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Porn Addiction Can be Unlearned

Update Date: May 12, 2012 06:05 PM EDT
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A recent study in Australia suggests that porn addiction can be unlearned.

A study conducted by Indian researchers, Professor Raj Sitharthan of the University of Sydney's Department of Psychiatry and Dr Gomathi Sitharthan from the Faculty of Health Sciences (the first study of its kind in Australia), analyzed the severity of porn addiction and how it impacts the user and their families. But the authors also claimed that the addiction could be "unlearned" through changing one's behavior.

"Some people view it as a moral disease. We are taking the view that it's not a disease, and certainly not a moral disease. It's a normal part of the growing," said Sitharthan. "Porn addiction can be unlearned."

The study was carried out through an Internet survey without funding from any organization. The results show about 20 percent of the 800 participants "preferred the excitement of watching porn to being sexually intimate with their partner'.

Other facts revealed from the results of this survey are:

- About 43 percent of participants said they started viewing porn when they were between 11 to 13 years old

- About 47 percent of participants spent between 30 minutes and three hours a day watching pornography

- About 14 percent formed a relationship with other online users

- About 30 percent acknowledged their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing

- About 18 percent were preoccupied with fantasizing when they were not online.

Sitharthan also says that he witnessed a range of extreme behaviors by porn addicts during his clinical practice.

He said the easy availability of porn through the internet meant it was "here to stay".

"Sooner or later, this takes over their lives and it becomes the only thing that can give them satisfaction," Sitharthan said. He also feels this addiction not only affects the addict but also affects his/her family members and friends indirectly.

However, the researcher is hopeful that these addicts can recover from this addiction by adopting a change in behavior.

"Some people overdo it and they can learn to cut down if they want and reduce it to a level that does not impact on their relationships, finances or studies."

He added that in his clinical practice, addicts reduced their porn intake through being denied to money used for purchasing porn, or to computers for viewing images or videos.

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