in the Workplace
By Tess Marshall
The executive who
surfs the web for Internet porn sites on and off throughout the work
day or secretly plans a business trip around a "new
friend" discovered in a chat room is out of control.
Research indicates 70% of Internet porn is downloaded during
the standard workday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Surveys have shown that 30% of men and 13 % of women admit to
using porn online during working hours.
The use of porn at
work results in lost time, talent, creativity, productivity, and
outstanding employee hooked on porn is unable to work at full
capacity. Riddled with
feelings of shame, guilt, and regret.
The results are lost productivity and profitability for the
Sam's story: Sam's first experience with porn began years ago when he came across his
dad's adult magazines. Later he found himself searching the web for
pornographic sites during the wee hours of the morning trying to
escape the pressure of attending an ivy-league college. Sam
graduated and began work as an engineer at a fortune 500 Company
where he began downloading porn during working hours to escape the
pressure of staying on top of his game.
Eventually he began
experiencing mood swings and lost his ability to focus.
He was consumed by feelings of disgust, shame, and
self-hatred due to the amount of time he wastes and his inability to
stop. The only way Sam
could feel better was to continue self-medicating with porn.
Porn helped Sam temporarily forget about his feelings of
fear, powerlessness, inadequacy and unworthiness.
Again and again he found himself lost in his dark world of
porn at work. He
continued to waste time, talent and opportunity until he found
himself without a job.
Sam was unable to
control his desire for porn at work. If
he wasn't able to surf the web for porn like an alcoholic who needs a drink
he became irritable, tense and anxious.
Like an alcoholic he acquired a tolerance to pornography and
needed to see more graphic porn more often to get the initial high.
As Sam's life continued to spiral out of control he continued to do the
same thing in spite of the negative consequences of his behavior.
He lost his status as an outstanding employee as he became
out of touch with reality.
Everyday millions of
people experience the same pain Sam does.
Studies have proven that viewing pornography can be as mood
altering and have the same effect on the brain as narcotic drugs.
A chemical in the brain, epinephrine "burns" images
of porn permanently into the memory at cellular level, images can
easily be remembered and triggered by a word, a display in the mall,
the sight of a woman at the grocery store or a newsstand.
Sam is a porn addict
and like Sam many porn addicts find it impossible to turn off their
addiction at work. Porn
addicts isolate from friends and colleagues.
Their interests and hobbies go by the wayside.
They live in fear of being found out.
They feel crazy from the stress of living a secret life.
No matter how many times an addict promises himself or others
they will quit it is impossible.
Eventually an addict is swallowed up by a dark void and
feelings of emptiness.
Anyone with a
computer, a cell phone or a PDA with Internet access has the
opportunity to become addicted to porn.
Porn addicts come from all walks of life: CEOs, Executives,
painters, factory workers, computer geeks, couch potatoes,
electricians, accountants, married couples, parents, volunteers,
senior citizens, and children.
Porn addicts suffer
extreme emotional pain due to painful unresolved trauma.
Trauma can include childhood abuse, neglect, sexual abuse,
incest, divorce, illness, and addictions.
You may medicate with porn to avoid the pain of an unhappy
marriage or relationship, work dissatisfaction, debt, self-hatred,
other addictions, fear, or depression. Porn will temporarily
medicate your emotional pain.
emotional trauma but many fail to deal with it in a healthy manner.
Some don't know how, others are in denial, some are ashamed, and others
refuse to change. Some are willing to reach out for help and others
Ask yourself about
porn, "Can I take it or leave it?"
Then go thirty days without looking at porn on or off line.
If you really don't care about it and don't have a need to use it, if you find yourself rarely thinking about
it—then you are probably not addicted.
Characteristics of an
addiction are loss of control, continuing behavior in spite of
negative consequences and obsession with the activity.
These criteria were adapted from the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (1996)
Treatment is similar
for all addictions. An
addict needs to admit they have a problem and take 100%
responsibility for their life. Recovery
from porn addiction has to be the number one priority.
Total and complete abstinence from porn is necessary.
You have to clean house.
Delete and destroy everything that has to do with your
addiction on line and off. Eliminate
cable television. Direct your phone company to block area code
900 numbers. Disconnect
the television in your hotel room.
is necessary to have a few accountability partners who will hold
you accountable. Choose partners that are wise and mature that
will confront you about porn use.
Find an experienced therapist that will help you heal
your childhood wounds, trauma and addictive behavior.
You will discover how to become comfortable with genuine
a support group: Isolation
keeps you stuck. You
can't heal by yourself. Twelve-step
recovery groups have been proven to work.
You will find acceptance, support and comfort.
It is necessary to
admit you have a problem and get the help you need.
You have the power to create healthy intimate relationships
with family and friends and a wonderful career.
Read other articles and learn more
about Tess Marshall.
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