Is your child watching porn? Seek help

Incidents of children viewing pornography are increasing at an alarming rate warned the doctors. Doctors say children between the age group of 12-15 like to view sensuous stuff as they are at the peak of the sexual activity

Is your child watching porn? Seek help

Have you been worried with the thought of your teenage child watching porn on his/her phone? Your concerns may be right to an extent as city psychiatrists are seeing a rising number of parents seeking their help for their adolescent aged child being hooked to porn watching.

Doctors say easy accessibility to porn online is a major contributing factor. They say, whether it happens by accident or through website popups and misleading links or because they are actively looking for it, it’s important to help children to understand the impact of porn on them.

Dr. Avinash De Sousa, Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder Trustee – De Sousa Foundation, was visited by Vishal (name changed) and his parents sometime back. “While searching for something on Google, accidentally some porn image popped out. He clicked and viewed it. Then, the child started viewing pornography casually, but over a period of time, he got addicted to it. He viewed porn every day, for around two-three hours.”

Dr. De Sousa informed, “Later, he started watching porn for more than four-five hours and never allowed his parents to touch his mobile or computer as all his pornographic materials were saved there. Parents confronted him and brought to us. We had put him on medication and behavioural therapy where he and his family were counselled.”

According to doctors, porn addiction is a worldwide problem.  A U.K. study commissioned for the Channel 4 documentary “Porn on the Brain” in conjunction with The Daily Telegraph indicated that addiction to pornography is causing problems among many teens. Conducted by researchers at the University of East London, the study finds that one-fifth of boys between the ages of 16 and 20 reported that they relied on pornography as a stimulant necessary for actual sex

Dr De Sousa further said, “Children in adolescent age group of 13 to 19 have easy access to pornography and start viewing it because of the inquisitiveness. If the addicted kid is not allowed or doesn’t get to see porn, he gets disturbed and irritated, angry and depressed. I get 4-5 adolescent cases very month. They need help as they might be under academic pressure or have a low self-esteem.”

Kids between the ages of 12-15 like to view sensuous stuff as they are at the peak of the sexual activity, and between the age group of 12-20, they have an easy access to porn online.

There is peer pressure. Earlier kids would see pictures like play boy. But now it is available on video so they get in to these said doctors. “There is a DGP syndrome (Drugs, Games, and Porn Addiction) among children. Most of them get addicted because of lack of communication in the house, poor understanding of sexuality and sex education, explained Dr Harish Shetty, consulting psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital.

Dr. Shetty also mentioned about a case with reference to this. “Rita (name changed) showed her nude body to her boyfriend Nilay (name changed). They both are below 18 and were addicted to porn and experimented after watching it. He filmed her and uploaded it on a porn site. The girl later got scared and told her parents. Her parents reported it to the police. Both were counselled and are doing well now.

Dr. Nitin K Shah, consultant paediatrician, PD Hinduja Hospital, said that parents don’t block the porn site or regulate what their children are viewing. Children are given access to smart phone and laptops as parents are themselves hooked to the phone. There is no interaction between parents and child”.

Children confuse fiction with reality said doctors. “Earlier, there was an exposure to smoking and alcohol at an early age. But now, children are getting exposed to porn at an early age. There is no awareness regarding sex education, so porn becomes their primary source of information,” explained Dr. Sagar Mundada, youth wing president, of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra chapter.

As a parent, it is important to understand the risks associated with watching porn at a young age so that you can talk to your child about how to stay safe. “Watching porn at an early age can hinder sexual encounter and future relationships. There should be an easy flow of communication between parents and children”, said Dr. Heena Merchant Pandit, Consultant Psychiatrist and  assistant professor in department of psychiatry, KEM Hospital, Parel.

Dr Shetty advised that, “Talking about sexuality in school and families is must. Trust your child completely but keep your eyes open”.

Tips for parents:

As a parent, it is important to understand the risks associated with watching porn at a young age.

Educate your kids about sex.

Ensure free flow of communication with your children.

Regulate the content which your kid is viewing on the laptop, computer or a mobile.

Seek help if your child is hooked to pornography.