How to overcome porn (or any other) addiction?

Many of us experience some form of addiction during his/her lifetime. It can be food, sex, porn, exercise, etc. We usually classify it as an addiction when it has negative impacts on the person's work, relationships, and life overall. When we can manage our habit/indulgence, it's just something we like to do occasionally and in a moderate quantity, but when it controls us and it becomes a compulsion we cannot live without, it becomes our prison.

In order to understand the root of the problem, we need to understand neuroscience, and to understand it even deeper, we need to look into neuroplasticity. There are 2 key principles you need to understand:

- neurons that fire together wire together, and create brain maps. The longer they fire together the deeper the connection will become and the easier they keep firing, overtaking other parts of the brain.

- neurons that fire apart wire apart.

Therapists use both principles to rewire the brain. Firstly, you need to unwire your nervous system, meaning stop doing the activity as often, so you can weaken the merged brain map.

Any time the habit/urge emerges you need to observe it closely to understand the trigger. It;s like if you have a leak in the house it's not enough to put a bucket under the leaking water. You need to look for the root of the cause. It can be coming from a childhood trauma, or as a form of southing for something that you are missing from your life currently (success in life, relationship, etc). You need to understand that what you are doing is not a shame or anything negative. It's a coping mechanism that you came up with to solve an issue. unfortunately you have been doing it for too long and now it took over your free will. It's like a plaster on a wound. You need to heal that wound.

So, you need to unwire that brain map and create a new one. This new one is the one you desire. Depending on the depth of the old map it can take weeks or months to create an equally effective new map. During this time you might experience that the new experience doesn't give you the same satisfaction, and you feel an urge to go back to the comfort zone, the old brain map that you have already know. You can't expect your new brain map satisfy you as intensively as the old one until you successfully create a new brain map that is stronger than the old one. It takes lots of time, dedication and belief that it will work. Meanwhile you also have to ask yourself what your triggers are. How the addiction started? You need to solve the trigger, understand it and find a real solution. Your addiction was your solution in the past, now you need a better solution that makes you fulfilled.

If you wish to read more about it, please read the work of Norman Doidge. This is based on his work.

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