Psychological causes of ED

Psychological factors are responsible a high percentage of all cases of ED, however it can be a secondary reaction to an underlying physical cause or as the result of medications or drug use. In some cases, the psychological effects of ED may stem from childhood abuse or sexual trauma. However, the most common psychological causes of ED include:

•  Stress: Stress can be job-related, money-related, or the result of marital problems, among other factors.

•  Anxiety: Once a man experiences ED, he may become overly worried that the problem will happen again. This can lead to “performance Anxiety”, or a fear of sexual failure, and consistently lead to ED.

•  Guilt: A man may feel guilty (E.g. not satisfying his partner, or in regards to the partner who he is with.

•  Depression: A common cause of ED is depression which can affect a person both physically and psychologically.  Depression can cause ED even when a man is completely comfortable in sexual situations. Drugs used to treat depression may also cause ED.

•  Indifference: This may come as a result of age and a subsequent loss of interest in sex, be the result of medications or stemming from problems; in a couple’s relationship, or of a personal nature.

•  Low self-esteem: This can be due to prior episodes of ED (thus a feeling of inadequacy) or can be the result of other issues unrelated to sexual performance.

The information above has been adapted from:

How Can Dave Wells Help?

While many drugs, such as Viagra and Cialis, are available to support be able to attain an erection, they only mask the symptoms, and do not address the underlying causes of ED. For some men, these drugs are not an effective solution and for others who have medical conditions that prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs, there can still be help available. Also, there are some men out there who want to fix ED, but simply do not want to be reliant on a drug. Whilst I am not against the use of ED drugs as one possible pathways to greater confidence, I believe that addressing the underlying cause should be first process, especially when the root of erectile dysfunction is psychological as opposed to physiological.

For some men the use of ED medication can result in a psychological addiction where the fear of not being able to gain an erection or premature ejaculation will led to anxiety and the belief that they cannot have satisfying sex without taking a pill beforehand.

ED can also have negative consequences for the partners of the men who experience the condition, and where partners are a concern, therapy may include a combination of working with the individual, as well as combined sessions.