What do you think about the relationship between Pornography and Depression after reading the topic of this article? Do you even think if they are interlinked or not? And how pornography can impact our mental health?
Before we talk about this relationship, we will talk about if there is any relationship between watching porn or depression?
Is there a relationship between porn use and depression?
It is frequently thought that watching porn causes depression, but there is little confirmation that proves this is the case. Research does not show that porn can activate depression.
However, you can be affected in other ways, it all depends on your background and how you use porn.
While some find it easy to enjoy porn in moderation, and others can use it compulsively. Some can also feel guilt or shame afterward, which can take a
charge on their emotional health.
Here is what you need to know about the connection between porn and depression.
Can porn consumption trigger depression?
It is not confirmed that using porn can cause or activate depression.
According to the research that is already available, a 2007 study concluded that people who usually watch porn are more likely to feel lonely.
However, that study was based on a survey of 400 people, and it was self-reported, which means that there are chances of error in that research.
Another research that is published in 2018, used a sample survey of 1,639 people to explore a link between depression and the use of porn. The researchers have found that some people feel guilty, upset, or distressed when viewing sexual content. These feelings can affect your emotional health.
But there is no research that shows the consumption of sexual content, whether it is porn or not, can directly activate or cause depression.
What about the Opposite – Do people with depression watch porn even more?
It’s difficult to determine that whether watching porn can be the reason for depression, it is difficult to determine whether having depression can impact your individual porn use.
In 2017, the study has found that porn consumers are more likely to have depressive symptoms if they think porn is morally not good.
For those who think porn is morally not good, however, the study has found that high levels of depressive symptoms were only present in those who watch porn at the highest frequency.
It also concluded that “depressive men likely view higher levels of pornography as a surviving aid, specifically when they do not view it as immoral.”
In other words, it concluded that depressive men might be more likely to view porn. It is worth noticing that some studies have not been conducted with women, non-binary people, and gender non-conforming folks.
How do you know if your addiction is problematic?
Your addiction can be problematic if you:
- spend a lot of time watching porn that affects your work, home, school, or social life.
- watch porn not only for pleasure, but you only fulfill your need to watch as if you are getting a fix.
- watch porn to emotionally comfort yourself.
- feel guilty or upset about watching porn.
- struggle to control the urge to watch porn.
Pornography and Depression
Pornography can withdraw users into a private and secretive mental space which becomes very difficult to escape from. It is just like the witches ‘house in Hansel and Gretel. In which the house is made of delicious sweet and candy. And the children can’t stop eating it, and the witch knows that, and the children become trapped.
Pornography attracts users further into the dark secrecy of themselves. It promises satisfaction, but people sometimes find themselves feeling ashamed, and trapped with their secrets. This isolation disconnects the state of mind lowers mood and can become part of depression.
- Are you really concerned that you and your partner are using pornography?
- Are you really worry that your partner is becoming more interested in pornography than he or she is interested in their sexual relationship with you?
It is common finding out that your partner is using pornography and it has a bad effect on your mood and self-esteem.
The use of Pornography can make users and their partner depressed:
Talking about pornography, sex and masturbation have always been taboo. It is not easy to have a frank or open conversation about pornography and sex. Usage of pornography tends to be a private matter. It is not something that users expect to talk about, and it is difficult for a partner to know how to speak about it.
Research has suggested that pornography has a real impact on our brains and it changes our brain’s responses.
Pornography an addiction or what?
The estimate of whether something is addiction is usually in relation to how unmanageable other parts of our lives become. When pornography is involved the users become more secretive. They always have to be very carefully related to their searches and they always have to delete them.
In these kinds of ways, it is just like an addiction. The best solution is to find a way to break the intense relationship you have with pornography. Psychotherapy is helpful because it is a private and confidential relationship in which these private areas of our lives can be spoken about without any risk.
In the case of pornography, managing other things in life can be difficult, like it is difficult to manage complicated and difficult emotions. The more we use pornography the more our mood dips. Pornography can give us escape from our unhappy feelings, but at times it makes us feel worse and depressed.
Where does porn addiction come in?
In 2015, a study looked at the link between distinguished porn addiction, religiosity, and moral disapproval of porn.
