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Erectile Dysfunction Psychological

erectile dysfunction psychological

What is psychological impotence?

Psychological impotence is a condition caused by psychological factors, in which a man struggles to get or maintain an erection. Stress, depression, guilt, low body image, relationship issues or anxiety—including performance anxiety, could all lead to ED.

Physical impotence, on the other hand, may happen naturally due to ageing or medical conditions that affect genital blood flow. These include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues or pulmonary problems, for example.

The Psychological Causes of ED

How Does State of Mind Affect Erectile Function? For example, if you have been experiencing erectile dysfunction, you may become overly worried and anxious that the problem will not go away, which can result in performance anxiety and thus consistent erectile dysfunction. Or if you have been experiencing financial or marital problems, the stress can negatively affect your ability to get an erection. When you consider the question, can depression cause erectile dysfunction, you may discover that depression presents a catch-22 situation; that is some antidepressants and other drugs used to treat depression can also cause erectile dysfunction as well as be used to treat it.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual function. It’s a common sexual problem, affecting as many as 30 million men in the United States. Most cases of ED have a physical cause, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also lead to ED. But for some men, psychological issues are the root of the problem.

Read on to learn about the psychological causes of ED, and how they can be addressed.


Depression is often caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can affect both sexual desire and sexual function. For men, however, depression isn’t always an easy diagnosis. Many men don’t recognize the symptoms of depression, and some are reluctant to seek help, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The good news is that most men will return to feeling normal, regain healthy sexual interest, and resolve their ED problem with proper treatment for depression.

Fear of sexual dysfunction

The first time you experience ED, you may become worried that you’ll never regain normal sexual function. This can lead to fear or low self-esteem. These feelings may affect your ability to achieve or maintain an erection in your next sexual encounter.

This cycle can continue until you see your doctor to find a treatment. Once you’ve found the right treatment, your fear of sexual dysfunction should subside.


Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

In many cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
  • Parkinson's disease

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