Why is it important to reach out for help?
It’s important to be open about our pornography use with God, our bishops, and, if we are married, our spouses. We may also seek help from Church leaders, professionals, our families, and other trusted individuals. (See “Can I do this on my own?” to learn more about why opening up can be helpful.)
Many have found that seeking help enables them to feel supported, gain perspective, overcome feelings of shame, and be more accountable.
Who might I turn to for help?
If, when, and how we turn to others for help are personal decisions that should be made with careful consideration and prayer. We should determine what help we feel we need and who we trust and feel comfortable with.
Discussing our pornography problems may feel overwhelming, and we may worry about how others will react if we open up to them. Some may react negatively, especially if our actions have betrayed their trust. But when we reach out for help and are sincere in our desire to change, many will respond with love, support, and understanding.
In addition to seeking help from God, our family, and, if we are married, our spouses, there are many other people to consider turning to. Church leaders such as bishops, Relief Society presidents, quorum presidents, and ministering brothers and sisters are often ready and willing to provide support. We can also turn to other trusted people in our lives, such as friends and mentors.
We may also need help figuring out the underlying reasons for our pornography problems. Meeting with carefully selected professionals such as medical doctors and qualified mental health professionals or participating in support groups may be good ways to find help.
The Savior promised, “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18). He often comforts us through others, but in many instances, we must take the first steps toward allowing them to help.
Ideas for Taking Action
Here are some ideas that others have found helpful. Prayerfully consider what actions might be best for you, taking into account that they may or may not be listed here.
- Identify who you might reach out to for help. (See pages 88–89 in the Support Guide: Help for Spouses and Family of Those in Recovery for suggestions.) As you identify resources, consider those you already have a relationship of trust with. Help may also come in the form of self-help books, credible websites, or meeting with professionals.
- Consider what you should share with those you choose to open up to. Also, consider the specific ways you want them to help. Be prepared to be honest with them. (See “Be Humble, Be Honest, and Seek Truth.”) What can you share to help them understand your needs?
- Consider ways you might connect with others. This may include things such as engaging in meaningful worship, attending a support group, volunteering for a service organization, taking a class in your community, joining a team, or spending time with loved ones.
- Think about whether biological issues might be affecting you. Consider consulting with health specialists or adjusting your diet, sleep habits, or exercise routine.