How Does It Happen?
Pornography quickly turns from being a teen’s curious internet search to a serious addiction. Dopamine is the basis of this addiction. Our brain uses the chemical dopamine to make us feel good for doing things that will help us survive and succeed in life. For example, we feel dopamine when we laugh, exercise, eat, or have sex. Dopamine connects with our memories, which encourages us to repeat these activities. When too much dopamine releases too quickly, addiction occurs. This happens with pornography, which releases high levels of dopamine immediately. Dopamine creates a very strong desire to watch more pornography.
The brain will build a tolerance to pornography since the brain is not meant to handle such high, immediate levels of dopamine. This tolerance will either decrease the amount of dopamine released or remove dopamine receptors. Either way, to get another high, more intense indulgence at higher volumes is necessary.
As a teen increasingly indulges his desire to watch pornography and increases his tolerance, a block builds between the reward center and the judgment center of the brain, which inhibits self control. As he loses self control, he will gratify his desire to watch pornography, whatever the cost.
Pornography and Teens
Through technology, pornography is readily available to teens. At school, friends and peers can easily share pictures and text messages about sex. With this kind of accessibility, it is increasingly difficult for parents to protect their children from pornographic material. As teens get involved with pornography, their social lives suffer, grades drop, hobbies diminish, and relationships deteriorate. Pornography addiction can escalate to problematic sexual behavior.
Pornography Addiction Help
You can receive help for your teen with Oxbow Academy. You can take our assessment to help determine the level of care your son needs, and then call us at 855-676-4272.