Stress is something we all experience. It is a part of our lives. To some, a certain amount of stress can be a motivating factor but sometimes it can get too much. In some cases it will affect our mental health but there are inevitable consequences to our physical health too. So can ED be caused by stress?
As you’d expect the answer is yes but it’s not always easy to recognise when stress is affecting you. The symptoms of stress can broadly fall into 3 categories. Mental, physical and behavioural.
headaches or dizziness,
muscle tension or pain,
fast heart beat,
difficulty in making decisions,
finding it hard to concentrate,
over eating or not eating enough,
not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much,
drinking or smoking more
avoiding certain places or people,
Some of us have a tendency to contain our emotions but probably more so in relation to erectile dysfunction. ED is probably less likely to be talked about and some consider it a taboo subject. Combine both these elements and you can see why some men may find it difficult to open up. Keeping subjects such as ED contained can lead to stress and even more problems, and we don’t just mean in the bedroom. So the answer to “can ED be caused by stress?” is not only yes, but erectile dysfunction itself can cause stress. It can become a vicious circle.
The answer to “can ED be caused by stress?” is not only yes, but erectile dysfunction itself can cause stress. It can become a vicious circle.
ED is a health condition
It is important to realise that impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is a health condition like any other. It affects a large proportion of men but once the root cause is determined, it can help to restore your life to some sense of normality. Widely known treatments are also available to offer that extra support. However, the first step requires some grit and courage, and that is to talk about the problem. There is no need to suffer in silence.
It’s no one’s fault
Men who experience ED may feel inadequate. It’s often a blow to their self-confidence but it is also tough on the partner too. It can make them feel unattractive, undesirable, or like they’re doing something wrong. In a relationship, both partners suffer from the effects of ED so it is extremely important to discuss this issue with your partner. Both parties need to know it’s not the fault of any individual.
ED is more common than most people realise and it can become more prevalent with age. A common misconception is that it is caused by a lack of sex drive or reduction in lust. This is not necessarily the case. As mentioned before, it is a health condition and therefore needs to be seen as such. Therefore, it is imperative that both partners understand the impact it’s having on each other and work together to help resolve the problem. By talking, the stress of having to deal with the situation alone is often reduced. This in itself can be the start of the road to recovery.
Speak to your pharmacist or GP
Your pharmacist or GP may suggest some medication that will help you achieve an erection. Discussing your overall health with them is vital because underlying conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease can cause erectile dysfunction.
Talking about your feelings with a professional such as a healthcare counsellor, can also be very helpful. In such environments, underlying concerns can be unearthed that may often be hidden deep down in our emotions. This can also be approached by both partners in a relationship because erectile dysfunction affects both parties in different ways.
Recognising that you are suffering from stress can be difficult. It normally takes someone close to you to point it out. Once you are aware, you can do many things to help reduce it. Focus on what you can change and not on what is out of your control. Do not resort to alcohol or smoking to relieve your stress. At the time, it may feel like an outlet but it can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Calming and breathing exercises are useful and helps you to remove your mind from a stressful environment and helps you to re-focus. There’s lots of help out there such as www.mind.org.uk and of course your pharmacist and GP.