How Pornography Impacts Mental Health

Image credit: Ever Accountable Blog

Author’s note: I apologize for not being active here like before, but I am committed to getting good grades in my schoolwork, as well as making sure my health is a priority. I try to write when I have off time, and one of my finals just passed, so I was able to write this article. Thanks for the support and I hope you enjoy this one!

Whenever people begin consuming pornography, it's usually to fill a void in their life. People who struggle with loneliness, anxiety, or depression will turn to pornography to cope with their declining mental health. Most people believe that pornography is a "healthy" outlet to "deal with your struggles." This couldn't be further from the truth. Rather than feeling a release from stress or anxiety, this can actually fuel your issues with mental health. Porn negatively impacts your mental health.

Porn's impact on the brain

A quick explanation of how your brain works in relation to addiction. Your brain has a "reward center," as described by Fight The New Drug. Every organism on the planet has this. This specific center is responsible for releasing the drug, dopamine, which is what causes your brain to react positively to something. You might get that feeling when you eat a great meal, you had a great workout, someone famous liked your post, etc. When you introduce a "drug," dopamine gets released. Your brain begins to warp itself to find more ways to get this "pleasure." Therefore, the more you introduce said "drug," the more your brains changes to get that "high" again."

Fight The New Drug stated the following: "The more the dopamine process is stimulated, the more it can begin to warp an individual’s perception of the world around them. Seemingly everyday items and situations—maybe particular smells, images, or places—can become triggers that spike the desire and cravings for whatever brings on the next high." So the more you consume porn, the more the brain warps to find ways to get that high experienced by watching porn.

There's also the part of the brain that only applies to humans. The prefrontal cortex is mainly responsible for putting the brakes on that Netflix binge you are on by saying, "Hey! Don't you have a final this week? We need to study." If you weigh the consequences, you're using the prefrontal cortex part of your brain! Unfortunately, we humans also have hypofrontality, which is responsible for giving into these bad urges. "Hypofrontality is such a key part of the addictive experience, it’s considered one of the four main markers for addiction (the others being sensitization, desensitization, and dysfunctional stress)," shared Fight The New Drug. This part of your brain will give into these unhealthy urges, and continues to control you the more you consume that drug.

Porn's impact on mental health

Porn addiction is a double edged sword. First, it warps your brain into wanting to get "high" by consuming more pornography, while simultaneously deteriorating your brain's understanding of relationships or attachment. Most people are not willing to share this dirty secret, so they keep their addiction to themselves. This leads people down a lonely road, which just fuels their stress, sadness, anger, and more. You are not connecting with other people. You're just connecting with actors faking what love and a healthy relationship looks like. One study shared that among university students who consumed pornography, it was reported there was a significant effect on their mental health. Porn only increases your depression, loneliness, or anxiety. "Pornography provides temporary relief, but ultimately induces greater feelings of loneliness and isolation," states Grant Hilary Brenner, M.D.

Porn also sells a fake version of what men and women are supposed to be and look like. Women are defined by their beauty, whereas men are defined by the size of their you-know-what. A man is a man if he dominates and disrespects a woman, and a woman is seen as a woman if she is submissive to this sort of behavior. Objectification can also hurt your mental health and self-esteem, because you think this woman or man is with their partner because they're so good-looking. You begin to compare yourselves, which can make you sad because you think you're not good enough because you don't look like the men or women in these videos. A different study shared the following: "Previous male partners’ pornography use was also indirectly associated with body surveillance and body shame through the internalization of cultural beauty standards." Porn sells lies about what relationships are and what people should look like. It steals your happiness.

Consumers aren't the only ones who suffer
It's not just the consumers' whose mental health deteriorates. Performers struggle too, and it should be addressed. Many actors and actresses in the adult entertainment industry have chosen to end their lives because they were seen as products, instead of valuable human beings with a better purpose for their life. The porn industry places profits over people. Don't believe their lies.


There isn't enough discussion on how poor your mental health becomes from porn addiction. It causes your mind to withdraw from social interactions by finding a high that isn't real. Unfortunately, pornography is widely accepted by society. Nobody wants to talk about the long-term implications caused by consuming porn. That doesn't mean all hope is lost. You can fight this addiction. You deserve better. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Looking forward to reading your comment! Side note: If you are using Safari to read/comment, you will have troubles commenting. Use Google Chrome for comments!