Teens and Pornography and Digital Addiction

As both a professional and a parent, Dr. Winter knows how powerless and heartbreaking it can be to feel your child lost to a place where they cannot recover. With the fast pace technological changes there has developed a new way to be. With that comes its challenges.

Access to pornography makes it highly useable by not only adults but teenagers, young and old. 70% of young men 18-24 visit porn sites on at least a monthly basis. The average age to first online porn exposure is 11-only three% of these sites require age verification. Teens are also sexting (now legally in NM) and using online dating and hook-up apps on a daily basis.

While it is important to understand that their world is different from the adults that raised them—they are heaving diverse experiences with sex and their relationships with themselves, others, love, money and food. There are teens that develop addiction to porn and other process addictions; these teens need professional assistance.

As with adults, where teens lack connection, safety and consistency, they risk the reliance on pornography and, with the chemical reinforcement, the road into addiction. Once there, loneliness, isolation, compulsion and a greater intensity and frequency ensue. Through the fusing of unhealthy associations, that of unrealistic images and euphoric sexual feelings, the addiction becomes born.

Parents are concerned that their children have access to images to which they don’t quite understand. While these images can be confusing teens are at greater risk when they are repeatedly exposed to images which are then paired with sexual stimulation and masturbation. There is a growing body of young men who are unable to function with a partner due to bad habits formed via the excessive use of pornography. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction, as it has been labeled by some, has become a serious problem. Dr. Winter recognizes these challenges and offers help in how to approach and keep teens today grounded in their world.

A Word on Gaming and Social Networking

Problematic or compulsive internet use or internet addiction disorder, as it has been labeled, refers to the excessive use of the internet despite negative consequences. There is a wide array of behaviors—such as video gaming, social networking, gambling, shopping, compulsive web surfing, pornography, video and/or podcast perusing and blogging. These are not limited to children or teens; there is a vast array of adults spending excessive amount of time online.

The consequences of excessive and compulsive internet use might include a reduction in job efficacy, financial loss, detached relationships with family and loved ones and a general negligence of school, household and day to day activities.

Preliminary research has shown that excessive use can also affect the development of the orbitofrontal cortex in those brains are still forming, effecting such functions as planning. organizing, attending and prioritizing.

There is often the need for treatment when someone is unable to stop despite efforts. Treatment might include individual, group (support and therapy), family and intensive-outpatient treatment. There are times when inpatient or complete removal from the behavior is needed as well.

Shame Can Be Isolating—Don’t Struggle Alone

Reconstructing a healthy relationship with sex, your body, food and money can be difficult. I understand the pain of addiction and am available to resolve your trauma and guide you through your recovery. Take the first step and reach out via phone or email with any questions or for an initial appointment at my Boca Raton office.

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