When we don’t feel right mentally and emotionally, we find ways to medicate. That medication can take many obvious forms, including drugs and alcohol, sex, and food. It can also take some less obvious forms such as workaholism, binge-watching TV, and constant use of social media. All of these behaviors are methods to either numb the discomfort or to avoid it entirely. Sadly, medicating our pain and struggles usually makes things worse, and never solves the underlying problems.
As readily available as pornography is today – it’s on miniature computers we carry around in our pockets that we deceptively call “phones” – it’s no wonder that so many men, and an increasing number of women, are finding themselves irresistibly drawn to the intense high and thrill of viewing other people’s bodies. Our brains are designed to seek out sexual arousal, and when aroused, to focus our entire attention on it, making it the ultimate distraction from pain.
But just as viewing porn can be a result of stress, anxiety, or depression, it can also be a cause of these dysfunctions. Deep in our hearts, we all know that staring at someone’s body and fantasizing about a sexual encounter with them is simply wrong, and our natural response is a sense of shame. We become painfully aware of our brokenness and failure when we view porn, and the shame itself can add to or even cause feelings of anxiety or depression. And so goes the cycle, one feeding into the other.
Dr. Jim Burns wrote a solid article on how this phenomenon is affecting our teenagers today. What I found most interesting was just how applicable his words were for adults as well.
Even if you don’t struggle with pornography, you most certainly know people who do. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read.