Unfortunately, I had a pretty traumatic childhood. My parents were always fighting, and I was faced with trying to decide what to do about my own personal feelings. When I got older, I knew that I needed to do something to relieve the stress that I was feeling even many years later, so I started focusing on going to counseling. My first few appointments were a little nerve-racking, but the counselor worked hard to make me feel comfortable. I was really impressed with how gentle and kind she was, and I felt really great about the progress I was making. This blog is all about benefiting from counseling.
As the Internet has grown and computers have become faster, the availability of pornography has grown as well. Unfortunately, many teens can get caught up in the world of Internet pornography and become addicted. Like many forms of addiction, it is often difficult to make a list of specific symptoms; however, the following are a few common signs to watch for.
Late night use of the computer
Often, teenagers will stay up late at night on their computers where they will view a lot of Internet pornography. Teens will think that this is the best time because others in the household are relaxing. Some teens will be up late enough that everyone else in the home has gone to bed. Keep in mind that a teen up late at night may have other reasons for doing so, including cramming for a test. But if staying up late is a pattern that continues to repeat itself, there may be a problem.
Your teen is becoming computer savvy
Pornography addicts are good at hiding their addiction. This is similar to the behavior of other types of addicts. Of course, this can be difficult with Internet pornography. But a teenager with enough skill will know how to hide any files they download as well as hide the sites they visit on the Internet. Some teenagers have learned how to hide their identity on the Internet and their Internet service provider by using advanced techniques. If your teen already knows a lot about Internet technology, there may be no way to detect if their skill is being used for their addiction, but if your teen seems to be learning a lot about surfing the Internet, there may be a problem.
A change in behavior
This type of addiction takes up a lot of a person's time, so you need to be alert to any changes in socializing with friends and relatives. A teenager who has a pornography addiction will be spending an inordinate amount of time online, so the time normally spent with family and friends will be sacrificed. Excuses may be made about not being able to attend a family outing or engage in activities with friends that were common in the past. Again, you must be careful. There are many innocent reasons for not participating in social activities, but if you notice a pattern, then there may be a problem.
If you suspect that your teenager has an Internet pornography addiction, you need to confront them about it. But do not be judgmental and don't become emotional. If it turns out that your teenager has a problem, there are treatment programs for this type of addiction. Search around your area for pornography addiction treatment for teens.