Sunday, June 27, 2010

Help With Pornography Part II

The first part of Zenit's two-part piece can be found here.
A snip from the second part is below.
ZENIT: If a person came to you and asked, "Am I addicted to pornography?" how would define this for him?

Kleponis: A person who uses it on a regular basis is not necessarily addicted.

What I ask is: Do you find yourself drawn to it? Do you find yourself thinking a lot about it? Do you find yourself looking forward to coming home from work at night and getting online and looking at the pornography?

Do you rely upon it to deal with the stress of loneliness, male insecurity or job pressures? Is it very difficult for you to go several days without looking at pornography? If you're answering yes to these questions you very well may be addicted to pornography.

Zenit: What problems do you see in single men and how to you counsel them?

Kleponis: We tell single young men that by engaging in pornography they're giving into profound selfishness, which is undermining their ability to relate in a healthy way to young women..

We tell them case studies of the growing problem of younger men, college students, who are incapable of relating to females. They lack confidence and subsequently have to struggle with anxiety.

Also, pornography use contributes to overreacting in anger as men lose a sense of refinement and true manly confidence in how to relate to a woman. The women they see in pornography don't have feelings, needs and opinions. When the men leave their fantasy world and meet a real woman who does have emotions and opinions, they often don't know how to deal with her, and withdraw due to insecurity or overreact in anger.

Parents need to respond to this crisis in masculinity by teaching their children the truth about sexual morality and the dangers of pornography and compulsive masturbation in their lives.

ZENIT: Let's talk about the healing process. What are some ways a person can begin to address this problem?

Kleponis: First, the person needs to accept that there is a problem with pornography and then try to grow in self-knowledge about its causes.

The person cannot do it alone. So many men think, "I'm going to pull myself up by my bootstraps; I'm going to do it by myself." They are rarely successful.

The six point plan we recommend includes: protection of the home; peer support (or a 12 step program for severe addictions); counseling or an increased self-knowledge as to the origins of the pornography use; growth in faith and a commitment to work on the virtues that will help with the resolution of the causes; friendship; and education.

The most common problems leading to the use of pornography that are uncovered are: selfishness, various types of loneliness, male insecurity, excessive work pressures, marital conflicts and a weak spiritual life.

Virtues can assist in the resolution of these conflicts. When a person commits himself to the hard work of growing in virtues, he usually experiences much less vulnerability to pornography.

Next, growth in peer support and in friendships is very helpful. Many men who struggle with pornography don't have any close friends, not even their wives.

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