Are you addicted to ASMR videos?

logoWEB5

Are you addicted to ASMR videos?

As the popularity of ASMR videos is rising, some of you have already asked the question: Can ASMR videos be addictive? In my video ‘Myself exposed’ I had doubted the existence of addiction to the ASMR videos, explaining that the tingles weaken or disappear when overexposed to ASMR triggers. However, in this article I am going to look into the phenomenon of ASMR and addiction in more depth.

First, we need to understand what addiction is and how it occurs. There is always an emotional component to each addiction, whether it is food, social media, sex, self-mutilation, shopping or emotional drama. There is always some emotional pain from the past that an addict will try to distract herself from and will be unable to control her behaviour.

asmr-addiction
Addictions are a self-medicating behavior that attempts to sedate the discomfort in our emotional bodies. This discomfort occurs as a result of an early trauma or threatening experience as a self-defense mechanism. We learn how to live with this discomfort by denying and avoiding it until we become numb to it. However this avoidance leads to distracting behaviors e.i. addictions. So there is always an emotional component involved.

Many people today believe that there are more addictions than ever due to the internet and social media. However, in past, addictions weren’t recognised as such and in many cultures to present day, addicts are seen as being possessed by a spirit or evil forces.

Overall, blaming ASMR videos as a source of addiction is absurd, just like blaming food for development of obesity or bulimia. However, an addict will self-medicate and will lose control over his behaviour and that may happen with drugs, food or ASMR. Just because food can become addictive doesn’t mean that food is harmful and does not have any amazing health promoting properties (besides being essential to our survival). By the same token, people watching ASMR videos report numerous health and emotional benefits included in the following comments from ASMR viewers:

Hi Olivia just wanted to say thank you so so much for your videos .. I suffer with insomnia & trying to break the cycles was almost impossible till I found you channel on YouTube.
Haven’t had a chronic episode since xx

My job should be more stressful than ever at the moment, all things considered, but I’m more relaxed than ever thanks to ASMR. I hope that one day ASMR will be recognised as a legitimate therapy aid to reducing stress, because I know that you have helped me immensely.

I recently lost my family to a car accident and find it very difficult to sleep. I happened upon your channel and your voice, personality and attitude do make a big difference to people’s lives. So thank you for doing what you do and keep going.

About two months ago, I was in a very deep depression & felt quite horrid. I was not sleeping either and was close to suicide.. But I am in a much better place now & on the road to recovery. And you’ll be proud to know that discovering your soothing videos has helped immensely. I have been able to mentally heal & relax at night/day from listening to them all – while also getting some other needed forms of help from my doctor.

In the survey by American Psychological Association in 2009, nearly half of adults reported increased stress levels comparing to the previous year. We put more pressure on our lives than ever, yet, we’ve found that we can relax by being surrounded by these pleasant tingles. Hundreds of thousands of people suddenly find the time to relax more than ever before. I’d be surprised if this did not reflect in our overall health but we need to wait for more controlled studies on that. For now, we have a choice; To abuse pleasure or to use it to elevate.

Are you addicted to ASMR videos?

To answer this question, first, you need to ask yourself:

  • Can I choose how many videos I want to watch or is it totally out of my control?
  • Is watching ASMR videos affecting my social life?
  • Do I become irritated if I don’t have the access to ASMR?

If you’ve answered yes to any or all of the questions above, please consider help from an experienced psychotherapist who specializes on addictions who will be able to advise you on further steps.