Porn Addiction And Depression – Are They Related?

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Is Porn Addiction and Depression Related? 

So far, people have not paid much attention to the psychological impact of pornography addiction. Hence, it is quite inconclusive if porn addiction and depression are related. The main cause of compulsive sexual behavior is stress, such as compulsive viewing of pornography. In addition, the label of a “porn addict” can trigger depression. 

Negative mental states such as depression, anxiety, or languishing can lead to an increase in the consumption of porn.  

However, it is debatable if depression leads to spending more time watching porn, or vice versa. People need more adaptive coping mechanisms to deal with the feelings of stress and depression caused by porn 

Powerful Research on Porn Addiction- A Story 

In January 2015, Case Western’s Joshua Grubbs published a meaningful study. It shows that the perception of porn addicts is not predicted by the number of pornography views. It is predicted by their religious beliefs and moral attitudes towards sex.  

Grubbs drew a large sample of adults from the Amazon Mechanical Turk labor force database (1,047 in total; 619 women, 422 men, and 6 chose not to speak). Of these participants, 713 admitted to using pornography in the past year (338 women, 370 men, 5 of whom did not mention it).  

The researchers then assessed the frequency of pornography consumption and perceived pornography addiction by looking at self-reported compulsiveness, a person’s effort to watch pornography, and the level of emotional stress associated with pornography use.  

What did they find out? 

The researchers then identified the various components of mental stress, including depression, stress, and anxiety.  

Finally, based on the effects and perceptions of porn addiction, they measured personality characteristics. This was to ensure that they could exclude personality effects related to depression, anxiety, anger, and stress.  

For example, neuroticism, which predicts higher levels of negative emotional states independently of other problems, undergoes statistical processing to ensure that the effects found are related to the perceived porn addiction variables. 

Grubbs did another research with college students and saw that actual porn use had no reliable relationship to emotional issues, but perceiving oneself as a porn addict did (again, anxiety, anger, stress, and especially depression was predicted by how strongly someone felt they were addicted to porn). 

Now, Grubbs has released an explosive sequel. Research has shown that believing that pornography addiction actually causes pain and mental health problems; rather than realizing that the label of a “porn addict” is part of the road to recovery. 

Studies That Support This Claim- Being Labelled a Porn Addict Can Cause Depression 

It has been observed in surveys that those who morally disapprove of pornography are more likely to perceive themselves as an addict. This is associated with an increase in sexual shame and is ultimately associated with higher levels of depression. 

  • In a study published in the year 2013, research was done on college/university student. The positive correlation was found between the level of depression and level of internet addiction. 
  • Even young people without mental health problems report addiction to the internet. Mental health problems arise as a result of spending hours on porn sites, online shopping sites, luck and computer games, hobby sites and chat rooms (Young, 1996). 
  • There is a similar incidence of depression among individuals addicted to the internet. There is evidence of internet addiction among depressive patients as well (Yen et al., 2007).  
  • Depression manifests as deep sorrow or grief. Other symptoms are insomnia, loss of appetite, unpleasant mood, hopelessness, irritability, self-dislike, and suicidal tendencies (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). 
  • It has also been found that depression may occur due to the social isolation. This is caused by internet addiction (Tsai & Lin, 2003). Similarly, people consuming excessive porn also become socially isolated which leads to the symptoms or complaints of depression. 

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