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CLINICAL BREAKDOWN: Why Novelty Enhances Pleasure

Uncategorized Jan 20, 2022

A fascinating discovery about porn addiction, and addiction at large, has surfaced in the last few years. It has revealed that gamblers are not addicted to winning, alcoholics are not addicted to alcohol, drug abusers are not addicted to substances, and porn addicts are not addicted to porn.

As scientists have begun to better understand the brain and what really makes us tick, it has become abundantly clear that while some addicts choose behaviors and others choose substances, their brains are really choosing the same thing: novelty. Research has shown that what forms an addiction is not obsession over the substance or behavior, but rather what is next. Really think about that one.

When a porn addict is consuming content, it is the anticipation of the next scene that drives their viewing. This is why even addicts set out to engage in a "little bit" of their respective drug, only to find themselves binging not too long after. The anticipation of what's next sucks them in.

This same concept is the reason that as you continue to engage in pornography and eventually build a dependence, you will notice the type of content you view intensifies. Simply put, desensitization sets in and what used to be considered 'extreme' content barely elicits a response. The brain then seeks novelty. What's new? What's next? And that search can lead to some pretty dark places if you aren't careful.

What you must remember is that God designed your brain this way. We are not created to live mundane lives that do not seek novelty. However we must ensure we are channeling this part of our nature in the correct areas of our lives. The irony here is that when you are addicted, your capacity for creativity, thinking outside the box, and exploration dwindle. Your pursuit of novelty is wasted in the addiction.

When you experience sobriety, your brain begin to seek novel experiences elsewhere. It may be new experiences traveling, making friends, trying new hobbies, etc. If you are earnestly seeking freedom, one of the best things you can do is begin to take on new endeavors. The resulting pleasure of those new experiences will add meaning to your life and give your brain a necessary outlet to experience novelty. Two critical growth points for long-term recovery.

Cheering you on,

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