Erectile Dysfunction | Anxiety
Are You Aware That
– More than 18 million sexually active males experience erectile dysfunction (ED Treatments & Remedies Learn More) in United States alone?
– Approximately 40 million Americans (over the age of 18) are diagnosed with anxiety (ED Performance Anxiety Learn More) related disorders in a given year.
– The symptoms are managed by counseling, medications and other remedies in most cases and only a slight few continue to present disturbing symptoms beyond 6 months of initial diagnosis (ED Screening Learn More).
Erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve or maintain full erection (Erection Boosters Learn More) upon adequate sexual stimulation. If not controlled, ED can also lead to impotency (Impotency Causes Learn More) and may interfere with the sexual, psychological (ED & Depression Learn More) and social aspects of a person’s life.
Anxiety and erectile dysfunction has a cause-effect relationship; inability to achieve adequate erection evokes anxiety and stress and vice versa. A latest study provided statistical evidence that anti-anxiety medications can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Causes of Anxiety in Males That may Lead to ED
Some Common Causes of Anxiety in Males are
– Career related issues (loss of job, low-paying job, stressful working environment)
– Relationship Conflicts (marital conflicts, extramarital affairs, loss of partner, divorce, separation)
– Chronic stress or exposure to unhealthy living environment
– Loss of a loved one
– Health issues (chronic diseases, acute illnesses, terminal health issues)
– Performance anxiety (fear of not achieving adequate erection till the end, fear of not being able to satisfy the partner or other related factors
– Other life changing events; such as switching a job, moving to a new place etc.
Erectile Dysfunction and Anxiety – Are These Related?
Certain mood and anxiety disorders can directly affect the natural biochemical rhythm and in turn interfere with the secretion of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for normal erection. In addition, poorly managed anxiety can lead to altered mental alertness and reduce stimulatory reactions overall.
Research published in Behaviour Research and Therapy (2) suggested that males with high self-reported levels of anxiety scores experience less sexual pleasure (Male Orgasm Learn More) and feeling of connectivity with the partner at the time of intimate contact.
It is important to address the anxiety and related psychological causes of sexual dysfunction because in a number of situations, rather trivial symptom of anxiety is the superficial manifestation of grave psychological issues like panic disorders (3)
– Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in panic disorders is 75%
– About 33.3% of all patients with social phobias have erectile dysfunction
Treatment for Anxiety & Erectile Dysfunction
In long standing and poorly managed cases, anxiety related erectile dysfunction can lead to different phobias (such as psychological fear of even approaching the sexual partner). This may affect the quality of relationships and culminate in
– Panic disorder
In addition, high anxiety levels are also associated with medical and health issues such as hypertension, insulin resistance, peptic ulcer etc.
Manage Mediated Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction
– Seeking appropriate treatment for the management of anxiety is the most effective therapy for this type of erectile dysfunction. There are several other treatment options like psychological counseling, use of exogenous hormones and other drugs.
– If erectile dysfunction is caused by certain drugs, you can always ask your healthcare professional for a revised prescription.
– Report published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (4) suggested that buspirone improves sexual performance in male patients who experience sexual dysfunction due to anxiolytic intake for the management of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, such decisions are taken after consulting your healthcare professional.
– If high levels of anxiety are interfering with your sexual life; you can also seek psychotherapeutic options for effective management of erectile dysfunction.
Always remember, anxiety related erectile dysfunction is manageable and treatable with pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions.
Balon, R., Yeragani, V. K., Pohl, R., & Ramesh, C. (1993). Sexual dysfunction during antidepressant treatment. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Kashdan, T. B., Adams, L., Savostyanova, A., Ferssizidis, P., McKnight, P. E., & Nezlek, J. B. (2011). Effects of social anxiety and depressive symptoms on the frequency and quality of sexual activity: A daily process approach. Behaviour research and therapy, 49(5), 352-360.
Figueira, I., Possidente, E., Marques, C., & Hayes, K. (2001). Sexual dysfunction: A neglected complication of panic disorder and social phobia. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30(4), 369-377.
Othmer, E., & Othmer, S. C. (1987). Effect of buspirone on sexual dysfunction in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
When to Seek Medical Advice for ED?
IF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION LASTS LONGER THAN 2 MONTHS OR IS A RECURRING PROBLEM, SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR A PHYSICAL EXAM OR FOR A REFERRAL TO A DOCTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN ERECTILE PROBLEMS. YOUR OWN DOCTOR OR A SPECIALIST CAN HELP TO DETERMINE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OR CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND GUIDE YOU TOWARDS FINDING THE RIGHT TYPE OF TREATMENT.
Although you might view erectile dysfunction as a personal or embarrassing problem, it’s important to seek treatment, especially if a physical cause might be developing. In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated. Also, see your doctor if the therapy or medication prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction isn’t working for you. Don’t try to combine medications or therapies on your own or deviate from prescribed doses and do not your symptoms as they could be one of Erectile Dysfunction Causes.