What are the psychological causes of impotence?
Psychological causes of impotence often include work pressures, financial worries, fear of aging, or frustration with relationships. When someone is impotent during a period of depression or anger, it's as if his body demands that he confront his feelings. Misunderstanding of normal male sexuality can also cause impotence. In your 40's, it will take you longer to get an erection than in your 20's. In your 60's, it will take longer than in your 40's. But there is no reason that a man of any age cannot enjoy a fulfilling sex life. A man who is depressed, under stress, or worried about his "performance" during sex may not be able to have an erection. Qualified therapists or counselors who specialize in the treatment of sexual problems can often help diagnose and sort through these problems.
Some impotence problems can be solved when a man understands the normal changes of aging and how to adapt to them. For example, as men get older they generally need more direct stimulation to achieve an erection. They may also have less firm erections, take longer to ejaculate and need more time between erections. Relationship woes can interfere with potency and so can job stress, depression or financial worries. Impotence may also be the result of deep-seated emotional trauma, such as having been sexually abused as a child. Qualified psychotherapists can diagnose such problems and help men understand and overcome them.
Most men will experience psychological impotence at least once in their adult life, so it's important to know that an occasional episode is not a diagnosis for on-going impotence. In most cases, isolated episodes are more likely to be due to fatigue, stress or an over-indulgence in alcohol than an underlying physical cause. However, many men react to an occasional episode of impotence by becoming more anxious, which results in further sexual problems, hence more anxiety. This is called the "impotence domino effect" of anxiety - failure - more anxiety - more failure. Despite the enormous advances men and women have made about their sexual roles and identity since the sexual revolution of the 1960's, many men still feel enormous pressure to "perform" sexually. Very often their feelings of self-worth and masculinity are intricately interwoven with their ability to "get it up". So it's easy to see why impotence, even if it is an isolated incident, can lead to "performance anxiety" and the subsequent loss of self-esteem. The most important thing to remember is that occasional episodes of impotence are normal. Unless there is an underlying physical cause for impotence, or the episodes increase in frequency, there is no need for treatment.
Depression and anxiety disorders are cited as the most common causes of psychological impotence. However, depression and anxiety can be both the cause and the consequence of impotence. In many cases, it can be very difficult to determine whether depression and anxiety disorders cause impotence, or if impotence leads to feelings of depression and anxiety. Clinical depression can cause psychological impotence because it interferes with the brain function necessary to stimulate sexual arousal and produce an erection. Depression also suppresses positive feelings and emotions, which inhibit libido and the desire for sexual activity.
A number of prescription drugs used to treat severe depression and anxiety disorders are known to cause psychological impotence. These include certain anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, tranquilizers and lithium. And just to add fuel to the fire, many anti-depressants interfere with the effectiveness of the popular impotence pills, such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
The answer to relationship issues often lies in good communication. Problems with impotence can put severe pressure on the healthiest relationship, so it's important that both you and your partner share your feelings. Reducing your anxiety prior to sexual activity is vital. By working together, you and your partner can enhance your relationship by creating a stress-free, intimate and stimulating environment.
Stress is one of the leading causes of psychological impotence. While a little stress helps drive achievement and success, too much stress is not good for you. Most of us live fairly stressful lives these days, so stress can be work-related, financial, marital, sexual or any one of a number of other reasons. Most men have experienced either a loss of libido or an inability to maintain an erection during periods of stress, however these episodes are usually transient. In most cases, once the stress has been reduced, full sexual function returns.
Like stress, fatigue affects us all at certain times and is a common cause of temporary psychological impotence. Fatigue drains mental and physical energy and can result in anxiety if the problem is not addressed. Like stress, once fatigue is reduced, normal sexuality is restored. On-going fatigue may be a symptom of an underlying medical illness, so consult your doctor if the symptoms persist.
More information on impotence (erectile dysfunction)
What is impotence or erectile dysfunction? - Impotence is the inability of the male to have an erection. Some men may become impotent after having diabetes for a long time because the nerves or blood vessels have become damaged. Impotence may have a physiological or psychological basis.
How does erection occur? - Erection begins with sensory and mental stimulation. Impulses from the brain and local nerves cause the muscles of the corpora cavernosa to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the open spaces.
What causes impotence? - A common cause of impotence is a high level of atherosclerosis in the arteries feeding the penis. Damage to arteries, smooth muscles, and fibrous tissues, often as a result of disease, is the most common cause of impotence.
What are the physical causes of impotence? - Physical impotence occurs when there is a problem with any of the systems needed to get or maintain an erection. Hardening of the arteries can affect the artery leading to the penis so that it cannot dilate enough to deliver all the blood necessary for an erection.
What are the psychological causes of impotence? - Psychological causes of impotence often include work pressures, financial worries, fear of aging, or frustration with relationships. Depression and anxiety disorders are cited as the most common causes of psychological impotence.
How is impotence (erectile dysfunction) treated? - Treatment depends on the cause. Testosterone supplements may be used for cases with hormonal deficiency. Drugs for treating impotence can be taken orally or injected directly into the penis.
What're non-prescription treatments for impotence? - Among the herbs used for erectile dysfunction are yohimbine, gingko biloba (to increase blood flow), ginseng, pygeum, and muira puama. A penile sheath is a rigid or semi-rigid support put over the penis to support it for intercourse.
What is MUSE? - MUSE is short for "medicated urethral system for erection." This treatment is based on the discovery that the urethra can absorb certain medications, which can then pass into the surrounding erectile tissue creating an erection.
What is Viagra (sildenafil citrate)? - Viagra (sildenafil citrate), a prescription medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, is the first pill available that's been proven to improve erections in most men with impotence.
What is Levitra (vardenafil)? - Levitra (vardenafil HCl) is a PDE inhibitor drug. This medication helps improve erection during sexual arousal and activity but erection should end after sexual activity is complete.
What is Cialis (tadalafil)? - Tadalafil (Cialis?) is a drug used to treat male erectile dysfunction (impotence). The generic name for this compound is tadalafil.
What about penile injection therapy? - Penile injection therapy is non surgical technique used to treat impotence. Penile injections have the advantage of not involving surgery. They are also effective in many dialysis patients.
What are penile implants for impotence? - Penile implants (often called "internal penile pumps") are one of several erectile dysfunction treatment options. The inflatable penile prosthesis is a pump system surgically placed in the penis.
What is hormonal therapy for impotence? - Sexual desire (libido) and an overall sense of well-being are likely to improve when serum testosterone levels (the level of the male hormone in the blood) are restored.