At the Kaizen Academy, we offer a quality residential treatment program to troubled teens who are engaged in self-destructive habits. One area we specialize in is sexual health and well-being, since many teenagers in Utah struggle with sexual boundaries, trauma, and other issues.
While sexual problems vary in severity all across the board, many of them share a common root — pornography. Pornography has always been a subject of much controversy, and will continue to be so as the internet becomes more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives. Unfortunately, due to the widespread prevalence of pornography, there have arisen several myths regarding the subject. It’s important to be informed about pornography and learn the objective facts instead of siding with emotions, no matter which side you’re on.
Here are some common misconceptions about pornography:
The Affect of Pornography on Brain Chemistry: A Summary
In fact, many studies have confirmed that pornography has significant impacts on one’s brain chemistry, impacts which can be detrimental to someone in the long-term if they don’t correct the problem.
While we’ll save all the technical details for another post, we’ll describe the problem in a nutshell. Sexual gratification comes from various reward chemicals that are released in the brain. These are meant to be triggered from normal sexual activity with a consenting partner, but when one looks at porn or self-stimulates, these same chemicals are produced. But due to the repetitive nature of cycling through videos and the sensation one gets from continually edging, they are often produced in excess.
When a reward chemical such as dopamine is produced more than nature intended, the brain adjusts by “toning down” the receptors which process those chemicals, similar to what happens when you take hard drugs. The “high” is incredible at first, but it grows gradually duller as your body and brain get desensitized.
For porn addicts, this means that the rewarding sensations they’re supposed to feel from normal, healthy sex are eventually dulled down because they’re used to more intense stimulation. This, of course, can lead to more porn consumption, creating a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out of. These reward receptors aren’t exclusive to sexual stimulation either, so addicts may find themselves feeling dull in other areas of their life.
Can the Brain Fix Itself?
The good news is that the human brain is incredibly adaptable, and the changes that occur from intense porn consumption, can, in fact, be reversed. If someone were to stop looking at porn cold turkey, they would suddenly be producing much less dopamine on a daily basis. After a while, their brain would “notice” that dopamine production has severely decreased, so it would adjust its receptors accordingly to be more potent. In other words, it would adapt to get more out of the dopamine it gets.
That’s why sexual addiction programs can be effective for pornography addicts. By putting someone in a positive and healthy environment, important steps can be taken to ween them from their addiction. The brain adjusts accordingly, and after some time, the majority of chemical changes will have reversed themselves, leaving the subject in a much healthier place than they were before.
Sexual Addiction Programs in Utah – The Kaizen Academy
Do you have a teenager who struggles with pornography and/or other sexual problems? Pornography addiction can be a burden for years and years to come if it’s not addressed in its early stages. The good news is that it’s never too late to overcome it, and at the Kaizen Academy, we have healthy, wholesome, and productive programs which use positive reinforcement to build up struggling Utah youth.
Are you interested in our sexual addiction programs or residential treatment center? Contact us today to get started.