Story exerpt from: Dever Channel 7
"The pornography industry is really out to get kids hooked on it at an early age because they know that's when they're most pliable, they're most easily influenced because of their brain development," Simon said.
That's where it all starts, the brain. Watching internet porn floods your brain with dopamine and opioids, drugs that makes you feel good; and you can keep it high for prolonged periods of time, with the click of a mouse.
"It was intoxicating, it was like all my pain, all of my self-hatred, all of that was muted, was gone as soon as I looked at pornography, it was like it all washed away," Joe described.
Joe said that feeling of relief was always temporary and was always followed with feelings of guilt and shame.
"Shame is the reason the addiction continues and becomes stronger as time goes on because you don’t want anyone to know," Joe described.
"Rather than developing healthy coping skills, they learn to go to pornography and those difficult feelings will go away, they'll numb out," said Simon.
For Joe, that false sense of freedom from his depression, ultimately chained him to his addiction. You see, viewing porn over time, causes your brain to form new neuropathways. The more you view it, the stronger those pathways become. That flood of dopamine in your brain, overloads your receptors and eventually you need harder stuff and more of it to get the same high.
"This is the exact same experience heroin addicts have when they talk about chasing the first high," said Simon.
Simon said the earlier a child starts watching online porn, the worse the consequences. Multiple studies show porn users struggle to keep relationships, are unhappy with their partners, have low libido and often prefer porn over sexual relationships with a person. Experts like Simon, are seeing a new phenomenon; porn induced erectile dysfunction, or PIED and it's skyrocketing for men in their 20's.
"Medications for ED don't actually work that well because it's not about a physical response. The body works fine, it's about an emotional response," said Simon. "Reality just can't compare."