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When Addiction becomes a mechanism to cope stress..

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  • #385891
    ABHILASH
    Participant

    Anything that takes too much of your time and makes you lack in other important aspects of your life is addiction. For some people it may be from smoking to drinking to using Facebook. But most of the times, how these addictions begin is when you use these as ways to escape from your existing, stressed life. Eventually you get stuck in these and cannot find a way out. One of the major addictions troubling this generation is porn. How can we get out of this?

    #385898
    Linarra
    Participant

    Hi Abhilash,

    I’m answering your thread because I have been through similar issues related to porn addiction/escapism. Now it is not a problem I have anymore.

    I don’t know if I can help you because we are all dealing differently but I can share my experience so you feel less alone at least.

    I have been exposed to porn on internet when I was very young (primary school) for some reason it grasped my curiosity, my body had an easiness to be receptive to such visual and suggestions. And I explored that because kids are less shameful. Physical stimulation were agreeable and relaxing. But I felt bad afterwards, still knowing it was supposed to be shameful.

    It became something regular, even more as I became a teen. It took quite some space in my life, I believe, because there weren’t a most powerful and fast/easy to obtain brain stimulation out there. Overall though, it wasn’t personally gratifying. It took time, made me sleepy which, if I gave in, took more time. And it didn’t make me feel good after I got the stimulation done. Because I could have used that time better, because sometimes it got me more tired for nothing.

    It was only on the beginning of my twenties I decided : it should stop. Because it was a critical time, unlike my teenage years. I needed to change and make a difference in my life if I wanted to achieves the goals that moved me. They equally took time, they were less intensely rewarding than sexual stimulation short-term but way more gratifying and fulfill it, so it worthed the effort and the change. Better for the self esteem, for mental health, it was making my brain available for more healthy ways of feeling good. Slower, but more lasting!

    The way I stopped was radical. Not consuming pornographic media or media that would lead me to want consuming pornographic media or turn to sexual fantasy. And instead turn my focus on my goals and healthier interests. To be honest at that time I also kind of remove all my escapism strategy, way further than pornography because a lot of these could slip into that insatisfaction leading to the need of quick physical satisfaction.

    It is a difficult task to do because it requires to be more active and to be ready to face some fears, so I understand the difficulty of getting out of this… but gathering the right kind of motivation can help.

    What are the other aspects of your life that you are lacking of the most? What are you missing right now? Can you see anything that could motivated you to let go of porn?

    If you manage get closer to those things, nourish them, use that motivation to try giving them more space into your brain and into your life… then maybe porn will eventually not look as appealing and stimulating than it was before. But it is necessary to have those others more gratifying kind of pleasures to be motivated!

    Since you are starting a thread of this forum I’m guessing you have some kind of motivation somewhere inside you, maybe you can elaborate on that?

    Linarra

    #385908
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ABHILASH:

    I read your original post and Linarra’s reply, and I would like to read your answers to her very relevant, excellent questions. Your answers will help me to learn more about you as an individual.

    What you wrote in your original post is well-written but it is general, and of course, not all people who are addicted to any particular thing (substance or activity) are the same person. If that was the case, one Answer, one Solution will apply to everyone.

    One of the major addictions troubling this generation is porn. How can we get out of this?“- my Solution for this generation would be to put an end to the porn industry and destroy all the porn products that currently exist. But I don’t have the power to do this (and if I did, there would be lots and lots.. and lots of people of every generation who will be very angry at me, and try to stop me).

    How can we get out of this?“- the easy answer is: stop watching porn. The difficult answer: let’s get to know the one individual who started this tread. I hope to read more from you soon.

    anita

    #385917
    Murtaza
    Participant

    Its funny that you think escapism isn’t a part of life is well, anything can be called escapism, if its drowing or writing or watching a movie, the only difference is wether you like this escapism or just a slave to it. Do you enjoy it? Or you just do it? That’s the question.

     

    In case of porn, we are sexual beings, we want sex, when we don’t have it, we lower out standards and go for the less real yet pleasurable thing, it may be in addiction for you if you, if you use it for other things, such as treat your stress and anxiety, which can be said to anything really, not just porn, its not generation problem, its human problem, only before we didn’t get the chance to escape with those, im sure people did the same things, turned to alcohol, or writing, etc.

     

    It doesn’t matter what you do, its why you do it.

    #385944
    ABHILASH
    Participant

    Thank you Anita and Linarra for your kind words.

