What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) involves an inability to develop and keep an erection long enough to enjoy sexual activity and achieve sexual pleasure.
Erectile dysfunction can happen to anyone. Men of all backgrounds and ages experience erection issues from time to time, so the occasional difficulty getting and keeping an erection should not be a cause for concern.
But if erectile dysfunction or impotence lasts for a long time, you should talk to your doctor about it because it can get in the way of your daily life. Erectile dysfunction that lasts for a long time can be very stressful, often leading to low self-esteem, worry, hopelessness, and depression.
ED can be caused by both physical and psychological factors. Your mind can prevent you from getting an erection, and this is known as psychological erectile dysfunction. Psychosexual therapy can be a safe environment to address and treat your psychological ED.
Psychological Erectile Dysfunction
A range of emotional and psychological factors might contribute to erectile dysfunction. But stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression are the most common mental problems that can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Furthermore, interpersonal conflicts and relationship issues in general may contribute to ED.
Stress and ED
Whether job-related or caused by relationship, family, health, or money issues, stress can cause various physical and psychological symptoms, which can shut down your sexual functions. Psychosexual therapy can help you deal with stress and get your erections back on track if it becomes a long-term problem.
Anxiety and ED
Persistent anxiety or fear can impact your sexual life. Anxiety triggers bad moods and low libido, so if you are constantly feeling anxious, you may experience physical symptoms such as erectile dysfunction.
Also, higher levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response, which overrides your sexual urges and stops you from getting turned on.
Self-Esteem Issues and ED
Erectile dysfunction might be exacerbated if you don’t feel confident in your abilities, have doubts about your body image, or experience problems during sexual activity. You could be unable to have sex with your spouse if you feel like a failure or can’t carry out your job or personal responsibilities.
Depression and ED
Depression can impact every aspect of your well-being, including your sexual desire and sexual function. Depression changes the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which lowers libido and makes it hard to be sexual.
Additionally, some antidepressants can also affect your ability to get an erection. Nevertheless, most men can restore their sexual function and desire with psychosexual therapy.
Mental Health Complications of ED
There is a two-way relationship between mental health and ED. Erectile dysfunction can lead to different mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and relationship problems.
ED frequently causes additional anxiety, so you may get swamped with worry about whether you will ever be able to enjoy sex if your partner leaves you, and so on.
Also, your ED can trigger a constant low mood, guilt, and shame, and cause you to feel worthless, hopeless, and inadequate.
At the same time, being unable to get an erection and enjoy sex may lead to self-criticism and self-blame, increasing your low self-esteem.
Erectile dysfunction can make it difficult to be intimate, which can lead to stress, bad communication, feeling alone, and infidelity. Avoiding these topics with your partner may exacerbate problems in your marriage or relationship.
Psychosexual Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction
Your psychosexual therapist will help you figure out the roots of your ED and develop ways to deal with stress and other mental health problems.
For example, they may suggest mindfulness meditation and other relaxation methods to help reduce stress and its effects on erectile function.
Studies show that psychosexual therapy is most effective when a sex partner is included in the treatment.
Psychosexual Therapy at the Leone Centre
Psychosexual therapy at the Leone Centre can help you deal with ED and its causes. Your subsequent psychosexual therapy sessions will be scheduled after an intake consultation, during which you will discuss your therapy goals, needs, and boundaries. Depending on your needs, you can schedule these sessions in blocks of six or more frequently.
Our vetted psychosexual therapists understand how difficult it may be to talk about your erectile dysfunction. But you can be sure that our BACP and UKCP-trained psychosexual therapists will work with you to help you explore the psychological, emotional, physical, or environmental causes of your ED so that you can treat the cause and achieve long-term recovery. View our psychosexual therapist page.
Talk with a Leone Centre Professional
If you do feel like you need some help and support, our Leone Centre professionals are available 7 days a week. Call us on 020 3930 1007.
We can offer in-person Leone Centre in London appointments at our head office in Fulham and Kensington. We also service Victoria, Putney, Chelsea, Wimbledon, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, and City of London.
In addition, we offer Online Leone Centre appointments wherever in the world you are located, should this better fit around your existing commitments or if you are not able to attend an in-person appointment.