Sometimes referred to as impotence, erectile dysfunction is when a man finds it difficult or cannot achieve and maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. ED can be caused by physical or psychological factors. This is because penile erection occurs due to processes involving the brain, nerves, muscle, and blood vessels; hence the physical ED when those mentioned earlier are affected. However, it is also attributed to hormones and emotions, which, if altered or affected by related problems such as stress, can lead to psychological erectile dysfunction.
Physical ED has traditionally been considered the typical form of the condition. But psychological erectile dysfunction is becoming increasingly common, and since people do not realize that this disorder is psychological and can be treated, it worsens, and many go untreated. Here is what you need to know about psychological ED:
Psychological erectile dysfunction
Did you know that psychological disorders can affect your ability to attain or maintain an erection or orgasm sufficient for sexual function? These psychological factors include:
• Depression – This is a primary contributor to this psychological dysfunction
• Stress – Have you ever had a long gruesome day, and all you wanted to do when you get home was to get an exhilarating sexual experience and rest up after, but you could not get or keep the erection? Regardless of the source, whether a relationship or job-related, stress tends to interrupt the signals between your brain and body, preventing an arousal-based erection.
• Performance anxiety – This occurs primarily due to one incident of a failed performance that leads to constant worry and fear of re-occurrence. It can also be attributed to your body image, penis size, and your notions of gender roles, especially virility perceptions. These contributors lead to a feeling of low self-esteem and incapability.
• Pornography addiction – this potentially leads to ED due to the unrealistic expectations you gradually see for your sexual partner as you masturbate to pornography. Failure for them to achieve your fantasies can result in erectile dysfunction.
There are two indicators for erectile dysfunction:
Psychological factors are addressed once a physical exam rule out all the possible physical contributing factors. For example, to figure out if you have psychological impotence, ask yourself these two questions:
Do I have morning erections?
If you can have the normal morning erection when you wake up but fail to be aroused and erect during sexual intercourse, then psychological problems could be the cause.
Am I able to get an erection while alone?
If you can get an erection when alone but fail to do so when with someone, you could be suffering from the psychological version of ED. This can be caused by stress and nervousness, which leads to performance anxiety.
Treatments for Psychological Impotence
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This treatment, as observed in therapy for other psychological disorders, will help you through the help of a therapist. It aids you in identifying unhealthy patterns and actions that may contribute to the matter, such as performance anxiety.
• Counseling – You can have counseling in cases where the cause is relationship problems.
• Psychotherapy or psychodynamic therapy – This involves addressing a problem you may have subconsciously that could be part of your root cause.
• Sex therapy – This therapy aims to lessen the stress and anxiety factors, building a more secure, comfortable, and reliable sex life.
• You can also use other additional treatments to help you relax better and perform, such as rhythmic breathing, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture.
• Medication – This is not the primary or typical treatment but can be used in situations where depression is a root cause. This consideration is made due to the chemical imbalance caused by this psychological disorder (depression). Anti-depressants play a significant role in such cases. It is also worth noting that anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory medicines, and some other medications can also cause ED.
Experiencing erectile dysfunction, once in a while, is perfectly normal and can happen to any man as they grow older. However, if the condition persists, you need to see a medical expert for help. Try as much as possible to be in the moment and enjoy the sex. This will help reduce the tendencies for such occurrences.