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Four Reasons Why You May Still Struggle With Porn

By Conquer Series

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“It’s like I’m constantly fighting a war within myself. I want to stay away from porn. I tell myself every time that I give in that this is the last time … but it’s never the last time. I can hold out for a little while, but eventually, there I am watching it again. Afterward, I feel ashamed and weak. Of course, when I feel bad about myself, then I want to feel better. Porn temporarily makes me feel better, but it’s this destructive hamster wheel that I just can’t ever exit.”

According to Michelle Habel, a licensed professional counselor candidate, that was how one man tried to explain his pornography addiction.

Is that how you feel? Trapped in an addiction that seems to have no end in sight? You’ve tried over and over to break free from the vicious cycle. You have seen the damage porn has caused to your life and the harmful effects it has had on your family.

But you just can’t understand why you are stuck continually doing something you know is so destructive. Although there may be many causes and reasons for porn usage, here are a few that are very common.

1.  Past Hurts Still Trouble You

Many porn users had traumatic events in their childhood that left deep, lasting wounds inside. Abuse in any form – sexual, physical, and emotional – created feelings of worthlessness or crushed your self-esteem.

You have kept those dark secrets locked far away in your heart so nobody will ever know.  Initially, you may not even be aware of those wounds.  You may have been operating out of them for so long that you believe they are just who you are, without realizing that healing is available for the pain you’ve felt.

The Recovery Ranch explained, “Dissociation in sex addiction frequently occurs when the problem is related to an early trauma …Its core function is a way of “switching off” something unpleasant, a way to get through the situation without dwelling on the details. This is effectively the same as not wanting to focus on the sensation of having a tooth pulled; it’s much better to try to ignore it as best you can.”

2.  You Are Trying To Medicate The Pain Through Porn

A common misconception is that people use porn to feel good.  On the contrary, it’s actually an attempt to minimize the pain that they are feeling.  It’s not about feeling more, it’s essentially about feeling less.

Your early trauma caused feelings of shame, rejection, and anger over situations you could not control.

A large contributing factor to pornography addiction is feelings of shame.  And it’s not what you’re engaging in or looking at, as that would be more classified as being guilt.  Shame is often how you’ve been trained to think about yourself.

Continual feelings of self-condemnation, which brings about an overwhelming sense of judgment on oneself, is most likely present.  Literally speaking, a person struggling with pornography disapproves of themselves.  And it doesn’t matter if someone in their life presently sings their praises.  Inwardly, they are reminded of all of the times when they weren’t good enough – when they just didn’t seem to measure up.  Those feelings will often linger, until they are identified and then ultimately handed over to God for healing.

Dr. Ted Roberts, the founder of Pure Desire Ministries and the host of a powerful cinematic study called the Conquer Series, related, “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had a man sitting in my office who’s struggled 10, 20, 30 years, and finally he begins to understand the answer to the problem is not trying harder.”

“The turning point for them always takes place when they understand the problem isn’t willpower. It’s a wounded heart. They’re carrying shame within their soul.”

3.  Your Brain Demands More Porn

Your brain’s chemicals – especially dopamine – react favorably to pleasurable stimulation, and build neurological pathways that make it easier to return to those pleasure centers.

LifeStar Therapy said, “In the normal pattern of reward, we perform an activity that makes us feel good, our brain rewards us with dopamine, and then begins building memories of where that good feeling and dopamine release came from. In the future, we seek out those things that gave us a dopamine high in the past and repeat them.”

“The excessive amount of dopamine that floods the system when viewing pornography overwhelms the receptors in the brain. How does the brain cope? Over time, it produces less dopamine or gets rid of dopamine receptors altogether. A tolerance is developed, so to speak, making it harder to get the same “high.” This can lead to a person feeling compelled to expose themselves to pornography more and more just to get the same effect, in spite of any associated pain or guilt.”

The Recovery Village agrees.  “When people use pornography to try to cope with unresolved trauma or other psychological pain, they are at increased risk of establishing a pattern of regular and compulsive porn use. People who have suffered trauma often learn to dissociate from emotions and memories related to the trauma. Porn use can become a way to prolong or intensify these dissociative states.”

4.  You Are Fighting A Spiritual Battle

You may think that all of this information proves that you will probably be stuck in pornography for the rest of your life and there is nothing you can do about it. But that is far from true.

While your past and your brain may be major factors in your porn usage, there is one element that you can’t forget. Your real battle is a spiritual one. Satan is trying to keep you from developing a close relationship with God.

If he can do that by continually flooding your mind with feelings of shame and being unworthy of love – especially God’s love – then he can succeed.

But realize that Satan is a liar. You are not unworthy or unlovable. In fact, God loves you so much that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you to forgive all of your sins, even the sexual ones.

You can defeat your pornography usage. The Bible assures you. As the Apostle Paul said,

”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

Don’t Fight The Battle Alone

Overcoming your porn usage will not be easy, but it will definitely be worth the effort. You have been trapped in porn’s grip long enough.  God has a better life for you and your family.

The Conquer Series is a 12-DVD resource that has helped over one million men around the world begin the journey to a life free from pornography.  The DVDs contain powerful testimonies, solid Biblical teaching, military reenactments, and insightful scientific information.

Committing to participating in a Conquer Series small group will play a major role in reaching and maintaining your sobriety. These groups consist of godly men who have personally experienced the struggle with pornography. They will keep you accountable and provide encouragement, support, and guidance throughout your journey to freedom.

A personal journal and a study guide are also available to keep you focused on the Conquer Series’ principles and give practical steps to use daily.

Joshua Jorstad wrote, “Because of the Conquer Series, I started my journey to be free from porn! I am officially a year and a half clean and have been loving the change. Ultimately, it was God who changed my heart, but your resources helped a bunch!”

Order the Conquer Series today!


The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.


Get started, and order the Conquer Series today.


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