Some Nova Scotians are struggling to keep their passion for porn from interfering with their day-to-day lives. 

It's a battle many are losing, according to Sonja Svensson, a mental health professional that works for the province's forensic sexual behaviour program. The program is part of the Nova Scotia Health Authority's mental health and addictions system.

"We frequently were getting calls from … people themselves in the community who were having problems with pornography usage and how it was affecting their lives in one way or another," she told CBC's Information Morning.

"Definitely we saw that it was a growing problem that needed to be addressed." 

Svensson said her team wasn't sure where to send people who needed help, as her program only deals with people who have been convicted of a crime.

It's not clear how many hours of porn watching it could take for someone to develop a problem. Svensson said that number could vary from person to person. Health professionals consider watching porn a problem when it interferes with a person's regular life or relationships.  

A plan to help

To help people cope with some of these problems, Svensson has helped organize a series of presentations run by mental health professionals called The Porn Diet Talks. The group will travel across the province to meet with people and talk about problematic porn use and how to consume porn in a healthier way. 

Sonja Svensson

Sonja Svensson hopes The Porn Diet Talks will help people cope with their porn problems. (Submitted by Sonja Svensson)

"We're talking about the effects that it has on your body, your brain and on your relationships," she said. 

There's evidence that frequent exposure to porn has a neurological impact and that it has increased the rate of erectile dysfunction, according to Svensson.

She said the rates of erectile dysfunction have gone up dramatically since 2006 with the widespread availability of online streaming pornography. 

Talks will be held across the province

The first of The Porn Diet Talks went ahead in Dartmouth Monday night with about 15 people in attendance. People could ask questions of the professionals anonymously through email or index cards that were handed out to participants. 

All of the questions collected throughout the life of the project will be used to make an online video that will provide answers. The group also has a list of clinicians ready to help people who are having trouble managing their porn consumption.

The next porn talk will take place in Truro on Oct. 18 at the Colchester-East Hants Public Library. The Porn Diet team will also visit Amherst, Kentville, Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Antigonish, Sydney and Kentville.