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Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction

Research on ED evaluation and treatment, regardless of its etiology, suggests that psychological (e.g., depression, anxiety), spouse- or partner-related, situational factors, and daily life stressors are the most common reasons for psychogenic ED. When a man is unable to sustain or achieve an erection hard enough to penetrate inside a vagina, is known to be suffering from erectile dysfunction. When the factors associated with the causes of impotence are psychological, it is called psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

psychogenic erectile dysfunction treatment

There is a strong association between depressed mood and sexual functioning. This association is seen as bidirectional, that is, "depressed affect can impair sexual arousal and cause ED, while decreased sexual activity and lack of satisfaction with one's sexual life can trigger depressive symptoms". The use of antidepressants can negatively affect sexual life i.e. Weak erections and lower libido for sex. The association between anxiety and ED has also been investigated, and men with the problem have higher levels of anxiety than sexually healthy men. Panic disorder and anxiety related to sexual performance are associated with impotency. Some major factors preserving the problem for months or even years are: 


  • Sexual performance anxiety

  • Unrealistic expectations for sexual performance (e.g. expecting a man to be always ready for sex even without  feeling sexual desire) 

  • The tension between the two partners, within a low-quality relationship

  • The female partner's sexual dysfunction. The man's problem often triggers sexual problems to the female partner (e.g. low sexual desire and difficulty to get sexual arousal)

  • Stressful daily routine (the couple finds no time to spend together  so as to get closer to each other)

  • Stress and depressive symptoms perpetuate and exacerbate the erectile problem. 

Dealing With ED Diagnosis and Treatment


When coping with ED, communication with your partner is key, says Held. In many cases, men don’t want to talk about erectile dysfunction when it happens, but not talking about it can negatively impact their sexual relationships. “It’s very important for couples to discuss the issue,” says Held. Communicating enables both partners to confront their feelings about ED, and work together to solve the problem.

A proactive attitude toward erectile dysfunction is crucial and can make a significant difference in how it’s handled. “Almost all men have ED at some point,” says Held. “It’s how they deal with it that counts.”

For couples dealing with ED, Held suggests focusing on the moment and connecting with each other during lovemaking instead of fixating on the penis. “Couples need to take the emphasis off intercourse and concentrate on giving and receiving pleasure. It’s also important for a man to realize that he is not his penis. They need to remember that it’s almost always a temporary problem and that there are lots of ways to treat erectile dysfunction. As with depression, the relationship between ED and anxiety is likely bidirectional. A man who is excessively worried about his ability to achieve an erection is distracted from arousal and, as a result, may have diminished erectile function. This becomes a vicious feedback loop where negative sexual experiences lead to a  lack of self-esteem or increased anxiety that perpetuates subsequent negative sexual experiences.

Let a good Psychosexologist like Rishabh Bhola help you recover from past failures and take a step on a path towards better sexual health.

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