Pornography addiction and ADHD in adults

Pornography addiction and ADHD in adults

67.4% of my patients have an addiction to porn. OK, I made up the precise statistic to get your attention; I just meant a significant subgroup! Pornography activates the novelty-seeking pathways in the brain and by some accounts, is indistinguishable from cocaine in its activation of the pathways of the brain involved in the regulation of dopamine. ADDers love to have dopamine surges and, "Voila!" you have a volatile combination! 

The problem comes when the person becomes compulsive and hyper-focused on the behavior, which then replaces healthy interpersonal relations and other life affirming strategies with compulsive viewing, searching, and masturbating to the material. The widespread availability of pornography has propelled it as drug/behavior of choice. 

My technique for helping patients bothered by this addiction is to UNCOUPLE the shame, guilt, and secretiveness of the behavior and to address the anxiety, depression, and impulsivity which makes them vulnerable. Some of the pharmacological agents used for other addictions that have dopaminergic properties have also been helpful. It is also important to keep reasonable expectations. Don't expect the behavior to go away just because you started your treatment for ADHD. It will take time and patience.

1 year ago
1 year ago

Recently a patient whom I had not seen for almost a year showed up in my office demanding that her antidepressant prescriptions be filled for another year. She made it clear that she had no interes...

1 year ago

When a physician claims a holistic/ integrative approach to medical care, she usually faces either admiration or incredulity and disgust. I can attest to that from personal experience and my additi...

1 year ago

Low frustration tolerance is a hallmark of the ADHD sufferers. The scenario goes something like this: You are trying to focus on completing your expense report, and the guy from the next cubicle in...

1 year ago

Many people erroneously believe that being treated for depression means sacrificing a normal sex life. It is true that some antidepressants could impair libido and orgasmic phase of sexual activity...

7 months ago

It's okay to feel anxious,sad and restless these days! It might point you to some corners of your mind and psyche that need working on. If you are a human anywhere on this planet you feel the unset...

1 year ago

One of the more challenging aspects of my my work as a psychiatrist is when patients with good intentions come in to the office with a self-diagnosis of ADHD.  They are completely convinced af...