In a recent article published by Covenant Eyes, author and counselor Carl Stewart explains the tendency of many pornography addicts to ignore the root cause of their dependence. “Trying to simply ‘contain’ the behavior or ‘manage’ the behavior is miserable. Like cutting back a weed. It feels good for the first day or so, until it grows back again to taunt you.”
“You have to deal with the root to change the fruit,” Stewart continued. According to Stewart the best predictors of addictive behavior are a history of abuse and/or neglect, especially during childhood.
A history of physical, sexual or verbal abuse is the best predictor of addictive behavior in someone’s life. It isn’t an excuse, but helps uncover the root that often drives negative behavior. “Abuse means you were being treated in a way that humans should not be treated which affects the brain,” Stewart stated simply. According to Stewart, when a child is abused the following conclusions are drawn in the child’s mind:
- I’m not worth much. Maybe I don’t have any worth at all if this happened to me.
- I can’t trust others. I’m on my own.
- If anyone ever really knew, they would never love me.
Stewart defines neglect as “not getting the things you needed in order to develop.” Living in survival mode without adult influence, being concerned about food, housing and clothing effect a child’s sense of worth. The following conclusions may be drawn in a child’s mind:
- If my own parent/parents don’t care about me, then I definitely don’t have any value.
- If they don’t love me, how can I expect anyone else to love me?
According to Stewart, “Porn is one of the ways people self-medicate the confusing pain that stays with them from abuse and neglect.” Dealing with the effects of childhood abuse and neglect starts cutting away at the roots and is necessary to achieving a successful recovery. The article suggests a number of ways to seek success in battling neglect including seeing a counselor and going to a support group. Downloading an accountability software and internet filters through Covenant Eyes is also recommended.
Click HERE to read the full article.