Reality Star Josh Duggar Admits Porn Addiction

Reality Star Josh Duggar Admits Porn Addiction

American reality star, Josh Duggar, admits to porn addiction after the Ashley Madison-dating-service-for-married-individuals data heist revealed he spent $1,000 to have an affair.

Josh Duggar, the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the American reality TV show, ‘19 Kids and Counting’ has made a recent public admission that he suffers from porn addiction and has been unfaithful to his wife, Anna. This, of course, came soon after it was revealed through a data hack that he held two separate accounts on the dating site Ashley Madison’, which focuses on extramarital affairs.

Just a few weeks earlier, Duggar had made a public apology for his involvement in a molestation accusation, where he was accused of sexually molesting 5 young girls when he was a teenager.

Part of a devout Christian family, Josh Duggar was known for promoting faith and family values, and says he feels like a hypocrite as these truths come to light. Just days after the news hit the media, Josh enrolled in a long-term addiction treatment centre for porn addiction.

What is Porn Addiction?

Although not yet included in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-5), sex addiction is a form of addiction, and porn addiction is a form of sex addiction. Through 20 years of research, Dr. Patrick Carnes was able to come up with 10 types of sex addiction, and porn addiction could fall under what Carnes refers to as ‘fantasy sex’ addiction in which the addict uses pornography to fuel various fantasies that may either be played out in his/her mind alone, or in some cases acted upon in ‘real life’. As well, many researchers have found that watching porn at a young age can lead to an increased chance for sex addiction later in life.

But first, let us take a look at the informal definition of addiction. When the use of a substance, or a certain behaviour (such as watching porn) begins to disrupt your daily life — and you cannot stop regardless of all the negative effects it has on you, your life and those around you — it can often be considered an addiction. Thus, a porn addiction is born when viewing porn causes negative effects in an individual’s life (fighting with a spouse, getting caught at work, infidelity) and the individual cannot stop at any cost.

What Causes Porn and Sex Addiction?

Just like other addictions, including alcohol and drug addiction, there are certain factors in people’s lives that can increase the risk of developing a sex addiction.

According to Psychology Today, “most self-identified sex and porn addicts have little education and understating of their sexuality, and have had no role models teaching them how to act in responsible, self-aware and self-accepting ways when it comes to their sexuality”.

When children are not able to speak or ask about sex freely, they will learn about it in other ways — via the internet, television, friends — and it is not likely to be the most constructive information. Although anything we actually know about Josh’s particular case of addiction is speculation from the media, some professionals have hinted that this may be part of the issue in Josh’s case.

Signs and Symptoms of Sex Addiction

If you think that you or someone you know may have an addiction to sex or porn, it may be useful to understand the 10 criteria used to define the addiction:

  1. Loss of control. Basically, your mind is running away from you. Sexual thoughts, or a desire to watch porn, are becoming more frequent, and you literally cannot control yourself from thinking these thoughts or even acting out on them.
  2. Compulsivity. You are no longer making conscious choices to act out in these ways — these actions ‘just happen’ before you even realise what is happening.
  3. Failed efforts to stop. Despite negative consequences of your actions, you are unable to stop. Perhaps you have tried repeatedly to stop, but with no success.
  4. Loss of time. You fill up more and more of your time with these sexual thoughts or activities and often will begin lying and making excuses to loved ones about where you were or what you were doing.
  5. Preoccupation. Constantly thinking about the next time you will have sex or watch porn — like a drug addict looking for their next hit — it is difficult to focus until you fulfill these desires.
  6. Failure to fulfil obligations. You are missing deadlines at work, skipping out on family functions, and being overall undependable.
  7. Negative consequences. If you are splitting out at family functions, or lying about where you have been to your partner, you may be receiving accusatory phone calls or threats from loved ones about how they may leave you if your behaviour does not change. Despite negative consequences, you still cannot stop your behaviour.
  8. Escalation. Your sexual behaviour and actions progressively get more and more intense over time.
  9. Losses. Losing friendships, being fired from your job, getting kicked out of your apartment or losing your significant other due to your constant sexual thoughts and actions are examples of losses that may be incurred from sex addiction.
  10. Withdrawal. Discomfort, stress and irritability when you stop the behaviour are all signs of withdrawal. And while they may not be physically dangerous symptoms, they will ensure that stopping the addiction permanently on your own will be almost impossible without professional help.

Getting Help: Sex Addiction Treatment

Sex and porn addiction are what are known as process addictions. Just as people can become addicted to substances such as drugs or alcohol, people can also become addicted to behaviours which are known as process addictions. Common process addictions include sex addiction, food addiction, gambling addiction and internet addiction. When an addict pursues a particular activity or behaviour, they trigger their reward system, which enables them to feel pleasure. With time, the addict cannot derive the same pleasure from other activities as he/she can through the process they are addicted to.

Proper treatment of these addictions require a customised approach, blending private and group therapy sessions, and the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is a proven method of addiction treatment. Here at The Cabin, we also incorporate the 3 Circles method which has proven especially successful for process addictions.

After Josh Duggar made his apparent porn addiction public, he is said to have entered a long-term rehabilitation facility.  And on that news, we The Cabin would like to wish Josh a speedy and successful recovery, and wish him and his family the best while they get through this struggle together. And hopefully this can have a positive spin by bringing sexual addictions to light, and letting people know that treatment is available.