How ED can affect your mental health, in and out of the bedroom

Its not All in your head

On average, 52% of men will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction in their lifetime. It may be easy to notice the physical effects of ED, however, the mental effects can be just as detrimental. Erectile dysfunction is known to cause anxiety, stress, depression, guilt, and low self-esteem which can lead to problems both in and out of the bedroom.

It is easy to understand how ED can affect your mental health in the bedroom. Our relationships are very important to us, and an important piece of our relationships includes the romantic side of things. When we can’t perform as we would wish romantically, this can lead to strain in both the relationship with our partner and the relationship we have with ourselves.

When one is experiencing erectile dysfunction, this can lead to in-the-moment performance anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem when in the bedroom. This increase in stress not only makes it harder mentally to attain and/or maintain an erection, but it also can change how our nervous system is functioning, making it even more difficult to perform sexually. When anxiety is present, it can affect the brain’s ability to send signals necessary to attain the desired response, in this case, an erection. This can cause a nasty cycle of worsening performance, thus worsening mental health.

Along with worsening physical problems due to increased anxiety, erectile dysfunction obviously can affect the relationship with your partner. Sexual activity can be an important part of your relationship. When this part of the relationship is strained, it can cause overall stress between you and your partner. This can further contribute to mental health problems associated with ED. Strain in a relationship from ED can further cause increased rates of depression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem.

Along with affecting relationships, ED can also affect how one feels about themselves outside of the bedroom as well. As we’ve already explored, ED can cause or increase anxiety, depression, stress, and lower self-esteem. Mental health issues caused by ED can lead to increased issues in daily life. This can cause less social activity, and less physical activity, and affect our relationships with others we are not involved with romantically.

When experiencing an increase in mental health struggles, it can feel more difficult to carry on with our normal day or activities. It can be more difficult to perform at work, with other activities in our home, and socially. This in turn can lead to an increase in mental health problems, thus making ED worse.

The good thing is, there are various treatment methods available to treat erectile dysfunction.
The first step will be to consult with your primary physician or urologist for medical management. Along with medical management, physical therapy can be a very helpful treatment for ED. The pelvic floor muscles have a strong sexual function, so when there is a problem with the pelvic floor it can contribute to ED. A pelvic health physical therapist will be able to assess your pelvic floor muscle function and then work with you to find a personalized treatment method to give you the best results.

It’s easy to see how erectile dysfunction can lead to a worsening in mental health issues, both in and out of the bedroom.

By being open and honest about how you are feeling, along with working with a medical professional and your PT, you can improve erectile function thus improving your mental health status at the same time!

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