Does the label "porn addict" remain useful long into recovery?

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by kropo82, Jul 13, 2019.

Will you always think of yourself as a porn addict?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
    46.2%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    46.2%
  3. I never have

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Like most of us here I am a porn addict.

    And yet the last time I looked at porn was October 2016, more than 1,000 days ago.

    So is it still useful for me to describe myself (and think of myself) as an addict? Do you see yourself carrying that label forever, or is it something you plan to cast aside? Why?
     
  2. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I've been discussing this with @010010010100000101001101 in my journal. It started with me reflecting on a piece of ministry I heard in Quaker Meeting.

    Then I brought up the discussion with my therapist

     
  3. It's a matter of opinion and it depends on the individual how they label themselves.

    I look at myself as a recovering Porn addict, which puts it in a different category than say someone who is addicted yet not trying to recover. I don't think I'll ever cast it aside completely, because the addiction is so ingrained, with me at least.

    I too have been over 1000 days, from February 2016 through to early this year.. Even during this period I didn't consider myself free of addiction, but I was (and still am) changing and fighting against its hold on my life.

    Congratulations on getting past 1000 days, I believe that is something worth celebrating, and it's great that you still have a focus on being free of this problem as well as helping others.

    To answer your question: I believe it is useful to have the label of recovering addict as long as you have the problem. Which in some cases, like my own, is forever.
     
  4. @kropo82 Well, I suppose you can guess what option in the poll I voted for. :D
     
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  5. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Temporarily Suspended

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    "Always an addict" is the most destructive thing ever invented in addiction programs. It chips away at your will power, quality of life and so much more and is detrimental to the recovery process.

    You can certainly be severely addicted AND remain addicted for the rest of your life if you don't fix the problem.

    The issue is that the current "abstinence only" approach to addiction is extremely flawed, the true treatment for an addiction is exposure therapy.

    I've written how that applies to PMO addiction here: https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.p...need-to-watch-porn-in-a-different-way.235748/
     
  6. bigboibez

    bigboibez Fapstronaut

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    you're not an addict, youre (or were) a person with an addiction. 1000 days clean theres no way you're addicted. as soon as you stop PMOing, you're no longer an addict.
     
  7. You're right I can see how that could be detrimental in the long run, but this isn't the only approach people use. This is not just about abstinence, it's about recovery. It's about undoing what the supernormal stimulus has done to our brains and lives by forming individual techniques to change that.

    You can say it's flawed and in your case it may be, in the case of someone else it may not be flawed.

    One approach is no better than another. I believe if something works for you go for it, but don't expect it to work for someone else. There is no silver bullet for this..

    If you honestly believe one single method of recovery will help as a treatment for every person with this addiction, I don't agree.

    You're free to have that opinion. I believe it can go either way, it can be either/and/or constructive or destructive, depending on the individual.
     
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  8. thorswrath32

    thorswrath32 Fapstronaut

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    It's an interesting question and i think it depends on the individual and how they percieve the word 'addict'

    For me personally, I am from the 12 step way of thinking. Disease of the mind and allergy of the body, now i know that might not be scientifically or medically correct but 12 steps is a moral psychology program not a technical scientific one. For me, it has worked wonders and instilled in me some helpful ways of thinking.

    I will always be 'an addict' in that the way my brain deals with extreme stimulus like porn, drugs and alcohol will never change. The thing i CAN change is the choice whether to use or not. I've come to accept that it is like a person with a nut allergy who is also a nut addict if that makes sense.

    I feel no shame in being an addict. the only shame i have is the things i did whilst i was in the throws of addiction. I've known many people who have really struggled with the concept that they might be an addict, mostly it's denial and self preservation but to others on the outside it's obvious. I think for many, the realisation that they may be an 'addict' conjours up an image of failure but in my eyes an addict who has overcome their bad ways is a success and let's face it we all fail our way to success.

    In your conversation thread it mentions keeping the word addict in your mind keeps you addicted like a self fulfilling prophecy. For some people who are still in their early days of recovery and feeling defeatest and down trodden still then i agree that this mentality can lead to relapses because they might think 'well it's hopeless, i'm an addict' but further down the line something happens to those who recover successfully and the internal narrative changes to 'i can't do that, i'm an addict' when faced with temptation
     
  9. Robinthehood

    Robinthehood Fapstronaut

    To me this porn addiction is/ was a symptom. A symptom of a huge lack of love for myself, respect for myself, loneliness, not being able to ask for help, social awkwardness, unresolved grief and trauma, feelings of isolation, a skewed upbringing especially regarding sex education and sex as a normal,healthy activity and more... For me the focus is not on labelling myself a porn addict or bizarro porn guy jerking off to weird shit like a zombie. My focus is on the problems behind it. Of course doing no pmo for 90 days is going to be tough just because of the normal arousal states that happen and then it's really hard but can be overcome with will power and distraction. I'd rather label myself an ' in need of more love guy' or being a ' being kinder to myself addict'. For me that is the healthier approach and at the end of the day I think the most efficacious. And I guess that's what it comes down to, whatever works for you to get away from that mind killing,body rotting activity of fapping to porn like a monkey. Get some distance and time between you and the last time you were pmoing, Ive a step brother who was in the AA, he did have a serious drink problem and he did an incredible job of recovery and all that entails. But I felt so sorry for him that they have to forever be labelled an addict, an alcoholic. To me that mindset is all wrong though I do understand it's practicality. With some things you can't let your guard down and you have to remain vigilant. Bit I think there's a line between that state and being able to trust and rely on yourself that you won't relapse, that you are in charge and in control of your actions and behaviour. And I believe that ability all comes down to self love. These addictions are caused by a chronic lack of love, bottom line, a wish to hurt oneself with harmful behaviour, caused by shame and guilt, wherever that stems from.
     
