Sex and Mental Health

“Why is this happening to me?” asks Roberto.

Well, he’s having ED in his marriage for about a year now. ED stands for “erectile dysfunction,” as the medical field puts it.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as “inability to attain or maintain an erection needed for sexual performance.”

Doctors say ED may have multiple physical causes, such as: heart disease, diabetes, smoking, medication side effects, onset of natural aging, low testosterone, prostate cancer, even sexually transmitted diseases, among others.

In the case of Roberto, he has none of those medical conditions. While hesitant to see a psychotherapist at first, he was later glad that he took that step.

He said, “It’s a best thing I did. I’m ashamed of what’s happening to me and my wife. I couldn’t even look at her directly anymore! The counseling allows me to break out of the isolation, and find a cure.”

One common thing I hear from men with ED is “feeling less of a man” with the problem. There it is - a case of “mind over matter, which you’ve probably heard before.

When it comes to ED, the mind/brain plays a big role. 

If under stress or having hidden mental health issues (e.g. performance anxiety, depression, nervousness), the brain can have trouble releasing hormones or nerve interconnections to cause erection.

To start psychological recovery from ED, one needs to learn to see his “self” as separate from the “problem.” 

Then progressively, learn underlying roots and strategies to change behavior in a more positive direction.