After decades of helping to define and elucidate the internet, pornographic addiction has always been on the cusp of being considered as a taboo in kashmir, pushed out of the public eye and segregated into the dark, seedy corners of our personal domains. We live in a kashmiri society where most people often feel uncomfortable when discussing this topic with anyone. The affected people of porn addiction often suffer from a multitude of mental and social problems such as low sex drive, low self-esteem, relationship issues and the use of porn to alleviate themselves from depression or anxiety. It’s high time when we start considering porn addiction as a disease and not as a taboo about which we could not speak of.
Porn addiction just like many addictions is a biopsychosocial disorder fueled by compulsively seeking something with a desired effect, such as intoxication or substance abuse despite knowing the consequences of the addictive stimulus. Scientific researches have proved that pornographic addiction is in fact a disease and should not be a topic that needs to seal a lid put on it and deem it as a taboo. This type of addiction is quite common. Some doctors consider porn addiction to be a hypersexual disorder — an umbrella term that includes behaviors such as excessive masturbation. A recent study on males who sought treatment for problematic pornography use found changes in the participants’ brains that were consistent with addiction. The researchers found that the brains of the men with problematic pornographic use reacted differently to erotic images — or the anticipation of them — than the brains of men without this problem. Just like any other addiction, porn addiction also shows and highlights addictive behavior, dependence, mild withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, rewarding and eventually tolerance which could lead porn addicts from finding difficulty to masturbate twice to easily cross three to four times in certain occasions.
Porn addiction often can start in adolescence but most parents don’t realize until the problem becomes bigger. One of the reasons porn is difficult to talk about is because the topic makes it easy to be judgmental of both ourselves and of each other. Our generation’s relationship with sex from the outset was one tied to embarrassment and secrecy. This fault in dialogue, in which exploring our sexual identities is written off as wrong, feeds into the lack of conversation surrounding porn addiction and further complicates people’s relationships with their own sexualities. Another problem is how our educational system does not seek to educate on these aspects and that’s why many people have a hard time communicating to someone whom they can trust. We also live in a society where thinking and telling about therapy or visiting a psychiatrist can place a label of insanity on you. With many Pakistanis symbolizing psychiatrists as doctors for the mentally insane and not seeing them as therapists, most people don’t try to visit a therapist as they have this fear that they are going to be branded as insane too. Porn addiction is certainly a mental disease and it should be advised to everyone to openly talk about it as with every addiction, finding the courage to speak up about it is always very difficult. Moreover we are also encompassed by our religion and are often scared about what our fellow Muslims would think about us and our personality. Poor guidance by a few self-proclaimed religious experts also places a lot of people in a burden and makes them think of the consequences and horrors of telling the truth about their addiction. People should realize that Islam is a religion that inculcates forgiveness and allows people to start over a new leaf.
Porn addiction often can start in adolescence but most parents don’t realize until the problem becomes bigger. It is certainly not easy to parent a child who is addicted to pornography. Today, parents need to realize that with the proliferation of personal mobile devices, these mobile devices have become ground zero in the fight against pornography. For one thing, those who are trapped by pornography usually feel they can more easily conceal their online behavior if they use a personal mobile device to access it. Further, because these devices are small and personal and mobile, the act of reading or viewing inappropriate content is easier to hide. Mobile devices can be fun and useful, but it is critical that parents understand what it takes to make mobile devices as safe as possible against pornography.
Parents must also understand that social media apps are also a Trojan Horse in the battle against pornography because they provide a virtually unlimited source of pornography to our children’s devices. An otherwise secure mobile device that does not have access to an unfiltered web browser or other unsafe apps can still be a danger to children unless we take important precautions regarding how they use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media apps. Moreover, there are many hardware products you can buy to help filter internet content on your home Wi-Fi network. Some of these products act as your home’s router; others interface wirelessly with your router. Both types of hardware function as a filter and a monitoring tool. With this, parents can effectively monitor their children. Another problem lies in the attitudes of parents when dealing with such sensitive topics and it is always advised that the parents should be more open about such topics and deal the matters with love and kindness. By doing so, a child can be more confident in sharing that he or she has porn addiction instead of hiding it.
Finally, it is also necessary for schools to add sex education into their curriculum to help tackle this issue. There is a need for education to be implemented in all private and government schools with a syllabus covering all the aspects of sex education for youth. This should form the vital part of the curriculum helping the youth to understand the unethical aspects of porn.
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