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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Pornography And Depression: Is There A Link?

Pornography or porn is a portrayal of erotic behavior which is intended or meant to stimulate sexual excitement or arousal to satisfy the viewer.

Such pornographic films include sexual fantasies, nudity, sexual intercourse, and other stimulating materials.

When people speak of the possible link between pornography and depression, there are two

ways of thinking approach:

  1. Are depressed people more likely to watch porn?

  2. Does pornography trigger depression?

A girl use Laptop

Are Depressed People More Likely to Watch Porn?

Depression is a very serious illness. It will make a person feel sad, hopeless, and unmotivated. At first, the symptoms start out as psychological and they soon progress to physical symptoms like:

  1. Loss of appetite

  2. Sleeplessness

  3. Physical pain

A person may start to feel lonely, unloved, stressed and due to that lack of feeling in their own lives, it could push them towards pornography. This is because, during masturbation, the body will feel a source of relief.

Here’s why.

Masturbation effects on the brain

When a person masturbates, their body releases a number of hormones like dopamine, testosterone, oxytocin, endorphins, etc.

They have mood-boosting effects and force-induce a feeling of pleasure, happiness, and love. Moreover, they can also stimulate you to get further aroused.

As a result, masturbation can seriously alleviate your mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help you sleep better or fall asleep easier.

When a person is depressed and sad, they will tend to look for an easy way out or a quick relief, one is which is usually not long-lasting, forcing them to redo it all over again- and pornography is the perfect example of this.

In fact, this is the sole reason behind most causes of porn addiction which the use of masturbation as a good relaxation technique is overused. Soon, the person will become dependent on it and will require it more and more frequently.

A boy use laptop

Credit: pexels

Does Pornography Trigger Depression?

Another way to look it is to question the possibility of pornography causing depression. Although there are positive effects of masturbation, they aren’t always positive.

Quite often, a person who masturbates and watches porn could be feeling guilt, shame, self-loathing, and anxiety, especially when they are continuously told by society that this act is not right. Some people also report a feeling of disgust after masturbation.

Moreover, watching porn could also possibly make one feel less satisfied with their sex life with their partners as they fill their heads with ideas and impractical fantasies or delusional perception of reality. This can seriously damage or affect their relationship with their loved one.

Porn addiction could also seriously reprioritize your life and affect productivity in your day-to-day activities, social skills, and your job. Porn addicts usually would prefer to spend free time alone by themselves to indulge in masturbation.

The lack of control, addiction, the decline in social life, and loss of interest in their personal love life and interest could eventually push a person and trigger depression and other psychological issues.

A Man working on laptop

Credit: Pixabay

Why is this Link So Important to Explore?

Even with progressive thinking, society still gives you a hard time when it comes to openly discuss pornography.

As mentioned above there is a very promising link between pornography and depression, but since both mental health and porn such topics that are not oh high indulgence, people do not realize how problems like porn addition can affect their relationships and vice versa.

In addition to that, if.a person is seriously addicted to porn, it has almost become impossible for a person to avoid it and it is so easily available on the internet.

Thus, the lack of awareness or the unwillingness to discuss will lead to the person receiving less help in this struggle, which will only make their addiction and mental health worse.


To conclude, yes, there is a strong link between depression and pornography, especially in the case of porn addiction.

However, it is important to point out that masturbation alone could be beneficial to a person. In fact, doctors claim that masturbation and pornography can positively impact your mental and physical health.

Thus, we must understand that not everyone who watches porn is depressed, but depressed people could possibly be watching porn to fill in the void,  loneliness, or to attain satisfaction and relief.

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