It found that people who are religiously and morally are against pornography are more likely to think that they are addicted to porn, nevertheless, how much porn they actually consume.
In another study of 2015, they have found that if you believe that you are addicted to porn, it can cause depressive symptoms.
In other words, if you think you are addicted to porn, you will definitely feel more depressed. Porn addiction is a controversial concept.
It is not accepted at a larger scale that porn is a real addiction. The American Association of Sexuality Educators does not believe that porn is a mental health disorder or an addiction. Instead, it is categorized as a compulsion, along with other sex compulsions such as compulsive masturbation.
Where can you go for support?
Talking therapies can be good in the beginning if you think you are having a problem with porn. Your therapist will definitely ask you about how do you feel when you watch porn, about the functions it serves, and how often you use it, and how this use has affected your life?
You can also ask your therapist or doctor if they know any sexual health support groups that mainly focus on sex compulsions or sexual behaviors in your life that are out of control.
You can also look for an online support group if you can’t find any local in-person therapist.
What is the bottom line?
The idea that using porn can trigger depression is universal, but it is not founded and said by any scientific researches. There is not any research or study that shows that using porn can be the reason for depression.
But some researchers must have said that if you think that you are addicted to porn, only then you can get depressed. If your state is causing you stress, you can find it helpful to talk to your therapist or doctor.
Watching a lot of porn is not a mental health issue!?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a gain for pornographic websites: Pornhub, for example, has had about 15% more daily traffic since the very beginning of the crisis, the comparable of more than 17 million more visitors, up from more than 115 million in 2019.
But the question is watching porn frequently is a bad thing? Can it lead us to psychological problems: feelings like distress, or depression or mood disorder, hypersexuality? In general, according to a new international study, they think it is not bad if you watch it more frequently.
Instead, the data tends to show that, both clinically and scientifically, viewing porn frequently is not necessarily a reliable or enough indicator of problematic and compulsive use of pornography.
Why watching porn can make you depressed, isolated, and lonely?
Just imagine that you have been living in a desert for a few days, wandering here and there all by yourself in the steamy heat. And all of a sudden, you come to an ocean of water. But the water is salty. You have not quenched your thirst for a very long time, so that the ocean looks pretty amazing and beautiful, no matter if it is salty. Will you drink it?
You probably should not drink it, salty water will make you feel even more thirsty, and if you drink enough of it, it can kill you. While it can look appealing and satisfied, but it is only going to hurt you and it will leave you worse off than before you took a drink.
Similarly, people turn to porn as a means of brief companionship and human interaction. There may be a gap in their life, or they are feeling sad or alone, and porn seems like it can do the job for at least a temporary feeling of connection. Unluckily, a study shows that porn can leave consumers feeling worse off even before they clicked.
With the passage of time, consumers can become more depressed, lonely, socially isolated, and mentally anxious than ever. We get to know about many personal stories that reinforce the numerous studies that show how porn is never worth it.
It is not easy to say what comes first, depression or pornography. However, pornography is usually used to temporarily silence feelings of sadness, fear, anger, or boredom. This habit can quickly take us to depression, or worsen existing depression. It is just like a chicken and egg scenario: you are not really sure which one comes first, but both of the options are not good.
Pornography floods the brain with dopamine and it makes us feel good. By the time, more dopamine is released, consumers can feel the effect of the feel-good dopamine less and less, which takes people to search the hardcore porn more often.
For many porn addicts, a porn habit can become a substitute for the feeling of happiness. As porn consumer self-medicates feelings of sadness with graphic sexual images and videos, they are missing out on building some real and amazing relationships with their families, friends, and communities. In the end, no amount of pornography will take away the problems of life. In fact, studies show that it will just become one of them.
Pornography has a huge impact on relationships. As humans, we are connected to have real-life relationships and build personal connections with others. We need social interactivity and a sense of community to thrive. When that is missing, consumers can turn to other sources instead, just like the momentary connections of watching porn performers on screen. However, every human needs a real and genuine partner, not only the fake attachment that porn can offer. The more someone watches porn, the more they feel socially awkward, and the more they start missing on building those connections.
At the end of the day, staying away from porn is worth it because going back to porn again and again can quickly take to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It can satisfy for a few minutes, but the result is not worth it.