Underlying/Root Cause?

For Fapstronauts who are disciples of Christ

  1. abouttime19

    abouttime19 Fapstronaut

    Hi friends,

    I am 28yo and I have been struggling with this relentless battle since a very young age.
    I've gone through many different seasons in this journey to put death to my sins. However, I realized that this will be a constant battle for the rest of my life.

    I've spoken to many Christians brothers and some of them suggested that I find the "root cause" on why I seek out PMO. I've reflected over the years and the best I can come up with is my desire to "control" - in times of stress, boredom, or anxiety, I gain control in indulging in porn.
    However, I don't believe this to be true. Perhaps I lack a deeper understanding. As of now, I question if there really is a "root cause".

    Why I think this:
    I am a medical student in the US and read several studies and books on addiction. We don't ask the root cause on why people keep shooting up heroin. It's a physiological reaction where they need to feed their reward circuit to release a dopamine surge. Few hours/days later, our brain then asks why there isn't this surge of reward; this is when the urge comes back. The more desensitized you are, the stronger stimulus you'll need. Stronger stimulus leads to a stronger surge. Then the brain next time wants the same or a bigger surge. This is the theory why people progress in the explicit content of their porn search

    So knowing this, I believe it is not control that I seek when the urge hits, but just a physiological response to dopamine starvation and the need to replenish via watching porn.

    I would love to hear your insight on your quest to finding this root cause or the lack thereof.
    Meshuga and Iohannes like this.
  2. There is definitely a physiological component for sure. We wire our brain for porn. Some guys escape to porn when they get depressed, sad, discouraged, frustrated or angry. I think that’s what they were talking about. Negative emotions that the brain uses to justify continued PMO. That dopamine was designed by God to bond us to our wife and not porn. If you’re interested there’s a good book on the subject called your brain on porn.
  3. Iohannes

    Iohannes Fapstronaut

    I would agree with your assessment, except I'd put more emphasis on the devil and how we are meant to suffer his attacks throughout our existence. The scientific explanation is only really a way to help yourself understand how the sin operates and digs into you in a practical way, but the solution is just spiritual most times.

    I have been free for quite some time now, by my own standards at least, and little has changed in my life since then. I still battle with the same things. If there had been a root cause where is it now? I still face surges of anxiety and I still have insecurities and unwanted thoughts of other kind. I still get sadness and other negative things, like stress from work, but none of them lead me to sin now. So I don't believe there is a root cause, not in all cases at least.

    It's just that your body seeks something it's been trained to be able to have at any moment, but was meant by God to be something special, regulated, and entirely different in purpose.
    Myfortress likes this.
  4. Right, the “root cause” could be seen as the excuse or the sinful reaction.
    Iohannes likes this.
  5. abouttime19

    abouttime19 Fapstronaut

    Yea I read that book! And that's a great point that these neurochemicals were created for us to enjoy our wife.

    . I can attest that there are phases where I feel absolutely no urge, and I can't explain how that can purely be natural. Moments like those gives me strength knowing that God is with us.
    Myfortress and Iohannes like this.
  6. Iohannes

    Iohannes Fapstronaut

    You attest to the truth. "Science" will always try to explain away inconvenient things, but indeed for those who have faith, this is one of the many proofs that God is with us.
    abouttime19 and Myfortress like this.
  7. I turned to PMO when I was a teenager because I wanted the comfort of a close intimacy without putting in the work of building a real relationship. (I didn't know how, and my family did not provide any help in that regard.) I could not have articulated this at the time, but it has been helpful in my recovery to identify this root cause and address it. It has helped defang the initial driver to PMO and taught me healthy alternatives to it. Maybe this work is not required for everyone to break free of their addiction, but it was an essential one for me.
    abouttime19 and Myfortress like this.
  8. Good point Tao. Something we can model and discuss with our children, what it takes to have and form a godly relationship. I actually put in the effort, but with the wrong motive. My motive was sex. So I did whatever it took to keep it going with steady girlfriends. I never curbed my appetite or loved them the way God intended. When I lost my girlfriends, I just kept things going with PMO.
    Tao Jones and Iohannes like this.
  9. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

    I am over 60 years old and I have struggled with this sin since age 12. In my early years, I indulged in this purely for the sex component. As time wore on, I think the attraction grew to include a component of comfort when I was feeling depressed or stressed. Now I see that I was indulging in self-pity/selfishness.

    No doubt there is a physiological reaction to porn that is said to "light up" numerous neurons in the brain and it is suggested that these pathways are reinforced with each successive indulgence. I don't doubt that but having found my freedom from this sin through prayer and grace and not through scientific method (I have a degree in science), I hasten to add that this physical explanation is a superficial one that ignores the true root cause and the cure. Those rooted in the physical are blind to the spiritual. Both have a place in the operation of our universe and they need not be seen as mutually exclusive.

    The devil exists and those who state otherwise have succumbed to his greatest deception. I am convinced the devil uses porn as a tool to capture souls and he is relentless in this pursuit. Once he has found a weakness, he continues to present temptations in that vein and will never stop doing so. Fortunately, Our Precious Lord will provide the strength/grace to resist the devil and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our means to resist if we pray constantly and fervently. The root cause is the devil at work and thus the balm is the grace provided by the Holy Trinity.
    Myfortress, abouttime19 and Tao Jones like this.
  10. abouttime19

    abouttime19 Fapstronaut

    Wow well said.
    Thanks for sharing brother.

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