Did you get a “wake-up call”?

Maybe you are looking for help now because you accessed something online that scared you. Perhaps something that happened recently is a “wake-up call” that your online activity is getting out of control. You may have reached a limit in your ability to tolerate the shame or stress of leading a “double life”. Maybe someone in your life found the courage to let you know they are concerned about what you do online. The online world via computers, other devices and networks offers a sense of anonymity which increases the chance that we will take risks and experiment with behavior we might never attempt in “real life”.

If you want to quit, but feel you can’t do it alone, there is help.

Perhaps some bad things have happened recently as a result of your online sexual behavior. Sometimes more concrete results of our behavior help break down our denial and motivate change. Denial is a powerful force and you rely on it to allow for ongoing risky or illegal sexual behavior. The first step is to admit that you have a problem and that you need help to stop. Most adults who struggle with addictive behaviors need help from someone else to stop. Once you find the support and professional guidance you need, you’ll learn ways to replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones.

There are clear warning signs that your online behavior is dangerous or out of control.

Although you may be skilled at hiding problematic behaviors from others, if you take an honest look at yourself, you might notice some clear signals that something is not right. You may be justifying to yourself that using child pornography “keeps you” from committing a in-person offense. Maybe you find yourself blaming your use of pornography on other people or events.

Take a look at the warning signs below. Some of them may not be directly related to problems with online behavior, and could be a result of other factors in your life. But if you feel that your use of pornography is becoming distracting, unmanageable, or if you have violated your own ethical standards, these are good reasons to seek help so you can learn ways to get back on track. Bottom line -- if you find yourself attracted to sexual images of children, now is the time to seek help.

Have you changed the way you use the Internet?

Are you isolating yourself?

Have you suffered losses as a result of your sexual behaviors?

Are you noticing sexual changes in yourself?

Five things you can do if you are troubled by your own online activity:

  1. Get connected to professional help
  2. Review an internet addiction screening 
  3. Tell a trusted friend that you are feeling troubled and ask for their support
  4. Read more about Internet addiction and recovery on any of the resource sites below
  5.  “unplug”.

Adapted with permission from Stop It Now! UK & Ireland, The Internet and Children – What’s the Problem, http://www.stopitnow.org.uk

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Our Resources

Helpful Organizations
Organization: CROGA

Description: A free and anonymous guide to help identify and explore behaviors associated with accessing illegal sexual images online. This self-directed program offers techniques to cope with difficult emotions and thoughts which impact illegal use of the Internet. Not meant as a substitute for specialized treatment.
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Organization: Internet Behavior Consulting Company

Description:

Cybersex addiction and internet addiction resources useful to professionals, parents and those concerned about their own cybersexual behavior. Includes an online workbook

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Organization:

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Helpful Articles
Title:Understanding problematic sexual behavior on the Internet, recovery tools, and changing the way you live.
Abstract:Pointing to a way out, this book explores the danger signs, dynamics of the addict
Authors:
Joseph M. Moriarity, Patrick J. Carnes, David L. Delmonico,Elizabeth Griffin.
Related Files:
Title:Cybersex Unhooked: A Workbook for Breaking Free from Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior
Abstract:Workbook to help people who are struggling with online compulsive sexual behaviors
Authors:
Internet Behavior Consulting Company
Related Files:
Helpful Links