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6 Psychological Causes of ED: When Erectile Dysfunction Isn’t From a Physical Issue

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Erectile dysfunction is often a psychologically stressful situation that can affect a man’s self-esteem or put a strain on romantic relationships. But, did you know that the root cause of erectile dysfunction can even stem from psychological causes?

As it turns out, up to 40% of erectile dysfunction issues may stem from a psychological root cause. 

And, while it is possible for ED to be a combination of both physical and psychological issues, it is important to assess and treat the mental aspects that may be affecting erectile function just as much as the physical factors.

Below, we will cover 6 potential psychological factors that can lead to ED, as well as what treatment options may be available for ED due to psychological root causes.

6 possible causes of psychological ED

1. Depression and general anxiety

Depression is often associated with a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain, and may lead to a loss of enjoyment of the things that used to bring you joy, in addition to a lack of energy, and an overall sense of apathy. Generalized anxiety also commonly comes along with depression and may leave a person feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or ramp up their heart rate and blood pressure. For these reasons, both depression and anxiety can lead to ED issues in the bedroom, even if everything is working fine physically otherwise.

2. Stress

Excess stress in other parts of your life can sometimes overflow into your romantic relationships. Some stress can be a good motivator and is a necessary part of life, but when things become too much it is important to recognize the toll it can take on your life and try to reduce it. Too much stress can leave you feeling tired, burnt out, or you might find it hard to relax and focus on the moment during intimacy. Ultimately, this can manifest as erectile dysfunction.

3. Performance anxiety

Performance anxiety is a form of anxiety directly tied to you worrying about doing your best during a certain task. For some people, this may be during a big test or presentation, or even in the bedroom when you want to impress your partner. Performance anxiety can even develop after a few one-off nights where you feel like you did not perform as you would have liked (which can be completely normal). Ultimately, being too anxious about performing well in bed can become the root cause of erectile dysfunction.

4. Relationship issues

If you are going through a rough patch with your partner, it can be hard to put the issues out of your mind during romance. Unresolved relationship concerns can definitely lead to erectile issues if they aren’t confronted and remedied. Start by talking with your partner to work out things that are upsetting you in your relationship. If you are both struggling to work things out together, it can also be beneficial to seek out relationship counseling to sort through any problems.

5. Guilt

For some men, guilt may be a root cause or contributing factor to ED. If you feel guilty about occasionally not being able to perform or satisfy your partner, this may bubble up as feelings of guilt around sex and feed into the cycle of erectile dysfunction. In this situation, it may be important to talk about your feelings with your partner or a sex therapist to help your work through these thoughts and know that you can be relaxed and comfortable during intimacy.

6. Low self-esteem

If you have baseline low self-esteem issues, it may make you feel inadequate or add additional pressure that you have to perform exceptionally well in the bedroom with your partner. In the end, low confidence may contribute to ED and make it harder for you to really connect with your partner. In this situation, it may be worth it to speak with a professional to help work through your low self-esteem issues.

Treatments for psychological ED

While the main treatment for physical causes of ED are often oral medications like Sildenafil (Viagra) or Tadalafil (Cialis), these may not always help if the entire root cause of the dysfunction is psychological. These medications help to improve blood flow and enhance physical arousal, but do not address mental stressors, moods, or other psychological roadblocks.

If you are experiencing ED due to mixed physical and psychological causes, you may still experience some level of benefit from these common ED medications, but it is also important to implement ways to address the mental aspects at play.

To help treat the psychological causes behind ED, your doctor may suggest a few different options. Going to therapy alone, or as a couple may be a good way to work through mental roadblocks in the bedroom. You might also find that starting on a medication to help address depression or anxiety may help you feel more at ease and in the mood for sex. If stress is the issue, finding ways to make your life less chaotic, or including healthy coping mechanisms like meditation or exercise might help you get on the right track.

Talk with your doctor and mental health professionals openly to try and pinpoint what might be going on that is causing ED symptoms. They can run tests to help rule out physical causes, and will help guide you towards possible solutions suited to you.

Strut Health prescription ED treatments online

At Strut, we offer an easy and painless solution to getting ED medications, if you are a good candidate for treatment. We offer oral ED medications like Sildenafil (generic Viagra) and Tadalafil (generic Cialis) that may help men experiencing ED from physical causes, or mixed physical and psychological causes. 

However, as we mentioned above, if your ED is only psychological, the best course of action is to work through the psychological issue in order to help improve your intimacy concerns. A licensed mental health professional can help you in this situation.

If you are interested in seeing if an oral ED medication is a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire-based telemedicine visit with our U.S. licensed doctors in under 15 minutes. If the medication is a good option for you, your prescription will be shipped to your front door with our free and fast shipping.

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