NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Although it is not recognized as an official mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Tracey King said pornography addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in very distinct ways.
Speaking Tuesday at a pornography addiction seminar hosted by the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center at Wesley Methodist Church, Dr. King said while pornography is a problem that affects many in the Bahamas, it is difficult to analyze.
“We know that there are persons here [in the Bahamas] that are struggling with pornography addiction, but when we talk about the actual statistical data, we don’t know, because we really don’t track mental illnesses as well as we should in order to get that information,” Dr. King explained.
The clinical psychologist revealed that pornography addiction can lead to a series of effects, including financial issues.
“When we talk about prostitution, as well as legal and financial issues, those are some of the down sides [of pornography], because persons that become addicted to porn will utilize a lot of money accessing [pornography] sites.
“When we talk about the legal issues, sometimes they [porn addicts] will act out, which are sometimes violent acts that they see in the pornography that they are watching.”
Dr. King said while many doctors do not view pornography as an addiction, the signs are often similar to those that signify an addiction to drugs or alcohol as persons become obsessed with watching pornography, it consumes their time and watching continues despite its negative impact.
King also noted that the pleasure that one gets from pornography can be habit-forming, but she indicated a few tips for those that may be struggling with this addiction.
“Seek treatment because there is treatment out there for this particular addiction,” Dr. King said. “You have the marriage, family and couple’s therapy, as well as group and even individual therapy that focuses on utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy.”