Man kicks porn habit he developed in childhood, warns others of dangers

Gabe Deem admits he had a problem that started surprisingly early.

"I was first exposed to porn when I was 8 years old," Deem, 29, said. "I would watch porn 15, 30 minutes a day through my years."

The older he got, the more he watched.

"I went to a high school where they gave out laptops. We first figured out how to play games on them. Then we figured out how to watch porn on them," Deem said.

The addictive habit started affecting his adult relationships.

"It was horrible. They thought it was them," Deem said. "You know, a partner will think they're not attractive enough and, again, that's completely not the case."

 Neurosurgeons say the constant exposure to pornography actually leads to a rewiring of the brain that causes individual craves pixels instead of people.

 "Really, anything the individual imagines can be produced with a few clicks so it's that novelty that drives this tremendous search for variety," Dr. Donal Hilton, a neurosurgeon, said.

 Craving that novelty can be defined as an addiction.

"It's like when someone is addicted to cocaine. They see a line of cocaine, the reward center in their brain on functional MRI lights up like a Christmas tree," Hilton said.

But mental health experts said it's not a true addiction.

Emily Dealyla, a sex therapist, said people can die if they are not physiologically weaned off drugs or alcohol so physiologically.

"The thing is not happening when you stop a sex or porn problem. It's two  different processes, which is why you can't label it as an addiction," Dealyla said.

Gabe stopped watching porn six years ago and turned back to the internet for help, but some experts said, with young porn viewers, parents can offer the best support.

"Talk to the child about avoiding internet porn as much as possible. Real-life healthy relationships," Dealyla said. 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.