Pictophilia is the technical term for pornography addiction. It is characterized by compulsive consumption of pornographic material without self control. This consumption can easily take over a person’s personal and professional life and functions like any other type of behavioral addiction such as compulsive gambling.
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Although porn addiction is not officially recognized by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), many psychologists are beginning to treat it as a real addiction. One of the characteristics of any addiction is tolerance to the product. In the case of pornography addicts, they need to look at increasingly extreme pornography in order to derive satisfaction. Although this tolerance is disputed by psychologists, there is anecdotal evidence in psychological case studies.
Pornography addiction is still disputed mostly because psychologists are not sure whether it is a compulsion or an addiction. Although some cases of pornography addiction have been treated in similar ways to other behavioral addictions like gambling, there is no widespread agreement on pornography’s addictive nature.
Not all problematic pornography use can be labeled as addiction. However, psychologists agree that the overuse of pornography to the exclusion of all other forms of sexual intimacy can be a problem.