23 Jan What Does Your Mental Health Have To Do With ED?
Erectile dysfunction is very common and affects nearly 30 million men in the United States. While this common men’s issue can have a medical cause, psychological factors can also contribute to ED. If you’re ready to start treatment, take a look at what you need to know about intimacy, erections, and mental health.
What Types of Mental Health Issues Can Cause ED?
Provided you have no physical or medication-related causes, your erectile dysfunction may come from a potential mental health problem. While some level of stress, sadness, or anxiety is often a normal part of everyday life, when these psychological issues get in the way of intimacy, they become more than just irritating or annoying.
Along with depression, anxiety, and stress, self-esteem issues can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. General low self-esteem, confidence issues related to sexual performance, or performance guilt or anxiety can all make it difficult to achieve or maintain a full erection.
Are All Psychological Factors of ED Serious?
There’s no easy answer to this question. Some mental health issues can cause serious symptoms. Depression and anxiety can make it difficult to maintain close relationships, work, go to school, or even complete normal activities of daily life. These diagnosable mental health issues can also lead to more serious problems, such as substance abuse or suicide.
Whether you feel a psychological issue is serious or not, you should always get a professional’s opinion. Even though mental health-related ED is easily treatable, you need to get to the root of the problem—even if it seems minor.
Some psychological factors are temporary or transient. These include work-related stress, relationship problems, and other similar issues. While common, these types of stressors can also benefit from professional help. A trained mental health professional can help you work through these types of stress and provide you with ways to manage sadness, anxiety, and other issues effectively.
Can You Treat ED Without Treating the Psychological Cause?
Technically, you can take steps to reduce ED symptoms without treating the psychological cause. Even though medications (and some other treatments) make it possible to get and maintain an erection, you may not completely eliminate the problem without treating the psychological side.
Failure to treat the mental health cause can result in a cycle of stress and ED. Untreated symptoms can make intimacy more difficult, which can result in erectile issues. These issues can increase anxiety, stress, or depression, which creates a damaging cycle.
How Can You Treat the Psychological Factors of ED?
The specific method, or methods, you choose depends on several factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all or cure-all approach to this issue. Instead, you need a plan that’s specifically tailored to your needs. This plan may include a combination of therapies or visits to more than one professional.
A medical provider who specializes in erectile dysfunction can help you to rule out the possibility of physical problems. This professional can also prescribe medications or recommend another option to achieve and maintain erections. Along with a medical provider, a mental health expert can help you to work through psychological issues.
Some psychological issues, especially those that interfere with everyday life or are serious, may require medical intervention. While therapy is a key piece of the puzzle, the psychological professional may also recommend a medical approach, such as depression medication.
The combination of medical and psychological treatments won’t fix every problem right away. Armed with knowledge and the skills to reduce the mental health and erectile dysfunction cycle, you may find yourself better equipped to deal with this issue in the future.
Are you ready to conquer your erectile dysfunction issue? Contact NuMale Medical Center for more information.