The snake-oil salesmen of the “Christian” world are trying to cure men’s “Porn Addiction” with “Mindfulness”
No, No, No.
What is going on is a deceitful set of profit-seeking frauds (like Mark Wilson ) are attempting to latch onto the newest buzzwords (#Mindfulness, #Addiction, #Porn, and #PornAddiction) to make a buck off of sincere people who just want to serve God and live a good life.
Mindfulness is a technique of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that seeks to help people overcome mood disorders. These Mindfulness Based Therapy (MBT) techniques have been proven to be particularly effective in Borderline Personality Disorder , Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they can also have some effectiveness in depressive disorders.
The only way that MBT techniques work for addiction is by reducing the depression and mood disorders that underlie the addiction.
In other words, addicts use drugs, or gambling, or food or …whatever… in order to make themselves feel better when they are anxious or depressed. So if they are BOTH depressed and addicted, the MBT will help with the depression and so also help with the addiction.
This study shows how this works
But Mindfulness is NOT USEFUL TO CURE ADDICTION by itself.
Let me explain why. MBT teaches the patient to pay attention to the PRESENT state of his own mind and correct his beliefs and attitudes about that state of mind.
For example, in panic disorder, the patient experiences frequent periods of horrifying panic. Their heart races, they sweat, they believe they are going to die. Mindfulness teaches them to say, “I am now entering a state called panic. I feel like I am going to die, but this feeling is not true. In a few minutes I am going to feel better, my heartbeat will return to normal and I will feel fine.” In short, the fact that they are paying attention to their state of mind, instead of the fear, reduces the fear.
Now, let’s apply this to addiction. The addict begins to experience withdrawals. Mindfulness says, “I am now entering a state called withdrawal, my heart is racing, I am sweating, and I will continue feeling bad until I get a fix.” Is this really going to work? No.
The treatment for addiction is, in fact, the opposite. The recovering addict must pay attention to the HOPE for the FUTURE, not the PRESENT. “In a few months, in a few years, I am going to be a better person, I will be proud of myself, therefore I will put off the temptations of the PRESENT for the FUTURE hope.”
Now, let’s apply to this “Sex” or “Porn” addiction. Firstly, it doesn’t exist. Sex is self-limiting. After having received the “fix” of an orgasm, the “addict” has a certain amount of recovery period. If he/she then repeats the sexual experience it is less rewarding, etc. Finally after 5, 6, 10, whatever successive experiences he no longer wishes to have sex for some longer period of time. This is the OPPOSITE of addiction.
Well, you say, what about serial adulterers/ child molesters/rapists etc. These are entirely different situations and they have little to do with “addiction.” They are personality disorders. They do not hit the same areas of the brain and have completely different treatments (for example, divorce, prison and the electric chair)
Finally, “Porn Addiction”. Like “Sex Addiction” it doesn’t exist. Oh yes, there are men who sit all day and do nothing but porn, but the reason that they are doing this is not because they can’t get away from it, but rather that they are depressed, anxious, or bored to tears.
Ok, so what about the guy who can’t stop using porn even though his wife is watching him like a prison guard and threatens to divorce him the next time she catches the browser history uncleared.
This guy is no more “addicted” to porn than a concentration camp survivor is addicted to food. He is being imprisoned away from the Godly desires that God implanted in him. Instead of cutting off his balls, he needs to grow some and instruct his wife in Godly doctrine.