Tag Archives: Daniel Spadaro

The neurological impact of pornography

January 21, 2015

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I came across a great article by Daniel Spadaro today and I just wanted to share a bit of it with you. This is found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website in conjunction with the 9 Days for Life campaign. He writes:

“Pornography is believed to function like a ‘drug’ that stimulates the brain. Neuroscientists point to three fundamental effects that addiction has on the brain: 1) ‘desensitization,’ a numbing of the brain’s ability to experience pleasure; 2) ‘sensitization,’ an increased sensitivity to triggers and memories related to the addictive behavior; and, 3) ‘hypofrontality,’ the reduced activity of the frontal brain, decreasing impulse control and creating a negative mood. These effects remind us that pornography robs our joy, and where there is little joy, there is often never enough pleasure.

Based on recent brain imaging studies, behavioral addictions—like gambling, food, and Internet gaming—have been found to meet the above three criteria for causing changes in brain circuitry. They are related to pornography addiction in that they are all behavioral/process addictions, as opposed to chemical addictions. Internet pornography possesses characteristics very similar to Internet gaming addiction, and could arguably be more potent, as the object of compulsion is sexual arousal. This explains why some who are trying to break their addiction to pornography report having the same type of physical ‘withdrawal’ symptoms that are experienced by those breaking an addiction to drugs or alcohol.”

(Daniel Spadaro, LPC, CSAT, a licensed professional counselor and certified sex addiction therapist, is founder of Imago Dei Counseling in Colorado Springs. He is a regular columnist for the Colorado Catholic Herald. […]
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