Psychological impotence is what happens when you experience difficulty in getting an erection which lasts long enough to have satisfactory sex because of emotional or psychological stresses.

Doctors now believe that between 75 and 90 per cent of all erectile problems are physical in origin, usually because of metabolic changes which restrict blood flow to the penis or reduce nerve response.

But up to 25 per cent of the difficulties men experience in getting an erection can relate to emotional or psychological factors, in particular stress, anxiety, depression, or from the side effects of prescribed medications for these health problems.

Common Causes of Psychological Impotence

  1. Personal trauma (divorce, job loss, personal injury or bereavement) affects sexual performance physically as well as emotionally.
  • Trauma can have a catastrophic effect on testosterone levels, reducing a man’s “testosterone age” by ten chronological years in a few months in some cases.


  • Emotional trauma affects dopamine in the brain – necessary for good sexual health – as well as nitric oxide levels in the blood stream, which helps build a satisfying sexual experience.


  • Lack of sexual confidence after negative experiences, plus a lack of sex drive because of feeling bad can become a recurring cycle of anxiety and self doubt.


  • Many medications prescribed for psychological health – for example anti depressants – reduce erectile response

For a much more detailed account of the causes and treatment of psychological trauma see Psychological Impotence and Performance Anxiety Treatment