Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual health problem that makes it difficult for men to get or maintain a firm erection for sexual activity. Nearly every man occasionally has erection problems. However, if you have chronic erectile dysfunction, you may need to seek professional treatment.
The cause of erectile dysfunction may be physical or psychological. Most physical conditions that contribute to erection problems can be remedied with prescription medications or lifestyle changes. Psychological conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction may not be as easy to diagnose and treat.
A study conducted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center found that psychological issues might cause up to 15 percent of erectile dysfunction cases. The most common psychological issues that contribute to erectile dysfunction include anxiety, stress, depression, fear, and relationship problems.
Many people don’t realize that psychological issues have physical effects. For example, anxiety isn’t only in your head. It can cause symptoms such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and fatigue. This can lead to sexual performance problems. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
Almost everyone experiences some type of stress on a daily basis. The amount of stress can be minor or severe. But it’s important to realize that even minor stressors can influence sexual performance. Even if you’re not under a tremendous amount of stress, it can still lead to erectile dysfunction.
In some people, depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This condition can affect sexual performance and libido. Many men are reluctant to seek help for depression. However, it’s important to get treatment because it can help you fully regain healthy sexual function.
A simple one-time problem in the bedroom can lead to fear and poor self-confidence. These feelings can affect your ability to get an erection. In certain case, fear and performance anxiety can start a vicious cycle of erectile difficulty. The cycle may continue until you seek treatment.
For many couples, emotional problems can lead to sexual performance issues. Anger, arguments, and poor communication may decrease sexual desire and create erectile dysfunction symptoms. It’s important to work through these issues with your partner. If you need help with relationship problems, contact a licensed counselor for assistance.
Treatments for the psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
The psychological causes of erectile dysfunction aren’t usually treated with prescription erectile dysfunction medications. In some cases, medications may help. For example, if you’re suffering from depression, you may benefit from a prescription antidepressant medication. However, many psychological causes of erectile dysfunction require patience, time, and counseling.
Psychological issues matter
It’s important to understand that psychological conditions can affect more than just your mind. Issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, fear, and relationship problems can influence your sexual health and overall wellbeing. If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, talk with your doctor about how you’re feeling. Your doctor can identify the cause of your symptoms and help you determine the best treatment for your erection problems.