report difficulties like hand tremor, urgency of micturition, nausea, and sometimes may progress to a panic attack, Avoidance is pathognomic to social phobia and most severe cases it may lead to social isolation.

How is Social Phobia caused?

The link between social isolation and social phobia is often bi-directional. From the clinical features (Link ICD 10) it can be concluded how social phobia can eventually lead to social isolation. On the other hand, when we assess the psycho-social causal factors of Social Phobia, social disconnection or isolation places a base for it.

The causes of social phobia are interesting and like any other psychological conditions, genetic contribution and nurture play a significant role. According to Sigmund Freud theory, phobia is a result of displacement. That means, the anxiety is displaced from real frightening and dangerous object to something neutral.

How Porn watching behaviour and Social Phobia are connected?

Understanding this connection in the context of porn addiction, this can be ideated that, porn addicts develop anxiety out of the malfunctioning which is resulted from porn watching. For example, we commonly know that people who are porn addicts have impaired time-management skills, failure of deadlines and procrastination, and overall socio-occupational malfunctioning; and no doubt they create enormous amount of stress often leading to stress reaction. As a consequence, this stress develops to an anxiety, which later takes a form of fear.

This fear when becomes excessive takes a form of phobia, and accompanied by a range of autonomic activities, that is, increased heart rate, trembling, breathlessness, increased heart beat and others. They are physiological indication of an anxious experience. Phobia would result into such symptoms as well a feeling of dying, chocking, and dreadfulness and a heightened tendency to escape from the situation.

This escape from social situation is a critical point for the porn addicts. Firstly, they escape social interaction so as to indulge into porn watching behaviour and secondly, after prolonged usage, and prolonged tendency of escape, they no longer find social interaction pleasurable. Rather, they tend to avoid social interaction.

Most porn addicts also report that they have a constant fear of what if people find out about their addictive behaviour. They stay apprehensive about what if people discuss about their regular activities and lifestyle, and what would they say. They experience a strange feeling of “what if I am caught.”

On the other hand, porn addiction is also not a pleasurable experience for anyone. They don’t feel happy that they are experiencing this trouble. One, it causes a lot of distress and second, they cannot even share it with anyone. This makes them more socially distant.

Porn addicts mostly suffer from low confidence and low self-esteem which further impact their social skills of individuals in social interaction. This further impact their self-concept; the way they seem themselves. Poor social skills, low confidence and low self-esteem alters their own sense of self. This negatively impact socialization.

Social interaction becomes a trigger of their fear; fear of being judged and scrutinized and negatively reinforces them to stay away from social gatherings. That is how they begin to replicate symptoms of social phobia.

Thus, there is no straight and simplistic link between porn and social phobia, but the behavioural consequence which porn leads to, increases the likelihood of developing social phobia.

Resource

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness