Can Erectile Dysfunction Have Psychological Causes?

Contrary to popular belief, erectile dysfunction does not only affect older men – it cuts across all ages. According to a study, about 26% of new erectile dysfunction (ED) cases are men under the age of 40.

Although the condition is linked to underlying health problems like diabetes or heart disease in older adults, for men under 40, this might not entirely be the case. This means that there are other causes apart from physical health issues that might lead to ED. The truth of the matter is, psychological factors also play an active role for most men suffering from ED. This post will shed some light on some of these psychological factors and some of the treatment options available.

Common Psychological Causes of ED

1. Stress and anxiety 

These are two different causes of ED, but they are loosely related. Most men who experience stress most likely experience anxiety too. This can be a vicious cycle because stress causes anxiety, which may lead to more stress.

When under stress, the body’s ability to trigger hormones associated with the intimate response is weakened. Therefore, it may be difficult to achieve an erection because the necessary signals are distorted.

2. Depression

Many people associate depression with sadness, which is not entirely the case. Depression is a serious condition that weighs down a person, both in mind and in body. Therefore, many different aspects of a person’s life can be affected. It may be caused by emptiness, hopelessness, guilt, fatigue, frustration, or agitation, among other factors.

It is only natural that these factors may hinder you from taking pleasure in anything, even intimate activity. This can result in an inability to achieve an erection and affects sufferers of all ages.

3. Guilt 

Once a man feels like he can’t please his partner because of being unable to get an erection, it might lead to further ED. When the problem persists, guilt just doesn’t become a side effect of erectile dysfunction, but a cause of ED by itself. When these feelings persist, it will ultimately lead to low self-esteem as the man feels terrible because he is unable to perform and please his partner.

4. Relationship Problems

A lot of people have trouble building a healthy relationship with their partners. Before you get to truly know someone, you have to invest both time and trust. When someone feels like they aren’t quite clicking with their partner, it starts causing a strain in the relationship. This will be the beginning of relationship problems, and it will most likely extend to their intimate life. Sometimes the root cause of such issues could be ED, which just causes a vicious cycle, affecting all other aspects of a person’s life.

Possible Treatment Options for ED

Fortunately, erectile dysfunction does not have to last forever – it is possible to treat the condition. Here are some of the possible treatment options for ED.

1. Slow things down

Sometimes all it takes is some patience and a little more time to make things happen. Maybe it is also time to change your pleasure script because your previous one could not be working. Slow everything down, let your body feel the moment as you get ready for intimate activity. This could involve communicating with your partner, ensuring you feel uncomfortable, and allowing both of you to work through the problem together. It could be that you just need more closeness and arousal before intimate activity.

2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

This is a very common type of therapy that could also work for men who have erectile dysfunction. It may require you to get help from a therapist to help in the identification and alteration of any possible unhealthy patterns that may be causing your ED. However, if you are not ready to talk to someone, you can practice some at-home therapies, like meditation, rhythmic breathing, or guided imagery.

3. Medication

If you realize the condition is worsening, you can pay a visit to a doctor who will be able to prescribe some medication for erectile dysfunction. Many successful ED medications are oral. Some of these medications are Viagra (Sildenafil), Stendra (Avanafil), or Tadanafil. However, you need to understand that these medications will not result in an immediate erection – intimate stimulation is still required.

Although ED can be a deeply troubling condition, following the advice above and consulting with a healthcare professional will allow almost all men suffering from psychological erectile dysfunction to resume a normal, healthy intimate life. Remember, being open with your partner and willing to accept help is the first step towards curing erectile dysfunction.