  10. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Thanks @LS00111, this is how I feel. 1,000 days may sound like loads, but I know I need to stay vigilant. This is not just me overcoming a bad habit, it goes way deeper than that.
     
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  11. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Temporarily Suspended

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    You're free to have that opinion as well, it's just that you'd be incorrect. "Always and addict" is a very bad approach, exposure therapy is the only thing that really works. Abstinence just reinforces the reward. You can read more about it here https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.p...need-to-watch-porn-in-a-different-way.235748/
     
  12. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I've just been watching a Stephanie Carnes video where she talks about Compulsive and Addictive Sexual Behaviour. She ends with something relevant to this thread:
    She's talking about sex addiction, not porn addiction, but I guess the same applies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  13. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I asked this same question on twitter (here) and got an interesting response from Fight The New Drug. They pointed me to this article:

    [​IMG]

    At first I was disappointed because it read like another one of those porn-addiction-is-not-a-thing articles. It starts looking at the fears of parents who discover that their kids have been watching pornography and jump to the conclusion that the kids are addicted:
    These are the three huge realities they are talking about:

    1. Dramatic reactions pretty much never help a person struggling with pornography.
    I just don't agree with this one, though I can see where the people at Fight the New Drug are coming from; another article, How to Talk About Porn’s Harms Without Sounding Like a Jerk, gives an insight into why this is important to them. Here, on NoFap, we are porn addicts (and our partners) who are all desperate to get porn out of our lives. We can pretty much take it for granted that criticising porn use is OK. But what if we took some of the conversations we have here and tried having them with our acquaintances, colleagues, or friends? Then we would be wise to adopt a more forgiving tone. The people at Fight the New Drug are doing exactly that. They are visible ambassadors against the harm porn is doing to society and to love. I wish I was half as brave as them. But I'm not.


    2. Let’s be thoughtful about what “addiction” actually is.

    3. Addiction means different things to different people.
    This is where the article starts to get more nuanced and is very relevant to this thread.
    I think that sums up nicely why some of us want to distance ourselves from identifying as addicts, and some of us (like me) embrace it.

    You can read the whole article here: https://fightthenewdrug.org/word-addiction-overused/

    (N.B. The links to other Fight the New Drug articles included through the article are well worth clicking through. I had forgotten what an amazing source of motivation-renewing insights there are on their site.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  14. Hros

    Hros Fapstronaut

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    Personally, while currently I see myself as a recovering addict, when I feel healed enough, I'm hoping I'll put everything behind me and just consider myself a regular, normal person.
     
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  15. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    I'm closing in on 2 years. For me personally, as long as I keep coming here and think about porn, abstaining from it and all of that, I'm considering myself an addict. Because I was seriously addicted and the withdrawal hasn't been pretty.
    I'm not considering nofap a safe haven or a crutch, but this website is definitely useful in that it provides insight and motivation to quit, at the same time I want to share experiences with others and provide them with the info they need.

    Perhaps you could say that as long as you keep thinking about porn and keep coming back here, you're not completely out of the woods yet. Unless of course you keep coming back for fun and want to help out others, that's the direction I want to go in and I feel that I'm slowly getting there. But at the same time it's dangerous to think of yourself as completely recovered before the 3 or 4 year mark I would say. The brain just needs a really long time away from all that stimulation to completely reboot after a decade of almost daily use.
     
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  16. Jerky

    Jerky Fapstronaut

    For me i have to keep reminding myself that i am indeed an addict. If i forget, and decide to 'look at just one' or that 'i can handle it now', i will right back where i started, with 0 days.

    For me, i am an addict, for life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  17. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    I am an addict. I have had enormous streaks, with my personal best being 454 days. Yet here I am building a new streak. Tbh, it is a no brainer. I am diabetic; I am epileptic; I am a depressive. I perceive no weight with those labels. But I live with them and manage them.
     
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  18. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    That's a different angle. I'd assumed it was the weight that was at issue: does the weight of the word help or hinder our continued sobriety. Accepting the word but denying its weight is interesting.
     
  19. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

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    Labeling anyone and especially yourself as an addict has such a negative connotation. No one should be called an addict, but rather a person with addiction problem. PMO addiction is just a highly dopamine rewarding deep learned behavior, like so many others. People are addicted to food, shopping, gambling, caffeine, nicotine, sex, alcohol, drugs, social media, internet... you name it. Why would you shame yourself by calling yourself an addict once you have gained control over your compulsion? You should be calling yourself a strong person who had problems with addictive compulsive behavior in the past, but has overcome it by self-discipline and determination. We should always stay humble and vigilant, BUT also be proud that we managed to climb out of the PMO rabbit hole. We deserve a medal not an addict label!
     
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  20. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Because it stops me thinking "job done", it keeps me vigilant.
     

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