Internet Porn Can Cause ‘Intellectile’ Dysfunction

CHRISTIAN CRISTIANO

WELLNESS-Canadian researcher Simon Lajeunesse PHD uncovered that most boys seek Internet porn by age 10. The problem is they could not find a control group because almost all young men are using porn. 

The Coolege effect is the automatic response to novel sexual images meaning each new sexual depiction is a genetic opportunity causing the brain to release dopamine to keep him stimulated. In nature this works so that the male animal can continue to inseminate female after female helping to grow the population of his particular species. In the male brain this process carries over with porn and with each click and each new type of sexual image, another surge of dopamine is created in the male brain. 

Over time too much dopamine will be present causing an over-ride in the natural systems of the brain leading to cravings for more and more pleasure because the pleasure response is weakened. Once the brain is overwhelmed with dopamine it works to bring balance by taking away some of its dopamine receptors causing the addict to seek more porn with less of that warm happy feeling. 

For the male using porn frequently, porn will no longer set off that same dopamine burst and instead of feeling happy, the porn user ends up feeling sad and isolated. In order to try to keep the same level of dopamine and pleasure, the porn addict will often escalate and seek out hardcore pornographic images. 

Even more troubling is that there is evidence of the porn addicted brain actually changing in structure much like the drug-addicted brain. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is where we experience the higher affects of humanity. Things like peace, love and altruism all register in the frontal cortex, and the research shows that with porn and other addictions, the frontal cortex literally shrinks in size. The good news is the brain changes do reverse when people stop using porn. 

One reason men are giving up porn is because of porn induced erectile dysfunction (ED). Dr. Carlo Foresta is the head of the Italian society of Adrology and Sexual Medicine and was quoted as saying “it starts with lower reactions to porn sites. Then there is a general drop in libido and in the end it becomes impossible to get an erection.” The studies are showing that younger men take longer to heal from the ED than older men. The theory is because the young brain is more vulnerable to addiction and because older men have had more experience with real intimacy and affection than their younger counterparts. 

The overall effects of porn on ones health can be substantial. Along with the need for internet porn comes a need to be alone and isolated eventually leading to depression and loneliness. With the intense need to keep searching and clicking on the next image, the porn addict is caught in the clutches of porn addiction depriving them of important sleep, which stacks one more reason for depression, social anxiety, and depression. 

Due to new research in brain plasticity, we now know that when a person finally gets off the porn, the brain will actually heal and go back to normal. The process can take between 2 and 6 months depending on the individual and their age. The younger mans brain actually takes longer to return to normal that the older man making it more difficult for the prior to wean himself off porn. Making time to be more social and not isolated and staying away from screens all together when possible are two ways to help the porn addict redirect their lives in a more healthy way.

 

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)

-cw 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS