At one point or another, all men will experience Erectile Dysfunction (ED). While many men think of it as “an older man’s problem”, the reality is that this condition affects men of all ages. In fact, according to current research, men in their forties report the highest number of erectile dysfunction cases.
Despite the fact that there are a diverse number of successful treatment stories, many wonder about the factors that bring about this condition in the first place.
A majority of people link erectile dysfunction to underlying health problems such as diabetes and heart conditions. But if we dig a little deeper, we find that there are other causes of this condition.
Psychological issues are the biggest contributing factors of the condition. With the fight for mental health at the forefront today, it is important to understand what erectile dysfunction mental causes are and how they play a role in every man’s wellbeing.
Here are 5 common mental health issues that can cause ED:
Depression anchors you down, it weighs both the mind and body down and greatly affects the physical and mental aspects of life. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, loss of interest in daily activities, frustration, and fatigue.
Needless to say, these symptoms will make it difficult to take pleasure in anything. This is why there is a clear link between erectile dysfunction and depression. When the mind cannot concentrate or is not working in its optimum state, then it cannot support an erection.
2. Relationship issues
Cultivating a healthy relationship is not easy. It takes time to develop a connection with someone, know them from the inside out and then trust them. Therefore when couples are experiencing trouble in their relationship or marriage, it could very well bleed into their sex life.
While a majority of relationship problems are easily solved by communication, it is the most difficult step to take. In this scenario, the man can suffer from erectile dysfunction for a while. Of course, with something this difficult, couples should consider counseling.
3. Stress and anxiety
While these are two different things, when it comes to erectile dysfunction, stress and anxiety correlate.
Usually, stress is the underlying factor that brings about anxiety, eventually triggering more stress, thus ending up in a vicious cycle. When you examine the physical side of things, stress and anxiety are even more related.
Men experience three types of erections; psychogenic erection( triggered by visual images), reflexive erection (triggered by physical stimulation), and nocturnal erection (which occurs during sleep). All of these three erections occur due to the use of hormones, muscles, and blood vessels.
During stressful periods, the brain will not be able to trigger the desired physical response- an erection. And as stress and anxiety may be progressive over a long period of time, so will the lack of an erection be. Overall, this will result in erectile dysfunction.
4. Low self-esteem and guilt
A majority of men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, equally face the guilt of being unable to please their partner. Unfortunately, if the problem persists, this guilt can contribute to the ongoing cycle of the condition.
Usually, guilt and low self-esteem are two things that go hand in hand. These shameful feelings lead back to mental health issues like depression. The inability to perform in the bedroom also contributes to low self-esteem.
The relationship between erectile dysfunction, guilt, and low self-esteem may seem complex but when not dealt with, make the condition become more severe.
5. Pornography addiction
The addiction to pornography makes this list because this kind of addiction takes place in the mind. When men spend a great deal watching pornography or masturbating, then they develop unrealistic expectations about their sexual partners.
According to research, this is referred to as “pornography-induced erectile dysfunction” or PIED for short. Psychologically, if men who are addicted to pornography are not constantly watching it, then they will not be stimulated. As you can imagine, this cause some challenges in intimate relationships over time.
The Bottom Line
Many people believe that sexual problems manifest themselves as we get older. But this could not be further from the truth. Modern medicine has changed the outlook on things, and erectile dysfunction is no longer considered “shameful”.
If you are suffering from this condition due to the aforementioned mental causes, visit your healthcare provider and they will conduct a physical examination, and offer a full psychological evaluation.
This way, they will prescribe the treatment that you need. The first step? Acceptance- and then the rest will follow.
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