"Addiction is what occurs when a reward is pursued despite adverse consequences," he says.
Hilton compares two men, one who sits at a blackjack table for hours waiting for a financial pay-off with a man who stares at a computer all day waiting for an orgasmic pay off. They're both pursuing a reward despite negative consequences but under the new DSM-5, only the gambler would have an addiction.
While Berridge at the University of Michigan hasn't specifically studied pornography, he's interested in the discussion.
"I think it's very plausible that for some individuals each of these things (drugs, porn, gambling) is addictive," Berridge says. "But the question will be, in how many individuals? It's almost certain that the labels will be over-applied to people who don't quite fit that, and that's the danger we run with any label."
Deem says he doesn’t care how he's labeled, nor does he mind if people don't believe his story.
He's too busy mentoring his YMCA kids and arranging discussions at local schools to share how using pornography affected him.
And after 780 days of no porn and no masturbation, Deem says his mental clarity and powers of concentration are sharper than they've ever been and that his energy levels are sky high. He also says he’s happier than he thought possible.
"I know the pain of recovery and finding out that I basically screwed myself up by watching porn my whole life," Deem says. "If (someone) had told me (about the biological consequences), yes, that would have definitely been a help to me, so that's what I'm trying to do."
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