    The problem actually started three years back when I got my first job in a plantations company. The initial days were good. They provided me with an individual quarters, isolated and serene, amidst a coffee plantation atop a hill. The problem was that I was alone, like completely detached from the outside world. As days passed by, the job become increasingly stressful, with a very toxic work culture. After my work hours, when I reached home, there was nothing that I looked up to. There was no one to talk to, nowhere to release my stress. Everyday, I wake up, bathed, ate, went to work, came back and slept; and the next day the same cycle began. Each night, I think of somehow moving away from this place, to something meaningful but when I wake up again, I feel soul less. Nothing interests me. So each night I indulge in porn. Some days, even I don’t know why I’m watching this, but I continue to do so because at least for that time, I feel relaxed, and not stressed. But the next day, I am shadowed by self-denial and thoughts of how I could have been better, how I can reclaim my life if I could try the least bit. But the moment I face a tiny bit of stress, I again get sucked back into porn. I have tried writing stories which have helped quite a bit, but not that much.

    #385949
    Linarra
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Abhilash,

    I can see how such an environment can lead you to this addiction. Being disconnected from people and under-stimulated is really hard on the human brain… It is obvious that your current work and overall situation aren’t good for you. If you managed to “somehow moving away from this place, to something meaningful” it would be easier for you to not rely on porn as a stress reliever, I think.

    “when I wake up again, I feel soul less. Nothing interests me.”

    Depression does that to humans, and a bad environment usually leads to a depressive state. So… it makes sense.  It is very hard to find energy and interest when you are stuck in a routine and an environment that is not good for you. It is a very tough situation to be in: you wish to get out of the situation but the situation is sucking the energy you would need to get out of the situation…

    Currently, watching porn seems to be a coping mechanism, a way to get through and survive your current difficulties. Yet, as you expressed, this coping mechanism/addiction leads you nowhere meaningful. It is part of your routine, it gets you by, but it doesn’t move you towards a better place. So you’re expressing your wish for something else, something that would maybe give you the strength to “reclaim your own life”.

    You already started trying to find relief in other ways, and it is great! Here are the things you tried/are trying :

    – creativity (“I have tried writing stories which have helped quite a bit, but not that much.”)

    – reaching out to people (which you are currently trying, by starting this thread of Tiny Buddha)

    It seems to be a good attempt! And there are probably more things that could help you, and that you can figure out along the way. I hope communicating on this forum can bring you some more relief and more ideas/energy to move toward a more meaningful place! You can elaborate on your difficulties anytime on this thread.

    Linarra

    #385955
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ABHILASH:

    “I am not surprised that “an individual quarters, isolated and serene, amidst a coffee plantation atop a hill” turned out to be a lonely place for you:

    (1) “The problem was that I was alone“- people are social animals, we cannot be okay alone for too long, (2) “a very toxic work culture“- means that the social interactions you do have with people while working are negative. We need positive social interactions with other people- not negative, or toxic.

    After my work hours… There was no one to talk to, nowhere to release my stress“- like any social animal, positive social interactions reduce stress and no interactions or.. negative interactions increase stress.

    I feel soul less. Nothing interests me“- positive social interactions infuse us with the feeling of being alive (a feeling that calms us in a joyful way); lack of such makes us feel dead (a feeling that distresses us).

    So each night I indulge in porn… because at least for that time, I feel relaxed, and not stressed“- you want that feeling of being alive.. we need to feel alive somehow!

    the moment I face a tiny bit of stress, I again get sucked back into porn. I have tried writing stories which have helped quite a bit, but not that much“- is there not a single person with whom you can positively interact after work, in-person?

    anita

    #385984
    ABHILASH
    Participant

    Dear Linarra and Anita,

    As you mentioned, now I am trying new means to change the environment around me. The good news is, I have a pet dog! And now he has become my emotional sanctuary. Seeing him, playing with him and taking him for walks have made me emotionally stable for the past few days (however not fully).

    Now I have started to focus more on my body by exercising and running. This sure has helped me because, each night I have a slight feeling of contentment that I have done good to my body, at the least. The next day, I have something to look forward to, as well. However, I couldn’t maintain a constant schedule for my training as there are obvious downfalls. Some days I skip, some days I do. But I’m really hopeful that this will help to keep my mind focused.

    Meanwhile, I am trying other avenues for jobs and somehow move out of this place.

    #385999
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ABHILASH:

    Reads like you are doing all the right things for yourself: (1) you are taking care of your social needs by having a very social animal friend, man’s best friend, (2) you are keeping your body active and in shape, and (3)you are looking for another job and another place to live in.

    Congratulations for doing all these things, keep at it while allowing yourself to not do them all perfectly (it’s okay to skip days), and it’s okay to feel imperfectly (“emotionally stable for the past few days.. however not fully“). Try to be satisfied with feeling better some of the time, content with any improvement in how you feel.

    anita

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