Watching porn affects the brain in the same way as consuming drugs does – the brain releases chemicals associated with the feeling of pleasure. Even though the modes of procuring these two items are distinct, both are addictive and best avoided. Watching porn stimulates the brain’s reward pathways leading the release of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. In the general course of things, these chemicals are released when we do something like eating food, which is essential for staying alive. But both drugs and porn can mislead the brain into releasing these pleasure inducing chemicals without the individual doing any useful work to earn that reward.


How pornography affects the brain like addiction


The dopamine, thus released, leads to the creation of neural networks in the brain and these networks drive the user to repeat the conduct that initiated the release of the compounds in the first place. As the number of these networks or pathways increases, they hijack an individual’s ability to say no to porn. You are driven to repeat the experience time and again, whether you like it or not.  The regular release of dopamine soon makes the user numb to its effects. Even though watching porn still leads to a release of dopamine, it does not deliver the same high. Porn addicts are then forced to watch porn more frequently or look up versions of porn so that more dopamine is released, which can deliver the pleasure sensations previously experienced.

As with other addictions, porn addiction too can take hold of an individual without him realizing it. Once it does, kicking the porn habit can give rise to withdrawal symptoms, not unlike what one experiences when undergoing drug rehabilitation. While depiction of sex for voyeuristic gratification is not new, porn today has evolved to present sex in myriad forms to excite the senses and trigger dopamine release. Easy availability of porn on the internet can keep the addict in a state of high for as long as he chooses.

In some ways, porn addiction is more insidious than a drug addiction. One can seek gratification in the privacy of one’s home. It is far less expensive and risky than purchasing drugs on the street. This is the reason why a porn addiction needs to be recognized in time so that it can be treated. If not, then this unhealthy obsession can harm the addict physically and mentally.

Porn addicts deserve a chance at recovery. It can have a huge positive effect on their self-esteem, relationships with the opposite sex, and also lead to a better use of their time.


If you are struggling with porn addiction, then the right time to recover from it is now. Treatment Now understands the turmoil that addicts go through, of wanting to reform but being unable to do so on their own. We can put you in touch with trusted and experienced addiction counselors who will help you kick this habit for good.

Call now. 844-438-8689