Psychological aspects of erectile dysfunction

With the evolution of new concepts related to sexuality, the beliefs that used to assert that impotence was an indicator of deep and severe psychological perturbations have lost credibility. These days, there is the belief that certain factors like the anxiety experienced by certain individuals in regards to their sexual performance or the fear to failure, are the most important and frequent causes for erectile dysfunction.

Of course, there are also important psychological causes associated to the emergence of erectile dysfunction, among them we can find unconscious intrapsychic problems which generally are based on unresolved oedipal conflicts accompanied by guilt and fear. Men affected by chronic and acute depressions, with repressed feelings of helplessness and hostility are more susceptible of being affected by erectile dysfunctions than other men who are emotionally healthier.

The psychoanalytic theory (which assesses such deep conflicts) asserts that oedipal conflicts are usually accompanied by other harmful feelings, when they are not properly resolved, they emerge each time the person tries to have sexual intercourse and the erection cannot be achieved. Impotence emerges then as a defense against the revival of oedipal feelings. However, in recent years the professionals assert that impotence is more a physiological concomitant of anxiety independently from its origin when the psychic defenses of the patient to contain the anxiety fail.

The professionals also assert that it is fundamental to think in immediate factors in order to find the real source of the problem. Thus, in most of the cases the erectile dysfunction problem can be resolving through sexual treatments and therapies that address directly to the immediate causes. The fear to failure can grow according to the beliefs of the person, according to which a man never has to fail, if that to fear is added the abandonment by the partner, there will be found the most common and frequent cause for male impotence. Thus, the reestablishment of sexual self esteem is a very important goal on the treatments against male sexual impotence.

Sexual arousal and erection are only possible if the man gets to concentrate only on the exciting stimuli; such concentration is blocked or inhibited with the emergence of thoughts of different nature than sexual such as concerns related to work or family issues and stress among others. The excessive concern for the success during sexual intercourse produces the anxiety caused by the sexual performance, on such case the man begins to observe himself before and on the course of sexual encounter, hi stops enjoying the pleasure of the encounter and concentrates on his performance, the anxiety is increased and the erection can disappear.

There are other important psychological factors with a great incidence on the emergence of erectile dysfunction such as depression. Such depression can be the result of the decrement of self esteem produced by sexual performance problems. In addition, men who are affected by endogenous depression motivated by other psychic conflicts can present as a symptom the problem of the erectile dysfunction.

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