Jeremy was eighteen when he first saw a therapist to address his issue with pornography. While he didn’t view his problem as an addiction, the therapist clearly did. Jeremy told the counselor that he was exposed to pornography at the age of eight and still remembered the very first image he ever saw as if it were yesterday—that image would be classified as sadomasochism.

“Those images have never left me, and I’ve been stuck on them all these years,” he told John, his therapist. As Jeremy continued in therapy with John, he continually expressed an overwhelming sense of pain and shame.

Jeremy didn’t show up for his fourth session—he had taken his own life three days earlier. The note Jeremy left behind expressed the unrelenting shame associated with those images and his belief that he could never be free from them.