It is not a subject that any man wants to talk about but the reality is that erectile dysfunction is relatively common throughout the population. It is believed that as many as 18 million men across the nation are affected by it. Many of these people will suffer in silence, because they are too embarrassed to seek out help for their problems. These are various factors that can contribute to the development of the problem. Researchers now believe that in some cases, stress and anxiety may play a role in the onset of this condition.
Erectile dysfunction is a problem that is more likely to occur as a man ages. The majority of men will experience it to varying degrees at some point in their lives. However, if your erectile dysfunction issues have become long-term or chronic, you need to see your medical practitioner for a diagnosis as soon as possible. Most of the time, the source of the problem can be easily identified and treated in a timely fashion.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (sometimes shortened to its acronym ED) is also sometimes referred to as male impotency or simply impotency. It is a condition whereby a man is either unable to become erect or not able to maintain his erection. This condition prevents a man from being able to perform sexually with a partner.
Sexual arousal in men is not just about what happens in the genitals but involves a complex set of responses of various bodily systems. Getting and maintaining the erect state involves the brain, blood vessels, central nervous system, hormones, muscles, and emotions. If there is a problem in any of these areas it can lead to sexual dysfunction. There are a number of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease that can pave the way for this condition in males. A man should have a complete physical and discuss the symptoms he is experiencing with his doctor. If a heart problem is to blame, it must be dealt with first and then the ED can be treated.
The Root Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
There are several physical and psychological issues that can bring about this problem in men or can contribute to it. Some of these are heart disease (as previously stated), high blood pressure, blood vessels that are partially or completely blocked, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, or nerve damage.
Other causes include:
-anxiety and stress
-damage to the pelvic region
-low testosterone levels
-enlarged prostate gland or prostate cancer
The way a person lives can also be a contributing factor to the onset of ED. The lifestyle habits that can contribute to the condition include:
-alcohol consumption (especially if it is chronic and excessive)
Stress and Anxiety Connection
There is a connection between stress, anxiety, and impotency. Studies have found that these emotions can give rise to erectile dysfunction. Men who chronically experience elevated levels of stress and anxiety are also at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These conditions are interconnected.
Stress is a response the body has to issues that come about as a result of day-today living. It is something that everyone experiences. In normal levels it will not hurt a person but too much stress and anxiety can affect the body in an adverse manner. An overload of stress can start a vicious cycle in motion in a man’s body- it can cause erectile dysfunction in the first place which can then lead to more stress, anxiety, and tension which can make the problem get even worse.
The Causes of Stress and Anxiety
What causes one individual to feel really stressed might not affect another person as much. We all experience stress in different ways and not all stressors are the same for everyone. Some of the most common life stressors that can cause ED are as follows:
-employment problems or job loss
-relationship issues and interpersonal conflicts
-illness or death of a family member
-fear of getting older
Stress, Anxiety and Sex
A man who has suffered from erectile dysfunction in the past may be hesitant to engage in sexual activity for fear that it will happen again. He may develop intimacy issues because he is not comfortable talking about his health condition. The longer this is left to its own devices, the more problems it can cause in a committed relationship.
One or both partners may start to become distant from the other and the physical side of the union may begin to become less and less frequent. This can cause added stress and strain on a relationship that is already having problems due to ED. The only way to improve the situation is to admit that a problem exists and to get treatment for it.
If you feel that anxiety and stress are contributing to the impotency you are living with, before talking to your doctor, examine your life closely to see if there is anything you can do to remedy the issue yourself. Stress-induced erectile dysfunction can be managed once you realize what it is you are facing. While you cannot completely eradicate stress from your life, you can identify the major causes of it and take steps to deal with it. Managing stress and anxiety is the goal here, not eliminating it.
If you require the services of a professional, see your doctor for a check-up to rule out any physical problems. After that you can discuss how the condition can best be treated.