When people talk about addiction, it’s usually drugs. Tobacco, heroin, cocaine, meth, sometimes alcohol, and even caffeine. Although it may not be discussed in this context as often, pornography is also a drug. A virtual drug that can be accessed any time of day, anywhere, for free.

The result? Pornography addiction is one of the most widespread addictions on this planet. Many would argue that they’re not addicted, that viewing pornography is harmless —even empowering and healthy— but today, I’d like to add my voice to those clamoring for change.

1. It reduces your self-esteem

When you’re watching videos of steroidal men and impossibly busty women go at it on a regular basis, it’s going to take a toll on the way you view yourself. It hurts the way you feel about your sexual performance. It gives you unrealistic expectations for the way you should look in the mirror. Nothing about porn is designed to make you feel good about yourself; rather, it convinces you that you’ll never be or get anything that good in real life, so you might as well keep watching. It’s a vicious, endless cycle. Did you know that porn binges are a thing?

2. Porn kills your relationships

Pornography addiction damages relationships. Time spent feeding an addiction is time not spend strengthening relationships with friends, family, and your significant other. As a result, those relationships become damaged, making addicts feel isolated, and then making the addiction worse as they hurl themselves into the drug to make up for that loneliness.

Pornography addiction is particularly damaging to an addict’s relationship with their significant other. The nature of pornography is such that it distracts an addict from real intimacy with fantasy that stimulates the brain until that’s all it wants. Male and female partners of pornography addicts report feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, and worthlessness. In fact, spouses and partners of sex addicts can experience PTSD at their hands.

3. Say goodbye to your sex life

Chances are, if you like pornography, you like sex. Heads up: watching (or reading) pornography can be a big turn-off for you in the bedroom. Because pornography allows you to watch just about anything you want at a moment’s notice, it can make real sex seem less fun or exciting. It reduces the addict’s desire for the real deal, alienating their significant other.

Many pornography addicts build up a sort of tolerance and need to view more explicit content for the same level of satisfaction. We are seeing an all-time high in cases of erectile dysfunction in young men, and pornography is a likely culprit.

4. Porn is a waste of time

There’s only so much time in the day, and you don’t benefit in any way when you spend that time watching pornography. Like other addictions, it’s not productive, and wasting your time in this manner can hold you back from progressing in your personal and professional life. You’ll have trouble building or even maintaining relationships with people, and you’ll have less time to focus on advancing in your career or handling schoolwork.

Pornography and other addictions aren’t the only time-wasters dragging us down. HBO, Netflix, Pinterest, YouTube, Halo, Candy Crush — pick your poison. This isn’t to say that you should be productive 24/7, but when you’re addicted to something, it tends to keep you from moving forward at all.

Get Help

If any of this sounds familiar, get help. Sex can feel good again. You can like what you see in the mirror again. You can take your life back. There are lots of groups and services out there that are designed to help you achieve that and more — from Fight the New Drug’s Fortify program to private addiction treatment centers. Whatever you do, take it seriously and fight back.