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Bay Area Therapy Center Cures Man Of Internet Porn Addiction

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(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A Bay Area therapy center is offering treatment for Internet addictions involving social media, online gaming and pornography.

One person who called himself “Danny” told KPIX 5 he spent at least 30 hours a week watching Internet porn.

“I would have breakfast, watch porn, go to work, get back from work, watch porn a little bit, watch a movie or have dinner, and then, um, watch more porn before bedtime.”

All that porn meant he never left his apartment. It affected his sex life and led to him breaking up with his girlfriend.

How much did technology and the Internet contribute to this problem? “It was a huge contribution,” he said.

Experts say the selection, privacy and the convenience of the internet, combined with the powerful chemicals that form in the brain from watching pornography has created a whole new generation of addicts, people with no history of addiction before.

“We’re seeing millions of people who never would have had a problem back in the magazine days,” said Dr. Elaine Brady, who heads the Bay Area’s first treatment center for Internet addictions, which also include online gaming and social media.

Brady said long-term porn addictions can cause negative effects in the bedroom. “They can’t perform normally in relational sex because their brains are so conditioned to these really intense and very specific images and sounds that they’re used to seeing,” she said.

As for Danny, he is attending meetings, installed porn filters on his computer, and now has a new girlfriend. He has been clean for a year.

“I think you really have to look at yourself and look at how you’re affecting other people.”

Unlike drug or alcohol abuse, Internet addiction is not officially recognized as a medical illness and not yet covered by most medical insurance.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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