How To Quit Porn? The Most Powerful Enemy Of Your Recovery
Written by Christoffer Nettelbladt on Januari 30, 2020

The level of success possible in recovery is in direct proportion to the persons acceptance of the problem & letting go of denial.  

The main and most powerful reason that keeps people from recovering from addiction and moving forward with their life is denial (1). How can we spot denial and take actions against it?
The only true way to fight of denial is by accepting the problem and the situation as it currently is. From there you own the problem and therefore you own the solution. 

  • How do we define denial?
  • How can we spot denial?
  • What are the consequences of denial?
  • ​What actions can be taken to overcome denial?
The purpose of this article is to shine light of the above questions and replace the unknown with a sense of clarity.

How do we define denial?

In short, denial boils down to selective ignoring of information.

It differs wildly from rational thinking.
Rational thinking is performed on a platform of solid evidence. The beliefs we form from rational thinking are reevaluated when new evidence emerge that prove a current belief wrong. 
And so, rational thinking is the search for the objective truth, and we form beliefs based on our current knowledge and iterate these beliefs when we acquire knowledge that prove them wrong.

The exception to this is confirmation bias. 
An example of confirmation bias is when someone have a pre-decided opinion about something. So for example if you decide that your opinion is that everyone who lives in a certain area are mean, you are now going to acknowledge all evidence of this being true and ignore all evidence of this being wrong, thus "making" your assumption right.   

This is why the importance of keeping an open mind is extremely important in general in life, otherwise you can slip into confirmation bias unwillingly.
Denial is refusing to accept the reality of one’s situation regardless of negative consequences. 

Psychological have yet to determine if this is a conscious or unconscious process.

However being aware of it and how potent it actually is makes it possible for you to catch it in the act.
by being aware of the power of denial you can be on the lookout for it. 
Catch it in the act.

A person in denial will adjust their beliefs when faced with positive evidence or feedback but completely ignore negative feedback to uphold a positive view of the situation. 

Denial works as a defence mechanism against negative and threatening emotions about the current situation.

How can we spot denial?

These are the signs of denial in action:
  • Avoidance - when someone doesn’t feel like answering a question or admit to something, they dance around the subject? They change the subject or try to dismantle the situation with jokes. Or they simply ignore it completely.
  • Use other peoples behaviour as justification - A classic tactic for proving to yourself that you don't have an addiction is to point out how bad someone else’s addiction has gotten. This doesn't mean you don’t have an addiction.
  • Straight up denying - Immediate and strong defensive and emotional reactions when someone points to the problem.
  • Promises of the future - to promise things in the future "get out of trouble" now. This typically happen again and again with no real progress to show for it.
  • ​Intellectualise & justify - Saying and thinking things like, "oh this doesn't really count because of this and that", or "that specific time was different because of this or that." "I'll just get my mind straight now to get going tomorrow."
  • ​Pointing fingers - Pushing blame onto others. This can occur in a variety of ways. "I just do this because of partner is or isn't this or that". "My family hot a history of addiction, and so it just happened." "The situation at work or with this or that got me so stressed out that I just need to relax."
  • Sobriety "sprints" - Can typically be sober for a period of time for example 1-3 weeks but always fall back to relapse. 
  • ​Ignorance towards advice - When your loved ones reach out to give advice which would benefit your well-being you don't really act on it to make a real change. These are the people who love you, and if they give you advice about your general well-being it will always be for your good because they are about you.
  • ​Manipulation & lack of commitment - Taking actions alone or seeing a recovery councelor without fully committing to the process of recovery and fall back into relapses over and over. This can be unconscious or on purpose to get loved ones of your back.
  • ​"It's my life!" -  When all excuses run out this is an extreme last sign of denial. Even knowing that the current path is harmful to one self and loved ones insisting that it's "my life!" and stay the course despite of the negative consequences which are at this point obvious to you and others. 
  • ​​Ignoring negative consequences, evidence and feedback
  • Distract oneself and others from the issues
  • Forgetfulness 
  • ​Repression
If you're someone who are addicted to porn or suspect that you are, then pay attention to thoughts such as those above. These are all major red flags identify strong denial caused by addiction.

If you are a worried partner and suspect your partner might be addicted to porn, then the best approach to spot the above is to set boundaries.
- Let your partner know how you feel about the current situation.
- How you experience the current situation.
- What changes you desire to feel better.

If responses are any of the above or anything to the same effect you know strong denial is at play. 

What are the consequences of denial?

Denial creates a distorted truth.

Denying an addiction over time creates a distorted lie which must be manipulated onto loved ones to believe too.
This even leads to partners questioning their own behaviours and perceptions. 
It is the only way to follow the path of addiction past the point where negative consequences are obvious. 

Denial creates isolation.

The act of denying the problems create a void between your own values and your actions, but it also creates a void between you and those who try to help you. This creates a very lonely space to live in.

Denial breeds codependency.

As you continually try to help your loved one see his or her addiction problem, you may begin to develop codependent behaviours that are neither healthy for you nor the addict. The only way to avoid this is to disconnect and let the addict experience the consequences of his or her decisions. This can be extremely difficult and painful, but it may eventually encourage your loved one to seek help.

​What actions can be taken to overcome denial?

Analyse and recognise areas and situations where you're not being honest towards yourself.
What situations and thoughts are you trying to hide from?
What truth might you find if you stop hiding?

What do you suspect to be true but constantly put of to avoid change?
Consider that your suspicions and your loved ones advice might be accurate. 

Allow yourself to feel and experience the truth before applying any opinions or rationalisations to it.
It isn't pleasant or easy but it's the truth and from there change can take place.

Don't procrastinate. The longer you push aside something the easier it gets to retract to denial.
Face the truth with courage and hope. From here change is possible. 

Are you ready to commit to change & recover?

I help couples & individuals to recover from pornography, sexual addiction and betrayal trauma
I’ve put together a free case study.

If you are serious about recovering from pornography this video is for YOU!

Register to watch the video now & take the first step towards a porn free future.

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Christoffer Nettelbladt

Christoffer Nettelblad helps people start their new life without pornography, sexual addiction & betrayal trauma.  He is an expert at helping people reclaim control of their life & help relationships reach their full potential using online methods while making it simple to understand.
If you're interested in starting your own new life without addiction, in control and thriving, then definitely reach out and request a free consultation today.
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