Psychological Erectile Dysfunction Problems: Causes and Effects
Erectile dysfunction or ED is a common sexual health condition in men that do not allow them to achieve and maintain a penile erection which is firm and long enough for proper intercourse and adequate sexual pleasure.
ED might occur out of any one or even multiple physical as well as psychological reasons. Of these two, psychological reasons make up about 10 to 20% of all the cases of ED across the globe and is often a secondary reaction to an underlying physical cause. The most common psychological causes of ED might be as mentioned below:
Psychological Reasons or Causes for Erectile Dysfunction
- Excessive stress, which might be job-related, money-related, or the result of marital problems, among other factors.
- Anxiety occurs as soon as a man experiences a single instance of erectile dysfunction. Men may become overly worried that the problem reoccur again; which can again lead to ‘performance anxiety’, or a fear of sexual failure, and consistently lead to ED.
- Depression is one of the most common causes of ED, that affects a person physically and psychologically. Depression is so dangerous that it can inflict symptoms of ED even when a man is completely comfortable in sexual situations. Even the pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat depression, may also cause ED.
- Excessive porn consumption can cause unrealistic expectations about sex or sexual partners. The brain can become ‘trained’ to expect and need that kind of experience in order to achieve arousal for ED. This effect is so common it has its own diagnosis – pornography-induced erectile dysfunction or (PIED).
Now that we know the probable psychological reasons behind symptoms of ED in men, let us discuss the probable psychological effects or impact that might happen due to them.
- Only a couple of men carry the courage to accept the symptoms of erectile dysfunction in them with a stoic shrug. This in turn is much more likely to cause one to feel extremely negative emotions like extreme anger, envy and even excessive bitterness towards people around them.
- Very low self-esteem, a feeling of inadequacy or incompetency might get triggered due to prior instances of ED; or it can be just the result of other issues unrelated to sexual performance.
- On being affected by erectile dysfunction, even if for once, men often feel guilty that they are not satisfying their partner. This even pulls down their sexual drive to a great extent.
- Depression is not just a cause, but also an outcome of erectile dysfunction among many men. Unsatisfactory sexual life pushes most men into a traumatic state, which is full of despair.
- Indifference towards a partner may come as a result of age and a subsequent loss of interest in sex; whether it is due to some medications or out of some other problems in a couple’s relationship.
Such effects can be seamlessly and aptly represented in a flow chart as given below:
Impact or Effects of Erectile Dysfunction due to Psychological Reasons
Psychological impacts of Erectile Dysfunction Explained in below figure( Source)
Probable Treatments for Psychogenic ED Symptoms in Men
Psychogenic ED is treated by addressing the psychological factors involved.
The main treatment methods for psychogenic ED include:
- Psychotherapy can help patients identify their thoughts and feelings related to sexual activity and impotence. Via such therapy, patients can actually develop balanced thoughts about themselves, and improve their relationships and sexual performance.
- Couple counselling can create an opportunity for partners to improve communication about intimacy and sex, examine their sexual relationship, and gain insight and understanding of each other’s sexual functioning.
- Relaxation techniques that involve breathing strategies, meditation, or visualization may promote calmness and relaxation.
- Authorised healthcare practitioners may prescribe medications to physically help a patient achieve an erection, or medications for managing psychological symptoms, including antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.