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To Sam

My addiction to pornography.

Hi Sam,

About three quarters of a year ago, I was on Instagram and I was scrolling through my feed and found that one of my friend's accounts had been hacked and that it had been turned into a porn account. Horrified, I blocked the account, reported the account, and I haven't heard from it since. But, I later found myself on Porn websites.

I think my mum and dad caught me once because they blocked the websites, but I'm not sure because they never talked about it to me. I noticed they randomly unblocked the websites, but I think this is getting to my schoolwork because ever since I have been watching porn, My schoolwork has dropped from above average to just average. It feels like there are two sides of my head saying "What are you thinking?!" and "Just five more minutes".

Please help me.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Watching porn can become addictive and can be very difficult to stop. Being addicted to something can have an impact on your life. It can be a sign that something is becoming a problem when you start to not want to do anything else, except that.

Getting back into a routine where you can focus on your schoolwork and spend more time with others around you may reduce the time you spend watching porn. Filling your spare time by listening to music, playing games or being creative may lead to you spending less time on social media. You could also take up a sport or new hobby and use this as a distraction.

Lots of young people watch porn or are curious about it, but there are lots of things to bear in mind. Porn is meant for adults and doesn’t usually show what sex is really like. It can be harmful because it gives the wrong idea of what's normal and what's not. It’s important to remember that porn isn't real, and isn't usually a good example of relationships and sex.

It sounds like you might be worried and embarrassed about what your parents think. You could talk to your parents about putting filters on the internet because you are worried about things you may see online. This could stop them bringing up the subject when you least expect it.

Breaking a habit is difficult and can take some time. Some people are able to stop something straight away, whereas others may need to come off an addiction slowly. If you are able to reduce the amount you watch even just a little bit each day, that is a step towards stopping.

If you need to talk about this some more with someone who won't judge you, then a Childline counsellor is ready and waiting to listen and support you.

Take care,

Sam

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