Helpful resources in fighting porn addiction

I don’t have lot of time today, but wanted to offer a few resources that were helpful to me on my journey toward breaking pornography addiction and moving toward chastity.

1. Your Brain on Porn

This site looks at pornography addiction from a scientific perspective, helping the addict understand why it is so difficult to break this cycle of addiction and offering a strategy for “rebooting” your brain through a 90 day period of refraining from artificial sexual stimuli.

The good: For me, having a 90-day target was very helpful, in that it gave me a reason to push through periods of heavy temptation, knowing things would get somewhat easier after a while.

The bad: The site is not written from a Catholic perspective, or really any moral perspective at all. Pornography addiction is treated as a problem problem not because it is immoral in itself, but because it can be disruptive to other areas of one’s life. The end-game for this site is breaking the addictive cycle, not pursuing chastity and rebuilding one’s relationship with God.

2. Your Brain Rebalanced

This is a forum that was originally linked to yourbrainonporn.com, but YBOP seems to have opted to push another forum instead at rebootnation.org. Nevertheless, Your Brain Rebalanced remains an active forum and, in my experience, has benefits and problems similar to those of Your Brain on Porn.

The good: Users (primarily men) post their own journals of their experiences in trying to break the cycle of pornography addiction, and can post within one another’s journals to offer encouragement and support. Users are grouped by age and gender, which helps make the feedback a little more relevant. Through regular participation on this site, I had a sense of accountability — and extra incentive to ride out temptation, and a place to go for support.

The bad: Again, this is not a Catholic Web site, and chastity and holiness are not necessarily among the goals of participants. While there are some Christian and even Catholic users, non-Catholic behavior is frequently endorsed. I recall one active user who seemed hell-bent on bashing the Church at every opportunity. (The irony is that he hadn’t been to Church in ages, yet blamed the Church for the fact that he felt guilty about using pornography.)

3. Daily Strength

Daily Strength has forums for just about every medical, psychological or social ailment on can think of, including Sex/Pornography Addiction.

The good: There are a handful of regular, longtime participants to this forum with traditional views on sexual morality.

The bad: It doesn’t have an enormous level of participation, and there are those who seem to step in only to undermine the goals of the forum, posting “pleas for help” that strike me as being possible lures for addicts. (I’d provide examples, but I don’t want my examples to serve as triggers.) It can also be depressing at times, because there are many short-timers who post about how miserable they are and how badly the want to stop, who then disappear and are never heard from again.

In addition, the usual advice is to join Sex Addicts Anonymous or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. I’m not a big fan of what I perceive as a tendency of 12-step groups to define people by their addictions, and I’m even less convinced that pornography addiction is of the same nature as sexual addiction.

4) CSGSAR

First of all, acronyms don’t work for everyone. This the Catholic Support Group for Sexual Addictions recovery, a site within a site called St. Michael’s Call.

The good: It’s run by someone whose username is Bro. Ignatius Mary. I assume he’s an actual brother. The site strives to remain faithful to the teachings of the Church.

The bad: Participation on the site is VERY low. It’s also a little confusing to find your way in, and there is an approval process to register.

5) Catholic Answers Impurity Addiction Support Group

Note that this is a user group on the Catholic Answers Web site but is not regularly monitored by the organization. Not a huge level of participation, but those who participate at least won’t argue with you about what constitutes sexual morality.

The good: The participants who are there seem to be fairly active and will respond to one another.

The bad: It was tricky to find, which may be part of why the participation level is so low.

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About Cimachol

A Catholic revert who struggles with depression and wrestled with pornography addiction for decades before overcoming it. I try to help other people do the same.
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2 Responses to Helpful resources in fighting porn addiction

  1. Michael Schleyer says:

    I really like how you evaluated the pros and cons of each site. I have not even heard of the last three so I will check them out. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the review. I like your site.

    To respond to some of the comments:

    We use to use the full name, but now use the acronyms because we were requested to do so by our members who were worried about family seeing an email with the full name. We respected the members’ concerns.

    Requiring an approval process is not a bad thing. I find that very odd. Our membership is anonymous and does not want discussions on the general Internet, and even if we were an open group, requiring verification of email, and/or requiring a admin approval, is a simple and standard security method to weed out spammers or others with nefarious agendas. This is a good thing and is a common practice.

    I am not sure what you mean that it hard to find your way in, but I’ll look into it.

    As for participation, over the years we have had a couple thousand members.As to how many members at any given time as ranged from the current 68 to over 600. I am puzzled as to why a low membership is a bad thing. It is better to have low participation, which allows a more intimate support group in which each member can be helped individually as well as collectively,

    There are parts of our site open to the pubic to which people can gain self-help. 100,000s of people have availed themselves to that service. Thus, we serve both the general pubic and those who want a password protected, anonymous setting not open to the general Internet. (by the way, the numbers you see on the current discussion board only reflect members and visitors since 2010. We have had three difference concussion boards going back to 1998)

    As to my status, I was invested in the monastic habit, and offered private vows to the evangelical counsels, in the hands of a priest during Mass. The priest got the okay to do so from the Vicar General. We are a defacto Association of the Faithful with a Rule of Life. That Rule of our Society got the ok from canon lawyers.

    If you want nitty, gitty details on all the canonical and theological issues, those are found on our site: http://www.saint-mike.org/stmike/gdisclaimer.html

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