A trigger is anything that starts the mind going down a road that ends in viewing pornography. Your friend could be triggered by a variety of things, like feeling stressed, bored, hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
Other triggers may include driving past an adult billboard, seeing someone in exercise clothes, going to swimming pools and beaches, etc.
Ask your friend what triggered them. It may require some thought to figure it out. Then, have them acknowledge the trigger through a phone call or text, as removing the secrecy will remove its power. They could say something like, “That commercial triggered me, I am stressed and it is triggering me, or my thoughts are going places I don’t want to be.”
It’s best if your friend can avoid known triggers altogether. They can drive a different way to work, not watch certain TV shows, not surf the internet alone, or charge their phone in a different room instead of next to their bed.
Create a call for help your friend can send if a trigger’s power is not going away. Examples include texting you a message like “SOS” or “Help.” It is critical that you quickly contact your friend–often just a text or quick phone call is enough–and ask what help they need.
Our next topic: The Long-Term Change Process.
This is a 7-part mini-series on how to help your friend stay away from pornography.
Part 1: Why Do People Look at Pornography?
Part 2: Your Role as an Accountability Partner
Part 3: What Should I Do If I Discover That My Friend Looked At Pornography?
Part 4: Justification Sounds Like…
Part 5: What is a Trigger?
Part 6: The Long-Term Change Process
Part 7: In Case You Need More Help