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Psychosocial Consequences of Erectile Dysfunction

Today, many men are suffering from erectile dysfunction in the world. The causes of impotence or erectile dysfunction can be physical or psychological. Due to the far-reaching effects and the still existing taboo of the subject, sexual disorders are a significant health problem. Especially men over 40 years are affected. Even in younger people, erectile dysfunction is being diagnosed more and more often. The incidence associated with age as well as with various physical and psychosocial risk factors such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and stress.

Depression and Stress

Effects of erectile dysfunction from a psychological point of view:

From a psychological point of view, erectile dysfunction undermines the self-esteem of the man and significantly affects his or her quality of life. As a rule, the person concerned then develops tendencies of withdrawal and avoidance that lead to a reduction in self-esteem and a sense of identity. Social or professional problems are the result.

Even severe mental and psychosomatic disorders cannot be excluded. Especially a clinically relevant depression is often diagnosed as the cause of an erectile dysfunction. In most cases, the sexual dysfunction has extreme effects. Almost always there is a significant disruption of sexual partnership.

Clinical research has shown that erectile dysfunction is strongly influenced by psychosocial aspects. So they play an essential role in the genesis of erectile dysfunction. In addition, effects on quality of life, psychological well-being, partnership, diagnostic evaluation and treatment options were identified.

Erectile dysfunction and partnership:

The effects of erectile dysfunction are particularly noticeable in the partnership. The relationship and above all the partnership sexuality are sustainably burdened. As a rule, the non-sexual part of the partnership is also affected, for example, by communication impairments.

Sexuality plays an important role in human life. It stands in the inseparable agreement on partnership, couple bonding, and couple dynamics. Therefore, the problem of sexual dysfunction must not be seen separately from the partnership.

This is increasingly the case if the trigger of the disturbance is possible to be found in the relationship itself. Thus, it is particularly important to include partnership factors in the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. Diagnostically, the following aspects should be considered:

  • Is it a long-term relationship?
  • Have you ever had problems with erectile potency?
  • Are there relationship problems?
  • How pronounced is the sexual interest of the partner?

Clinical experience has shown that the involvement of the partner in the diagnosis is usually beneficial because it can significantly complete or correct the sexual history.

Options for Sexual Therapy:

Sexual therapy is not always necessary for psychogenic erectile dysfunction as mild problems can usually be resolved through counseling sessions. During sex therapy, after a detailed diagnosis, directly acting factors such as negative experiences, fear of failure, and pressure to perform are processed.

In most cases of sexual dysfunction, a substantial improvement can already be achieved here. Especially couple’s therapies have a positive effect on the overall therapeutic strategy. The therapeutic goal is not limited to the erection ability, but also to the sexual satisfaction.