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  • Writer's pictureEster Fernandes-Da Silva

YOUR BRAIN ON PORN: 3 WAYS PORNOGRAPHY AFFECTS THE BRAIN

With the rapid rise of technology and increased accessibility to electronic devices, the endless availability of pornography is at your fingertips. Many studies and SPECT Brain Scans have shown that the consumption of pornography physically changes the brain. These changes affect the brain like an addictive drug and can keep you trapped in porn for life.


The Prefrontal Cortex, the Brake Pads


This part of the brain is responsible for planning, decision-making, and self-control. Your prefrontal cortex is at work when you plan, put off instant gratification for a long-term goal or reason, and weigh the consequences before making a decision. Your prefrontal cortex works like a brake pad. Driving a car with worn-out brake pads is dangerous because it loses its ability to slow down or stop.

The prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for planning, decision making and self-control.
Prefrontal Cortex

It is the same way with the brain. The use of pornography decreases the gray matter of the prefrontal cortex, thereby decreasing our ability of decision-making and self-control. When the prefrontal cortex is “worn out,” we lose the ability to slow down or stop despite the consequences.


Pleasure and the Release of Dopamine


The reward pathway, also called the “dopamine system,” plays a vital role in the wanting, seeking pleasure, motivation, and satisfaction behavior. When you do an activity that makes you feel good, dopamine is released, reinforcing the behavior.

Or the reward pathway, is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation.
Dopamine

When you watch porn, dopamine is released and makes you feel good. The more time you spend watching it, the more dopamine is released, reinforcing the behavior and making you desire and require more access or extreme content. Moreover, each orgasm releases more dopamine, and when you think of those images while having sex, it further reinforces the behavior. This cycle will make pornography a priority in your life, and real relationships will become less attractive to you.




Bonding and the Limbic System
Emotional brain, responsible for bonding
Limbic System

The limbic system, or “emotional brain,”is responsible for our physical survival and emotional bonding. The structure of the limbic system is shaped and reshaped in response to experience. From the moment we are born, the structure of our limbic system is shaped by our relationships and can significantly change, for better or worse, by new relationships later in life. The limbic system is responsible for bonding and our sexuality has an emotional component therefore, we bond to pornography. Porn becomes our friend, and our bonding to a real relationship becomes impaired. In other words, we bond to an object instead of a real partner.



Porn Affects the Brain Like an Addictive Drug


Pornography addiction is not a willpower issue. Many people may say,

“All you need to do is to stop watching,”

or

“Just put a blocker on your electronic devices.”

However, these three parts of the brain on porn give a glimpse of the power of pornography and why it is not easy to stop,

  • The inability to slow down or stop despite the consequences.

  • The need for more or more extreme content.

  • The bonding to porn rather than a real relationship.


Need Help?


Because the brain is made of plasticity and can change through new experiences, don’t lose hope. Recovery and sobriety are possible!

If you struggle with the compulsive use of pornography and have tried to stop, only to find yourself in the same cycle again, do not lose courage.

Do not fight this battle alone.


Contact Renewing Your Mind to start your journey of recovery and lasting sobriety.











Keyword: pornography addiction, porn and the brain, the prefrontal cortex- the break pads, pleasure and the release of dopamine, The bonding and the limbic system, your brain on porn, recovery from porn addiction, ways pornography affects the brain, pornography addiction is not a willpower issue, consumption of pornography physically changes the brain






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