Psychological, or Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction, is simply erectile dysfunction due largely to psychological causes.
The official definition according to the International Society of Sex and Impotence Research is:
“…the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual performance, owing predominantly or exclusively to psychologic or interpersonal factors.”
In other words, impotence where the cause is basically either other people or else psychological.
So. What are some of the major psychological causes of erectile dysfunction, and what can be done about them?
Common Psychological Erectile Dysfunction Causes
Some of the more common immediate causes are:
- Lack of adequate sexual stimulation
- Relationship conflict
- Performance Anxiety
Whereas more ‘remote’ causes may include:
- General anxiety and depression
- Culture, upbringing and general attitudes towards sex
- Sexual identity issues
- Financial or job stress
- Psychiatric disorders
- Unresolved partner/parental attachments
- Childhood sexual trauma
Natural Ways to Combat Psychogenic ED
Thanks in particular to the work of Dr. Ed Deiner and Dr. Martin Seligman, the science of happiness is making leaps and bounds forwards. One of the best steps you can take with psychological erectile dysfunction is to find ways of dealing with sources of stress or anxiety in your life head-on.
Some good tips are to:
- Maintain a good work/life balance
- Take relaxing holidays, focus on ‘getting away from it all’
- Focus on valuing your life in terms of positive experiences, not possessions
- Keep strong relationships with close friends and family; research suggests this one can be very significant for psychological health
- Be grateful, and giving yourself
- Time proven natural sex-boosting supplements like Herbal Ignite
- Counselling or therapy
Treatment for Psychogenic ED
There are four broad formal treatment types for psychologically-based ED:
- Interpersonal Assertiveness and Couple’s Communication Training
- Anxiety Reduction and De-Sensitization
- Increased Sexual Stimulation
- Cognitive-Behavioural Intervention
Interpersonal Assertiveness and Couple’s Communication Training
This is basically just typical counselling and therapy. It may address issues such as intimacy and trust, any issues around dominance and status, or reduced sexual attraction.
While for many aussie blokes, the thought of a counselling session around sex is probably less welcome than a root-canal, sexual counselling and therapy is highly recommended.
Sydney-based therapist and sexpert Dr Rosie King, author of local best-seller Good Loving, Great Sex, says that despite the reluctance aussie men may feel, in her experience by the end men are usually quite pleasantly surprised at the positive difference that even just a few sessions can make.
In many cases, sex therapy alone may be enough to resolve erectile dysfunction with psychological roots. And even if there are physiological causes behind ED, there’s usually some psychological factors contributing to the situation, and some counselling or therapy will still often make a significant difference.
Anxiety Reduction and De-Sensitization
This method aims at reducing performance anxiety. In the early stages it involves using relaxation techniques and temporarily abstaining from actual sex. Couples typically follow a series of non-demand, non-genital contact exercises, focus on alternative shared sensory experience.
Increased Sexual Stimulation
This is essentially more or less exactly what it sounds like. This may be useful in particular when one of the sexual partners is an older man. It involves learning sexual techniques and foreplay suggestions to enhance and increase experiences of stimulation.
These techniques involve what you probably tend to associate with a consultation with a psychologist. They essentially centre around deconstructing unrealistic sexual expectations or demands, and deal with any misconceptions or false beliefs around sex and foreplay.