A beautiful partner stands in front of you. The two of you are in “the mood,” and the moment is right. As the two of you begin to enjoy one another, you glance down and see that your penis isn’t getting hard. Your first thought? Maybe you need a little bit more time, so you delay. As the two of you get deeper into the experience, you still aren’t getting hard. Now what? How will you perform? Negative thoughts begin to flood your mind. Embarrassment spreads up your neck and across your face. Then your partner asks, “What’s wrong?” You know what’s wrong, but you don’t want to say anything. Frankly, you can’t say anything. They won’t understand. So you disengage, angry that your erectile dysfunction has kept you from enjoying another evening with your partner.
If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, it’s time to request an appointment with the medically trained staff at Charleston Men’s Clinic in Mount Pleasant. Your ability and capability to get and keep an erection is related to any number of factors – one of them being psychological. In this post, we’ll share how your psychology can directly affect your sexual performance and some ways to work through it to get and keep an erection again.
Psychological erectile dysfunction
You’ve probably heard about low testosterone, blood flow, and hormones as big factors in causing erectile dysfunction, but have you considered psychological factors like stress, anxiety, or depression? It’s not talked about often enough, but mental health is vital in sexual performance, whether that be erections or potency.
Consistent stress, performance anxiety, or bouts of depression can derail your sexual health in a number of ways. Psychological erectile dysfunction is more than negative thoughts, it ties into your hormones, emotions, and feelings. In most cases, there isn’t a pill to “cure” these mental and emotional roadblocks to a healthy sex life; however, there are treatments to address any underlying issues contributing to your ED.
If you live a high-stress life, your body is regularly releasing cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, into your system. This triggers the secretion of prolactin, another hormone in your body, which directly affects your testosterone production. The mental and emotional weight of performing at work, at home, and in the bedroom could be too much for you.
Are you a top performer at work? Do you consistently deliver on your promises? Men sometimes bring the mentality behind the answers to these questions into the bedroom. Now, we’re not suggesting how you should or shouldn’t be enjoying your sex life, but it’s important to understand that sex is typically about pleasure. Do you enjoy the stress at work? Do you enjoy the constant pressure to perform? If the answer is no, then why take those expectations into the bedroom? You should enjoy sex with your partner, not dread it on account of your potential inability to perform.
Two studies showed that performance anxiety in men and women have a direct affect on their sex lives:
- 2005 American Psychology Association – The role of performance anxiety in the development and maintenance of sexual dysfunction in men and women.
- 2015 Comprehensive Psychiatry – Depression and anxiety in men with sexual dysfunction: a retrospective study.
It can affect all areas of your life. Depression is like an anchor dropped off a ship. Once it’s been released, it sinks fast and stays sunk. It feels like there’s nothing you can do about it until it hits bottom. So the best course of action, as you may have discovered, is to let it hit the ocean floor.
Depression can affect any part of your life, especially your sex life. Once it surfaces, you mentally and emotionally check out, which can result in a lessened desire to be sexually involved with your partner. This can also lead to erectile dysfunction, which was shown in the following study:
- 1998 Psychosomatic Medicine – The Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Male Erectile Dysfunction: Cross-Sectional Results From the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.
Charleston Men’s Clinic: Request an appointment for erectile dysfunction
Are you dealing with inordinate amounts of stress, suffocating performance anxiety, or drowning depression? Any one or all of these psychological cues could be the reason you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction. Typically, there are other contributing factors to ED. At Charleston Men’s Clinic in Mount Pleasant, we offer oral ED medication, injections, GAINSwave™ treatment, and the Priapus Shot® to our patients.